As someone who loves organisation and lists, packing my hospital bag was a particularly satisfying experience. I read many different examples of lists, one of my favourites included a mini bottle of champagne (shout out to that mama!). Then from this, I wrote my own based on what I thought I needed and then some.. So I thought it would be helpful to share what I actually used, in order to spare the over packing. See below the exact hospital bag checklist I used for Liam (birth partner), Indie and I. Feel free to save these and add your own items, or download a blank version for free here.
Products I Used
It’s easy to say order x, y and z, but I found it really helpful to have recommendations from friends/other bloggers on products they found worked well. Here are some of mine I found useful (click the heading to access the link).
Nightie – This nightie was great as it has buttons down the front meaning when I was being checked I did not need to remove any clothing, just popped open a few buttons. Trust me, anything that makes life easier during labour is a must! I ordered a couple to take in and still wore them after birth as well for comfort.
Water bottle – A water bottle with a straw is a must, as again doesn’t really involve much effort when you’re feeling tired. This is similar to what I bought (and less money!)
Fan – I got a handheld fan from B&M which I think was about five pound. I don’t have a link for this, but you can get similar on Amazon (though a little bit more expensive).
Projector light – Some of the hospitals already have these, but I took my own in case they were not available. Liam had bought me one as a present, so I did not buy it especially for labour, but it did help me to feel calm throughout. Plus the baby loves to use it now! I also took in little tea lights from B&M.
Cooler – This was my best friend throughout labour and my stay in the hospital. I don’t know about your local hospital but mine is about 300 degrees so this helped keep me cool.
Nursing bras – I bought almost all of my maternity/nursing bras from ASOS and H&M. These ones were definitely the comfiest and felt a bit more luxurious with the lace.
Maternity leggings – I still wear these four months postpartum. They are so comfortable and feel more expensive than they actually are. They were a godsend after birth to come home in, as wearing tights for a few days was a bit of a no go.
Coming home clothes – I wore this maternity dress to come home from hospital in. As it’s a smock it was nice and loose, as trust me, you do not want anything clinging! My stomach was still quite tender so light and floaty worked well.
Birth Announcement Card – I ordered Indigo’s birth announcement card from this shop on Etsy. I have since ordered a Christmas Eve board for Santa and both orders have been amazing! I would highly recommend this store (not an Ad, just loved it!)
I had also packed a TENS machine from Boots and some heat pads from B&M. I found the heats pads helped initially when I had mild back ache at the start of labour, however the TENS machine irritated me. Some hospitals already have TENS machines, so if you were wanting to try one, please ask your midwife about availability.
Hospital Bag Checklist: Snack Edition
Packing the food was almost as important as packing the essentials (I mean I’d even argue more important). The hopsital I went to do not provide food for the birthing partners, but would provide hot water. Therefore Liam’s snack pack looked a lot like this (please don’t judge the lack of nutritional value in this list haha) :
- Pot Noodles
- Curry (this was from B&M, though I can’t remember the brand, you basically added boiling water to make)
- UHT milk (to make tea)
- Tea bags
- Crisps (his favourite)
- John West ‘on the go’ salads (again from B&M)
- Sandwich (My Mam brought in a full picnic when she was allowed in!)
For myself I had little things I could snack on during labour, as meals were provided. My snack pack included things such as flapjacks, cereal bars and haribos (my favourite). I tried to include things that would give me little bursts of energy throughout. Unfortunately, I was nil by mouth from the morning of induction (which I did not know about before), so I could not eat during labour. Silver linings was I had quite the picnic for afterwards!
During my stay I used a lot less than what I packed, so this list may seem short, but I only wanted to include what I actually used. I definitely felt I had to pack an enormous amount of things ‘just incase’, but it was actually more of a faff getting it all home with baby in tow. I hope this hospital bag checklist helps and feel free to download and share the free resources!
Click here to read how the birth went!