Hospital Bag Checklist for Public & Private Hospitals

One of the most useful things to do during your third trimester is to prepare your hospital bag. It is always a good idea to prepare your bag before your due date to save the stress of packing during contractions. This hospital bag checklist includes many essential items that you and your family will need to welcome your baby. 

Essential items to remember:

  • HKID cards/passports for both parents
  • Obstetric records and birth plan
  • Car seat for the baby (bring in on discharge day) 
  • Octopus card with around 500–1,000 HKD on it (for paying bills in public hospitals)
  • Insurance cards/letter of guarantee (for private hospitals)
  • Bank cards/cash 
  • Phone

For your journey to the hospital, you may want to bring:

  • A sick bag 
  • An underpad or towel for the car (for if your water has broken or if it breaks on the way)

What to pack into your hospital bag will vary depending on whether you give birth in a private or public hospital in Hong Kong. 

Public Hospital Labour Bag

The space is limited in the ward area, so try not to bring in too much. Your hospital may specify bag dimensions (usually cabin size). There will be one narrow cupboard for storage and just enough room on one side of your bed for the baby cot and a single chair. You will be given clothes to wear during your stay, including colour-coded pyjamas for your labour. 

For the baby – a hat, top, blankets and swaddles are provided, but you might want to bring in a couple of your own, too (we recommend a minimum of three vests and three onesies).

For your hospital bag, it is best to have two separate bags within it. One bag will accompany you into the labour room, while the other one will be kept in the postnatal ward for after birth. 

You can download a free handy checklist for a Public Hospital Labour Bag here

Labour Room Bag:

The midwives will ask for the first four items** upon your arrival at the hospital. They will put these straight into the labour ward. The other items will stay in your bag. 

  • One pack of 60 x 90 cm waterproof underpads**
  • Two packs of looped maternity pads (this loop helps to fix the pad to your mesh underwear)**
  • One pack of 'mesh'-type disposable underwear**
  • Two newborn nappies**
  • Snacks 
  • Hairband/tie
  • A water bottle with a straw attachment
  • Earphones/music
  • Phone charger, lead & plug (also useful to bring a spare fully charged battery)
  • Socks 
  • Lip salve
  • Massage/essential oils in a small bottle (if needed)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste 
  • A washcloth 
  • Water facial spray (can be refreshing during pushing stage)
  • Hot & cold gel pack 
  • Eye mask & ear plugs

Postnatal Bag:

(Usually stored in the ward while you are in the labour room) 

  • Clothes to go home in for yourself and baby (loose clothing for you)
  • A blanket for baby 
  • Hairbrush
  • Toiletries 
  • A padlock (might be needed for storage cupboard)
  • Two towels (one for body and one for hair)
  • Nursing bra
  • Underwear
  • Toilet tissue (just in case!)
  • Snacks 
  • A bottle of water 
  • Cup/mug (perhaps bring a few tea bags too)
  • Slippers/flip flops for the shower 
  • Hygiene wipes 
  • One or two disposable perineal cold pads (for stitches)
  • One pack of regular maternity pads 
  • One pack waterproof underpads, 60 x 90 cm 
  • One pack of newborn nappies 
  • One bag of cotton wool (preferable to baby wipes)
  • Small plastic pot (for water for nappy changes)
  • One pack of baby wipes
  • Nipple cream
  • Four breast pads
  • Peri-bottle

Private Hospital Labour Bag

Private hospitals usually provide the essential items within your birth package costs. It is worth checking the small print for items that may not be included. 

There is usually a set number of items covered for your stay, so if you find that you need extra maternity pads or nappies, they will likely be charged for.

Private hospitals function similarly to a hotel stay, where they provide all the items you will need during your stay (toothbrush, toothpaste, toiletries, slippers, maternity pads, bath towels etc.). The same is applicable for the baby (nappies, clothing, swaddles etc. are usually provided). 

Additional items can be purchased from the hospital stock. 

The hospital will provide you with a gown, or you may choose to wear your own. The hospital labour gowns are usually of a more practical design with poppers at the front and back, making it easier for IV lines, epidurals and breastfeeding. If you choose to wear your own clothes, it is recommended you wear a loose-fitting nightdress or large T-shirt for labour, as this will be the most comfortable (best if there is a front opening for breastfeeding). 

You can download a free handy checklist for a Private Hospital Labour Bag here

Labour items:

  • Snacks 
  • A water bottle with a straw attachment
  • Earphones/music
  • Phone charger, lead & plug (also useful to bring a spare fully charged battery)
  • Socks 
  • Hairband/tie
  • Lip salve
  • Eye mask & ear plugs
  • Massage/essential oils in a small bottle 
  • Water facial spray (can be refreshing during pushing stage)
  • A washcloth
  • Hot & cold gel pack

Postnatal items:

  • Clothes to go home in for yourself and baby (loose clothing for you)
  • A blanket for baby 
  • Personal/preferred toiletries 
  • One or two disposable perineal cold pads to use on any stitches 
  • Nipple cream
  • Four breast pads
  • Peri-bottle  
  • Nursing bra
  • Underwear
  • One pack of regular maternity pads (usually the hospital provides a thick type only)

Hospital Bag for Partners

  • Copy of the birth plan
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Change of clothes (a front fastening shirt is perfect for when you do skin to skin with your new baby)
  • A few essential toiletries (toothbrush, deodorant) 
  • Phone/camera, charging lead and spare battery
  • Eye mask & ear plugs

Topics: Pregnancy

Michelle Resco

Michelle Resco

Midwife (H.K., U.K.) Nurse (U.K.) Neonatal Nurse (U.K.) Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Michelle has over 20 years experience in nursing and midwifery, working internationally in hospitals, clinics and community. She has helped to bring 1000’s of babies into the world, as well as having two of her own along the way. She draws on her professional and personal life experience to help parents from the early weeks of pregnancy, throughout the birth process and beyond into parenthood.

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