What to pack in your hospital bag

What to Pack for Labour

pack hospital bag

Everyone will have different things they want to use during their labour or that they may need if they want to stay afterwards in the hospital. This list is intended as a starting point from which you can grab the ideas that you like for your labour bag. Packing a hospital bag is best to do before labour starts – I usually suggest at about 36 weeks.  I have included a hyperlink on the items that you can buy for your hospital right here on www.birthpartner.com.au.

To help during the labour

  • Homeopathics / herbs
  • Any reference books or apps – for positions, acupressure, etc. Mark the pages so that your support person is not busy researching instead of looking after YOU! I personally find Birth by Catherine Price and Sandra Robinson great for this.
  • Camera + video camera – remember to charge your batteries and pack your recharger as well
  • Water sprayer for your face
  • Comfortable clothes to birth in
  • Electric oil burner and your essential oils or an essential oil mix – either something you like the smell of, or something that will help with your labour – like clary sage – check with your aromatherapist.  You could also pack something like our Essential Oil Birth Kit which has a selection of oils in an easy-to-carry pack.
  • Notepad and pen – you may want to make a note of contraction timings or other thoughts during the labour
  • Music – try a playlist on your phone
  • Relaxation CD’s or apps
  • Hypnobirthing CD’s or apps
  • Heat Packs – something that you can tie on is fantastic as it leaves your hands free, and also your support person is able to massage you or help with acupressure rather than holding a heat pack on your tummy or back
  • TENS machine
  • Birth Pool – if your birth centre / hospital doesn’t have one – you can use it to labour in or for the birth itself
  • Rescue Remedy
  • Labourade / Endura – for energy, to replace your body salts, and keep you going for the duration
  • Labour massage oil
  • Lip balm – you will be surprised how much your lips dry out during labour
  • Massage device for pressure – maybe something specific, like a spiky ball, or just a rolling pin
  • Warm socks – grip socks are great to help avoid slipping
  • Birth ball, if the birth centre or hospital does not have one


  • Yellow hospital card – that you have already taken to all your appointments
  • Medicare card
  • Birth Plan – include a copy for each support person and one for your midwife at the hospital or birth centre
  • Phone numbers for your support team, the hospital, family and friends

For your support people

  • Copy of your birthing plan
  • Watch with a second hand – to time contractions.  There is an iPhone app that can help you with this, or if the Elle TENS 2 or Elle TENS Plus is being used, it has a built-in contraction timer
  • Snacks – to fill you and to give you energy, but be mindful of what they will do to your breath (coffee or tuna sandwiches could smell terrible to the mum during labour)
  • Toothbrush, breath mints, deodorant
  • Change of clothes – you may get wet or dirty
  • Swimsuit so you can help mum in the bath or shower


For after the birth

  • Very comfortable clothes for breastfeeding, and remember you will probably have a sore perineum
  • Bathrobe or cardigan and slippers
  • Toiletries
  • Nursing bras
  • Breast pads – disposable or reusable
  • Books to read
  • Money for incidentals
  • Clothes to wear home
  • cool pad for your perineum
  • Maternity pads


For the baby

  • Clothing to wear home – Bonds wondersuits are fantastic
  • Properly installed baby seat in the car
  • Warm hat
  • Wrap
  • Nappies


Gifts if you already have a child

  • Present for the older child from the baby
  • Present for the baby from an older child (good to take them shopping with you for this one beforehand)
  • Baby doll for the older child – so they can have their own baby to come home with from the hospital

My Golden Rule is to ensure you tell your support people what you have packed in your hospital bag and how to find it. It is pointless packing an amazing tool for your labour if no one else but you knows about it – you may forget about it yourself once you start focussing on your labour. Even better is to get your kit together, but ask your support person to pack it for you – that way they know not only what is packed, but where to find it.

If you have any other ideas of what you will find useful, please let us know so we can help someone else. We may even be able to source it for you.