Packing your hospital bag can be one of the most exciting yet nerve-wracking moments in the pre-baby nesting stage. On the one hand you want to be fully prepared and have everything you’ll ever need at your fingertips, but on the other, how can you ever really know what you’ll need if you never been in this position before? Luckily we’ve been there, and with some careful editing, we’ve come to create the ultimate hospital packing list that combines comfort, necessity and even a little indulgence. On your marks…
Editor: Marisa Remond | Image: Jenna Louise Potter
A slightly oversized night shirt is the best option for your stay at hospital. The free-flowing fabric won’t hug or tug in the wrong places post-birth, and the all-cotton fabric will help with any postnatal sweating you may experience (which is completely normal!). The easy-access buttons for breastfeeding are also a huge bonus.
SHOP: J.Crew nightshirt, $114.
Even if you have every intention of getting dressed in regular clothes, chances are you might be living in your PJs in the days (errr, weeks) soon after delivery. An elegant yet comfy robe is an easy way to look polished without really trying, and perfect for any time you want to duck out of your room to grab a nurse/snack/some air.
3. Bed Socks
Hospitals can be unseasonably cold, and one of the easiest ways to instantly warm up is by wearing some comfy socks. We can vouch for this cashmere pair being worth the hype and indulgence.
SHOP: The White Company, $58.
4. Jersey Pants
So here’s the thing, I’m yet to meet a woman who’s eager to put on a tight pair of jeans soon after giving birth. That’s where these jersey pants come in. The elastic waistband and drop crotch mean they’re ridiculously comfy, and the tapered leg still gives the illusion of being dressed-up. Perfect as an everyday hospital outfit or for when you’re finally able to go home.
SHOP: Bassike pants, $130.
5. Feeding-Friendly Shirt
Another great option to wear when you’re heading home, we guarantee a man-style shirt will be your wardrobe saviour when it comes to easy-access for feeding.
SHOP: Vera Moda shirt, $76.
6. Comfy Sweater
Beat the hospital chill in loose-fitting loungewear that puts comfort first.
SHOP: Country Road top, $70.
7. Nursing Bras
This wire-free nursing bra is one of our favourites thanks to its ability to combine function with style. Hot tip? Buy in every colour as breastfeeding can be (seriously) messy business in the early stages.
SHOP: Heidi Klum bra, $65.
Although there aren’t actually a lot of places to walk to in hospital, you’ll be on your feet attending post natal classes, feeding your baby and getting to and from the bathroom every day. Trust us when we say you won’t want to wear any type of shoes other than slippers during this time!
SHOP: Sussan slippers, $25.
9. Nursing Singlet
File nursing singlets under the “things you never imagined being so handy” list. Seriously, these are a godsend for converting any type of top to be feeding-friendly.
SHOP: Rosie Pope cami, $41.
The general rule with packing underwear for your hospital stay is to keep it super simple. Opt for all-black, full-briefs in 100% cotton and don’t be afraid to size-up for ultra comfort and coverage
SHOP: Bonds brief, $15.
The Practical Checklist…
Lip balm: You have no idea how dry labour makes your lips! Be sure to pack a favourite and tell your partner to keep it on hand for easy access.
Hair ties: Because the last thing you need is hair flying everywhere whilst giving birth.
Snacks: Hospitals are often equipped with all the food and drink you’d need but it’s wise to bring a few things from home in case you’re stuck in your room for a while.
Creature comforts: Magazines, heat packs, candles, music… whatever will make you feel most comfortable in every sense of the word.
A feeding-tracker app downloaded onto your phone: This helps with remembering when you’ve fed and on which breast when your left alone with your little one for the first time.
Breast pads, maternity pads and nipple cream: All necessities you’ll definitely need in bulk. For maternity pads, we love TOM Organic.
Basic toiletries: Brands such as Aesop, Aveda and Kit Cosmetics all make travel-sized bottles which help with any space issues you may have.
Phone charger: You have no idea how quickly your battery will drain once you start taking hundreds of photos of your baby.
A belly-support band: Believe it or not, a tight compression band around your stomach can actually feel really soothing post-birth, whether you have a natural delivery or c-section. These work wonders for helping to tighten muscles and regain core strength.
Baby outfit: Singlets and onesies will do, keep the exciting stuff for when you’re home and settled.