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Go Bag

When you go into labour the last thing you need to be thinking about is packing a bag to take to hospital!  Even if you have an elective Caesarean scheduled, always be prepared for the unexpected.  We have put together a list of items that we recommend you have pre-packed in a “go bag” in an easy-to-reach place in your home that you can pick up and take with you to hospital at a moment’s notice, full of the essentials to get you through labour, delivery and the first few days with your newborn.  We recommend packing a go bag when you are around 36 weeks along.

For you

For when you arrive at the hospital and during labour:

  • Medicare card
  • Private health insurance card
  • Hospital paperwork (if you need to bring any)
  • Birth plan and maternity notes
  • Phone charger
  • An old t-shirt or nightie to wear during labour
  • Slippers
  • Socks
  • Dressing gown
  • Snacks and drinks for you while you are in labour
  • Massage oil if you want to be massaged during labour
  • Lip balm
  • Books, magazines, games, knitting etc. to pass the time as you labour
  • Glasses or contact lenses, if you wear them
  • Hair ties if you have long hair
  • TENS pain relief machine, if you plan to use one
  • Toiletries (hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant)

For after the birth:

  • An outfit to wear home – something loose, comfortable and (in the case of pants) adjustable, such as drawstring or an elasticised waistband
  • 2 or 3 nursing bras
  • Breast pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Nightshirt/t-shirt – button-down fronted shirts are great for breastfeeding
  • Old/cheap knickers
  • Maternity pads for post-natal bleeding and discharge
  • Notepad and pen to write down notes about baby’s feeding/sleeping, first memories, and to note down advice from and questions for doctors and midwives so you don’t forget

For the baby

You will need to bring along some things for your newborn and it will help put your mind at ease to have it ready to go well ahead of time!

  • An infant car seat, properly installed
  • A onesie for the trip home
  • 2-3 sleep suits and singlets (more if you think you will be in hospital for several days)
  • 1-2 baby blankets
  • Nappies, wipes and bags for soiled nappies
  • Socks
  • Hats/beanies

For your birth partner

Your birth partner will likely spend a lot of time with you at the hospital.  It can be a good idea to pack a few things for them as well!

  • A hand-held fan to cool you down while labouring!
  • Clean, comfortable clothing to change into
  • Comfortable shoes
  • A camera
  • A video recorder if you want to record the birth
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Phone charger

For your older children

If you have other children who will likely spend a good deal of time at the hospital, it is worth thinking about packing a few things for them in case they get restless.  Some ideas include:

  • Quiet toys (nothing that makes loud noises when played with)
  • Books
  • Colouring books and pencils
  • A disposable camera so they can take their own pictures
  • Snacks (e.g. fruit cups) and drinks

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