Inside the maternity bags of expectant mothers (Click to view BBC News article).

I asked some midwifery colleagues and mums what they would advise to include in a birth bag for hospital, and here’s a suggested list:

First of all, assume you need enough for yourself during labour and then enough for you and your baby overnight. If you need more stuff, you can get your partner to bring in what you need when you need it.

  • Something to give birth in – for the pool if you want that option (crop top, bikini top, vest top)  as well as an ‘on land’ option(nightie, baggy t-shirt,) I would suggest 3 in all. Don’t wear a hospital gown, it will make you into a ‘patient’.
  • Dressing gown and slippers – you will need to go and have a shower after you’ve had your baby.
  • Comfy socks – 2 pairs.
  • Clothes to go home in for you and your baby – you’ll still need maternity clothes I’m afraid! (You could leave these in a seperate bag in the car).
  • Bodysuits and baby-gros – 6 of each.
  • Knitted cardigan and hat – if baby’s cold.
  • Baby blanket – for going home.
  • Maternity sanitary towels – 1 pack.
  • Loads of pairs of large pants (the cheap multi-packs are good)  or paper pants – you may need to throw these away, so not your best silk undies!
  • Toiletries.
  • Bath towel for mum.
  • Flannels for labour.
  • First size nappies – around 12.
  • Phone and charger.
  • ?Camera.
  • iPod and charger with fantastic playlist.
  • Lip balm or Vaseline.
  • Plastic bag to put dirty clothes in.
  • Your own mug and teabags – yes really!

To these it’s definitely worth adding:

  • Your birth plan if you have one.
  • Your hospital notes – vital.
  • Baby wipes – for your hands in labour.
  • A couple of pillows – there are never enough in hospital.
  • Something to ‘do’ – Book or Kindle, iPad, pack of cards.
  • Snacks – Muesli bars, bananas, juice cartons, frozen Frubes, dried fruit, nuts.
  • Sports bottle.
  • Pack up for birth partner(s) – they could be making this whilst you’re in early labour!
  • A pair of shorts and clean t-shirt for daddy, it gets hot in hospital.

If you’re planning a home birth, it’s advisable to have a hospital bag packed just in case you need to transfer for some reason.