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Hospital bag for labour and birth

You should pack a bag in plenty of time so that you're ready to go to the hospital when your baby is due.

Try to pack lightly as hospitals have limited space for personal items.

Ask your partner or support person to take your outdoor clothing after you're admitted. They can also bring in anything that you might have forgotten.

It is best to leave valuables at home.

Below is a list of suggested items to pack for your hospital stay.

What to pack for you

This is what you will need to bring to hospital:

Files and medicine

  • Pregnancy records, including your birth plan.
  • Any prescribed medicine.


  • 2 comfortable maternity bras or support vests.
  • 2 nursing bras if you're planning to breastfeed.
  • Dressing gown.
  • 3 to 4 nightgowns or pyjamas (light ones – hospitals can be warm).
  • Wide opening nightshirt pyjamas if breastfeeding.
  • An old t-shirt or shirt for labour.
  • Consider a v-neck top for breastfeeding.
  • Underwear – choose large cotton or disposable.
  • A pair of socks for labour (your feet can get cold).


  • Slippers.
  • Flip-flops or other waterproof sandals for the shower.

Hair clips and bands

  • Hair clips and hair bands to keep your hair off your face during labour.

Towels and toiletries

  • Towel (choose dark colours to avoid staining) for each day you're in hospital.
  • Toiletries - lip balm, toothbrush, hairbrush, face cloth, tissues.
  • Breast pads and nipple cream.
  • 2 large packs of maternity sanitary towels.
  • Small bottle of hand sanitiser.

Getting breastfeeding off to a good start

Body changes after birth

Snacks and water bottle

  • Healthy snacks (such as fruit and rice cakes).
  • Refillable water bottle.

Birthing equipment

  • Any birthing equipment like a birthing ball or TENS machine if you plan on using one.

Birthing balls and other equipment for labour

Ways to deal with labour pain

Other items

  • Phone and phone charger.
  • Camera.
  • Things to help you pass the time and relax (books, magazines, newspapers or music and earphones).
  • Your own pillow, if you want to bring one. Use a pillowcase with a colour or pattern so it is not mistaken for a hospital pillow.

After the birth

  • Pen and paper (you may have to record your baby’s feeds).
  • Change for the car park.
  • Loose-fitting clothes for the trip home (which will fit you at 26 weeks pregnant).

What to pack for your baby

These are the items you need to pack for your baby:


  • 6 baby vests, 6 babygrows and 6 bibs.
  • Cardigan.
  • Hat.

All baby clothes should be washed before packing.

Towels and blankets

  • Pre-washed baby towels.
  • 2 cellular baby blankets.

Sheets and cloths

  • 2 cot sheets (if your hospital does not provide them).
  • Muslin cloths.


  • 1 pack of 24 newborn nappies.
  • 1 roll of cotton wool or pack of cotton wool balls.
  • Baby wipes.
  • Nappy cream.

Car seat

  • Car seat (to be brought in on the day you are going home).

Valuable items

Do not bring valuable items into hospital.

Make sure your home contents insurance will cover the loss of any items you bring to the hospital. The hospital insurer will not cover any losses.

Plan your journey to hospital

Plan your route to the hospital. Be aware of the parking arrangements in advance.

Arrange childcare if you have other children.

Have the phone number for the maternity ward or admissions office stored on your phone and on display in your home.

Learn your Eircode so an ambulance can find you quickly if you need one.

Find or check an Eircode -

Page last reviewed: 4 January 2023
Next review due: 4 January 2026

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.