Pregnant woman holding baby clothes to bump

Essentials for your hospital bag

If you're giving birth to your baby at hospital, you'll need to get a few things ready in advance. Your doctor will have given you a due date, but this doesn't mean your baby won't make an early appearance.

It's a good idea to get your hospital bag ready at least two weeks before your baby is due. In fact, lots of mums start preparing their bags up to eight weeks in advance. Here are our tips on what to include.

Bag a bargain

You'll need a sturdy bag with plenty of room for all your hospital essentials, plus clean clothes for baby once he or she is born.

Tie it up

Hospitals can be warm, so pack some lip balm to help stop your lips from becoming dry and dehydrated. Also if you have long hair, keep it out of your face during labour with some hair ties.

Tasty options

Don't be at the mercy of hospital vending machines. Pack some nutritious snacks and thirst-quenching drinks to keep you going through labour. Remember to include some for your birthing partner, too.

Try a TENS

Many women find that a TENS machine is very useful for relieving the pain of contractions during the first stages of labour. Most TENS units can be used for other types of pain too, for example, arthritis.

Choose comfort

It's easy to lose heat quickly from your feet, so choose some cosy socks to take with you to the hospital. Don't forget to pack one or two nursing bras too.

Snug as a bug

You may need to change your baby's clothes a few times a day, so it's a good idea to take plenty of vests and sleepsuits with you in case you need them during your hospital stay.

Lather up

Having a shower or bath will feel like luxury after labour, so remember to pack some shower gel to take with you. It's a good idea to use pH-neutral products, as you may be extra sensitive after birth.

Well prepared

Take some newborn-sized nappies and changing cream to hospital with you so that you're well prepared.

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