What to Bring to the Hospital for Childbirth

Now is a great time to start preparing for your delivery. One of the things you can do prior to your hospital stay is make a list of all of the important things you’ll need to take to the hospital for you and your baby. Babies can surprise us, and the same goes for childbirth. Because of this, we recommend packing your things several weeks before your scheduled due date, in case you need to come to the hospital unexpectedly.

Essential items you’ll want to include are your insurance information, a list of any medications you're taking, and if possible, the actual bottles of prescription medication. Also, it’s helpful to bring a copy of your birth plan and phone numbers for friends and family members you may need to contact.

Packing for You & Baby

For Mom 

As you pack your hospital bag, be sure to include any items you think you’ll need or want during your labor and postpartum. It’s best to use a larger bag for your overnight items, such as clothes and electronics, and a smaller bag for your toiletries. Some must-haves include:

  • Bathrobe/nightgown (if you want to wear your own)
  • Socks and slippers
  • Bathroom essentials
    • Hair care products
    • Wash towels
    • Lotion
    • Make-up
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Sanitary napkins (not tampons)
  • Lip balm
  • Healthy snacks or candy
  • Glasses or contacts
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Camera with extra batteries, memory cards, film, etc.
  • Laptop, tablet, MP3 player/iPod and chargers
  • DVDs, games, books or magazines
  • Inspiring photographs (of your other children, a favorite place)
  • Going-home clothing (usually about the size you wore during the fifth month of pregnancy)
  • Nursing bra
  • Breast pads

For Baby

These items can be brought in before or after delivery:

  • Installed car seat
  • Going home outfit and outfit for baby photo
  • Receiving blanket
  • Socks or booties
  • Cap
  • Snowsuit (in winter)

For Your Partner or Doula

Below are some comforting items that will help your doula, birthing coach, or partner take care of you during the delivery:

  • Your birth plan
  • Extra pillows, your favorite music, robe and slippers, and healthy snacks and drinks for your partner
  • Water spray or a hand-held fan to cool you down while you're in labor
  • Comfy shoes and clothes for at least two days 
  • Swimwear, if they want to join you in a birth pool
  • Toiletries
  • Lotions, essential oils and candles
  • Items for back labor massage
  • Watch or cell phone with clock for timing contractions

As you prepare for your stay, think about the things that make you feel comfortable and happy, and incorporate them into your plan. Nothing is too sentimental or insignificant. Our team at SSM Health is here to support your wishes and provide you the best birthing experience possible.

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