As the exciting arrival of your baby starts to get ever closer, it’s important to start getting prepared for your stay at either John Hunter Hospital or Newcastle Private Hospital.
Most pregnant women begin to pack their hospital bag at around 33-36 weeks and keep it in their car or at the front door.
If you’re wondering what to pack, this is the only list you’ll need.
- Baby clothes including hats, mittens, booties, socks, etc.
- Swaddles/wraps (one for each day – they may not get dirty, but it’s always good to have a spare in case of leaks and spills.)
- Baby blankets.
- Car seats (this needs to be organised prior to discharge).
- Bottles – if you’re planning on bottle-feeding, you may wish to bring your own bottles so that baby gets used to what you have.
- Nappies and wipes are usually supplied, but if you choose to use cloth nappies and reusable wipes, please feel free to bring your own.
- Medicare card and private health insurance details.
- Any medication you may be taking.
- Your personal birth plan (if you have one) – remember to keep this short and be flexible as babies don’t always follow your plan.
- An old nightdress or large shirt to wear during labour (something you don’t mind throwing away afterwards).
- Your own toiletries – this includes body wash, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, toothpaste and toothbrush, shaver and make-up. We recommend that deodorant is not used within the first 24 hours after birth so that your baby can get used to your unique smell.
- Hair products – hairband, hair clips, brush, etc.
- Clothes, front opening pyjamas (if you intend on breastfeeding) and dressing gown.
- Slippers and non-slip socks.
- Glasses or contact lenses, if you wear them.
- Things to help you relax such as massage oil, music, oil burners, books/magazines.
- Snacks to have during labour.
- Nursing bras, breast pads and nipple cream. Even if you’re not planning on breastfeeding, it’s still best to avoid underwire bras as they can become uncomfortable and block your milk ducts.
- Maternity pads (3-4 packs). Tampons should not be used as they can increase risk of infection after you’ve given birth.
- Comfortable dark cotton underwear – please bear in mind that you will need to have full briefs to securely hold your maternity pads as G-strings are not suitable for this purpose. Two per day should be more than sufficient.
- Phone and charger.
- An outfit to go home in.
You may wish to have a smaller bag for the day of the labour and have additional supplies packed in a bag that your partner can bring after the birth, instead of trying to take a heavy bag with you while you’re in labour.
If You’re Having a Caesarean Section:
- Comfortable underwear that won’t sit on your wound.
- Loose pants or dresses that won’t irritate your wound.
- Stool softeners to assist your first bowel movement.
- Mouthwash to freshen up your mouth if you can’t get out of bed.
For Your Birth Partner:
- Comfortable clothes and shoes.
- A change of clothes.
- Swimmers for assisting you in the shower.
- Toiletries (toothpaste and toothbrush).
- Copy of your birth plan.
- Camera, phone, ipod – make sure it’s fully charged.
- Snacks and drinks.
- Cash and change for the canteen and parking.