What to bring

Illustration of girl with backpack Whether you are coming in for an operation or you are going to be giving birth, it's important to think about what you need to bring.

Children might want to think about the sorts of things they'd pack if you were going on holiday because those are the sorts of things they will need.

Read the information below to find out the key things you'll need for stays at both of our hospitals.

Women coming in for surgery rather than childbirth will generally come in for day-case surgery and will be told what they need to bring with them at their pre-operative assessment.

What to bring when you're having a baby

Packing your hospital bag is an exciting way to prepare for the big day and it’s best to do it about six weeks before your due date.

Your bag needs to be big enough to carry all the essentials you need for a hospital stay but storage space is limited so please bring only one or two small bags of essentials onto the ward. Your partner will be asked to take anything else away, including suitcases and car seats.

Because there is not a lot of space, we advise that you pack essentials in two bags:

Bag 1: Your labour and birth

  • Your green handheld antenatal records
  • A birth plan if you have made one
  • Clothing: loose and comfortable for labour - a couple of old long T-shirts are great
  • A face cloth/sponge/hair tie/lip salve – water spray can help to cool you down
  • Isotonic sports drinks are good for energy as are pieces of fresh fruit
  • A pair of socks
  • Something to play music on or anything else that will make labour more pleasant for you
  • Wash bag – toothbrush, shower gel, deodorant & comb
  • Towel
  • Bathrobe, nightgown & slippers

Sanitary pads and knickers (old knickers are ideal as they may well get blood stained)

Optional extras:

  • Camera / video camera
  • Something to read
  • Telephone numbers / mobile phone
  • Money for snacks
  • An extra pillow or whatever you need to help you relax

Bag 2: After your birth

For You:

  • Two or three nursing bras – ordinary bras will be fine if you’re not breastfeeding (remember, your breasts will be much larger than usual)
  • About 24 sanitary towels (super absorbent) – not tampons
  • Five or six pairs of pants as you’ll probably want to change them often
  • Change or a phone card for the hospital payphone
  • A book, magazines, music player or other things to help you pass the time and relax
  • A loose comfortable outfit to wear during the day.

For Baby:

  • Nappies
  • Clothes for hospital –  vests, baby grows,  nappies
  • A hat for just after birth
  • Cotton wool
  • Feeding – We recommend breastfeeding, but if you decide not to breastfeed, you will need to bring a starter pack of ready-to-feed formula milk (which includes teats) as there are no facilities for sterilising equipment or making up feeds.
    Please remember: if you want to breastfeed you will not need to bring in formula milk, it undermines breastfeeding by reducing your milk supply and introducing the risk of allergies and infection. We can help you to breastfeed if you need support, just ask any midwife or member of staff.

Going home

When you are ready to go home ask that the following are brought in for you:

For you: something comfortable to go home in, shoes and coat/jacket

For baby: Baby grow, vest, hat and a couple of blankets – extra clothing if it’s cold

Car seat – you can’t drive your baby home without one, but please don’t bring it into hospital until you are both ready to go home.

What to bring to the Children's Hospital

photograph of a dollWhen you're thinking about what to pack in your suitcase, think about the sorts of things you'd pack if you were going for a sleepover or on holiday, because you need to take the same sort of things.

You want the hospital to feel like home, so pack all your favourite books, DVDs, toys and photos of your family, friends and pets.

What to bring:

  • Your phone and its charger
  • Any medicines prescribed by your GP or hospital so we know what you have been taking
  • Things to keep you busy during the wait:
    • Portable games (eg. fidget spinners or card games)
    • A book or colouring book
    • Headphones to listen to your favourite music
  • Comfy clothes - don't just bring pyjamas as you may be want to visit the Play Centre or go to the shops
  • Your favourite cuddly toys
  • Your own blanket to make it feel a bit more homely
  • Some of your own snacks and fruit
  • Money to spend in the shop
  • Earplugs to help you sleep better
  • Your personal surgery gown
  • Spare pillow to make sure you get a good night's sleep

Dos:

  • Ask the nurses questions if you’re unsure about anything
  • Ask staff if you are not sure about how to prepare for the procedure
  • Let staff know that you have other disabilities
  • Stay in touch with your friends on Facebook, Skype and Twitter
  • Focus on getting better

Don’ts:

  • Don’t worry about school work as there are lots of people here who can help you with that. We even have our own school on site at the hospital.