essential items to pack
When preparing your hospital bag for the labour and delivery ward the essential items I would recommend are:
Maternity pants - often paper pants are recommended but cheap stores like Primark do much more comfortable underwear for around the same price as the paper maternity pants. Make sure you buy then very high waisted incase you need a section - this way the band will not rub on your scar. Then you can throw them away if needed and you haven't lost your favourite pair of undies.
Maternity sanitary towels are also a requirement. You can buy these from most supermarkets, boots, mothercare etc.
At least 3 nighties. Depending on how you plan to labour, you will have some sort of gown on and you may feel more conformable in a nighty of your own. Again stores like Primark do them cheaply and if they get ruined it is fair enough to throw away. Try and get nighties that open at the front for those who plan to breastfeed.
On the talk of breastfeeding, you will want to purchase at least one nursing bra to put in your hospital bag to make your feeding times easier. I wouldn't advise buying lots as when your milk comes in you will find that your breasts will be a different size and you will need different nursing bras. I found the best places to purchase these were debenhams, mothercare and mamas and papas. They are more expensive than normal bras but much more convenient and comfortable.
Dis posable breast pads may be something else you would like to purchase incase your breasts leak. These can be bought from most supermarkets, boots, mothercare etc.
You may want to take a TENS machine in as a form of pain relief. Boots and mothercare can hire the's out to you for prices around £25. However you can also buy a TEN'S machine for around £45 that could also be used postnatally too. Remember you will get advantage card points from boots too.
You will need a toiletry bag with your usual toiletries. I would suggest buying the travel sizes to save on packing space. Buy a new toothbrush so that it is packed and ready to go. You mat want to pack makeup and again I would suggest buying extra so that it is always packed.
For the baby you won't need as much. I always suggest taking two sizes of baby grows in - tiny baby and newborn. You will need vests, baby grows, hats, cardigan, scratch mitts and a blanket. You can buy these from lots of baby stores and remember you will get gifts too so do not buy too much. Mothercare do a great starter pack for the hospital.
you will also need nappies for the baby but it is recommended you only use water and cotton wool for the first few weeks. So just nappies and cotton wool for your newborn.
That is all the essentials that are required but you may wish to include things like an ipod and snacks incase your labour is long. Don't forget the camera and batteries too!