Early in the third trimester is a great time to get your hospital bag packed ready for when you need to go to hospital in labour.
Maternity Unit Manager Emma Cook says when you are approximately 30 to 34 weeks you should start putting some of the most important items in your bag.
“The number one thing for mums is to have their antenatal notes in their bag so all the midwives involved have the most up-to-date information,” she says.
“The number one item for baby is to pack a beanie to help them maintain their body temperature in the first 24 hours after being born.”
Emma says mums (and dad’s if they are staying overnight) should pack to stay at hospital for four to five days.
What to pack for mum
- Comfortable clothes to enable breastfeeding
- Two or more maternity bras
- One box of nursing pads
- Two packs of maternity sanitary pads
- Large, comfortable underpants
- Personal toiletries
- Comfortable clothes to wear home
- Comforts for labour such as an iPod dock, essential oils, massage oil, fit ball (if not using a hospital-supplied ball), TENS machine (if a part of birth plan)
“If dads are staying overnight they should also bring toiletries, pyjamas and clothes for hospital and a buttoned shirt to enable skin to skin contact with their baby,” Emma says.
What to pack for baby
- A singlet to for baby to go home in (the hospital may supply singlets during your stay)
- Five grow suits for hospital and for going home
- A baby wrap for going home, the hospital supplies wraps during your stay
- The hospital also supplies nappies during your stay, but you can bring one just in case you need a quick change on your way home
“Always remember the golden rule for dressing your baby: consider what you are wearing and then add another layer for baby,” Emma says.