How should you pack your hospital bag for birth?

Author Name
Answered by: Kerri, An Expert in the Labor and Birth Category
Many first time mothers nearing the end of their pregnancies worry about being fully prepared for the birth of their babies, from hiring a birth doula, to readying the nursery, to having the house clean enough, to setting up postpartum support in the form of family visits or a postpartum doula.

One thing that can help put your mind at ease is to pack your hospital bag weeks in advance of when you expect to deliver your baby. Having your bag ready by 34-36 weeks of pregnancy should be plenty early enough, unless you have complications that require you to make separate arrangements with your care provider. Here you will find a list of ideas for items you might want to put together to prepare for your trip to the birthing center or hospital.

Of course, tailor your own packing list to your needs and birth plans. It might give you added peace of mind to label everything with your name just in case.

A printed copy of your birth plan, and depending on your situation, a clear, signed declaration of non-consent for procedures you do not want to happen

Your favorite blanket

Your favorite pillow

Filling, healthy snacks for you, husband, and older children for several days

Cell phone charger, with your name and number on it in case it gets left behind


Camera charger or spare batteries

Feminine pads and/or witch hazel pads

Comfortable underwear

Comfortable, warm socks

Slippers with rubber soles

A few pair of comfortable pants, cool ones and warm ones.

Nursing tops and bras

A large, comfortable sweater (hospitals can be chilly!)

Nursing pads

A few sets of baby clothes

Baby blankets and hat

Diapers for baby, if you have a preferred type you plan to start with

Heating pad or microwave heat pack

Cold pack

Toothpaste and toothbrush (and a separate one for your husband)

Any necessary toiletries to wash your face and shower

Hairbrush and/or comb

Hair ties, if your hair is long

Lip balm

Earplugs and eye mask, if you are staying overnight in a hospital

Load up your iPod or phone with your birth playlists, and bring speakers (definitely label those, too)

A small gift for each of your older children “from the baby”, preferably something that will keep them busy when they come visit.

Books and/or movies (on a laptop or tablet) to pass the time during labor

Gift for birth attendants (homemade cookies are great for this)

Journal to record your birth experience while it is still fresh in your mind

Any desired religious items to help you meditate, like a Rosary or a favorite icon

Anything else you and your family would like to bring to mark the occasion, perhaps champagne!

A going-home outfit for yourself. Expect to fit into clothes you wore at about 5 months pregnant, and plan an outfit that will make you feel comfortable and happy.

Don’t worry too much if you forget one or more things you planned to bring. If you’ll be in a hospital, many of the self care and baby care items will be provided for you, though bringing your own may make you feel more at home. The main objective when you pack your hospital bag is to put your mind at ease so you can set worry aside and focus on welcoming home your new baby in peace.

Author Name Like My Writing? Hire Me to Write For You!

Related Questions