While Mother Nature might have given us nine months to prepare for birth, there are some things that shouldn’t be left until the last minute, and packing a bag is one of them.
It’s recommended that you start thinking about the big day at the beginning of your third trimester (any time after 29 weeks). You should definitely have a bag packed, ready to go at 36 weeks.1
Hospitals or birthing centres may differ in what they provide for you and your newborn, so it’s a good idea to check with them that you’ve got everything covered. However, the following list might help get you started.1,2
Hospital Admission paperwork bits and pieces.
Very important, because you won’t get very far without it. You’ll need:
2. Clothing for mum – an old nightdress or large t-shirt to wear in labour. A dressing gown for before and after labour and some easy-on/easy-off slippers or thongs.
3. Make sure you pack some items that will help you relax or pass the time. Books, e-reader or tablet, magazines or music – but don’t forget headphones and chargers for any devices.
4. Toiletries, including toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, moisturiser (including lip balm) and make up.
5. If you wear glasses or contacts lenses, or need them for reading, make sure you include them in your essentials. However, if you’re expecting to have a caesarean, please note that contacts can’t be worn in theatre, so throw in some glasses instead.
6. Natural pain relief, such as a TENS pain relief machine or heat pack – just in case. You can check out the maternity range of TENS devices here or heat packs from the Hotteeze range here.
7. Nursing bras, breast pumps (check out the Welcare Nurture Wearable Electric Breast Pump here), breast pads and sanitary/maternity pads.
8. Loose fitting top or shirt with buttons to allow simple access for breastfeeding.
9. Baby clothes, including a couple of onesies and a blanket or two. A hat, mittens and socks or booties will also be useful if it’s in the cooler months.
10. A camera – you don’t want to miss any moments of your precious newborn’s life. But these days, a smartphone will do – just make sure it’s charged and has some free storage space for all the photos.
If you have a Birth plan that’s important, make sure to bring it along. And don’t forget your birth partner.
Finally, make sure you’ve got plenty of fuel in the car for the trip to the hospital and that you’ve organised for pets or other children to be looked after.
Pregnancy, Birth & Baby (provided on behalf of the Australian Dept of Health) has a great downloadable pdf checklist that you can print. You can find it here.
Your health professional will advise you whether this product is suitable for you. Always read & follow the instructions for use & health warnings. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Do not use with any electronic medical devices e.g. pacemakers; prior to last 3 weeks of pregnancy; or on the abdomen at any stage of the pregnancy.