Preparing your hospital bag
For first time parents, the task of packing a hospital bag can feel overwhelming. The struggle of deciding what to pack and what to leave home is very real!
It’s a good idea to pack your hospital bag when you’re around 35 weeks pregnant. Lots of women enjoy this task and say it helps them feel mentally prepared for what’s ahead.
Here’s a list of items we suggest you include:
You’re going to be sitting in a chair or in bed during your stay, so remember that comfort is the key to your wardrobe selection! Also consider tops, pyjamas and nightgowns that open in the front for breastfeeding access.
comfortable, loose fitting casual clothes
pyjamas or nightgowns (3-4 items)
comfortable underwear that are high waisted, firm and supportive (6-8 pairs)
slippers or flat slip on shoes.
Toiletries including hairbrush, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste and lip balm
maternity sanitary pads (3 packets)
absorbent breast pads (1 box)
Hairdryers are available at the hospital for your convenience.
Private health insurance card
blood group card (if you have one)
your personal obstetric record—this is updated at each visit you have with your obstetrician, so it’s very important you bring this record with you
current x-rays, scans, and pathology results
your GP’s contact details
a payment method to cover any possible out-of-pocket expenses
any eligible pharmacy or government entitlement discount cards, e.g. your safety-net card.
Aids to help you relax/feel comfortable:
hot/cold gel pack
photos or other personal items from home.
Other items to consider:
your own pillow if you’re particular about pillows
mobile phone and charger
camera and charger
books or magazines.
cotton singlets (6)
socks, booties, mittens and hat (2 of each)
grow suits (6)
Epworth supply disposable nappies for your baby during your hospital stay.
Don’t forget that the law requires children aged under six months to use a rear facing child restraint for every trip in the car. It’s a good idea to have the car restraint installed well before your due date and to ensure that you know how it works before its time to actually use it!
For partners/birth support people staying overnight
It’s important for partners to remember that midwives will be checking in on maternity patients at all hours of the day and night, so they will need to be appropriately attired.
pyjamas or appropriate night time attire
swimming shorts / bathers if they’re supporting you in the shower
change of clothes
When packing your bag, consider using luggage with wheels as Epworth has a no-lift policy for staff (this is in line with our occupational health and safety guidelines).
When feeling unwell, it can be difficult to determine the appropriate measures for your recovery. You will likely have many questions - do I need to stay home from work? Should I visit a GP? Do I need to go to the emergency department?
Recipes brought to you by the Epworth team. Seafood paella, easiest to cook on the BBQ to ensure you get that all important crust.
Margaret McKelvie started volunteering at Epworth HealthCare after the death of her husband in April last year.
For Margaret, it was an opportunity to give back to the hospital and staff that had cared for her husband until his final days.
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