Birth Bag Basics

You’ll find these items on the Sister Lilian Centre list super useful during and just after labour!

As your due date draws near and your excitement mounts, it’s a good idea to have your labour bag ready and packed. Labour progresses quite slowly at first, so although you could probably pack once labour begins, you may be so excited that you forget important items, and some things will need to be bought beforehand.

For the labour ward:

  • A comfortable, loose T-shirt for labour
  • Tissues – one’s nose often runs in labour
  • An elastic band for long hair
  • Socks to warm cold feet
  • Lip balm
  • Fruit or a fructose drink for a quick energy boost
  • A water bottle with a straw
  • A facecloth, for a refreshing wipe of the face and neck
  • A comfort item from home
  • Homeopathic labour remedy
  • Relaxing music for labour and the postnatal ward
  • Stretchy disposable maternity panties and sanitary towels for after birth
  • Nightclothes, slippers, gown

For the postnatal ward:

  • A bar of gentle rooibos or calendula soap
  • Deodorant and personal cosmetics
  • Breast pads
  • Cooling gel pads for breasts
  • Breastfeeding bra
  • Plastic bags for laundry
  • Clothes for Mom and Baby to come home in – one of your preggy outfits, as it will still take a while for you to trim down
  • A blanket to wrap Baby in

The hospital or clinic might supply these items:

  • Sanitary towels
  • Breast pads
  • Disinfectant for cleaning your perineum (stitches)
  • Baby clothes for the duration of the hospital stay
  • Ice packs
  • Infra-red lamps for painful breasts or perineum
  • Disposable nappies for Baby
  • Cotton wool balls for cleaning the navel and umbilical stump
  • Surgical spirits to clean the navel
  • Basic cosmetic items like soap for mom
  • Cosmetics for Baby like liquid soap, shampoo, skin lotion, buttock cream and talc