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Mums-to-be: Top tips for your first hospital stay by Boots UK & My Expert Midwife

12 November 2020
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Having a baby is such an exciting milestone in the life of new parents and all mums want to be well prepared for that one life-changing hospital stay. This is why Boots UK has partnered with popular pregnancy brand My Expert Midwife and co-founder Lesley Gilchirst to help mums-to-be get ready.

With over 17 years of experience, there isn’t anything Lesley doesn’t know about having a baby. From the practical essentials, to making sure you have those comforting products that help mums feel relaxed and calm, her top tips will ensure you have everything you need for the best possible birth experience.

Think Ahead

“Some babies arrive early, so it’s wise to get your bag packed in plenty of time, adding snacks and perishable items just before you leave. Make yourself a checklist for when you leave the house, so you don’t have to worry about things such as locking the back door, feeding your pets, or having a fully stocked fridge – this will really be a weight off your mind!

In the week before your due date, try to sleep with your baby’s blanket. This will transfer your scent onto it and can help baby get used to your smell.”

What to pack

“When packing your hospital bag, think about the order your items go in. Start with anything for post labour and end with what you will need during labour. Include everything you'll need for your baby, plus a few little luxuries for yourself. And don’t forget the car seat! You won’t be allowed to leave the hospital without it.

“Because your body works hard in labour it can’t digest food well. I’d recommend taking snacks with you that are easy to digest and will keep your energy levels up, like bananas and crackers and if you're not diabetic, keep up your sugar levels too. For those who don’t know where to start, Boots really is a one-stop shop for all things baby, where you can get pretty much everything you need for your hospital bag,” Lesley continues.

What to wear

“Comfort is key! Bringing underwear that is a size bigger than you usually wear and reaches your belly button guarantees comfort, even when wearing maternity pads. Try and stick to dark clothing, including your underwear and nightwear -this will keep any unwanted stains or leaks from showing up.”


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and around 1,900 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 31 May 2024