Packing your bag ready for birth
This list of items to help prepare you for your birth has been devised in collaboration with our local Maternity Voices Partnership, which is a team of women and their families working together with commissioners, midwives and doctors to contribute to the development of maternity care both locally and nationally.
Bag packing tips
- Hospital handheld records
- Birth plan, see our birth plan page for ideas
- Toiletries; consider mini toiletries to save space
- 2 support bras; stretchy sleep bras are good until you know what size you will need
- Breast pads; even if you are not planning to breastfeed you may still leak milk
- 2 packs of maternity type sanitary pads; your loss can be heavy particularly in the first couple of days
- Underwear; comfy and cheap are ideal and you can bring old knickers instead of disposable ones
- Nightie or pyjamas; it may be helpful to have front fastening ones if you are planning on breastfeeding
- Dressing gown and slippers
- Camera or charged up phone with camera
- Snacks and drinks for you and your birth partner
- TENS (Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation) machine for pain relief if you wish to use one
- Lip balm; because you may get very dry lips
- Hair bobble
- Flannel or sponge; you may get very warm and these are good for your birth partner to use to cool you down
- Bikini top or bra; you may wish to wear this in the birth pool
- Nappies; one pack
- Vests; perhaps three or four depending on length of stay
- Baby grows or sleepsuits; front fastening are easier if you are new to this!
- Socks and scratch mittens; babies can have cold hands and feet when first born
- Blanket; natural fabrics are good, pillows and duvets are not recommended for babies as they can get too warm
- Small hat; good for immediately after the birth
You will also need a car seat to take baby home in, but please bring this when you are ready for discharge as there will be limited space in the birthing area.
If your informed choice is to bottle feed:
- If you are birthing at Hull Hospital please bring manufactured ready prepared milk in carton or bottle form. Do not bring powder to make up.
- If you are birthing at York, Scarborough, Grimsby or Scunthorpe, please ensure you bring powder and bottles as you will be shown how to make up feeds (even if this is not your first baby).
For your birth partner:
- Snacks and drinks
- Change of clothes as it gets very warm in hospital; don't wear a thick jumper!
- Contact numbers of people you wish to inform about the birth
- Change for the car park
There is also more information for your birth partner and family in this section.
For a home birth:
You may want to pack a bag as listed above for hospital in case you need to be transferred in at any point. It is much easier in advance than trying to get stuff together if you need to go in a hurry.
If you have other children:
You may want to bring a story book that you can read to them over a smartphone; they may be missing you and it will make them smile.