Entertainment. All births are different but you might find yourself with quite a long wait on your hands. Books and magazines are good standbys. But hospitals can be noisy so take your own music. Audio books are also a good idea so you can close your eyes for a little.
Chargers. Your partner may be planning to take photos or video your first moments of parenthood. And you’ll want to let everyone know your happy news. Although you can’t pack your phone four weeks before your due date, do put a spare charger in the bag so you’re not worrying about low batteries.
Things to make you more comfortable. Take some massage oil if you’d like a massage during labour. But remember the simpler things like hair bands and lip salve (gas and air can dry your lips). Think about taking your own pillow – if you have a V shape pillow they can really help when you’re first breast feeding.
Birthing aids. If your hospital doesn’t provide a birthing ball, consider taking your own but remember the pump too. Also if you’ve hired a TENS machine, make sure it’s in the bag.
Snacks and drinks. Giving birth is a marathon not a sprint (usually!) so take some snacks to keep you going. Isotonic drinks or glucose tablets will help keep your energy up. And pack enough for two so your partner doesn’t have to nip out to eat (better still, make sure he has his own bag packed with the essentials he’s going to need).
Nursing bra and pads. We recommend you buy a nursing bra that looks a little generous in the cups as your breasts will grow when your milk comes in. For advice on what to buy, read our maternity and nursing bra guide.