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What to pack in your hospital bag for labour and birth during the coronavirus pandemic

What to pack in your hospital bag for labour and birth during the coronavirus pandemic

This is a personal blog post for those of you that might be thinking of what to pack in your hospital bag for your upcoming hospital visit for your natural labour or caesarean section birth. Even if your hospital visit isn’t for some time, I’m hoping it calms even the most stressed out mums and mums-to-be, in shedding some light into the unknown. I’ve written this list as I recently had a baby right in the middle of lockdown, during the coronavirus pandemic, in another country.

Before you start packing, always check with your hospital in the first instance, as every hospital is different, in what they supply for yourself and your baby. Also, every country in general is different in what they provide – which I can confirm, as this third birth was born all the way in Ireland, and my first two children were born in my home country Australia.

The essential packing list

For yourself

  • Pregnancy documents (hospital card / chart etc) & ID
  • Birth plan
  • If not provided by the hospital
    • Towels x3
    • Maternity pads
  • Toiletries & thongs (flip flops) for the shower
  • Slippers that are easy to put on without bending / sitting
  • Breast pads
  • Breastfeeding-friendly PJs / night gown
  • Comfortable breastfeeding-friendly clothes
  • Warm clothes (again, check with the hospital, as some hospitals are cold and other are kept warmer)
  • Snacks for between hospital meal times (I brought plenty of lactation cookies and muesli bars)
  • Tea (decaf, peppermint, camomile, lactation tea etc whatever you’d like)
  • A large water bottle preferably with a straw (makes it easier to drink water with one hand while breastfeeding and holding baby with the other)
  • A phone / camera plus battery pack (you can also bring a charger, but I’ve found the charging points make it awkward to hold the phone while its charging) – this was super useful while no visitors were allowed, as I found myself facetiming family and friends more than I usually would have
  • A magazine / book (although I didn’t have time to read these) especially if your hospital doesn’t have a tv or your hospital stay is longer than planned
  • Hand sanitiser (no joke, your hospital might run out of it, and its necessary for nappy changes & going home)
  • Face mask
  • Phone pop up stand (to allow for easier facetiming)
  • A worn shirt that smells like yourself – to wrap your baby in, in any instances you might be separated from your baby and you and/or your partner may not be able to do skin-to-skin.

 For labour

  • Big baggy t-shirt / comfy bra
  • Music to help you in labour
  • Aromatherapy diffuser (check with your hospital if this is allowed)
  • Heat pack (check if your hospital allows microwaveable ones)
  • Hair ties

For c-section

  • High waisted undies without stretch (as the stretch ones can sometimes roll down your belly onto your c-section scar)
  • Peppermint tea (can help with trapped wind)

For baby

  • If not provided by the hospital
    • Baby blanket
    • Cot sheets for the hospital bassinet
    • Nappies (x1 small pack of approximately 24 nappies is plenty for one week’s stay)
    • Wipes (preferably water wipes or dry wipes)
  • Outfits during hospital stay (x4 singlets, x4 bodysuits, x4 pairs of socks, warmer clothes if needed, mittens) – I found these weren’t really needed in Australia, as baby was always dressed in the hospital-provided singlets, baby hospital gown and hospital-provided baby blankets)
  • Baby beanie (check with your hospital as these weren’t allowed in Australia, while compulsory in Ireland)
  • Going home outfit
  • Car seat to take the baby home in

This list was meant to be comprehensive, and help more so in being over-prepared than under-prepared. Under normal circumstances, I would say its ok to under-pack, as you can always ask someone to drop off whatever you may have forgotten during your stay, even snacks. In these coronavirus / pandemic / lockdown circumstances, make sure you pack exactly what you need as hospital policies can change day-to-day and your support partner or visitors may not be allowed into the hospital. In my case, I wasn’t even sure if my husband would be allowed in on the day, and only found out that morning that he could stay for the birth. The hospital wasn’t allowing any visitors into the antenatal or postnatal wards (not even partners). I would also recommend you don’t pack last minute like me, and pack a few weeks ahead of time.

For another interesting read, check out this photo series of essentials for giving birth around the world. 

Oh, and goodluck! Keep strong and stay safe. You got this mamma x

About the Author

About the Author

Founder of Mama Qucha and stay at home mum to three little ones, Francisca uses her background in Environmental Engineering and Sustainability to share with readers information about motherhood, eco-baby and kids stuff, travel, and spending time outdoors and in nature with babies and toddlers. Grab your free beach packing checklist when you subscribe to her newsletter at, read the latest articles on her blog, and follow Mama Qucha on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest @mamaquchababy.

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