What to bring with you

As you approach 36 weeks of pregnancy, we encourage you to start packing a bag ready for you and your baby regardless of where you are planning to give birth. You will normally stay in hospital from six hours to two days following the birth of your baby—therefore you need only bring enough clothes and other personal items for this length of time. If you stay longer you can ask friends or relatives to bring extra things for you. Whatever you decide to bring is your personal choice. We have put together some suggestions below.

For you

  • Any hospital notes, a copy of your birth plan and list of contact telephone numbers
  • An old t-shirt for labour or any comfortable clothing (including something to wear in the birthing pool if you wish)
  • Pair of socks for labour
  • Personal items—toiletries, tissues, tennis ball or wooden massager, massage oils, pillow, water spray, lip salve
  • Toiletries including soap, toothbrush, toothpaste and lip balm
  • Hair bands or clips for long hair
  • Energy tablets
  • Snacks, magazines, newspapers, puzzle books (for you and your partner)
  • Change for the carpark and phones
  • Breast pads
  • Maternity pads and disposable knickers
  • Towel
  • Support bra to wear while breastfeeding
  • Dressing gown, slippers, nightwear
  • Music—CDs or iPod
  • Camera
  • Comfortable clothing to go home in

Note: Please leave painkillers at home. We normally prescribe paracetamol and ibuprofen. Please ensure you are not allergic to or have any sensitivities to these medications before taking them.

 For your partner

  • Comfortable clothing (remember it gets very warm in the unit) and a change of clothes
  • Suitable indoor footwear (flip flops or slippers)
  • Toiletries
  • Meals and snacks (please note only mothers receive hospital meals in the maternity unit)

For your baby

  • Baby grows or gowns—baby grows are the best for warmth and comfort
  • Vests and cardigan
  • Hat
  • Baby bath towel
  • Nappies
  • Cotton wool
  • Baby blanket

Choose us

Self refer online

Get help (maternity helpline)

Chelsea and Westminster
T: 020 3315 6000

West Middlesex
T: 020 8321 5839 


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Mum & Baby app

Our Mum & Baby app supports your journey with us through your pregnancy, birth and life with your baby—download it today!

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The Care Information Exchange gives you online access to your results, scans and appointments during your pregnancy. Find out more.


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eRedbook is an NHS-approved app that allows you to keep a secure digital record of your child's health and development—download and register today!

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