What to Bring to the Hospital:
This is a list of things to bring with you to the hospital. These items
were posted to the list. There is some duplication here, since things
that were posted repeatedly are generally the things that are the most
essential items to have with you at the hospital. Don't be daunted by the
huge size of this list you don't have to bring all the things that
are listed here! The idea here is to have a comprehensive list that you
can pick and choose from, to customize your own list of the things you
personally care about.
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To do some time before going into labor:
Pack in the Car:
- Keep hospital bag(s) in the car I use, especially when going to see the
- Install the car seat properly.
- Keep gas tanks full.
- 2 pillows with garbage bags over the pillow like a pillowcase, possibly
with pillowcases over the garbage bags. These are useful because you can
sit on them even if your water breaks.
- a barf bag or two, since people in labor may throw up
- Keep cats' food & water bowls full and the litter box clean.
- Ask a friend to run errands if we need anything at the last minute.
- Don't wear your own socks during delivery!! My hospital gives out those
footie things (terry cloth socks with skid things on the bottom). I'm glad
I didn't wear my socks or slippers because they were trashed after the
delivery!! Or bring a really, really old pair of socks for delivery. I
did bring slippers to wear for later (after I cleaned up).
- Labour and Delivery Shirt - Long, comfortable
- I will also be taking a t-shirt to wear in the birthing pool plus one
for outside it (perhaps a change of clothes for each new stage!).
- Warm Socks (probably nothing you want to use again afterwards)
- Either I was very lucky or something, but I wore the same bloody socks
practically my whole stay in the hospital and they came clean when I washed
- Loose underwear
- Hair band
- Lip moisturizer
- Mouthwash? I can understand that you want fresh breath, but the taste
could make you vomit too. Just a thought.
- I think the mouthwash (and probably the mints and gum too) was intended
mainly for coach. One of the things that our instructor said was that
because Mom's attention is so focused during the later parts of labor,
coach will need to be more or less "nose to nose" with her (apparently
she had two moms tell her that they thought their husbands had actually
left because they were outside the line of her "tunnel vision"). And
probably the last thing you want when you're already sensitive to smells
is a coach with bad breath! (A tuna sandwich and coffee from the
cafeteria can come back to haunt them later!!! Yuck!)
- Brush & comb
- Towel & washcloth
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Nail clippers
- Watch with a second hand to time contractions
- Change of clothes
- My partner will take her swimming costume in case she gets into the pool
- Suit for shower/tub
- Tennis balls or rolling pin (for back labor massage)
- Massage oils or lotions
- Relaxation materials: books, magazines, games, music, candles
- Music and something to play it on.
- Book for partner to read aloud
- Paper & pen
- Some hospitals don't let you plug anything into the wall, so your
music player and other support items should be battery-operated.
- Birth books (so we can leaf through and find the diagrams which tell us
what to do!)
- Birth plan
- A list of the last-minute packing items
(e.g. my ID, partner's driver's license, fruit, frozen popsicles)
- Hospital paperwork
- Pediatrician info
- Insurance card & phone number
- Phone numbers for family & friends
- Phone number for services to cancel depending on date (e.g. milk delivery)
- Calling card and/or change.
- Folder for new paperwork
- Birth announcements
- Baby name book!
- The Ball - an inflatable ball you can sit on during labor. I've
variably seen it called a birthing ball or a thera-ball. We got one
called The Original Bigens at Toys R Us to use for physical therapy with
my 7 year old, but someone on another list pointed out you should check out
what weight the ball is certified up to to be sure it won't burst if you
sit on it. Some sporting goods stores probably carry them, as do physical
therapy catalogs (and maybe Constructive Playthings, a toy catalog). My
husband sits/lies on the one we got at Toys R Us for his back exercises
and it hasn't popped, so I figure it's OK for me :-)
- I was pleased to learn at my first Lamaze class last night that each
birthing suite has a birth ball already available at my birth center. You
all may want to check with your hospitals before you spend money on the
birth ball. If they have them as "standard issue" in North Dakota, I'm sure
most places would??
- I don't want a birth ball for labor -- I want it to sit on at home
because it's so comfortable.
- I noticed the birthing balls at my birthing center are the same brand
(Bigens) that we got at Toys R Us, in case anyone is interested.
- Pictures of someone or something you love (the inspiration you may need
to see you through to the end)
- I also really enjoyed having my own king-size flannel pillows with
me, and a bath pillow for the jacuzzi. And I took a crock pot to keep
washcloths warm to apply to sore areas during labor. And extra socks for
cold feet :-)
- One of my supporters is going to bring a gel pack which can be heated in
the microwave and used to relieve back pain. We will also get one that can
be used as an ice pack.
- A friend who does Reiki, which is an ancient healing art. She has been
giving me some sessions during my pregnancy and I always feel great after.
It is supposed to take away some of the pain (something I will be grateful
for!) and also, it is supposed to be great for the baby straight after the
- Pillow(s) (body pillow?)
- Handheld fan
- Watch with second hand
- Change for vending machines & phones
For After Delivery:
- Camera and film/tape
- Address book
- Birth Announcements
- A list of phone numbers to call with your news (In order of importance!!)
- Around here, the hospital takes pictures of the baby, and you have the
set of pictures before you leave, so you may need to bring some extra cash
- Digital camera, extra batteries, memory card, pc to download pictures to
- Disposable camera ?
- Pregnancy book & pen
- I am going to bring my journal along to the hospital so that when I have
a chance I can record the birth experience before I lose memory of specific
- something for the baby to wear home
- Newborn Diapers (I don't care for the cloth they use)
- a hat for baby (one person's niece caught a cold as soon as she was born)
- One baby outfit for the trip home (one-piece stretchy outfits are
- Receiving blanket (a heavy one if weather is cold)
- One pair socks or booties
- Bunting or snowsuit for winter
- 2 Newborn sleepers (For going home, but it is just like a newborn to soil
one moments after being placed in one!)
- Receiving Blankets (hospital does provide, this is for going home)
- CAR SEAT!!!
- Wash the baby clothes you'll bring to the hospital.
- You may want to pack an extra cute outfit for the picture because at our
hospital the photos are done the day prior to discharge.
- Nail clippers
- a nightie
- something for mom to wear home
- Bathrobe (if hospital or birth center doesn't supply one or you want
- Nursing bra
- Breast pads
- sweat pants for the trip home
- You can wear the same clothes you came to the hospital in home.
- Comfortable clothes (nursing PJ's)
- Slippers with hard soles or Runners
- Warm Socks
- 2 or 3 pair underwear
- Going Home clothes for me (most nursing outfits allow for the extra
pounds you keep for the first while, at least mine do)
- I thought I would mention one thing that I didn't expect last time. I
didn't really think that I could leave the hospital in my pre-pregnancy
clothes. BUT, I didn't think that I would still look pregnant!! It was
really a surprise to me that my stomach still looked about 5-6 months along
when I left the hospital. I don't know why I didn't think about this....
but it was hard for me, mentally, to have to wear maternity stuff after
delivery. My stomach did shrink quickly over the next week or two, and
breastfeeding helped (although the breastfeeding contractions could be
painful at times).
- Spare nightgowns! I remember leaking twice after having my
daughter and I didnt have a spare nightie to get into as I had used my first
spare one :o(
- A couple of large t-shirts
- Going home outfit (loose & comfy)
- No nightgowns. I am using the hospital's. They are made for
breastfeeding and have the added benefit of someone else having to wash them.
- You might want to bring your own shampoo, lotion, etc. The hospital
stuff is sometimes icky. BabyCenter.com has a good
- Towel/Facecloth (hospital issue are stiff and gross)
- Brush/comb (the one thing I forgot last time!)
- Hair Ties (I have long hair)
- Maxi Pads (Don't care for the ENORMOUS hospital issues!)
- Lip Moisturizer
- Face Moisturizer
- Stool Softeners (I plan on taking these as soon as labour hits, as my
first BM after my first child was born was worse than childbirth, in my
opinion. I got very consitpated, which is common after an enema I think)
- Blow Dryer/Curling Iron
- Pads and stuff - My hospital provides them, but I don't know if I'll
want to use those! I'd probably rather have my own. Guess we'll see.
- Your makeup, nailpolish, or whatever you normally use that makes you
feel good about yourself. I know that would seem the farthest thing from
your mind after delivery. It can boost your self esteem, and ease your
nerves after delivery. Babies can sense if you are nervous or tense, so it
can help with the bonding process.
- Next day's clothes
- Toiletries & razor
- Pillow & blanket
- One thing I want to emphasize is SNACKS - my first baby was born right
after midnight, and by the time I got into my room it was after 2:00 AM.
I was famished since my last meal that I could keep down was about 32 hours
previously. I didn't think to bring any snacks, and of course the hospital
cafeteria was closed. All they could find for me was a stale turkey
- Ditto this; we took some juice popsicles I wanted for labor, and some
power bar type things for my husband, but I was STARVED after my child was
born at 10:30 pm. I sent my doula out for sandwiches!
- You might want to take things to do when the baby is asleep and you
don't have company -- a book, crosswords, or whatever you enjoy.
- Don't forget phone numbers of the people you want to call and your long
- With one of mine I addressed birth announcements in the quiet moments I
- Snacks (I know what you all mean when you say you're starving after
- Bottled Water
- Fresh Fruit/Crackers & Cheese, snacks
- Change for Phone (not all rooms have phones)
- List of people to call once baby is here! (You'll always forget someone)
- At my birthing class, they actually suggest bringing TWO bags - one for
labor and delivery, and one for recovery and the remainder of the stay.
- Thank you notepad - I find writing them as I receive gifts for the baby
is the easiest way to do it, don't have to rely on the old memory as
- For those with other children - snacks for the kids when they come to
visit and also something to keep them amused while they are visiting (as
they get bored pretty quickly). eg. For my 4 year old I'll take a dot-to-dot
book and a small toy.
- OK, my best advice for everyone looking at a possible C-section -- BRING
YOUR OWN CHAMOMILLE TEA BAGS!!! This is NOT a joke!! The gas pains after
surgery can hit at any time, and are as excruciating as labor -- Being
as the nurses are most in charge of your comfort, but not allowed to
give you more that a certain amount of things like anti-gas tablets, I
have taken these things into my own hands:) I have had such pain and
such little relief from what they can give for it, that I will not rely
on them anymore:)
- All they would give me [after a c-section] was a bit of broth -- but
not nearly enough, so I take my own of that too:):) Love that Herb-Ox
powdered chicken bullion!!:)
- Also, if you are giving your children gifts FROM the baby, don't forget
to take those too.
- "Daddy" gift for baby's father
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