What Do I Pack In My Hospital Bag?

As an admin for the Utah Doula Association’s Birth Forum on Facebook, I see a lot of the same questions get posted. One that I see often is, “What do I need to pack in my hospital bag?”

Here is a list of what is most helpful during labor and/or postpartum. The key is you really don’t need that much. A lot of what you’ll need or use will actually be given to you there. And for most deliveries, you’ll be home within 24-36 hours.

FOR THE MOTHER’S USE DURING LABOR:

  • Insurance card and pre-admission paperwork
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, and hair ties or “scrunchies”
  • “Disposable” gown or 2-3 XXL men’s t-shirts, prewashed, and robe (unless you prefer hospital clothes) and slippers
  • Birth music playlist
  • Favorite juice, popsicles, electrolyte-balanced beverage (such as Gatorade or Organic ReCharge)
  • Yogurt, bananas and honey sticks for mom (you may have to sign a waiver at the hospital)
  • Peanut Ball (if planning on having an epidural, although most hospitals have them available now.)
  • Your doula 😉

FOR THE PARTNER’S USE:

  • Grooming supplies (toothbrush, breath freshener, deodorant, shaver, nail clippers)
  • Bottled water, juices, food for snacks, such as sandwiches, fruit, cheese and crackers (consider beforehand what they will do to your breath)
  • Sweatshirt, sweater or lightweight jacket (labor rooms are usually very cool)
  • Change of clothes (in case of long labor)
  • Camera
  • Extra copies of the birth plan printed on bright paper
  • Swimsuit so you can accompany the mother in the shower
  • Reading materials, or handwork for slow times when the mother does not need your help
  • Chargers for all of your electronic equipment

THE BABY:

  • Nursing Pillow (if you’re going to breastfeed)
  • Car seat (must be in place before you’ll be allowed to leave the hospital)
  • Going home outfit (stretch suit is best — must be able to use with carseat)
  • Receiving blanket
  • Outside blanket, bunting, booties and cap (in cool weather)

FOR THE MOTHER POSTPARTUM:

  • Comfortable clothes to go home in, including a nursing bra (if planning to breastfeed)
  • Toiletries, eye care, makeup, etc
  • Gum and more snacks
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