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Getting prepared

Around 34-36 weeks of pregnancy, your community midwife will support you to put together your plan for birth. This will help your birthing partner and our maternity team to understand your preferences.

Try to keep an open mind, the midwife is there to help and guide you through your labour and understand your choices.
Whether you are having your baby at home, packing your bag to go to the birth centre or heading into hospital, it is helpful to start getting ready for the labour and new arrival of your baby.

As well as ensuring you have everything to help you through labour and birth, you need to think about what your new baby will need when it arrives and asking your birth partner to pack enough food and drinks for themselves.

Packing your bag

It is advisable to start thinking about gathering together the items you might need for labour and just after birth about 4-6 weeks before your due date. Below is a list of suggested items but you may have individual needs to consider so this list is by no means exhaustive:

For Labour

  • Hand held hospital notes and birth plan
  • Nightshirt, with front fastening is always useful for feeding
  • Music for relaxation, including battery operated I-pod or CD player
  • Hair band and lip balm
  • Water spray, flannel or sponge for cooling
  • Food and drink, non-fizzy isotonic drinks are good
  • Massage or aromatherapy oils
  • Woolly socks and slippers or flip flops
  • TENS machine (optional)
  • Pillow or blanket from home
  • Inhaler and any current medication

For birth partners

In addition to the items required for mum and baby, birth partners may wish to bring along the following items:

  • Camera
  • Food, drink and snacks
  • Book or magazine
  • Mobile phone
  • Change for the car park

For after the birth

  • Toiletries
  • Maternity sanitary towels (1 pack)
  • Large, cheap or disposable knickers
  • Comfortable clothes e.g. tracksuit or soft fabric trousers
  • Clothes for the baby including babygros and vests
  • Nappies and cotton wool
  • Blanket and outdoor clothes for baby, hat for going home
  • Nursing bra
  • Camera, mobile phone and charger (clearly labelled).

Please click on the links below to view podcasts and more information on the NHS Choices website: