Your birth

Your birth

If you think you may be in labour or need urgent advice, please contact us at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • 01392 406616

Please contact this number for both the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and North Devon District Hospital.

What do you need to bring?

It is a good idea to start gathering everything you need at least three weeks before your due date. The following lists have been suggested by to help you get ready for the arrival of your baby.

For yourself, you'll probably want to pack:

  • Your birth plan and hospital notes
  • Something loose, cool and comfortable to wear during labour that does not restrict you from moving
  • Three changes of loose, comfortable clothes
  • Two/three comfortable and supportive bras, including nursing bras if you're planning to breastfeed – remember, your breasts will be much larger than usual
  • Breast pads
  • Two packets of absorbent maternity pads
  • Five - six pairs of knickers – you may want to bring some disposable ones
  • A washbag with a toothbrush, hairbrush, flannel, soap, lip balm, deodorant, hair ties and other toiletries
  • towels
  • Anything that will help you pass the time and relax such as books, magazines, music or podcasts
  • A fan or water spray to cool you down
  • Front-opening or loose-fitting nighties or tops if you would like to breastfeed
  • Dressing gown and slippers
  • Healthy snacks and drinks
  • Extra pillows
  • A TENS machine if you intend to use one
  • Any medicines you are taking

For your baby, you might want to pack:

  • Bodysuits, vests and sleepsuits
  • An outfit for going home in
  • A hat, scratch mittens and socks or booties
  • Plenty of nappies
  • A shawl or blanket
  • Muslin squares or bibs
  • A car seat for the trip home

Home births

If you are planning to give birth at home, it is important to talk to your midwife about what you will need to prepare. This includes transport just in case you do need to travel to hospital or your local midwifery unit.

You'll also need to prepare:

  • Clean linen and towels
  • Clothes and other items for your baby
  • At least two packs of maternity pads
  • A hospital bag with essentials just in case 

Pain Relief

Your lead health care provider can discuss the pain relief options available at your antenatal appointments or when you attend in labour. Find out more here.

Last updated: June 17, 2024.