What are the essential things to bring when going into the hospital to give birth?

I have a short list of things that I can remember the midwives mentioning, such as a hat and vests for the newborn and sanitary pads.

  • 2
    The mom to be comes to mind.
    – haylem
    Sep 6 '13 at 13:08

This is a list based mostly on my experience... I've marked it as community wiki so others can add to it rather than accuumulating a lot of related similar answers.

For pre-labour, for example if you are admitted for induction:

  • Nightgown (preferred over pyjamas for ease of access for monitoring!)
  • Eyemask, earplugs (hard to sleep in hospital)
  • Plenty of distraction activities (books, puzzles, knitting... whatever floats your boat)
  • Enough clean clothes and underwear for at least a couple of days
  • General toiletries

For labour and birth:

  • A variety of energy-rich snacks (you don't know what you'll feel like eating)
  • Water bottle
  • MP3 player and appropriate choice of music
  • Copy of birth plan
  • Contact details for friends and family
  • Camera
  • Old or disposable nightgown (or large t-shirt) and underwear

For you after the birth:

  • Nursing bra
  • Comfortable clothes (still maternity clothes at this point)
  • Old or disposable big pants
  • Enormous maternity pads
  • Shower stuff

For baby:

  • Two or three vests / babygros / bodysuits
  • Two or three sleepsuits
  • Hat
  • Newborn size nappies
  • Wipes or a big bag of cotton wool
  • Car seat (and instructions for use!) if you will be leaving by car

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