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Must-haves for your hospital bag

Now that you are heading into your last few weeks of pregnancy, it's a great time to start thinking about your hospital stay and what will make you feel the most comfortable immediately after you give birth.

Most mothers stay in hospital for 2-4 nights depending on their delivery and how they are feeling after their baby arrives. With this in mind, you’ll want to make sure you have enough supplies without overdoing it.

We’ve broken down the most important items to bring into four easy lists — mum, bub, random (but important) things you’ll need, and a few things your partner or support person can pack.

Mum’s pregnancy hospital bag of goodies

  • A notebook and pen to write down important details (feeding times or questions you have for the doctor and midwife)
  • Comfortable maternity tights with a looser mid-section, until you are ready to transition to your postpartum recovery tights (pack both!)
  • Any maternity notes and copies of your birth plan
  • Comfy pyjamas (make sure you will be able to breastfeed in them)
  • Dressing gown
  • Loose and comfortable clothing for the trip home
  • Zip up hoodies — cozy enough for the hospital room or a walk around the park. 
  • Leggings or trackies with a comfortable waistband
  • Warm socks and slippers
  • Undies….and more undies! Specifically, the dark coloured granny ones— not so sexy, but oh-so practical. You may want to buy some disposable undies that you can just get rid of. When you're redy you can transition to wearing a support garment like our Postnatal Recovery Support Brief
  • Maternity pads, you’ll want at least 2 packets
  • Breast pads and maternity bras if you plan on breastfeeding (check out Active Truth’s feeding crop, a definite must-have!)
  • Nipple cream (MooGoo makes a great one) 
  • A few feeding singlets
  • Toiletries (scent-free so you don’t overwhelm bub)
  • Make-up (if that’s your thing)
  • Hair scrunchies, headbands, and a brush
  • Lip balm
  • Phone charger to make sure you have enough juice to take thousands of photos within the first couple hours
  • Nursing pads for leaking boobs
  • Something to read in case you end up waiting around or can’t sleep (it happens)

Essentials for bub

Before anything else, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the approved car seat fitted so you can take bub from the hospital.

What to pack in your pregnancy hospital bag for baby:

It’s good to check with your hospital before you get there, as some may provide a few of these items already.

  • Singlets and bodysuits
  • Mittens and hat/ beanie
  • Socks
  • Jumpsuits
  • Thick warm blanket (the hospital will provide blankets but it’s nice to have one of your own)
  • Newborn nappies and wipes (unscented)
  • Face washers and baby towel for their first bath
  • Muslin wraps
  • An outfit to travel home in
  • A couple of dummies (you may be dead against dummies but change your tune when you realise that having one is the only thing that will help your baby to settle

Miscellaneous

  • Hospital forms, Medicare card, and health insurance info
  • A folder to keep all your documents in
  • Have a Spotify playlist set up and ready to go to keep you calm and distracted in the early stages of labour. If you’re having a water birth, this can include some soothing, gentle songs
  • Your own pillow for extra comfort
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Something to snack on if hospital food isn’t hitting the spot
  • A baby keepsake book to note all the new details
  • A reusable water bottle (you’ll probably be thirsty during or after the birth)

Your partner or support person may also want to think about packing a few things in your pregnancy hospital bag or their own, as this could be a long few days for them too. Some essentials would be:

  • More snacks and drinks 
  • Phone charger, camera, and laptop
  • A book or magazine
  • Change of clothes (or at least undies)
  • Toiletries
  • Massage oil for a nice foot rub to keep you relaxed
  • Patience and a strong stomach!

There may be a few more things that you’ll want or need based on preferences…. however, hospitals do prefer minimal baggage so think quick weekend away instead of a month-long trip.

Happy birthing, mama!

Want postnatal recovery tights that will help you start to feel like yourself again sooner? Take a look at the collection from Active Truth and add a pair to your pregnancy hospital bag. We offer a range of sizes from XS to 3XL.