Ten things you should pack in your hospital bag, written by a midwife!


  1. Snacks! Healthy, nutritious snacks to get you through labour and birth and staying on the postnatal ward for a few days. In labour most women don’t feel like eating anything heavy so have light, energy fuelling snacks. Remember, labour is the hardest work you’ll ever do, your body is working to maximum capacity to get your baby here so little bites of something sweet can help you remain energized. On the postnatal ward, you’ll be feeding every few hours, around the clock. Your body is burning calories creating milk for your little one and that midnight hunger becomes real!

  2. Large comfy undies! So many women forget about this. After you have a baby (vaginal or C-section) you will need large, comfy undies to support your tummy and to hold a pad in place. If you have a C-section they will need to be high so they don’t press on the wound but still fit over your belly (remember, your belly doesn’t disappear as soon as you give birth). Be warned though, bring undies you’re happy to never see again!

  3. Pads: For the love of God, bring pads! No matter how you give birth, it is very normal to have quite heavy bleeding (like a heavy period) for the first couple of weeks, heaviest in the first few days. Bring big maxi pads that you can change often (hospital pads are terrible).

  4. Good nursing top: If you plan to breastfeed, bring plenty of tops/singlets that you can nurse comfortably in (if you don’t want to be topless). Bring a few as your milk will be leaking and you’ll likely have some baby vomit/wee/poo on them after each feed (the joys!)

  5. Pen and paper: To write down times of feeds, you’ll be surprised how quickly everything blurs into each other. In the first few days, the midwives will ask you very regularly what the last time you fed was, for how long, which breast, did the baby wee or poo etc. Bring some pen and a paper to jot down these times as well as any questions you have for the midwives.

  6. Favorite pillow! If you have been sleeping with one of those amazing pregnancy body pillows and you can’t get to sleep without it, bring it. Sleep becomes very sacred and precious once babe arrives, so anything to aid that should be brought along.  

  7. Baby clothes and nappies! A lot of public hospitals in the last few years have cut down on nappies and baby clothes and so you need to bring your own. If you want to cloth diaper, bring those, if you want to use disposable nappies bring those. Bring lots either way! As for clothes, babe will most likely need a few onesies and singlets and lots of wraps to swaddle! (swaddling will be your new best friend)

  8. Phone Charger! Everyone forgets a phone charger. You have to have battery to snap those gorgeous moments of your new little bundle!

  9. A water bottle! Keeping hydrated is so important for your body as it starts to heal after birth and starts making breast milk. Aim to drink 2-3 Litres a day, if you have a bottle with you it is much easier (and better for the environment, yah for not using plastic bottles!)

  10. Arguably the most important, bring patience along with you. The first few days (arguably the first few years) are tough. Your body feels foreign, you’re exhausted, you are hormonal, suddenly everything your partner does is bugging you, your nipples hurt and you think, “how on earth am I going to do this motherhood gig?” Remember to breathe, everything will be okay. Ask for help when you need it and take time for yourself, even if that is a 10-minute uninterrupted shower- you’ve got this mama.

All photos by the incredible Melissa Jean.

Website: https://melissajean.com.au/

Instagram: @melissajeanbabies