Packing your hospital bag for labour is often not too different to packing for a holiday: there is excitement and nervous anticipation for the adventure that awaits you! No matter if your packing in a rush (slowly raises hand) or if you have your hospital bag ready months in advance, it's difficult to know exactly whats necessary and those unexpected items that can bring much comfort during labour.
To help, we reached out to the Babybee community and asked: if you could only pack one thing in your hospital bag for labour, what would it be?
Once again we were flooded with responses and have narrowed down the top ten must-have items for your hospital bag as voted by real Aussie mums!
“BLOODY COMFY UNDIES”
Nope, this isn’t a bonds ad. But considering the overwhelming number of mums who voted for comfy, leak proof undies as their must have hospital bag item, there is clearly a big market for post-birth underwear. Whilst maternity pads were also a highly voted-for hospital bag item, many mums responded advising that these pads can be quite uncomfortable, and opting for big, leak-proof underwear were a much better solution. According to Melbourne mother-of-two Rachel, “Modibodi period underwear are the absolute best” and are “way comfier than maternity pads”.
PACK YOUR SNACKS
The second most highly recommended hospital bag item was again one that many of us at Babybee HQ didn’t even consider - snacks! Or as mother-of-one Breanna put it, “ALL OF THE SNACKS”! With hospital food often less than desirable, packing some of your favourite snacks will help keep the hunger at bay for both you and your birth partner. The most voted for snacks were lollies, chips and freddo frogs!
We loved this suggestion from Brianna Jackson via Instagram, as this is absolutely something many of us would not think to pack but will provide unfathomable comfort pre, post and during birth! There is NOTHING worse than having hair untamed and in the way when working out, and giving birth is just about the most intense workout you’ll ever do. So don’t be like the rest of us and remember to pack your hair ties!
If your packing hair ties, chances are your packing toiletries too - which is great as toiletries was one of the highest ranking must-have items according to thousands of Babybee mumma’s. According to mother-of-two Ashleigh, most hospitals don’t provide shampoo and conditioner, so make sure you pack these if you want to be as fresh as possible for your and bubs big departure from hospital!
Considering 1 in 3 Australian mothers will have a cesarean, it is unsurprising that a compression band was the must-have item for many Babybee mums' hospital bags. Whether you are scheduled for a c-section or not, packing a compression band ensures that you are prepared for all possible outcomes and will be extremely comfortable for you post procedure.
BREAST DISCS OR NIPPLE CREAM
Whilst breastfeeding your baby can be the most bonding and beautiful experience for mum and bubs alike, it often comes with some teething pains (excuse the pun). For many, discomfort can be caused from being unable to position bubs correctly, squishing the nipple and leading to sore, cracked nipples. The Babybee community voted for packing breast discs in their hospital bags closely followed by nipple cream, which ensures you are able to soothe your breasts in between feeds whilst you and bubs get into the swing of things in hospital.
There is nothing as comfortable as a good pair of trackies or button up pyjamas, so make sure you pack these to help get you feeling as comfortable as possible post birth. Hospitals are notoriously cold, so be sure to pack your thickest jumper or blanket for good measure.
Whilst hospitals may have some swaddles on hand, its best to come prepared and pack your own high quality jersey swaddles for bubs. Mother of one Molly said the hospital swaddles were made of muslin, which whilst are not terrible are not as thick as jersey swaddles and allow for less movement. Swaddles are amazing for newborns as they make your baby feel safe and secure outside of the womb whilst helping regulate your baby’s internal thermostat.
PACK YOUR PILLOW
We were flooded with mum’s stating their own pillow was the best and most valued item they packed in their hospital bag. Not only does it allow for greater comfort during labour, but will help encourage sleep and a better recovery.
WHATEVER YOU DO - DO NOT FORGET YOUR PHONE CHARGER!
A non-baby related item but nonetheless ESSENTIAL for your hospital bag is a phone charger! Unlike pubs, you are unlikely to find a spare charger hanging around a hospital, so make sure this is on top of your hospital bag packing list so you can capture those precious first few days with bubs.