Packing for Your Delivery and Hospital Stay

As your due date approaches, it can be challenging to wrap your head around what you need for labour and your hospital stay. With a little help from the Inner West Mums who’ve been there and done that, we complied this list of delivery and maternity ward essentials and nice-to-haves.

Your hospital will probably give you some information on some of the things you will need. For example, some delivery suites provide birthing balls, others do not. Some maternity wards provide nappies and wipes, others do not.

The following suggestions are intended to cover the possibility of either a vaginal or C-section delivery. It may be difficult to determine exactly what you’ll require, both for yourself and your baby, as circumstances and needs do vary. You may want to set aside some additional supplies, such as sanitary pads, loose underwear, nappies and clothing items, so your partner, family member or friend can easily locate these and bring them to you if required.


For the Delivery

Your Medicare card

Your health insurance card (if privately insured)

Your antenatal record (sometimes called a ‘yellow card’)

Any other hospital paperwork you might need

Your birth plan

Any aids you may want to use during labour (a birth ball if the delivery suites do not have these, your own pillow, massage oil, visualisation pictures, music player/speakers, TENS machine, electric oil diffuser, water spray, heat pack etc.)

Any other birth information sheets or books that you might want to refer to

An old T-shirt or nightie to wear during labour

A change of clothes for your partner

Swimwear for your partner (if you’re planning to use a birthing pool)

Closed footwear for your partner (Note these are required in theatre.)

Glasses (if required. Note contact lenses cannot be worn during C-sections.)

Magazines or a book


Phone charger with a long cord


Snacks and beverages for you and your partner

Water bottle


A coin stash for vending machines


For the maternity ward

Items for you and your partner:

Pyjamas and/or nighties suitable for nursing





Loose, dark-coloured underwear (lots of!)

A plastic bag to contain worn underwear

Maternity singlets

Maternity bras

Postnatal belly band

A going-home outfit

Breastfeeding pillow

Nursing pads

Hydrogel discs

Nipple cream

Nipple shield

Sanitary pads (several packs)

Perineal ice packs

A couple of rolls of soft good-quality toilet paper

A large soft bath towel (the hospital ones are often tiny!)

Shampoo/Dry shampoo


Body wash

Razor (if used)


Hand cream



Lip balm

Hair brush

Hair elastics/headbands/bobby pins

Hair dryer

Nail file/polish (for a spot of luxury in a quiet moment)

Sleep mask (to help catch some zzzs during the day)

Ear plugs (most maternity wards are quite noisy)



Dried prunes (to help get things moving)

Protein bars/muesli bars/crackers/biscuits (or other favourite snack food)

A selection of your favourite teas and/or beverage sachets

Favourite juices

A bottle of sparkling wine

Reusable bendy straw

A notebook and pen

Any feeding or settling information sheets or books that you might wish to refer to

Magazines and a book


Items for bub:

Nappies (if not provided by the hospital. Will need up to a dozen a day.)

Plastic bag to contain any worn cloth nappies or soiled baby clothes

Cotton squares/baby wipes (if not provided by the hospital)

Burp cloths

Baby onesies

Baby singlets


Baby nail clippers

Muslin wraps

A gift from the baby for an older sibling (if relevant)

A going-home outfit for bub

A blanket or jacket to keep bub warm when walking to the car park if the weather is cool

Baby car seat


You might also like:

Beautiful Births

Life with Multiples: An Inner West Mum’s Story

Welcoming Baby Number Two

When Two Becomes Three (or More)


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