a special place in a special time

There are a number of arrangements that need to be made well in advance of your labour so that everything runs smoothly when you have to go into hospital. Make a list of relevant contact numbers, keep them by the telephone, and tell another person where they are in the event of an emergency. This list should include your midwife's contact number, or the number of the labour ward and your labour partner's daytime telephone number. Keep your hospital notes handy.

Work out your travel arrangements in advance because once your contractions start, you should not attempt to drive yourself to the hospital. If no one else is available to drive you to the hospital, call a taxi or, in an emergency, call an ambulance. If you have children, you should make arrangements for someone to come over at short notice to look after them. They should be prepared to come even if you go into labour in the middle of the night.

Plan what you will need to pack in your hospital bag, and make sure that it is ready at least three weeks before your baby is due. If you leave the packing until you go into labour, you are more than likely to forget something in the excitement.

What you need

In most hospitals you will need the basic essentials shown here, but you can rake other things for relaxation and massage.E

Essentials for your labour 

  • A nightdress or big T-shirt
  • Socks
  • Face flannels and towels
  • Slippers
  • Dressing gown and fresh nightdress
  • Sponge bag with toiletries

Extra items

  • Hot water bottle
  • Natural sponge to suck on and lip salve
  • Water spray bottle
  • Massage equipment
  • Music for relaxation
  • A hand-held mirror

After delivery for you

  • Nursing bras and breast pads
  • Disposable briefs
  • Sanitary pads
  • Food and drink to snack on

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