Maternity Hospital Bag Checklist: What to Pack for Childbirth
1 August 2023
Are you approaching your third trimester? If so, stop what you’re doing and read through our maternity bag checklist to ensure you and your family are ready for the big day!
Preparing for the arrival of a child is an exciting and sometimes daunting experience, whether it’s your first time or your fifth. Therefore, packing your maternity hospital bag well in advance will save you a lot of time and stress.
In this post, we provide a handy maternity bag checklist for everything you need to make your hospital stay as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
For a PDF of the following list – click here.
When Should You Have Your Maternity Bag Packed?
We suggest having a maternity bag packed and ready by the door (or in the car), around the 36 week mark, which is well into the third trimester. This will give you plenty of time to ensure everything is ready for the big day, night, or early morning (labour often strikes when you least expect it!).
However, every pregnancy is unique. Some women may prefer to have their bags packed earlier, especially if there are known risk factors or signs of preterm labour.
Why is a Hospital Maternity Bag Important?
You may be asking yourself why you need a hospital maternity bag at all. Hospitals are staffed by doctors and professional midwives, so they’ll have everything you need, right?
While the hospital will provide essentials, they won’t provide extra clothing for the baby, books, entertainment devices, snacks, personal toiletries, etc. Although hospitals are great at what they do, they aren’t supermarkets!
Therefore, we recommend sitting down with your partner, family, or doctor to run through the following list and check off any items that need to be added or removed. Once you have your personalised list, set aside an afternoon to pack your bag and prepare for the big day!
Essential Documents and Information
- Birth plan (if you have one)
- Medicare card
- ID and hospital paperwork
- Health insurance information
- List of important phone numbers (family, friends, and support network)
- Loose-fitting nightgowns or pyjamas
- Comfortable nursing bras or maternity bras
- Recovery pants
- Warm socks and slippers
- Loose-fitting outfit to wear when leaving the hospital
Personal Care Items
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc.)
- Hairbrush and hair ties
- Lip balm
- Maternity pads
- Nursing pads and nipple balm (if planning to breastfeed)
- Disposable postpartum underwear and/or full-brief underwear
- Any personal medication if needed
- Newborn nappies
- Baby blankets
- Onesies or baby clothes
- Hat and mittens
- Burp cloths
- Nursing pillow (if desired)
- Going-home outfit for the baby
- Car seat or capsule (installed in the car prior to going to the hospital)
- Infant formula (only if planning to use a milk replacement formula to feed your baby)
Comfort and Entertainment
- Pillows (for extra comfort during labour)
- Extra blanket for partner/support person
- Snacks and drinks for labour and postpartum
- Water bottle with a straw for easy sipping during labour
- Entertainment device (phone, tablet, e-reader, laptop, etc.) and charger
- Camera or video recorder
- Books and/or magazines
- Nursing cover (if desired)
- Nursing-friendly nightwear for easy breastfeeding
- Extra clothes and toiletries for your partner/support person
- Cash or change for vending machines or parking
- Breast pump (if planning to use one)
- Any special items for support during labour such as a TENS machine
Overall, preparing your maternity bag in advance is an exciting milestone as you approach your due date. By having a well-organised and well-stocked bag, you can ensure you’ll have all the essential items you’ll need during labour, delivery, and postpartum.
Remember – every birth experience is unique, so feel free to customise the list based on your preferences and needs. With your maternity bag packed and ready, you can focus on welcoming your precious child into the world.