Labour and birth essentials for mums-to-be: photos

A few little extras can help to make you more comfortable during labour, whether you plan to give birth in a hospital, birth centre, or your own home. When packing your hospital bag, you may want to include the following to help you through the big day:
  • Pregnant woman in dressing gown
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    Comfy dressing gown

    This can be handy if you have to pace the hospital corridors in early labour, as well as on the postnatal ward. Hospitals can be very warm though, so look for something lightweight.
  • Slippers
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    Slip-on slippers

    Backless shoes, slippers and flip-flops are easy to get on and off again without bending down, making them perfect for labour and the postnatal ward.
  • colourful socks
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    A pair of toasty socks

    Believe it or not, your feet can get cold during labour, so a pair of soft, thick socks will ensure your toes stay toasty. Get some with non-slip soles to make it easier for you to move about during labour.
  • Woman in labour
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    Old nightdress or T-shirt

    Labour can be messy, so don't buy anything new to wear. An old nightdress or baggy T-shirt is ideal. It’s also a good idea to take along a spare, if you have one.
  • Partner giving massage
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    Massage oil or lotion

    Massage can help to ease backache in labour. It’s also a good way for your partner to feel involved in the birth of your baby. Get tips on the best technique in our article on massage in labour.
  • Woman using birth ball
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    Birthing ball

    Using a birthing ball allows you to adopt different positions, which can help you to labour effectively. Upright positions may even shorten your labour by an hour or so. Some hospitals have their own birth balls, but you may prefer to take one you're used to.
  • Lip care products
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    Lip balm

    Your lips can dry out quickly on a warm labour ward, so you’ll be glad you remembered to pack lip balm in your hospital bag.
  • granola bar
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    Snacks and drinks

    Take some snacks and drinks to keep you going while you’re in labour. Slow-release carbohydrates and isotonic sports drinks are particularly good for keeping your energy levels up. Even if you don’t need them, your partner probably will!
  • MP3 player
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    You may want music to help you to relax. Set up a playlist on your phone, and bookmark our relaxation podcasts to help keep you calm. Remember to take your charger!
  • Woman reading book
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    Pack things to help you relax or pass the time, such as books, a tablet or magazines. You could also make sure you’ve got some new fun apps to play with on your phone. If the early stages of your labour go slowly, you'll be glad of them!
  • Woman with newborn
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    Hairbands or a clip

    If you have long hair, you may get hot and want to tie it up. If it’s too short to tie up, a soft, fabric headband will keep it off your face.
  • Woman relaxing with newborn
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    The hospital might not have enough to make you really comfortable. A V-shaped pillow can give you extra support when breastfeeding your baby.

    For advice on what to take for your new baby, check out our full article on what to pack in your hospital bag. Also, discover the new mum essentials you'll need for fourth trimester.

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my due date is 20th march 2018 m happy to get good ideas that m hoping to take into consideration. thanks
I found taking a few drops if nelsons Arnica every half an hour from the start of labour heloed a lot with my second hoping it will have tge same effected thus time. Due 2nd october.
I'm having an elective section on 6th September and just need to finish off my bag. I keep putting it off as I'm panicking like mad about everything.
I'm due on 24th of September and it is my first child.I am very excited but nervous at the same time.The thought of labour just freaks me out but I got this.Wishing all mums to be a smooth journey.
Am due Sept 30th..havent packed yet..hope to be packed up by week 36 though

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