What to Bring to the Hospital When You are Having a Baby

If you are getting closer to your due date, you are probably wondering what you should pack for the Big Day.  When you do go into labor those contractions may prevent you from efficiently packing a hospital bag with everything you actually need. Therefore it helps to assemble your go-bag weeks before your due date to help things go as smoothly as possible when it is truly “go-time!”

Here are some items  you should consider packing:

Maternity gown - many hospitals will allow you to bring your own gown for labor and delivery. Having your own personal gown can give you a little sense of control during a process that can feel totally out of control.  There are many online sellers of personalized hospital gowns. Remember this gown may get messy with bodily fluids so it should not be something you can’t live without if it gets overly soiled.

Flip flops or some type of simple foot wear- hospitals try to be clean as possible but not necessarily the floor. So bring footwear that you can use in your hospital room and hospital shower.

Personal birth ball - Not all hospitals have birth balls available. So check with your hospital to see if that is something routinely available in all rooms or will you need to bring your own.

Fan - During labor you will be expending enormous amounts of energy and you will feel very hot and sweaty.  It is a nice touch to have your own personal hand held fan to help keep you cool. It will also give your partner, doula or support person something they can actually do to help you through this process.

Snacks and drinks - During labor you most likely will be allowed to eat and drink.  Many hospitals have a nutrition spot for families. But better to pack your own. Some families have traditional foods that should be eaten in labor.  Or you may have a favorite sports drink,type of jello,  broth or other light snack that you prefer. Labor can make some women nauseated so don’t eat anything that is hard to digest.  Many hospitals even have small refrigerators in the rooms..

Phone charger and cord - We are all so dependent on our phones for everything nowadays. But we can’t update our family on our labor progress or take photos of our cute new born if the battery is at 0%..   Make sure you buy or borrow an extra phone charger with cord. By packing the charger and cord in advance, you won’t have to remember  the one in your kitchen or on your nightstand.

Copy of your insurance card and any medical records your provider may have given you.

Toiletries - Be sure to bring your toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, and chapstick. Many hospitals will provide basic toiletries if you don't bring your own, but it can help you feel more comfortable if you bring the toiletries you use at home.

Glasses/contact lenses - If you wear prescription lenses, be sure to bring contact solution, lenses (if they are disposable), and glasses.  Best to switch from contacts to glasses in labor in case of an emergency.

Maternity sweatpants and comfortable top - Bring a comfortable outfit to wear home when you finally get discharged from the hospital. Consider you might want to take a photo of this memorable event so plan a discharge outfit accordingly.
Baby car seat - Finally when it’s time to go home, the hospital staff won’t let you leave with your baby unless you have a car seat. You will not need it on admission to the hospital, but you will need it when you go home.

Ask your provider if there is anything else you might need specifically for your planned delivery location.