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Packing your hospital bag for labor and delivery

Published in Birthing Services, For the Health of It Author: Melissa Bruns, BSN, RN, RNC-OB, IBCLC

You painted the nursery, washed the baby clothes and completed the childbirth class; now it is time to pack your hospital bag for the labor, delivery and hospital stay. We recommend you have your bag packed by week 36 — just in case baby decides to make an early arrival.

For mom

  • Bring a photo ID and insurance information
  • A copy of your birth plan and your preferences
  • Anything that makes you comfortable (favorite music, cotton socks or slippers, pillow, T-shirt, yoga pants, robe, aromatherapy (but please leave diffusers at home), etc.
  • Snacks
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Personal care items
    • Lip balm
    • Contact lens case, solution and eyeglasses
    • Shampoo and shower gel
    • Lotion
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Comb, brush, hair ties
    • Deodorant
    • Makeup, if desired
  • Supportive nursing bra (one without an underwire is recommended), tank top or pajamas
  • Nursing pillow
  • Nursing pads
  • Loose, comfortable outfit for going home (think early pregnancy size and you may need a full cup size larger than before you were pregnant)
  • The hospital provides gowns, bathrobes, sanitary pads and disposable stretch panties for your stay.
  • Leave valuables (purse and wallet) at home
  • Remove all body piercings and jewelry including earrings before coming to the hospital

For the partner/labor support person

  • Bring a photo ID
  • Comfortable clothes (T-shirt, sweatshirt, extra set of clothes, if spending the night)
  • Snacks
  • Small amount of money
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Camera and/or video recorder, batteries and chargers
  • Laptop and cord, if desired
  • Leave valuables (purses and wallets) at home
  • Special gift for older siblings who will be visiting after the birth, if desired
  • Personal care items (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.)

For baby

  • Car seat. Learn how to use and install the seat in your vehicle before coming to the hospital. We recommend you make an appointment with a certified technician to check the safety and fit of the seat in your vehicle.
  • Baby book (for footprints)
  • Hat and blanket for going home
  • Special outfit for hospital photo, if desired
  • “Going home” outfit
  • The hospital provides everything your baby needs during your stay (diapers, T-shirts, blankets). At discharge you may take your baby’s crib cards, comb, bulb syringe and any remaining diapers.