If you’re expecting a baby, then it’s advisable to get your labour bag packed from around 35 weeks. Aside from the standard items: knickers, pads, baby grows, nappies; there are certain other things that I’m glad I remembered to take. And they’re not all items I’d read about on the typical labour bag check lists either. So here’s a rundown of the extras you’ll want to pack in your labour bag.
1) Money for the car park
When you’re in labour, the last thing you’ll want to think about is the car-parking meter. So find out how much it is to park at your local hospital and make sure you have the change ready, in the side of your labour bag. That way you won’t have to give it any thought when the big day arrives.
2) Your labour notes and birth plan
Have you ever turned up to the hospital with a pregnancy-related issue and forgotten your pregnancy notes? I have. And my other half had to drive back for them. As well as this being an inconvenience, it created unnecessary anxiety. My other half had to leave me when we were both worrying about our baby. To avoid this, make sure you get into the habit of keeping those maternity notes in your hospital bag in between midwife visits.
3) Phone chargers for you and your birthing partner
Buy a spare charger for both of your phones, put them in your hospital bag and forget about them. Because it will be irritating if either of you is stuck in the hospital without juice for your phone.
4) A super comfortable, access-all-areas nightie
Make sure you pick something comfortable to birth in. I’d recommend a nightie, or a shirt with buttons down the front. That way it will be easy to have skin-to-skin when your baby arrives and to whip your boob out if you’re planning to breastfeed.
5) Snacks and drinks for you and your birthing partner
You may have thought about the snacks and drinks that you want in the labour room. But have you catered for your other half too? My friend went to reach for her packed lunch and ice-cold Capri Suns after giving birth to her son, only to discover that her husband had helped himself. Always pack double. And make it clear that the rations need to be shared.
6) Spare change for the cafe
Much like the car park situation, you don’t want to be scraping around for change whilst you’re in the hospital ward. So it makes sense to have a couple of pounds stashed in your labour bag.
7) The best toiletries that money can buy
What do you love to shower with? What’s your favourite face wash? If you were treating yourself to an extra special shampoo and conditioner, what would you go for? Pack this stuff. That first shower after giving birth is like no other shower I’ve ever experienced. And you deserve to enjoy yours as much as I enjoyed mine!
8) A list of people to contact when your baby has arrived
When your baby arrives, you may be in a post-birth haze. But it’s important to let your nearest and dearest know and you don’t want to accidentally forget somebody. So make a list beforehand.
Is it worth it?
When it comes to working out what to pack for labour, this list obviously isn’t comprehensive and you’ll need plenty of other things in your bag. The NHS has created a great general list, which will ensure you don’t turn up to the hospital without any spare knickers packed. But although you won’t find the items above listed on every labour hospital bag list and I’m really glad I remembered to pack these eight items.
If you’re being induced then you’ll need some added extras. Check out my list of 10 things to pack in your induction hospital bag.