One of the questions I’m asked frequently by my labor clients is “what should I pack in my hospital bag?” Most families begin to pack a bag for their hospital birth at around 35-37 weeks pregnant (or, if you’re like me, throw it together when labor starts…) but knowing what to pack can be daunting. In my personal and professional experience, it’s all about bringing what helps YOU, and your partner, feel comfortable during your labor and postpartum stay at the hospital.
I created this handy FREE printable checklist of all the things I have seen clients utilize or wish they had during their labor/hospital stay, plus space to fill in your own must-haves!
Bonus! Pro Tips:
Say “no thanks” to the uncomfortable one-size-fits-no-one hospital gowns! Bring a nightgown or robe (you won’t mind getting dirty) or check out adorable labor gowns, like these.
Pick up a massage oil with Arnica (like this one), a homeopathic medicine that soothes sore muscles, stiffness, and achiness. It’s perfect for a calming, pain relieving back and body massage during labor.
Buy a few bags of Depends (yes, adult diapers) to wear after your water breaks, and postpartum. They are way more comfortable than the mesh undies the hospital provides, and will fit better than your own underwear.
Some new parents bring their baby’s cutest outfit as their going home outfit. Consider bringing a cheap onesie to put on underneath in case the umbilical cord stump bleeds a bit.
Positive affirmations about birth, your body, and your baby can really make a difference in getting you through tough times in your labor. Many clients have strung up birth affirmation cards throughout their birth space. My absolute favorites are these gorgeous, powerful cards from Renegade Mama - click this link and save 10% on your order!*
Make the bathroom your own private, quiet space during labor! Set up some flameless candles, a Bluetooth speaker with a calming playlist, your essential oil diffuser, fill it with some birth affirmation cards… and you have the perfect spot to relax and ride the labor waves in.
Bring some photos of loved ones who can’t/won’t be at your labor or able to meet your baby as a way to keep them present at your birth.
Snag a super portable and affordable HaaKaa pump and bring it to the hospital with you, if you’re planning to breastfeed. If your baby needs supplemental feeding for any reason, you may be able to use it to pump some colostrum and avoid formula. After your milk comes in, you can also attach it to the breast your baby isn’t nursing on and save the milk that leaks out!
So, did I get everything? Was there something you brought that was a game-changer? Share your tips and tricks here!