Everything you need to know about getting ready for labour, birth and bringing your new baby home, including when and what to pack, the essentials you need at home and how you might be feeling.
Having a baby is a joyful, emotional and exciting time, but it can also be really overwhelming. Organising what you need for labour and at home can help you feel less stressed and more in control. Find out where to start with our 'Get packing' film:
Download our packing checklist for labour and birth
Some labour wards or birth centres won't have lots of spare pillows, so if you want more than one it's a good idea to bring your own.
Having your own pillow, washed with your regular cleaning products, can make it smell (and feel) more like home. It might help create a calming atmosphere and keep your oxytocin levels up.
Labour wards are kept warm to help your baby adjust to life outside of the womb and labour is hard work, so you're likely to get hot. Spraying yourself with cold water can help, but you could also bring a handheld fan or a flannel.
You still need to pack a bag if you're planning on giving birth at home. This will make sure you have everything you and your baby need in case you are transferred to hospital in an emergency.
Try to avoid too much sugar. Some good things to bring might include: