What to pack in the hospital delivery bag

When you plan what to pack in your bag for labour and delivery it’s easy to go a little overboard. Especially if it’s the first time. I think it’s because we try to prepare for anything and everything. To be honest, we don’t really know what to expect or what we’re in for. It doesn’t matter how many books we read, and how many delivery films we watch, we will never know what it’s like until we go through it. Sprinkle that with every birth being unique, experienced individually and the dangers of it, it’s not hard to understand why we try to prepare as much as we can. It’s probably also a way to keep worries in check. Control what we can control.

With that said, bring whatever you think will help you but try to edit yourself with some rime and reason. The most important thing is to be comfortable enough to focus on yourself, your body and your breathing. That is what is going to get your through it all in the best way. I love music, and had a carefully picked playlist that I thought would help me. But on the day I didn’t even consider it. It was just distracting. It might help you of course, I just used it as an example.

Hospital delivery bag checklist for the mom

So, is it important to pack you hospital delivery bag in time? Well, yes. My second time around I was so much more laid back about it and wasn’t completely prepared when it was time to go to the hospital. Everything happened so much faster than the first time and I wasn’t prepared for that. I ended up forgetting my ID and loosing my wallet somewhere. It all worked out fine in the end, but I definitely could have been without that extra stress.

Hospital paperwork, ID, and insurance card – Also have a copy of your medical records with you to let the healthcare providers have easy access to your medical history.

Birth plan – If you have a birth plan it’s convenient to bring a printed copy.

A delivery gown and robe – In general the hospitals provide you with gowns but they’re usually uncomfortable, unflattering and washed with strong chemicals. You might want to pace the halls during hours of labour. You don’t want everyone to see your behind and the robe will keep you warm if it’s chilly. Have a look at beautiful and price worthy gowns and robes in regular size and plus size lists under the links.

Socks – If you get cold. If you like the socks in the picture you can find them in my post about delivery gowns.

Slippers for walking and Flipflops for showers. I made the mistake of bringing my favorites from home because I wanted to feel cozy. I managed to get blood on the and they were ruined.

Lipblam – A lot of breathing through the mouth can make your lips really dry.

Music – Or other things that can keep you calm and focused.

Snacks and drinks – I would recommend bringing things you really like. Don’t worry soo much about being healthy. You need energy and it’s common to feel nauseous. Make sure to bring some for after the birth as well.

What to pack for after delivery

Your hospital bag should contain the things you’ll need for after delivery as well. I think you should be prepared for a few days at the hospital. You never know what will happen, and I for one needed help to get the nursing thing working.

Phone and charger – If you stay for a day or two you will need some entertainment. The baby will feed often but sleep most of the time. Now it’s a good time to take the first baby photos and send to your friends and family.

Nightgowns – You can probably use the hospital gowns afterwards as well, but it’s really nice to put on your own comfortable clothes after a refreshing shower. I recommend getting some that are easy to nurse in. Also, bring more than one set because you’ll bleed a lot. I managed to stain a few the first 24h. If you’re looking for a nightgown, check out the article “The best nightgowns after delivery“. You can also choose to wear a nursing top and get a delivery robe instead. Get inspired by my top choices for regular size and plus size robes perfect for the hospital stay and beyond.

Skincare products, toiletries, cosmetics – Bring whatever you normally use, but don’t expect to spend hours doing your makeup.

Eye mask and earplugs – This is one of the most important things. An eye mask and some earplugs will help you get some needed rest. It’s common to share a room with other new moms, and there’s always things happening in a maternity hospital. Babies are being born at all hours and a lot of tests are being done all the time.

maternity and nursing nightgown

Nursing bras – This is also a must, if you plan to breastfeed. As I mentioned before, the baby will feed very often and you want easy access. Are you still not sure what kind of nursing bra you’ll need, have a look at my top nursing bra choices for all kinds of lifestyles.

Nursing pillow – This is not really an essential. You can start using it when you get home. Or you can skip it all together of course. I love nursing pillows. They relieve your arms and shoulders and give you an ergonomic breastfeeding position. Your core is weak after the pregnancy so it’s important to take care of your back. A lot of mums suffer from back pain.

Underwear – Bring big, breathable, and comfortable underwear. And a couple of them. There will be blood. Lots of it. Consider bringing disposable ones. Here’s a guide to finding the right underwear for after delivery.

Heavy absorbency pads – I will say it again, you’ll bleed a lot the first few days. You can not use tampons so make sure you have pads in your bag.

Glasses or contacts

Loungewear – If you need to stay for more than a day, you probably want to change out of the nightgown and in to some comfy clothes during the days. Comfortable clothes will help you feeling more like yourself again.

What to pack in the hospital bag for the baby

Going in, you’re just you. Going out, there’s two of you. The little one will also need a little room in your bag. Again, don’t over do it. You wont use that much. But a few things are essential.

Bodies – Pick a few that you really like, preferably the ones you button or tie in the front. They’re easier to put on than the ones you pull over the head.

Socks and hat – It will take some time before your baby gets proper circulation going. Make sure feet and head is nice and warm (not too warm of course). Feel their chest to assess their temperature.

Blanket – You need something to wrap them in when you put them down, and if you want to practice skin-to-skin contact. It’s proven to be very important for the baby. If you like the swaddle blanket in the picture you can find it and many more super cute outfits in my posts about outfits for baby girls and baby boys.

Going home outfit – Make sure you’re prepared for different weather conditions. If it’s hot you need to cover your baby and if it’s chilly or cold you need sweaters or overalls.

Car seat – This is the most important thing. Have the car seat ready and installed in the car before it’s even time. You don’t want to mess around with that when you’re about to go home. You’ll probably be a nervous hormonal wreck anyway.

Diapers and wipes – Some hospitals will provide you with this during your stay but it’s best to come prepared.

Your partner also needs a hospital bag

It’s not just you and the baby that need to pack a hospital delivery bag. Your partner too. He or she won’t need as much as you but since you don’t know for how long you’ll be away from home, some things are needed and appreciated.

Snacks and drinks – They will be there supporting you through it all and that takes a lot of energy. Keep them fed and hungry to better help you on your journey.

Camera, phone, charger, batteries – You don’t want to come home empty handed. And the partner usually wants to start sending out photos as soon as the baby has arrived.

Clothes and toiletries – A fresh shirt and underwear and a toothbrush might come in handy.

Glasses or contacts

What not to pack in the hospital delivery bag

We all have different labours and deliveries. Some take forever and some are over in an instant. What most of us have in common is that we tend to pack too much stuff in our hospital delivery bags. I didn’t use half of the stuff I packed for any of my deliveries and hospital stays.

I’m not going to tell you what you will or will not use, but most of us are at that time not interested in reading books, dressing up, putting on lots of makeup, doing our nails, etc. In the beginning the focus is usually on the baby, and to be honest, just trying to rest and recover both physically and mentally. Just cuddling with your baby is quite enough.