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Preparing for Hospital

Even with an expected due date, you can never tell when your water might break.  Having everything packed and prepared beforehand will put your mind at ease.

Getting organised at home

Knowing everything is organised at home is great for reducing stress:

  • Shop before your due date so you've got all the essentials
  • If you can, cook and freeze a few meals for when you come home
  • Make sure your partner knows where everything is, in case they have to take extra things to hospital

What to pack?

Your hospital bag

  • Front-opening nighties or baggy t-shirts for breastfeeding
  • Nightgown
  • Breast pads and bras (nursing bras if breastfeeding). Remember your breasts will be bigger than usual
  • Slippers
  • Disposable panties/old panties
  • Flip flops to wear in the shower
  • Wash bag and toiletries
  • A towel
  • Maternity sanitary pads
  • Cash for food and phone calls (you can't usually use your mobile in hospital)
  • Magazines
  • Baby books
  • Healthy snacks and drinks
  • Comfy, baggy clothes for going home in

Your labour bag:

  • Birth plan
  • Maternity notes or card
  • Old nightie or t-shirt (to wear when giving birth)
  • Wipes and face spray
  • Lip salve
  • Socks
  • Water
  • CD/Tape player/MP3 with headphones
  • Book or magazines
  • Camera/video camera
  • List of names and phone numbers of people to tell the exciting news

Your child's bag:

(Make sure you wash all clothes beforehand using a non-biological detergent.)

  • Four sleep suits
  • Four cotton vests
  • Newborn nappies and cotton wool
  • Blanket
  • Hooded baby towels
  • Scratch mitts
  • Clothes for the journey home: cardigan, coat, hat, socks, mittens

If you are going to bottle-feed, keep in mind that some hospitals do not provide baby milk. Ask beforehand and be prepared to take some with you.

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