Find out the list of things to pack for yourself, your partner and baby. Also what not to pack!
A common question, especially for first time parents, is “What do I need to pack for the hospital?”
Do not be daunted by the huge size of this suggested list — you do not have to bring all the things that are listed here.
The idea here is to have a comprehensive list that you can pick and choose from. This enables you to customise your own list of the things so that you can feel comfortable at the end of the day.
Here are some suggestions:
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Two loose-fit nighties — preferably the breastfeeding kind (if you are not keen to use the hospital gown which are made for breastfeeding)
A pair of slippers
A few underwear items
Clothing to wear upon discharge from the hospital
Some reading material when your spouse is sleeping or resting
Change of clothes
One baby outfit upon discharge
One pair of socks or booties
One pair of mittens
Name list of people to call once baby arrives. You will inevitably forget to call someone.
Digital camera/camcorder — to capture all those precious moments.
You will be attended to by the midwife and the doctor-on-duty, who will assess
whether you are in labour or not at the triage area situated at the entrance of the delivery suite.
Based on your condition, you will be either admitted to the delivery suite, antenatal ward, or advised to return home with a follow up appointment to see
Once admitted, you will be directed into one of the rooms by one of the staff. Monitoring is done to follow the course of labour (whether you are progressing normally) and to find out the status of the fetus during labour.
Your vital parameters such as general condition, pulse rate, blood pressure and temperature on a 4-hourly basis.
A cardiotocograph will probably be used, whereby a strap will be gently placed around your abdomen to allow us to monitor the following:
The frequency and intensity of your uterine contractions — medication may be needed to help increase the contractions so that labour can progress normally.
The continuous monitoring of your baby’s heart rate — this helps us to detect any abnormal patterns of the baby’s heart rate so that appropriate interventions may be administered.
This may be performed at a half-hourly interval or for a continuous period till your baby is delivered. A continual beeping sound will be emitted during the monitoring process, so do not be alarmed as the volume can be adjusted accordingly.
The use of this monitor is safe for you and your baby.
Periodic internal vaginal examination. Your doctor or nurse may do an internal examination periodically (usually at 4 hourly intervals) or as the situation requires. An internal examination is performed to assess the progress of labour and the colour of the amniotic fluid, which may be a reflection of your baby’s wellbeing during the course of labour. If your bag of waters is not yet ruptured, the doctor may do so using an amniohook when your cervix is dilated to about 3 cm. This procedure should be painless if you are well relaxed. You may feel some warm fluid trickling down your vulva and buttocks.
Analgesics for pain relief to prevent or decrease labour pains (read
the article on Labour Pain Relief).
Oxytocics to increase the effectiveness of uterine contractions so that the labour can progress normally. After your delivery, these medications will be used to reduce the amount of blood loss by promoting effective womb contractions.
Antibiotics may be given intravenously to reduce the chance of infections under certain circumstances, such as in those with Group B streptococcus infections or prolonged rupture of membranes or maternal pyrexia/fever.
A fleet enema may be given to you to help empty your bowels before your delivery.
Medicines that may have been prescribed for you during your pregnancy will be continued to be served during your labour such as antiepileptic or thyroid medications.
Many women prefer to breastfeed because it is natural and helps to provide the baby with the necessary antibodies to protect him/her from illness and disease. Immediately after the delivery, your baby will be handed to you for the early initiation of breastfeeding. This will facilitate subsequent successful breastfeeding, and promote close bonding between mother and baby.
In addition to the above-mentioned items, you should bring along your outpatient appointment booklet, identity cards of both mum and dad, marriage certificate and admission form.
You will be attended to by the midwife and the doctor-on-duty, who will assess whether you are in labour or not. Based on your condition, you will be either admitted to the delivery suite, antenatal ward, or advised to return home with a follow up appointment to see your obstetrician.
Source: Dr TAN Thiam Chye, Dr TAN Kim Teng, Dr TAN Heng Hao, Dr TEE Chee Seng John, The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth, World Scientific 2008.
Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides for a healthy pregnancy.
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This article was last reviewed on
22 Nov 2023
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