Depending on the speed and style of your delivery, you might not even get as far as opening this bag – but it's better to be over prepared than wishing you hadn't left something behind.

For the birth

-Medicare and private health fund details
-Birth plan
-Wristwatch or use your smartphone to monitor contraction times – there are some great contraction-tracking apps now available
-Birthing props, such as heat packs, stress balls, massage or aromatherapy oils
-iPod and speaker
-Light snacks – labour can be long and exhausting
-Your favourite soft drink or water


-Loose tops
-Tracksuit pants – you will still have a tummy after the baby is born
-Button-up pyjamas or nighties
-10 pairs comfortable underwear – the softer the better
-Maternity bras
-Going-home outfit

For you

-Phone and charger – for tweeting, face booking and baby photos
-Your favourite pillow
-Camera/cam recorder
-Maternity sanitary pads
-Disposable breast pads
-Soap, shampoo and conditioner
-Hand wash
-Make-up (bronzer is a great quick fix for a photo-ready face)
-Face washers
-Elastic hair bands

For the baby

-Nappies and wipes
-Singlets or bodysuits
-Blanket or bunny rug
-Muslin wrap
-Scratch mittens

Heading home

Before you leave the hospital, you'll need to install an approved rear-facing baby capsule or convertible car seat. Some hospitals hire them out, but check with your state transport authority for standards and approved fitters.

What did you pack in your labour bag that you couldn't have done without? Share your comments below…