Labor & Delivery Hospital Bag Checklist
It's down to the final few weeks of your pregnancy and you're panicking. You know there are many things you need to have packed and ready for your trip to the hospital, but you have no idea where to start. Don't worry! Every expecting mother goes through this panic. It's very normal, especially since us pregnant women tend to be a little extra panicky (gotta love them crazy hormones!).
In order to help me not to panic, I decided to make a list of things I know I, my husband, and our newborn will need when we make the big trip to the hospital. And yes, don't forget, Daddy is going to need things too!
Maternity Gowns to Make Your Hospital Stay Comfier
- Admissions Paper/ID/Insurance Card: Mommy is going to need all of these in order to make her stay much more smoother. What we have done during my pregnancy, is that my husband carries around with him my Insurance Card and ID just in case I go into labor and he forgets to grab my purse.
- Clothing: Be sure to bring extra clothing, especially pajamas or gowns, because you probably don't want to wear a hospital gown your entire visit. Be sure to bring clothes for you to come home in as well. You are also going to want to bring a pair or two of warm socks because hospitals tend to be very cold.
- Nursing Pads: You've probably already been leaking a little bit of breast milk (or colostrum) already, but after you have the baby you'll be leaking a lot more. It's a good idea to have Breast/Nursing pads to help you from leaking excessively.
- Breast Pump: If you intend on breastfeeding, but not directly from the breast, then be sure to bring your own breast pump with shields fitted to your nipple size. While the hospital will likely have pumps available for you to use, it will be far easier to bring your own pump so that you can become accustomed to it.
- Feminine Pads: After you give birth, you will be bleeding for some time "down there". It's best to pack a few postpartum pads or overnight pads to help you feel cleaner. Most hospitals will provide you with some in case you forget to bring your own.
- Hair Accessories: During labor it's nice to be able to keep your hair pulled back and out of your face, so be sure to bring pony tails, hair clips, or whatever it is that you like to use to pull your hair back.
- Personal Hygiene Products: Body wash, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, chap stick (your lips will get dry while in labor), bath towel, etc... All the basic items you're going to need to make you feel fresh and clean. The hospital will likely provide you with soaps to clean yourself with, but it never hurts to bring your own, especially if you want to have your favorite scented lotions and soaps available to you.
- Food and Beverages: Numerous hospitals are now becoming aware of the importance of women needing to eat and drink during labor. Check your hospital's policy on food and drink consumption during labor before bringing any. If they do approve of you bringing foods, pack healthy foods that will energize you and keep you well nourished. Good foods and drinks to bring include: coconut water, electrolyte drinks, red raspberry leaf tea, fresh fruit, almonds, beef jerky, and fresh vegetables.
- Birth Ball: If you're entering into the hospital with the intention of having a completely natural birth, you will likely want to bring a birth (yoga/fitness) ball to help you relax and ease your body into labor.
Links to Sites with Additional Checklists
- Packing for the Hospital: Checklists for Moms-To-Be
Here are three checklists that will help you decide what to stuff into your hospital bag as your due date looms every closer. There's a checklist for mom, dad or coach and of course the new baby!
- Checklist: Packing a Hospital Bag - Pregnancy - Pregnancy Tools - TheBump.com
Checklist: Packing a Hospital Bag - Here's the only list you'll need for the essentials you need to pack before heading to the hospital. For more on Pregnancy, go to TheBump.com.
- Diapers: Most hospitals will provide you with diapers, but it never hurts to bring your own. If you plan on cloth diapering, bring your own and be sure to express your desire to do so with the hospital staff.
- Baby Wipes: To help clean those lovely baby messes.
- Clothing: Bring enough outfits to last your newborn a few days, because you never know how long you'll have to spend in the hospital. Be sure to bring an outfit for your newborn to come home in as well.
- Winter clothes/Summer clothes: If you're having a winter baby, be sure to bring extra articles of clothing like a jacket, gloves, hats, etc.. If you're having a summer baby, you still need to have quite a few warmer articles of clothing, but not as many.
- Car Seat/Carrier: Most hospitals will not allow you to discharge with your baby unless you have a car seat or baby carrier, so make certain to bring one of these with you so you wont have any trouble bringing your little bundle home.
- Cord Blood Kit: If you're planning on saving your baby's cord blood, your doctor will need the cord blood kit immediately after the baby's arrival. Your Cord Blood Consultant should provide you with one of these several weeks prior to your due date.
- Bottles and Accessories: If you don't plan on breastfeeding, be sure to bring bottles, nipples, etc. to feed your newborn.
- Formula: If you don't plan on breastfeeding, be sure to bring formula so your newborn wont go without food.
- Blankets: Receiving blankets, swaddling blankets, and normal blankets to keep your baby nice and warm.
A good camera will keep Dad very busy during the labor and birth!
- Clothing: Daddy of course is going to need a few extra pairs of clothes because he's probably going to be at the hospital just as long as you and your newborn.
- Extra Cash: It's never a bad idea to have a little extra cash for things like food, little things you might have forgotten, etc. etc..
- Cell Phone and Charger: It never hurts to bring your phone charger, especially once you consider the amount of texting/phone calls you'll be making to announce to friends and family the birth of your newborn.
- Camera: You're probably going to want to take several pictures of your newborn baby, so be sure to bring a camera or a cell phone that can take decent pictures.
- Personal Hygiene Products: Body wash, shampoo, razor, bath towel, etc... All the basic items you're going to need to make you feel fresh and clean.
- Reading Material/Music: It's going to get pretty boring at the hospital while you're waiting during labor, for mommy to heal, and for the doctors to make sure the baby and mommy are safe to check out. Be sure to bring reading material or music to help keep you from getting too bored.
Try to have everything packed and quickly accessible by the 35th week of pregnancy to help you be as prepared as possible for when the big event finally happens. You can even keep a quick hospital bag stored in your car, just in case labor occurs while you're away from the house.
If you forget a few things or don't have certain things, don't get stressed out! It happens. You can plan all you want, but labor and birth are both unpredictable. The best you can do is keep your calm and do the best you can. Remember, the ultimate goal is to bring a healthy baby into the world and to have mom safe and healthy, too!
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