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Going to Hospital

ospital; water; breaks; contractions; admission; blood; bleeding; pain; movements;


Contacting the hospital

You should contact the hospital where you are giving birth if:

  • your water breaks (even though you may not be experiencing contractions)
  • if the contractions are becoming stronger, regular and painful
  • you are experiencing increasing abdominal discomfort
  • you have any blood loss
  • your baby's movements reduce
  • you are uncertain about what is happening
  • you are concerned or anxious.

Telephone before going to hospital.

Early labour at home 

When your contractions start they may be quite irregular in length and strength. Early labour usually happens at home.

Have a look at the topic 'Early labour - the first stage'.

What to bring to hospital

Whether you are planning to have your baby in hospital, a midwifery led birth centre or at home, you should get a few things ready at least two weeks before your due date.

As well as the content of this section of our topic, the Pregnancy, birth and baby website has a lot of information in their topic 'Going to hospital'.

For you:

  • your Pregnancy Hand Held Record
  • your birth plan (optional)
  • things you choose to use in labour (this will be discussed in antenatal classes)
  • casual clothes to wear during the day if desired
  • 2 night dresses (minimum)
  • dressing gown and slippers
  • 2 maternity bras
  • plenty of comfortable underpants
  • cordial if desired
  • pen
  • toiletries, eg soap, shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste
  • 1 large box of tissues
  • 1 box of nipple pads/washable nursing pads
  • 4 packets sanitary pads
  • your own pillow, if desired.
  • something to read or do, like knitting.

For your baby:

  • 40 disposable nappies (cloth nappies are provided by the hospital if you do not wish to use disposable nappies)
  • fasteners/nappy pins if you prefer to use cloth nappies
  • 6 pilchers (not plastic) if using cloth nappies
  • baby care products for your baby whilst in hospital, for example baby wipes and gentle lotions or creams (optional)
  • mittens (optional)

We encourage you to breastfeed but if you choose not to, please bring one tin of infant feeding formula, 2 feeding bottles, screw caps and teats. Disinfecting containers and anti-bacterial solution to sterilise bottles are provided for use while you are in hospital.

To take your baby home:

  • 1 singlet
  • 1 nightgown or outfit
  • 1 baby jacket (optional)
  • 1 shawl or blanket
  • Disposable, or cloth nappies and two safety pins, plastic clips or fasteners and pilchers
  • mittens (optional)
  • 1 baby capsule or baby restraint for transport home. For more information have a look at the topic 'Seat belts and baby car restraints'.

Please note that there may not be secure places for storing valuables at the hospital. All your belongings remain your responsibility. For safety and security reasons, please do not bring personal electrical equipment.

More information

Pregnancy, birth and baby - an Australian Government website  

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see your doctor or midwife.


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