What to Bring to the Hospital for Labor

You have attended all your birthing classes, the baby room is all prepared and you are due any day now! What do you bring to the hospital for labor? This is a question that will vary for every woman and partner, but here are some great ideas to keep in mind when packing your bag for the hospital.

1. Your Birth Plan!

Make sure you have printed a copy of your birth plan to put in your bag. You may have already given a copy to your provider and your doula, but having your own copy is important just in case the others get misplaced. Your birth plan should be short and precise. If you make it too complicated then your provider may be less likely to pay attention to your wishes. Make sure you have covered your wishes with your partner and doula also, so they know what you want.

2. Extra Underwear and Extra Thick Pads

You will experience a lot of postpartum bleeding after your birth. This is normal. Most hospitals will supply you with some pads and possibly underwear, but you may want to pack some that you are already comfortable with using. Make sure your underwear is big and comfy. Maybe you will even want to buy some “granny” underwear! Comfort is going to be the most important, not how it looks.

3. IPod or Other Music Device

Playing quiet, calming music may help you throughout your birth. Creating a play list before your birth is a great idea. Make sure you include calming and inspiring music on your play list and not hard rock or heavy metal. Remember you want to feel relaxed and peaceful during your labor.

4. Camera or Video Camera

You will want lots of pictures when your little peanut enters the world. Make sure your camera is charged or you have packed new batteries. Also, make sure you have discussed with your doula and partner what you want video taped or photographed and what you do not want video taped or photographed. This is important, so you do not miss important photos you may want and so you do not feel uncomfortable during your labor and birth.

5. Cell Phone Charger

Nowadays, a lot of people use their cell phones as their cameras. Also, you will want to call important family members to let them know mom is in labor or the baby has arrived!

6. Warm and Comfy Socks and/or Slippers

Hospitals are cold. Make sure you pack warm socks or slippers that also have slip resistant bottoms. Hopefully, you will be walking around and moving during your labor; you do not want to fall!

7. Nightgown or Birthing Shirt

A lot of expecting women do not think of this. If you do not want to birth in a hospital gown, find a nice big and comfy shirt or nightgown you would like to birth in. You may need to talk to your provider to make sure it is okay, but more than likely it will be fine. Also, pack a few. You may be in the hospital one to two days after the birth; you will want to continue to stay comfy.

8. Toiletries

Toiletries are important! You may be at the hospital for a couple of days. Some items to think about packing may include:

  • Chap stick (hospitals are cold and dry!)
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Lotion
  • Body Wash
  • Toothpaste & Toothbrush
  • Some basic makeup (Pack this only if you feel this will be needed when visitors come to the hospital, but remember you just gave birth to a baby! You will look beautiful no matter what!)

Also, think about packing a toiletry bag for your husband/partner. They will more than likely spend the couple of days with you at the hospital.

9. Going Home Outfit for the Baby

This is probably the most fun item to pick out and pack! Do not get too crazy and make sure you pack something warm enough. Remember babies become cold fast; even if you think it may be warm out, you will probably want to pack something a bit warmer.

10. Mom’s Going Home Outfit

Mom will want to look and feel special, also. But remember, you just had a baby! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Find something comfy and relaxing yet still stylish for all those going home pictures.

11. Essential Oils

If you are someone who uses essential oils, make sure you pack some that will help you relax during labor and birthing. Hospitals can have a stiff and uninviting smell. Providing a nice smell from essential oils to make your room your own is great.

[Read more about Essential Oils]

12. Breastfeeding Pillow

If you purchased a pillow to help you breastfeed, make sure you bring it to the hospital. You will begin your breastfeeding journey quickly after your baby is born. Having the pillow there is a great idea, so you can learn the best way to use it to be successful on your breastfeeding journey.

13. Other Breastfeeding Supplies

If you have purchased or received other important breastfeeding supplies such as lanolin cream, breast pads, nursing bra, etc. make sure they are packed. You will want to begin using these items immediately.

14. Car Seat

Every baby needs a car seat to go home! Make sure you bring the car seat to the hospital and make sure the base is correctly put into the car. Nowadays, most hospitals require you to go through a car seat safety check before leaving the hospital.

This may seem like a lot of stuff to pack and have ready for the hospital, but it is all important! Some things may seem necessary for you and some items may not. It is always better to pack more then to forget something.

[Read more about Car Seat]