top of page

Packing Your Hospital Bag: A Comprehensive Guide for Labor and Delivery

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

Every journey towards childbirth is unique and special, but one thing that remains common for all expectant parents is the need for preparation. One key element of this preparation is packing your hospital bag.

This guide will help you prepare your hospital bag with items that can make the labor and delivery experience smoother and more comfortable.

Why is a Well-Packed Hospital Bag Important?

Entering the hospital for labor is a major milestone in your pregnancy journey. Having a well-packed hospital bag can reduce anxiety and help you feel prepared, so you can focus on the task at hand: meeting your baby. Let’s break down the essentials and extras that you might want to consider.

Essential Hospital Bag Items: Before we delve into the comfort items, it's important to pack the essentials, including:

  1. Personal documentation: This includes your identification, insurance information, birth plan, and hospital paperwork.

  2. Clothing: Pack a comfortable change of clothes for after labor, sleepwear, underwear, and nursing bras (if you're planning to breastfeed).

  3. Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, and your regular skincare products.

  4. Baby gear: The hospital will likely have diapers and onesies for the baby but you will want to bring an outfit for them to wear home and anything else you want for photos, etc.

  5. Snacks: Labor is exhausting work, and having some snacks on hand for after delivery can be a lifesaver.

Now that you're armed with the basics, let's dive into some additional items that can make your labor and delivery experience more pleasant.

Comfort Items to Pack for Labor and Delivery

1. Eye Mask and Ear Plugs The environment in the labor room can sometimes be unpredictable. Bright lights and unexpected sounds may disturb your peace at a time when you need to focus and conserve your energy. An eye mask can help block out the light when you're trying to rest, and earplugs can provide a buffer against potential noise. 2. Aromatherapy Items The power of scent cannot be underestimated. Studies have shown that certain aromas can help to reduce anxiety, enhance mood, and promote relaxation. Consider packing an aromatherapy diffuser with your favorite essential oils, or bring along a scented lotion. Lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang are all excellent options for promoting relaxation. Just make sure to check with your healthcare provider and the hospital’s policies to ensure aromatherapy is allowed. 3. Your Own Hospital Gown While the hospital will provide you with a standard gown, bringing your own can make a big difference to your comfort levels. Choose a gown that is comfortable, easy to wear, and designed for labor. It should open in the front for easy monitoring, have access points for an epidural if you're planning on having one, and allow for skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding after the birth. The Frida Mom gown is practical and comfy, but Kindred Bravely makes ones that are cuter and the price isn't much differerent. 4. Your Favorite Pillow There's nothing quite like the comfort of your own pillow. Bringing your pillow from home can make your hospital bed feel a little more like your own and provide you with additional physical comfort. Just keep in mind you may not want to bring it home afterwards, it might get gross. 5. Birthing Ball A birthing ball can help ease labor pain and speed up dilation. Not all hospitals provide them, so it may be helpful to bring your own. 6. Items for Relaxation and Entertainment Pack a few items that will help pass the time and help you relax. This could include books, magazines, a tablet for watching movies, or even a deck of cards. Music can also be an amazing tool for relaxation, so consider creating a soothing playlist for your labor and delivery. 7. Chargers Don’t forget your phone charger or a portable power bank. You'll want to be able to keep in touch with family and friends, take photos, and possibly use various relaxation or contraction timing apps. 8. Comfort Food and Drinks Pack snacks that are high in energy and easy to eat. Granola bars, dried fruit, and nuts are all good options. Don’t forget a water bottle to stay hydrated. You may also want to pack honey sticks or apple sauce pouches. They can provide a quick energy boost during labor.

9. Chapstick

All that breathing can make your lips dry! Bring chapstick or lip-balm with you. 10. Postpartum Care Items Pack a few items for postpartum self-care as well. The hospital usually provides pads, mesh undies, a peri bottle and other postpartum items but you may want to pack your own if it makes you more comfortable.

Packing your hospital bag can feel like a daunting task, but with this list, you're well on your way to being prepared for your labor and delivery. Just remember: the goal is to make yourself as comfortable as possible, so think about what will help you achieve that, and don't be afraid to pack it. Best of luck on your birthing journey!



bottom of page