Saturday 16 August 2014

Packing my Hospital Maternity Bag

A few weeks ago, I found myself having what felt like mild contractions at bed time. It was a bit too early to go into labour, but it was an hour or so before they eased off and they freaked me out enough to pack my bags for hospital in case. As it’s the fifth time I am packing, I was a little more sparing about what I included and left out lots of things that I often see on lists on the internet.

Baby Bag:
  • Two blankets – Darling had lots so I just washed and packed two of hers
  • Towel – I was debating whether to buy a new one because Darling’s aren’t as soft as they used to be and I still use both for her, one when she gets out of the bath and the other over her nappy mat for when I sit her down to dry her off. In the end I found a soft white one in a clearance sale and packed that.
  • Packet of newborn vests
  • 3 Newborn size babygrows/onesies. I found a few of Darlings that were nice quality and neutral colours that Shutterbug had bought her. I bought one new one so I have something nice to bring baby home in.
  • Baby shampoo
  • Small Size 1 (newborn) packet of nappies
  • Bag of cotton balls
  • A baby hat
  • Some scratch mittens
  • Some ready made formula milk and a disposable bottle and nipple. I might not need this, but in case the milk doesn’t come in for a while.
  • 1-2 muslins – probably won’t need these yet, but they don’t take up much space. I found some heavily reduced so bought these new too.
  • Some date for the baby’s tahneek (sunnah)
My Bag:
  • Spare modest pyjamas (I usually go for a nightshirt and find some pyjama bottoms that vaguely match)
  • Lots of spare pants
  • Maternity sanitation – lots!
  • Maternity breast-pads, although it might be a few days before you have enough milk come in to need these.
  • Nursing bra - again, might not need this yet, but at least they tend to be very comfortable.
  • A towel
  • Toiletries  – travel size shampoo, shower gel, wash sponge deodorant, moisturiser, lip balm, toothbrush and toothpaste and hairbrush.  
  • A small waterproof bath bag to pack the wet sponge/shampoo etc away
  • My contact lenses and some wetting drops 
  • Bath sponge and waterproof bag to keep it in so it doesn't soak everything in your bag
  • A big warm cardigan – It’s summer so I may not need it, but I usually get very cold and shivery right after I have had the baby.
  • Socks and slippers for the same reason as above
  • A plastic or waterproof bag to throw dirty laundry into for when you get home.
  • Some energy bars and dates to keep me going and a bottle of water or juice
You might want to pack something to wear to go home, although I tend to throw my big cardigan over my pyjamas and set off.

At the last minute in my handbag:
  • My phone and charger
  • My hospital maternity record (red book)
I also found it useful to grab one of my daughters Al-Amirah pull-on scarves which I kept on the whole time I was in hospital.

If everything goes okay insh'Allah, you tend to get discharged within a few hours and leave hospital the day you give birth, so would not need that much. With Darling I ended up staying for three days whilst they ran some checks on her, so everything I packed got used.

In the past I have packed some books or magazines to pass the time, but my mum and mother-in-law are adamant that a woman should not read after birth (in their time they were told not to “thread a needle” i.e. do anything that might strain their eyes). They think this leads to deterioration of eye sight. Not sure if this is true, but my eye sight did get worse over the years I had my older children, so I am inclined to take notice. I might end up catching e-mails and news on my iPhone instead if I find myself going crazy.

The only other thing that I recommend is to organise some decent food for the first day. Hospitals here don’t seem to have much of a clue and will offer you sweet watery tea, which I find helpful and hard toast which I don’t as your insides feel raw without hard bits of toast scraping their way down. I usually get chicken soup or semolina pudding sent from home (made by mum or mum-in-law) which are nutritious, warm and soft.

What else would sisters recommend that they have found useful in getting packed and ready for hospital?


  1. Zam zam water, antibacterial wipes or gel, slippers for shower, notebook. You've covered everything anyway.
    Nail clippers for baby.

    1. Thank you sister!!!
      I have the anti-bac wipes in my handbag because of my other kids, but didn't think of the zamzam. We have some so will fill a small bottle. Slippers for shower are a good idea too.

  2. Glad I could help. My mum insisted I use a small oral syringe from local chemist to give the baby zamzam water.

  3. Alhumdulillah I cannot believe I just stumbled onto your blog. I'm 35weeks today with my second and this is exactly what I had been looking for, an Islamic approach to the obvious challenges that will lie ahead...

    Have been adding bits and pieces to my hospital bag and found your list very helpful! The only extra thing is a list of duaas or people you want to remember during labour. Last time it gave me something to focus on when I couldn't rely on my own memory any more. Compiling the list also helps pass time in the last week or so as you can just keep adding and adding!

    look forward to hearing about your progress inshallah :-)

  4. I do believe that in the UK hospitals you have to shower immediately after birth. Considering the najasah will be exiting whilst you shower, is it possible to use a tampon at this stage, or do you need something larger like a mooncup so you can shower appropriately after birth?

    1. A bit late to reply by 2 years lol but nooooo! Don't use a tampon or moon cup or anything inside of you. This could risk a major infection that could spread to the whole of your uterus and you'd be incredibly sick. I'm not sure why you couldn't shower as normal and then use a maternity pad in your underwear after you've dried off sis?