By Mary-Kate Williamson

When I was pregnant with Oliver my hospital bag was a bit more like a suitcase, which half of I didn’t actually use! So this time, I will only be taking the essential items… with some little extras – but not too many!

This is what I think you will need for labour based on what I found useful last time, I will be doing another essentials post for after birth for mum, baby & first night at home.  

  • Birth plan & Maternity notes – sometimes your birth plan doesn’t go to plan but its essential to have so that you, your birthing partner & midwife know what you do and don’t want to happen without having to keep asking you. Maternity notes show your whole pregnancy and your midwife may be one you’ve never met before so it is needed!
  • Dressing gown, lightweight as it can be warm on the wards but it’s nice to still feel covered up. Try for a dark colour or a patterned one to hide any marks!
  • Slip on Slippers so you can easily remove them without having to bend down to your feet or asking for assistance…
  • Socks – I had cold feet when I was in labour with Oliver, and that was in August so I will definitely be taking some socks with me. 
  • Maternity pads – I actually used some but I preferred Always Ultra pads & will just buy them this time. 
  • Disposable knickers. I took some disposable ones with me when I had Oliver – when my waters broke at 4cm I used them & maternity pads. I also had some normal cheap knickers that I didn’t mind throwing away afterwards.
  • Old t’shirt or nightie to wear during labour – you don’t want to ruin something new. I brought a really big size from primark & it cost me about £4 I think but I ended up wearing one of the hospital gowns instead.
  • Birth ball if you would like to use one, I didn’t take one with me last time but I am going to consider it this time.
  • Lip balm, I had really dry and sore lips during labour – not sure if that was connected to that gas and air but I’m definitely having gas & air again, so I will be taking some lip balm with me.
  • Snacks to keep you going – you might be in labour for a long time! & I’m going to take some for my boyfriend too as he isn’t allowed to leave my side unless he’s going to the toilet.. I also found ice pops nice as I was so hot. 
  • Books, magazines or even a tablet if you want, to help you pass the time. It will feel so much longer if you’re just sat there with nothing to do and you could be in labour for a long time – I was only 4 hours 45 minutes with Oliver – you just never know.
  • Hairband, I have long hair and it really annoyed me last time.
  • Tens machine if you plan to use one.
  • Hot weather cooling spray – I brought one from boots which was really good.
  • If you’re using the birthing pool and you want a bikini top I think that would be ok – you need to be comfortable.
  • Partners swimwear in case you’re using the birthing pool, sometimes partners get in too to offer more support. 
  • Mobile phone & charger 
  • Camera: to take first photos.

Maybe a few little personal home comforts, some music or extra pillow?

If you think I’ve forgotten something essential or just a nice extra then please feel free to add it on too! Comment below or join us on Facebook or Twitter!

Mary-Kate x

Don’t forget I can also be found blogging at




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