Monday, February 16, 2015

on packing a hospital bag

Packing the hospital bag; such a pivotal moment whilst preparing for baby. 

If all goes according to plan I'll birth in a low-risk maternity ward at our local hospital and return home about six hours after meeting baby. My midwife will visit every day for a week afterwards; she'll drink earl grey (her tea of choice) whilst chatting to me about feeding habits and sleeping patterns. She'll also ask me how I'm feeling - in body and mind. It's hard to believe that such nurturing, attentive service comes at a financial cost of absolutely nothing. Grateful is an understatement. 

Because an overnight stay in hospital isn't my intention, the contents of my bag is minimal. However, whilst two change of clothes will suffice, I have still packed the essentials that every woman needs for labour, birth and the tender (breathe, breathe, breathe) recovery days. 

My list of essentials includes:

- a pillow (because burying your face into your own pillow whilst contracting is far nicer that the plastic hospital variety)
- my beloved drink bottle 
- a thick headband (hair on the face is never preferable during labour)
- lip salve (long exhalations create dry lips) 
- black underpants of the boyshort variety (always black and never skimpy)
- maternity pads (more than you think you'll need)
- a sleep bra and cotton breast pads (this range is great, too) 
- a robe (worn every day for the six weeks post-birth)
- hot water bottle (for after-pains which tend to get more intense with each baby)
- camera, batteries and memory cards
- shoes, slippers and socks (easy to forget as you waddle out the door)

For me:

- a supportive singlet for post-birth 
- a comfortable tee (worn here - so flattering at this stage of pregnancy) and nursing-friendly singlet
- black skirt
- yoga pants
- cardigan
- linen scarf (the heat of labour soon dissipates once your baby is born...a scarf is a necessity)
- toiletries
- tea bags and tea cups (because that cup of tea after birth is one of the best you'll ever drink...and it's always nicer to sip from a decent porcelain cup)
- fresh fruit

For baby:

- nappies + wipes
- singlets
- a beanie
- booties 
- onesies of the kimono variety (so much easier to dress them in)
- swaddle wraps
- a blanket

(my essentials for baby detailed here)

For dad:

- warm clothes (hospitals get cold, especially at night)
- sustenance of the snacking variety
- loose change (for more sustenance)
- phone chargers
- boardshorts (if you want to share the bath)

What have I forgotten?

If you are intending on spending a few days in hospital, remember that comfortable clothes and button down PJs are an absolute priority, as are at least 10 pairs of black underpants.


  1. Good luck Jodi- so exciting to think of a new life on the cusp of being born!

  2. So incredibly excited for you, Jodi.
    Lots of love,
    Ronnie xo

  3. All the best Jodi. Sharing your excitement when you finally get to meet the wee one.

  4. Oh it is getting so close! A big hug from overseas!

  5. I found packing my hospital bag incredibly exciting and reading this makes me quite sad that I won't be going through it again. Excited for you though... Hope all goes well xx

  6. It's getting close exciting. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

  7. I really wanted something filling + nutritious to eat after birthing Gus... I was immediately ravenous and even though we were only in the birthing centre for the minimum amount of time before heading home I still had insufficient food with me. Homemade banana bread, brie and good sourdough; things that can be easily consumed with one hand whilst juggling bubba xx

  8. This is a great list. Our home birth went sour and I wish I had packed a hospital bag (yeah, I was that naive). I'm keeping this list for future baby. Sending happy thoughts your way. Be well.

    1. My labour with our eldest daughter did the exact same and my husband was running around grabbing things as the ambulance was pulling up outside! With our second baby I was all organised, packed and ready to go - so of course our home birth went exactly to plan and it wasn't needed! X

  9. Hey there, I've only recently come across your blog via bloglovin' and I'm really enjoying reading. I hope everything goes to plan and you get to meet your wee one soon x

  10. Best of luck and hope everything goes according to the plan. I am a new reader and must say I absolutely adore your logo. It´s perfect.

  11. I loved having some of my favorite music playing during delivery.

    Best of luck

  12. So many more pads and pants than you think! :) And lip salve is a good shout, I'd have forgotten about that one x

  13. This is helpful, thanks Jodi. We have so far enjoyed four lovely home births, for which I put everything baby and I would need into the bassinet, so that if we needed to transfer it could just be scooped up and thrown into a bag, but was readily available if we didn't need to. This time around, however, we are planning a go to a local birth centre so I've never really done the bag-packing thing! I'll refer back here to remind me in a few months when it comes time to pack. x

  14. I loved having some essential oils with me. And because I stayed in for two nights with both my babes I took my own food, muesli, tea, fruit and organic ginger shortbreads! And was lucky enough to have my family bring home made meals in, I will never forget the mushroom risotto and tempeh salad. Many blessings Jodi on birthing this babe. Might I add I am amazed at the frequency of your posting! I can hardly keep up with posting on my blog at the moment and I am not preparing to birth my third child like you are! I keep expecting to click over here and find an update from the birth suite :) (joking) good luck! xx

  15. Barley sugar lollies for a bit of sweetness....

  16. Thankyou so so much for posting these packing lists and baby essentials! I just adore your blog and insta. These posts on preparing for baby have been incredibly helpful for me I am expecting my first later this year and have been feeling a little clueless and overwhelmed!! I also really don't want to overspend or own things that we simply wont really need, but I want to be as prepared as possible. Goodluck Jodi!

  17. Soft cheeses and some sushi! Ha ha.
    It wasn't that long ago that I was packing my own hospital bag but already those days of anticipation seem like a distant memory.
    Best of luck!

  18. I had a pump water bottle for post birth next to the toilet. Fill it with warm water and squirt while taking a wee (TMI?!) Takes that sting away if you have stitches or a graze. x

  19. Handy list, thank you! I will keep this in mind when my turn comes to pack my bag in a couple of months :-)


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