prepping for the big day:
what to pack in your birth hospital bag

This is one of the most exciting stages of pregnancy: packing your birth hospital bag. It's worth getting everything ready by week 36 so you're as relaxed as possible when the miracle moment finally arrives.[1]


What to take? In a nutshell: everything you think you might need. This means anything from tissues to those all-important going-home clothes for both you and your beautiful new arrival. As we've found from years of last-minute packing, writing a list can make things a lot easier. Below are a few handy suggestions for what to take to hospital.

while you're in labour

Having these things to hand can make labour that bit more comfortable. If anything's tucked away in a hidden pocket, make sure your birthing partner or midwife knows.


If this is your first baby, you might need to start with buying a hospital bag, you can browse mothercare's range of hospital bags here >>

you'll need

  • a copy of your birthing plan[2]
  • a lightweight dressing gown and cosy slippers
  • a nightshirt or a big T-shirt to wear while in labour
  • socks, feet can get cold during labour[2]
  • a TENS machine to help with pain relief[3]
  • massage oil, if you'd like to be massaged during labour[1]
  • lip balm

after you've given birth

A few home comforts in your birth hospital bag mean all you need to do is get to know your beautiful new arrival.

you'll need

  • travel toiletries for a heavenly shower after birth
  • two pairs of pyjamas with front-opening tops for easy feeding
  • a bath towel
  • tissues
  • nursing pads
  • breast pads[3]
  • lanolin nipple cream[4]
  • maternity sanitary towels
  • your mobile phone and charger
  • comfy going-home clothes

To make things a little bit easier for you, you can find everything a mum needs here >>

what to bring for your newborn

And what about your tiny VIP? To ease their move from womb to world, here's what to pack for your baby's hospital bag.

you'll need

  • two or three sleepsuits and vests
  • newborn nappies and nappy bags[2]
  • newborn-friendly baby wipes
  • muslins
  • a baby blanket
  • some going-home clothes. An all-in-one outfit, cardigan, hat, socks and booties will do for now

you can find everything you need for your baby here >>

what your birthing partner should bring

If you'll have some back-up, it's worth them packing a few things too.

you'll need

  • mobile phone and charger
  • a camera
  • snacks and drinks
  • cash
  • books and magazines
  • a change of clothes
  • the car seat (might be an idea to get it installed in your car before the due date, just in case)


[1]. What to pack in your hospital bag, Baby Centre [Accessed May 2019]

[2]. Pack your bag for labour, NHS, January 2019

[3]. What to put in your hospital bag, Emma's Diary [Accessed May 2019]

[4]. Packing your bag for labour and birth, Tommy's, April 2015