Sunday, 29 July 2012


Labour & Birth - What to take into hospital

It's important to get together a few essentials for your pending labour and birth if you have chosen the hospital or birthing centre setting. Remember that 37 weeks gestation is classed as full term, so be prepared well in advance.

Many people don't really know what they will need and how long they will be in hospital for. Obviously your stay will depend on your type of labour and birth.

If you have a spontaneous labour and a normal delivery of a well baby, you will need less equipment as your stay will be a short one. But if you are to be induced or have a caesarian section delivery, then your stay will be longer, so you will need extra items, especially things for yourself to help pass on the time!

Things for the baby will include
  • Newborn size nappies, cotton wool and muslin cloths if using cloth nappies.
  • Most hospitals provide towels to use, but it may be useful to check with your midwife exactly what is supplied.
  • Remember that babies are often sick so a few changes of clothes ie baby gro's & vests will be required.
  • If you want your baby to have a soother, you will have to take this with you but remember to sterilise it first.
  • Babies lose heat through their heads - so take in a hat, scratch mitts, and socks.
  • You will also need a blanket or shawl for when you bring your baby home.

The list for yourself is slightly longer!
  • First and foremost, it is important to take your hospital notes with you for safety reasons as this is where all information of your pregnancy and health is found. Hospitals tend not to have a copy therefore information is limited.
  • You will need a couple of nightdresses or T-Shirts for labour and afterwards.
  • Some music to distract you from your labour would be beneficial  so take your ipod or a CD player, with some relaxing music, magazines or books will be necessary especially if you are having your labour induced as this could take 2 or 3 days.
  • Take a face cloth and some water spray and lip balm to use in labour - all these things will help you feel more comfortable.
  • You may find that taking a pillow in, is comforting especially if you intend to breastfeed.
  • Don't forget your partner will be with you, so pack some drinks and snacks.
  • If you are breastfeeding - make sure your clothes are front fastening for ease and comfort.
  • Remember your nursing bra's and breast pads (even if bottle feeding) but bare in  mind that your breasts will be larger when your lactation starts.
  • You will also need all your toiletries, toothbrush, and hairbrush etc although most hospitals provide the use of hair dryers/straighteners etc.
  • Please remember that you cannot use tampons and your lochia will be quite moderate immediately after delivery therefore you should have a pack of maternity sanitary pads - many women make the mistake of bringing in panty liners - these are not appropriate.
  • You may also want to take in several pairs of old pants or buy a pack of disposable ones from your local supermarket or chemist.
  • Don't forget your camera for those essential 'first pictures of your new arrival - you will never get the chance again.
  • And for on the way home you'll need some clean clothes (but don't forget that you may still have a bump - not everyone gets back into their pre-pregnancy jeans straight after delivery)
  • Importantly for your baby, you will need a car seat for transporting him or her home safely.

This list is not exhaustive and all hospitals differ therefore check with your midwife as she will be able to advise you. With economical constraints put upon the NHS you will find more items not being supplied - there is even talk that formula milk isn't supplied in some units therefore mums are having to take it in with them.

Please feel free to ask any questions relating to this any or any of my previous blogs. You can do this by leaving a comment on this blog or contacting me through my "live web chat" at I will be available for online midwifery advice chats most evenings from 8pm (GMT) so click on the icon on the home page to access the web chat and 'Ask the Midwife'.

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1 comment:

  1. My wife is 40 wks and 2 days today which is 4-10-13 pregnant went to the dotor on Monday 4-8-13 doctor said she was 3cm dialated and about 85% thinned out the have her scheduled to be induced on Monday 4-15-13 today she is complaing of a lot of back pain never had pain before today and has kinda a bloody fluid coming out andy suggestions to what this may be??


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