What to pack for labor and delivery
Knowing what to pack for the big day can help make the labor and delivery experience pleasant for you, your partner, and your child.
When to start packing for labor and delivery?
Packing can start anytime before to the 36th week of pregnancy. It’s important to be prepared before the 36th week so that you don’t have to pack at the last minute.
Having your partner help in the process of packing can help them know where each item is so they can quickly grab the item when a situation arises. Keeping a checklist or sheet showing which item is in which bag can make the process smoother and more efficient.
Keeping the bags near a door or a place that can be accessed quickly can come in handy when you have to go to the hospital immediately.
Being prepared before the 36th week can make everyone feel more comfortable before the big day arrives.
What does mom need to pack for labor and delivery?
Packing supplies, clothing, paperwork, grooming products, and items to pass the time is useful to make the mother’s experience as comfortable as possible. Below are key items to bring with you to the hospital:
- Birth Plan: A birth plan is a preference list of what you want during the labor and delivery process. The plan helps the health care team care for you during and after labor and delivery.
- Hospital paperwork: Having your medical records can help doctors know your medical history.
- Identification card: Bringing identification in the form of a driver’s license can help the hospital identify you for medical records.
- Insurance card: Insurance documents can help the hospital staff contact your health insurance provider.
- Eye mask: An eye mask can be worn to block out the lighting in your room to get a more restful sleep.
- Earplugs: Earplugs can be worn to create more silence in what can be a noisy environment.
- Maternity pads: The hospital can supply these, but you may want to bring extra just in case.
- Nightgown: A nightgown can be worn at night when you go to sleep.
- Nursing bras: These are comfortable bras to be worn during the process. The hospital may have some bras to supply you during the process.
- Postpartum underwear: Hospitals may provide mesh underwear but you are free to take several pairs of your underwear to be more comfortable during the experience.
- Robe: A robe will be the most comfortable thing you can wear during the entire process. The hospital can provide their gowns but you can bring your own as well.
- Slippers and flip-flops: Slippers or flip-flops can be worn during transportation to and from the hospital. Make sure the slippers or flip-flops are worn tightly to prevent slippage when walking.
- Socks: Hospitals supply their socks but you can bring some with you. Socks can be comfortably worn if you want to walk around a little bit.
- Grooming products
- Body lotion: Good-smelling lotions can help keep you relax and skin feeling smooth.
- Lip balm: Lip balm will help keep your lips hydrated during the process.
- Nipple cream: If you’re planning to breastfeed.
- Sanitary pads: The hospital may provide sanitary pads to clean up any blood after delivery but feel free to bring your own.
- Toiletries: Bring a hairbrush, comb, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hair clips, and hair ties.
- Other items:
- Entertainment items: A cell phone or IPad can help pass the time. Items like a laptop or book to bring along can also help pass the time. Packing a phone charger can help keep those items charged. Relaxing music can help ease stress. Portable Bluetooth speaker to connect music or a podcast too.
- Journal book/pen: You can write down a log of your baby’s feeding sessions or write about the experience of your baby’s birth.
- Money for parking: Hospitals tend to charge a lot of money for parking and usually have limited parking spaces so it’s important to bring extra cash.
- Pillow: A favorite pillow can be brought if it helps get you more comfortable.
- Water spray/sponge: If you feel overheated then a cold-water spray or sponge can help cool you down.
- Plastic bag: Can be used to put dirty clothes in.
What to pack for your child for labor and delivery?
Clothing, blankets, and a car seat are essentials for every newborn. Try to pack these supplies in a separate bag.
- Baby nail file and nail clippers: Newborn babies tend to have sharp nails and can accidently scratch their face.
- Bottles: Supply at least two bottles, if you plan to bottle-feed.
- Car seat: A car seat should be installed in the car before you leave for the hospital.
- Paperwork: Bring a copy of the pediatrician’s contact information. The information should include an email and fax number so they can quickly send over the child’s medical records.
- Receiving blanket: A receiving blanket to make the baby feel comfortable.
What should dad pack for labor and delivery?
The father will be providing support during the hospital stay, and they will need to pack some items along.
- Camera: If the camera on the cell phone is not suitable then a camera can be better.
- Clothes: Make sure to bring multiple changes of clothing including items to wear during the day and night.
- Entertainment: Bring your cell phone, iPad, book, or laptop because these items can help during downtime.
- Money: Cash for parking and vending machines.
- Pillow and blanket: The hospital will provide pillows and blankets but bring your own if you think it would be more comfortable.
- Toiletries: Grooming products such as deodorant, face wash, tooth brush, tooth paste, lotion.
What should you not pack in your hospital bag for labor and delivery?
These items should not be brought to the hospital.
- Candles: Hospitals will not let you burn candles inside the building.
- Clothing: Don’t take more than the coming-home outfit. The hospital will provide baby shirts.
- Diapers or wipes: The hospital will provide its own diapers and wipes.
- Jewelry: Valuables like expensive jewelry or wedding rights are not necessary to be brought.
- Large amounts of cash: Bring just enough cash for parking and the vending machine but never bring too much cash.
- Large electronics like televisions or computers: There will be minimal space to place these items in the hospital room.
- Medication and vitamins: Medication needs to be approved by the hospital’s pharmacy but the process can take a long time. It can be helpful if you ask the hospital to provide medication for you.
What snacks should I pack for labor and delivery?
Make sure to pack lots of snacks because you may get hungry or want to snack on something at any time. Here are some ideas to pack something in each one of these categories:
- Drink: Bring packs of water bottles or reusable water bottle.
- Healthy: Bananas, apples, dried fruit, raisins, or small carrot sticks.
- Protein: Protein bars or beef jerky.
- Salty: Chips, pretzels, mixed nuts, or trail mix.
- Sweet: Candy such as M&M’s, Skittles, or Snickers.