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30th Mar 2015

Hospital bags at the ready. Here’s what to pack WITH the essentials

You've packed all the basics, but do you have these little extras?

Sive O'Brien

It’s almost time. The moment you’ve been waiting for. No, not the labour, but the bag packing time. OMG. The excitement. You’ve checked all those lists, you’ve gone shopping for the teeniest little white baby things you could find, now it’s time to decide what goes into the bag – the bag that signifies so much as it sits by the front door – awaiting D-Day. You have the babygros, PJs, changes of clothes and nightdress for labour, but did you know that these added extras with make your experience that little bit easier…

This is the definitive guide to packing that bag:

1. Headphones

For the labour to chill you out – either listen to your Gentle Birth recording or some ambient, soothing sounds. Then, to drown out the sounds of crying babies (not yours!) in the ward after baby comes. Essential.

2. Protein bars

Why, you ask? These are must-haves during labour (for your partner, not you) he needs to be there for you, not down in the cafeteria (it has been known to happen). Protein bars are brilliant for having in your hospital side table too for those in-between meal times during your hospital stay. Labour is called labour for a reason, remember, you need to revive after all that work.

3. A change of clothes for him

Yes, you read that right. But, chances are, unless you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll be in hospital overnight during labour and while it’s a given that you’ll pack your own change of clothes, pack something for your other half too, to save him going home to freshen up.

4 Water spray

Pop a water spray can into your bag for your partner to use on your face during labour. This is super-refreshing as temperatures and tolerance levels rise!

5 Socks

Labour rooms or wards can be chilly – and slippers can feel tight on your feet if you’re walking around during contractions. Cosy socks are an absolute must.

6 TENS machine

This little vibrating handheld machine is amazing for labour back pain. The electrical pulses prevent pain signals from reaching your brain, which may stimulate your body to release natural, feel-good substances (endorphins). Alternate the pulses of electric energy via little sticky pads.

7 Eye mask 

Your day will probably become your night because your new bundle of joy usually decrees this so. Enter eye masks (hospital lights are cruelly bright) and you might, just might get a few moments of shut-eye.

8 Magazines

Contractions start. And then sometimes, they stop. For ages. There can be a lot of waiting around. Pack a few easy-to-read magazines for flicking through either in the labour ward or in between feeds once the baby arrives and they are sleeping. It’s not always easy to get sleep in a hospital, so these do come in handy.

When hunger strikes, strike back with Nature Valley Protein bars,




Hospital bag