When packing your hospital bag, pack enough for your labour and the following few hours. Then pack a second bag with clothes, toiletries etc to last a few days. You then don't have to take an entire suitcase (space on labour wards is limited) and you can send your partner to pick up the second bag if you need it following the birth (if you don't live close to the hospital take it with you and leave it in the car)

Having asked our facebook followers we have compiled a list of hospital bag must haves!

Lip Balm and Throat sweets- Gas and Air as well as breathing techniques can make your lips and throat very dry, lip balm can be an amazing soother

Phone Charger- If you have a spare one keep it in your handbag so it is with you at all times, you never know when you may go into labour or when your phone will need an essential charge! It would be extremely frustrating not to be able to text your nearest and dearest when the little one arrives.

An eye mask - Sleeping can be tricky in bright hospital wards, taking an eye mask could help.

Soft toilet roll- Following a natural birth NHS issue toilet paper may not be ideal! A soft toilet roll can feel like a real luxury following a birth!

Spritz for Bits from My Expert Midwife has amazing reviews and we hear a lot of good things within our Facebook groups! It helps to provide instant relief during episiotomy recovery, post-delivery discomfort and pain caused by perineal tears, stitches after birth, bruising, swelling and stretching during childbirth.

Hair brush, clips and bands- They are items that always seem to go missing when you need them most, so pack plenty!

Cheap supermarket pants- disposable pants can sometimes feel a bit papery but you don't want to ruin your fancy lingerie so supermarket pants are a great compromise. They are soft and comfortable but cheap enough that you can bin them if they get dirty.

Paracetamol- Hospitals will not usually issue painkillers to a birthing partner as they are not the patient so pain killers could come in handy if you don't want to spend your entire labour listening to how much of a headache your partner has!

Ear Plugs- These can come in very handy if you want to get some sleep on a busy maternity ward!

Face cleansing Wipes- These are great for refreshing your face during labour

A sports bottle of water- Sports bottles are ideal for during and after labour as you can drink them while laying back and you can always keep them to hand on your bed

Plastic bags- you won't want to be putting dirty labour clothes in with the clean baby clothes so pack a couple of plastic bags to put your dirty laundry in (you could also send it home with your birthing partner to do when they get in!)

Notepad and pen- You are bound to think of lots of things you need your partner to do, people you need to call or just fancy a doodle so a pad and pen is perfect!

Flip Flops- If you don't fancy the thought of showering in a communal shower room, flip flops or crocs are perfect for avoiding grimy floors!

Snacks & drinks - These are not only important for energy but having a favourite treat to eat can also be a little mood boost!

As well as these items don't forget the "essentials!":

  • An old nightdress to give birth in
  • Nappies
  • Clothes for you and baby
  • Cotton wool
  • Bottles if you intend to bottle feed