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Nine Months : Getting ready for a hospital birth

The following is a complete list of things you may need during labour or after birth. However, you may need to customise it according to your needs. For example, if you don't intend having a massage during labour, there is little point in carrying a massage oil with you.

Your Bag

You will need the following things for labour:

It is best to pack these things in a separate bag so that you can carry it with you into the hospital. The remaining bags can be fetched by your partner from the car later on.

* Casenotes - for your birth plan and other medical details

* Old nightdress or loose T-shirt (hospitals provide their own gowns for delivery and the entire process could be messy and bloody, so if you want to wear your own clothes, make sure they are disposable ones)

* Flannel - to wipe your face when you are working hard in labour

* Natural sponge - which can be moistened and you can suck on it if your mouth is dry

* Water spray - for cooling

* Bottled water

* Lip balm - if your lips get very dry

* Hot water bottle

* Socks - you may need them if start feeling cold in the later stages of labour

* Camera - to click any memorable moments

* Massage oil/talcum powder - for your partner to give you a massage in case you need it

* Magazines/books - in case the labour gets prolonged

* Cassettes and tapes - if you think music will help you to relax

Your birth partner can keep some stuff for himself like sandwiches, snacks, pen, paper, telephone numbers of relatives and friends and lots of coins for the telephone along with your labour things.

You will need the following things for after birth

* 2-3 nightdresses -front opening if you will be breast feeding

* 5-6 disposable maternity briefs

* 24 stick-on maternity sanitary towels (superabsorbent)

* Dressing gown

* Old slippers

* One hand towel

* One bath towel

* Two flannels

* Toiletries

* Breast pads

* Nipple cream

* Nursing bras (if breast feeding)

* Pen

* Coins for the telephone

* A plastic bag to take your dirty washing home

* Loose, comfortable clothes for going home (remember, you will still not be able to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes)

Your Baby's Bag

Your baby will need the following for his stay in the hospital:

* Sleepsuits

* Nappies

* Vests

* Cardigans (seasonal)

* Blanket/Shawl (seasonal)

* 'Best' outfit for photosessions in the hospital

* Cotton wool

* Nappy cream

* Scratch mitts

Your baby will need the following for going home:

* Car seat

* Going home outfit

* Hat (seasonal)

* Shawl/wrap (seasonal)

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