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.


  • Insurance card and pre-admission paperwork
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, and hair ties or “scrunchies”
  • “Disposable” gown or XXL men’s t-shirt, prewashed, nursing bra or bikini top, and robe (unless you prefer hospital clothes).
  • Birth music playlist
  • Favorite electrolyte-balanced beverage (such as Gatorade or coconut water)
  • Yogurt, cheese sticks, protein bars, fruit and honey sticks for mom (you may have to sneak snacks at the hospital)
  • Labor tools: tennis balls, massage oil and tools, comb, etc.
  • Your doula 😉


  • 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


  • 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)
  • Your own diapers and wipes, if wanting to use a specific brand


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

One response to “What Do I Pack In My Hospital Bag?”

  1. […] If you’re planning a hospital birth, you will need to pack your own snacks and foods in your hospital bag, and decide what you are comfortable with consuming during […]

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