What to Pack

Photo by  Erol Ahmed  on  Unsplash

Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

Just a quick post about what to pack for your hospital birth!

First off, I always like to remind people that you really don’t need a lot to have a baby. If you end up at the hospital without your meticulously packed bags, it will be ok! The hospital will have something for you to wear, something for you to eat, something for your baby to wear and much more! Many times they’ll even have comfort items like peanut balls and aromatherapy patches. Anything that you do bring with you is just to enhance the comfort of your experience. That being said, here’s a list of packing suggestions that I share with the families I work with! 


Insurance info, hospital forms and birth preferences form - the hospital probably already has your insurance information, but it’s good to have it, just in case.

2-3 pairs of warm socks that can get ruined

A warm robe or sweater you don’t mind sacrificing to the cause - birth can get a little messy.

2 maternity bras — no underwire — and nursing pads - don’t invest too much in these; you can treat yourself to something fancy once your milk has come in and you know your nursing size.

Lip balm - hospitals are notoriously dry places, especially during the winter!

Mints or gum - many people experience nausea/vomiting during labor and delivery; these will help freshen your mouth or the mouths of your support people.

Toiletries and personal items — hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, contact lens case and solution - remember, travel-sized products are your friends!


Headband or ponytail holder - there’s nothing more annoying that sweaty hair hanging in your face.

Pen and paper - just in case!

Light snacks and beverages

Cell phone and charger

Camera, film or extra memory card, battery or charger

A gym bag packed with a change of clothes and basic hygiene products for your partner

Take it or leave it:

Extra pillow - make sure the case can get ruined and that it’s not white; you don’t want to donate your pillow to the hospital accidentally!

Yoga mat - this is great for hands-and-knees or kneeling positions.

Comfortable going-home clothes in six-month maternity size and flat shoes

Heavy flow sanitary pads - the hospital supplies these things, but bring your own if you have a preferred brand.

A few pairs of maternity underwear that can get ruined - the hospital will have disposable pairs; some people LOVE them, and some people thing they’re gross.

A ruin-able nightgown - is that a word?

Breast pump, if you plan to use one - the nursing staff can help you learn how to use it, but they will have hospital-grade pumps available for you to use.

Slippers that can get dirty

Your MP3 and a small speaker

Massage oil and tools like rolling pins or tennis balls, and lucky or inspirational objects

What to Bring For Baby:

Approved car seat - check with your local fire station to see where you can get your seat checked out.

A coming-home outfit

Warm blankets for the ride home

Outdoor gear like a snowsuit and hat, as seasonally appropriate

Notes: It’s smart to pack items you’ll need for labor in one bag and pack another bag with things for baby and for you for after baby is born. Then you don’t have to rifle through baby socks to find your slippers!

I also recommend having your bag packed by 38 weeks at the latest. 36 or 37 weeks is even better!

Happy packing!

Maggie Mehr