For first time parents, the task of packing a hospital bag can feel overwhelming. The struggle of deciding what to pack and what to leave home is very real!

It’s a good idea to pack your hospital bag when you’re around 35 weeks pregnant. Lots of women enjoy this task and say it helps them feel mentally prepared for what’s ahead.

Here’s a list of items we suggest you include:

For mum

You’re going to be sitting in a chair or in bed during your stay, so remember that comfort is the key to your wardrobe selection! Also consider tops, pyjamas and nightgowns that open in the front for breastfeeding access.

Clothing:

  • comfortable, loose fitting casual clothes
  • pyjamas or nightgowns (3-4 items)
  • comfortable underwear that are high waisted, firm and supportive (6-8 pairs)
  • breastfeeding bras
  • dressing gown
  • slippers or flat slip on shoes.

Personal toiletries:

  • Toiletries including hairbrush, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste and lip balm
  • maternity sanitary pads (3 packets)
  • absorbent breast pads (1 box)
  • Hairdryers are available at the hospital for your convenience.

Medical:

  • Medicare card
  • Private health insurance card
  • blood group card (if you have one)
  • your personal obstetric record—this is updated at each visit you have with your obstetrician, so it’s very important you bring this record with you
  • current x-rays, scans, and pathology results
  • medications
  • your GP’s contact details
  • a payment method to cover any possible out-of-pocket expenses
  • any eligible pharmacy or government entitlement discount cards, e.g. your safety-net card.

Aids to help you relax/feel comfortable:

  • aromatherapy oil
  • massage aids
  • hot/cold gel pack
  • TENS machine
  • music device
  • photos or other personal items from home.

Other items to consider:

  • your own pillow if you’re particular about pillows
  • mobile phone and charger
  • camera and charger
  • books or magazines.

For baby

  • baby wipes
  • cotton singlets (6)
  • socks, booties, mittens and hat (2 of each)
  • grow suits (6)
  • swaddles/wraps (6).

Epworth supply disposable nappies for your baby during your hospital stay.

Don’t forget that the law requires children aged under six months to use a rear facing child restraint for every trip in the car. It’s a good idea to have the car restraint installed well before your due date and to ensure that you know how it works before its time to actually use it!

For partners/birth support people staying overnight

It’s important for partners to remember that midwives will be checking in on maternity patients at all hours of the day and night, so they will need to be appropriately attired.

  • pyjamas or appropriate night time attire
  • swimming shorts / bathers if they’re supporting you in the shower
  • change of clothes
  • personal toiletries.

­­­When packing your bag, consider using luggage with wheels as Epworth has a no-lift policy for staff (this is in line with our occupational health and safety guidelines).

05 September 2019

Author

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