You have survived morning sickness, months of anticipation of the arrival of your new little one, and your due date is fast approaching. If you haven’t started preparing your hospital bag yet, or have come here looking for guidance and ideas, here’s our checklist for the essentials to pack in your bag! With that in mind, we’ve broken our list down into three groups for Mom, Dad, and Baby.
Essentials For Mom’s Hospital Bag
Photo ID/Insurance Card
As soon as you arrive to the hospital you will need to check in and sometimes fill out paperwork so it’s always best to be prepared. If you’re planning on keeping your placenta for our placenta encapsulation services, you’ll also need to request the hospital’s release form too as well. It’s easiest to have this form signed before you deliver so it can be released to you immediately where it will have less of a chance getting disposed of accidentally or misplaced in the hospital.
Your birth plan is essential to bring along so that the hospital staff and your doula can work together to help facilitate your plan to the best of their ability. Letting the hospital staff know the plan for your birth and what you want to have happen in written form, is an important step of making sure it will happen.
Doula’s Contact Information
Glasses/Contacts Case & Cleaning Solution
Don’t forget your eyeglasses on your hospital bag checklist, if you wear them! There is nothing worse than rushing out the door without them. If you have an extra pair, pack them in your bag early. If you wear contact lenses make sure to take your case and cleaning/soaking solution as well. Otherwise, have a list of things you want to be sure to grab as you are leaving and make sure your glasses are on the list.
Cell phone and Charger
Toiletries and Personal Items
It’s always important to pack travel size shampoo, conditioner, soap/bodywash, toothpaste, and deodorant to take with you to the hospital. Even though the hospital does provide some items, it’s always nice just to feel the comfort of the items you’re used to using everyday.
Although I don’t find this to be an essential for birth IF you plan on having newborn photos done right in the hospital and plan to be in them, some women like to throw on a bit of light makeup, although this is not essential! It’s possible you won’t have the time or feel up to doing your makeup at all, and that’s perfectly fine! In any case, you can pack some basic essentials just in case if you plan for photos and would like to wear some light makeup.
Headbands or Ponytail Holders
With all the excitement you may not be hungry right away. Besides, you don’t really know when baby is going to come. That moment when you do get hungry may not be the most opportune time to get food. Having snacks available will be something you will appreciate. Protein bars, fruit, and other easy on the go items are great too.
Maternity/Nursing Bras and Nursing Pads
You may or may not wear a bra right away, but if you do it’s helpful to wear one that is nursing friendly. Even if you don’t plan to nurse, the support and protection of maternity or nursing bras will be nice. Ensure the bra is not too tight and doesn’t have underwire which can hinder your milk supply.
The hospital provides gowns, but if you feel more comfortable in your own, bring a couple. There are even some fun and colorful gowns you can buy online too. If you are breastfeeding, be sure to have ones that open in the front. I always love wearing really comfy clothes during the day.
Things to Help You Relax
Essential oils can be beneficial to set the tone for your birth. A lot of hospitals are now allowing women to bring their diffusers to use in the rooms. Pick relaxing oils that you enjoy. If the hospital doesn’t allow you to bring your diffuser, you can opt for a diffuser necklace or put a couple drops on your pillow or opt to put your oils into a carrier oil and use as a massage oil. Calming music or music you enjoy will also help keep you relaxed and focused.
Postpartum Underwear or Disposable Pads
Postpartum Personal Items
Bottom spray, Nipple Butter, Sitz Bath, Postpartum Tea and many other natural items are great to have on hand to take care of yourself after you have you give birth. Your bottom may hurt, and the afterpains can be painful. Nipple butter may help to ease the pain that may occur with nursing too.
Essential Items for Dad to Pack
Dads are important too and have needs. If they're going to be supporting you through labor and birth, let's make sure they are well equipped to be there for the long haul.
Essential Items to Pack for Baby
When packing for your baby you may opt to just pack your diaper bag with all of the essentials and take it along so that you are prepared for when your baby arrives - it will now be your constant staple. Plus, one thing I've especially learned is important from having two babies is having your diaper bag stocked at all times.