What to pack in your hospital / labour & birth bag

What to pack in your hospital / labour & birth bag

Over my years as a midwife, I've seen lots of families walking through the birthing suite doors carrying what looked like everything but the kitchen sink. Now I agree there are some essential items that you just can't do without especially a clean pair on undies and your tooth brush but what else should you pack in your hospital / labour & birth bag to make you feel comfortable; Plus when should you start packing?   

To make things easy I've suggested a checklists for two bags. One for labour & birth & the other for your postnatal stay with your new baby. 

Labour and Birth Bag checklist

  • Comfortable clothing that allow you freedom to mobilise whilst in labour 
  • Bikini top or sports bra if you're considering using a hydrotherapy pool or water birth
  • Old underwear or disposable knickers 
  • Massage Oils & lip balm
  • Water bottle with sipper cap because labour is thirsty work & you can dehydrate easily
  • Pillow 
  • Lap top (down load your favoruite movie or series before you go). This helps to pass the time espeically during an Induction of labour or longer stay.
  • Playlist on your phone
  • Phone charger ( with a long cord if possible) 
  • Snacks for you & your birth partner 
  • Hair ties or head band  

Post-Natal bag checklist


  •  Witch hazel Relief spray for soothing your sore or bruised perineum post birth
  • High waisted dark underwear, you may want to consider soft disposible
  • Sanitary pads although most hospitals / birth centres provide these.
  • Comfortable loose fitting clothes
  • Breast feeding friendly tops (if choosing to breastfeed) with easy front opening
  • Comfortable bra & resuable breast pads, these are softer & more absorbant 
  • Nipple balm, hydrogel discs or silverette cups 
  • Toiletries to include deodorant, soap, shower gel, shampoo conditioner. Choose somthing with no or little fragrance to not interrupt the natural smell of you
  • Tooth brush & tooth paste
  • Hair brush & extra hair ties. Many hospitals/ birth centres will have a hairdryer 
  • PJ's for over night stays
  • Fluffy Sock or slippers to keep your feet warm


  • 3- 5 singlets, body suit/ baby grows
  • 3 cardigans 
  • Socks, mittens and a hat 
  • Nappies New born, although most hospitals/birth centres provide one pack
  • Perfume free water wipes or reusable cloth wipes. These are also great to mop up spills or to use as burp cloths. 
  • Marino or woollen Blanket
  • Cotton or muslin wrap / swaddle
  • Going home outfit  
  • Car seat - make sure you're had a trial run of how everything works before you head home.
  • Extra blanket for the car ride home, espeically if giving birth in winter months. 

Most midwives recommend having your hospital / labour & birth bags packed around 28-32 weeks of pregnancy because no one really knows when you'll go into labour, But don't  worry if you suddenly go into labour & you've not finished packing your bags or you've forgotten something, the chances are there is someone who could bring it to you.   

I wish you all the very best for your labour & birth, remember it's your journey & your story. Happy packing   Clair xxx 

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