Chances are all mamas-to-be will have carefully researched and packed their hospital bag well in advance of their due date. It’s probably there in the hall three months before the big day, all ready to grab and go.
But dads you need to be prepared too and pack your own bag of birth essentials. Here is a list of the essential things you’ll need to pack in your hospital bag for dad.
Phone and charger
Keep your phone charged up and ready to grab and go when the big birth day arrives.
You’ll need it to phone family and friends to announce the birth. Make sure you’ve got everyone’s number added to your contacts. Oh – and pack your charger too!
You might need it for parking, for hospital vending machines, for buying food from the canteen.
Make sure you have coins and notes in your wallet in case you need them.
Snacks and drinks
You might be in hospital for a while and you need to keep your energy up.
Your partner will be a patient and get food but you won’t. So pack energy boosting snacks and plenty of drinks to keep you going.
Labours can be long. There might be hours and hours when you’re sitting about waiting for things to pick up pace and happen.
Take in some distractions – whether it’s a book or magazine, apps on your phone, a journal or anything else to keep you occupied when you’re not needed as support.
Tablet loaded with your favourite movies
There can be times during labour where nothing much seems to be happening and you are both playing the waiting game.
To pass the time and to help take your partner’s mind off contractions pack a tablet with your favourite films or TV shows loaded up on it to watch together.
Change of clothes
You might be in hospital for a while or overnight. Pack comfy clothes to change into if you need to freshen up and warm clothes for nighttime.
Swimwear (if your partner is planning a water birth)
If your partner is planning a water birth you might want to pack swimming trunks.
This is in case they want you to join them and support her during labour and birth.
You don’t know how long you’ll be in hospital supporting your partner. You may well be there overnight.
Pack a pillow and blanket so you can grab a snooze if things last longer than you thought.
Your partner might appreciate a massage during labour.
If so pack some oils and maybe brush up on a few massage techniques before the birth so you can soothe her during labour with the power of touch.
A playlist can be a real boost during labour. Discuss what kind of music your partner wants and download it on your Spotify playlist or on a music player so it’s all ready to play on the big day.
A toothbrush and paste and your deodorant can make you feel fresh if you end up in hospital for a while.
Packing toiletries will make you feel a lot fresher and better.
In the rush to get to hospital once contractions kick in it’s easy to forget essentials like your glasses or contact lenses as well as your contact lens solution if you are likely to be in hospital overnight.
Every new dad wants to see their newborn baby in focus, so don’t leave these essentials off your packing list.
Mamas in labour need to keep hydrated and if you have a straw then you can hold a cup near your partner and encourage her to take regular sips.
This might be your partner’s best friend during labour.
You can place it under a warm tap and use it as a compress or run it under a cold tap and place on her brow to cool her down.
It can also come in handy for you to freshen up if you end up in hospital overnight.
Tissues (to mop tears after birth!)
Birth is an emotional time. You might very well shed a tear or two when it happens. Pack some tissues to wipe away those tears.
An after birth treat
Has your partner been craving something for a long nine months that was forbidden to eat during pregnancy?
Maybe she’s been longing for a Mr Whippy ice cream or crackers oozing with brie?
If it’s something that you can pack then place it in your bag. If not then put a friend or family member on standby to buy and deliver it to her bedside after labour.
If you’re planning to give your partner a gift after birth don’t forget to pack it too.