Facebook Pixel

14 Things to Pack for Your Hospital Stay Before You Go Into Labor

By HERWriter
Rate This
14 Things to Pack for Your Hospital Stay Before You Go Into Labor Rafael Ben-Ari/fotolia

The interesting thing about labor stories is that they are all unique. While contractions may be a universal birth experience, a woman’s early reactions are all hers.

Some of my friends used the early stages of labor to put on makeup. Some caught up on Netflix. Others took the time to realize that they were unprepared and griped at their husbands.

All of them freaked out a little bit.

Labor and what comes after doesn’t allow for much organization. This is why women pack freezer meals and alphabetize their spice cabinets. They also scrutinize the hospital bag, which ends up being alarmingly big for a first child and confidently meager with the second.

I asked my dear friends what they actually found to be essential once they went through labor and delivery. Here is your “what to pack” checklist:

1) The paperwork

This is the most important item. Gather any papers you might need: your medical records, your insurance card and your ID.

2) Eyeglasses and spare contact lenses

Contact lens wearers may easily forget this one, but you don’t want to miss anything on this day. (OK, you might want to miss some things.)

3) No-tread socks

You will probably choose to wear the hospital gown (your own pajamas would get too dirty) but socks from home will be the perfect accompaniment to walking down the hospital halls. Plan to throw them out.

4) Your relaxation symbol

This is different for everyone. It may be a picture. It may be music. It may be a script for your partner to read. Get it in the bag.

5) Your morning essentials

Whether it's mouthwash or deodorant, you'll appreciate having your own things from home after the event. It may also help you feel a little more “normal.”

6) Nursing bras and pads

Easy access and no-leak protection. You can never imagine how much you will love those words.

7) Cell phone charger

Your partner will probably bring a phone, but you don’t want it to power down just as you are getting the first cuddly photos. You may even want to invest in a new memory card.

8) A tablet

This can be great distraction in the early stages of labor or after an epidural.

9) Maternity clothes

You will want to change into something comfortable to return home in.

10) Snacks

Sugar-free lollypops can be nice for relieving a dry mouth. Consider packing granola bars or trail mix for your partner, under the condition that he or she eats them covertly.

11) Ugly undies

Big, comfy underwear. It’s not forever, it’s just for now. Pads are provided by hospitals, but you can always bring your own if you are a planner.

12) An easy coming-home outfit for baby

You don’t need three outfits for the baby. Just bring one that is suitable for the season. The hospital will often supply the blanket.

13) Cash and change

In case you have a hankering for something that isn’t hospital food.

14) Bring a car seat for your new baby

This one won't fit in your bag, but it is essential. You can't take your precious bundle home without one.

Congratulations in advance!

Reviewed October 20, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



Get Email Updates

Pregnancy Guide

HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!