Hey there hey!
I did some research a while back to see what was on the internet about what to pack in your hospital bag for birth. It’s a question that every first time mama asks during clinic. Less so for the seasoned crew.
Overall, I wasn’t impressed with what was online. I mean, it’s a packing list for a few days in the hospital – for a normal process as a woman. I don’t think you should have to pay $7 on Etsy for a cute list template. It’s a hospital stay!
Alas, I found a lot of people charging for the info and I lot of people with extensive, over the top lists that I would expect people to bring on a cruise ship. In that vein, here’s my list of what the hospitals usually provide (and charge you for), what the must haves are and the other considerations.
Another thing is to ask a mama that’s birthed at the hospital or birth center you are planning to birth at – they can tell you first hand what is provided, what’s not, or what’s worth bringing on your own.
Here we go!
Most hospitals provide (and these are included in your hospital bill):
- Infant diapers
- Diaper wipes
- A onesie or shirt for the baby
- Baby hat
- Postpartum underwear
- Tucks pads
- Postpartum pads for the mama
- Pain medication
- Hospital socks
- Hospital gowns
- Lanolin nipple cream or similar
- Boppy pillow or pillows for nursing
- Nipple shields
- Other assorted toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste)
These are the minimum recommended items I think should make it into your bag:
- Toiletries (ponytail holders, deodorant, travel size shampoo/conditioner, mouthwash, floss)
- A heating pad
- Chapstick (this is a lifesaver in labor)
- A comfy couch blanket (the blanket you snuggle and watch TV with – this is the one you want!)
- Preferred pillow (this doesn’t have to be your favorite pillow you sleep with every night, but hospital pillows are pretty terrible)
- Book to read
- An outfit to wear in labor if you don’t want to wear hospital gown
- Comfy sweats or PJs after birth
- Tennis shoes (especially if you are getting induced, plan to walk a couple miles)
- Car seat (most hospitals don’t have you bring this into the hospital until discharge)
- A bottle of coconut oil or astroglide diamond for perineal use during pushing (some units have mineral oil, but this is not a purchase I’ve ever seen someone regret)
Other items that you could also consider packing…
- 1-2 infant onesies
- Baby blanket/swaddle
- Infant pacifier
- Phone charger
- Nursing bras
- Nipple ointment or balm
- TENS unit
- LED candle lights
- Placenta printing supplies (see how to make your placenta print here!)
That’s the list but I’d love to hear what you all recommend too!
I hope this helps those mamas out there that are getting ready to have babes…and those seasoned mamas that just need a refresher on what to pack. FYSA, there’s also an abbreviated list on the 36 Week Template too!
Behind the scenes, I’m polishing and fine tuning templates. I’d love to know what your most recommended patient or mama resources are. Send me a DM on the insta or an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I reply to every email I get!