Maternity Hospital Bag Checklist
Birthing my daughter was definitely one of the most physically painful experiences of my life. I did it with no epidural or drugs of any kind. I screamed to the high heavens but thankfully lived to tell the tale. Birthing was rough, but so was preparing for it. Choosing a hospital, deciding on a birth plan, attending classes, creating a nursery, building furniture and toys ( thanks boo!), exercising, remembering to take prenatals, doctor visits, working, eating healthy, and everything else involved in the preparation got to be a bit daunting. Packing a bag for the hospital should have been one of the easier tasks, but trying to decide what to bring was still somewhat difficult. I’ve put together this hospital checklist to help other mamas get that hospital bag packed and ready to go!
I had my bag packed and in my car about two weeks before my due date. Below are items I packed, items I wished I packed, personal tips and advice others shared with me.
- ID/Driver’s license– Just bring your purse lol. It probably has items you’ll need.
- Birth Plan– I used the Baby Center app to create a birth plan ( what I wanted and did not want to happen during the birthing process) and printed 4 copies. One for me, two for the doctors,nurses, and staff, and one for my partner.
- Picture of my mother-In one of my birth preparation classes it was suggested that I have something to focus on during active labor/managing contractions. A tree, a window, a vision of myself on a beautiful beach somewhere we’re all possible focus points. I decided that I’d bring her pic to give me strength. I didn’t end up needing it because she was with me in spirit, but it was a nice thought.
- Slide in house shoes-after vaginal delivery or c-section you won’t want to bend down to pull your house shoes on, trust me. Choose ones that you don’t mind getting dirty
- Phone and charger– make sure you have space for pics. You may also want a playlist of songs during or after labor, I tried this but didn’t use the music much.
- Robe– I had a knee length black robe that I wore while walking around the hospital. Remember hospital gowns are open in the back( but you can put a second one on like a jacket to cover up)
- Socks– The hospital will probably give you a pair but it may be helpful to have a pair of your own.
- Snacks -The hospital dining options are limited and there may be a point in your stay where nothing is open. Bring a few quarters in case you need them for a snack machine.
- Water- Water is usually provided during your stay but you may have a certain type you like or like to drink without waiting fo the staff/nurse to bring it for you.
- Ibuprofen-Shhhhhhh! Don’t tell anyone! I was given ibuprofen in the hospital during recovery, but only according to their time schedule. I hated being in pain and having to wait one more hour before getting pain medicine. The hospital staff monitors your dosage of pain meds. I assume an extra ibuprofen won’t hurt, but then again it could. Just be careful and do what works for you.
- Toiletries- The hospital will most likely have a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair comb, lotion,etc, but if you are like me, you’ll need your own.
- Scarf /Bonnet-if you need to cover up sweated out hair. It was easier for me to throw on my bonnet for visitors than try to do anything significant to my hair.
- A change of clothes for your partner– I packed a t-shirt and shorts just in case.
- Outfit to go home in -I packed a slip on dress. Sadly, you’ll still be able to fit your maternity clothes 😩 so pick something easy to get in and out of (you’ll also be wearing maternity pads).
- Nursing bra-I brought two that I ordered online.
- Eyeglasses-I wear contacts and it was good to give my eyes a rest.
- Makeup-if you plan to take professional pictures in hospital. I didn’t bring any but I wished I had.
- Picture outfit and Going home outfit for baby- The hospital I birthed in had an optional baby photography service, so I packed a cute dress and flower headband for my daughter. I also packed a pre washed onesie and hat for going home. Hospitals usually provide their own onesie for babies.
- An empty bag– for extras and hospital supplies *see below.
A word to the wise: Clear out items in your hospital room. Yes, I said it. Clear it out! Extra diapers, baby wash, mittens, socks, etc. Check the room for items that are intended for your use (and that you are paying for). Tucked away on the shelves in my recovery room were baby bottles in an insulated pouch, a baby spoon, a baby story time book, and a baby nightgown. If you think you may need them, ask for extra diapers, get extra numbing cream(for your lady parts) an extra squirt bottle (for warm water rinsing of your lady parts during toileting), chucks(underpads/padded sheets that I used to place on the floor of my bathroom to catch any accidental messes) and all the maternity pads, breast pads, mesh undies and cooling pads you can get. Having these extras REALLY helped.
Additional advice I received:
- Don’t feel guilty about allowing baby to go to the nursery while you rest- so true! This is possibly the last night of good sleep you will have in a while.
- Remember that this is your moment and you have the power to share it with who you want. Don’t be afraid to let people know you need your rest (ask a nurse to tell people visitation is limited and that you need your rest).
My experience was definitely smoother due to preparation. I was less stressed and better able to focus on the task at hand. Hopefully the same will be true for you❤️