Once you are in your third trimester of pregnancy, it's time to start thinking about packing your bag. When it comes to packing a birth bag you can never be too prepared, as only your baby knows when you are going to need it – and that might mean at 3am, and fast! 

While there will be things that are personal and important to you, here's our list of the essentials to get you started. 


For labour

  • Your hospital paperwork
  • Medicare card
  • Birth plan (if you have one)
  • Clothes for labour – if you don't want to wear a hospital gown, try an old t-shirt, socks, and something warm to put on afterwards
  • Spray bottle (non-aerosol) to cool you down
  • Gel heat pack for a sore back
  • Tissues
  • Thongs or slippers
  • Lip balm for dry lips
  • Snacks to keep your energy up during labour (if you are given the OK to eat)
  • Music (a word of warning: you may never want to hear that music again afterwards!)

For your support person

  • Bathers and towel if you plan to use the bath or shower for birthing
  • Food – being a support person can be a long and tiring gig, so pack enough snacks for what could be more than 24 hours
  • Camera or smartphone (don't forget to bring a charger!) for those newborn photos

Post-labour

  • Maternity bras
  • Breast pads
  • Maternity pads
  • Oversized undies (to accommodate post-labour bellies and possibly caesarean wounds)
  • Pyjamas or comfy lounge clothes with easy access for breastfeeding
  • Slippers or shoes

For your baby

  • Baby clothes – simple onesies/jumpsuits in size 0000 or 000
  • Singlets
  • A blanket and wrap to take your baby home in
  • Nappies and wipes (check with your hospital to see what they provide, as some provide everything, while others may only use cloth nappies and others will provide very little at all)
  • If you're planning to drive your baby home, don't forget to have a baby restraint properly fitted in your car before you leave