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Dear Doula: What Should I Pack in My Hospital Bag?

Dear Doula: What Should I Pack in My Hospital Bag?

One of the most exciting aspects of pregnancy, labor, and delivery is obviously the arrival of a new life, a new baby! For parents, this is the moment you have been waiting patiently for, and seeing your baby for the first time can be an incredibly emotional and joyful experience.

The process of labor and delivery can be physically and emotionally challenging, but it can also be incredibly empowering for the birthing person. The experience of giving birth can help women discover their own strength and resilience.

Preparing for the arrival of a new baby can also be an exciting but nerve-wracking experience, especially if you are a first-time mother. One of the things you will need to do before your due date is pack a hospital bag with all the necessary items you and your baby will need during your stay. This article will discuss some of the things you will need to pack in your hospital bag.

What Items Should You Pack in Your Hospital Bag for Your Labor and Delivery Stay? 

It is a good idea to pack your hospital bag several weeks before your due date to ensure that you have everything you need. You may also want to make a list of items you need to pack so you don’t forget anything important. This article will help get you started with that list. We will help you feel prepared for the exciting arrival of your little bundle of joy.

Items to Pack for Yourself as Mom

  • Comfortable clothing: After giving birth, you will likely want to wear loose and comfortable clothing that will not irritate your stitches or incisions. You may also want to bring a robe, slippers, and socks for when you are walking around the hospital.
  • Nursing bra and nursing pads: If you plan on breastfeeding your baby, a nursing bra will aid in the ease of breastfeeding, and nursing pads can be helpful in keeping you comfortable and dry.
  • Maternity pads: After giving birth, you will experience bleeding for a few weeks. Maternity pads are specifically designed to handle this postpartum bleeding and will keep you as comfortable and dry as possible.
  • Toiletries: At times, the hospital will provide toiletries, but you may prefer to have your own, so you may want to pack the following toiletries:
    • Hair ties
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Body wash
    • Deodorant
    • Face wash
    • Moisturizer
    • Hairbrush
    • Makeup
    • Any other personal hygiene items you think you may need
  • Snacks: Hospital food can be bland and unappetizing, so it’s a good idea to bring your own snacks. Choose healthy snacks that will keep you energized, such as granola bars, fruit, nuts, and crackers.
  • Comfort items: You may want to bring items that make you feel comfortable and relaxed, such as a pillow, a favorite book or magazine, a portable music player, or a tablet to watch movies or TV shows.
  • Important documents:
    • ID
    • Insurance card
    • Birth plan
    • Hospital paperwork
  • Other important items:
    • Cell phone
    • Cell phone charger
    • Camera
    • Money for parking and vending machines
    • Massage rollers
    • Essential oils safe for pregnancy, delivery, and infants
    • Yoga ball

Items to Pack for Your Little Bundle of Joy, Your New Baby

  • Clothing: The hospital will most likely have onesies for your new baby, but most new moms prefer to bring a few personal outfits from home. You may want to bring onesies, sleepers, socks, a hat, and the special “going home” outfit. You will also want to bring a receiving blanket and a swaddle blanket.
  • Diapers and wipes: The hospital will also most likely provide diapers and wipes, but it is always good to bring your own. It would be wise to pack enough diapers and wipes to last you through your hospital stay.
  • Car seat: You will need a car seat to take your baby home from the hospital. You will need to make sure it is properly installed in your car before you go to the hospital. The National Highway and Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides recommendations on finding the right car seat and installing it correctly. Go to Your local fire department can also help ensure it’s installed correctly.

A Few Extra Side Notes on What to Pack or Not to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

  • Pack light: The last thing you are going to want to do when you get home is to unpack a bunch of items you did not need in the hospital. You are going to be very tired and sore while you are recovering from labor and delivery and are going to want to spend time with your new addition, not unpacking.
  • Will your birthing partner be staying with you in the hospital? Your partner may need to pack a few items as well. If they are staying the night, they will want to bring sleep clothes, extra changes of clothes, undergarments, and toiletry items. They also may want to bring items to keep them occupied while you are between contractions and resting after the baby comes. 
  • Hospital stay length: In order to pack properly, you need to know hospital stay averages. After a vaginal birth, the majority of families are released within 24-36 hours. If you undergo a c-section, plan to stay for three to five days. Your stay can be prolonged by 12–24 hours if your baby needs more monitoring or testing. 

In summary, when packing a hospital bag for delivering a baby, you’ll want to consider both your needs and your baby’s needs. Be sure to include comfortable clothing, nursing bras and pads, toiletries, maternity pads, snacks, comfort items, and important documents for yourself. For your baby, you will want to include clothing, diapers and wipes, and a properly installed car seat. 

With these essential items in your hospital bag, you can focus on welcoming your new bundle of joy into the world.

Kooshlie Care Doula Services

We, as doulas, are trained professionals who provide emotional, physical, and informational support to women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. We work alongside healthcare providers to ensure the best possible outcomes for you and your baby.

Delivering a baby is very rewarding but can be overwhelming as well, especially for first-time mothers. Labor and childbirth can be unpredictable and challenging, and we, as doulas, are prepared to support you through a range of physical and emotional experiences.

We work closely with you to ensure that you have the information and resources you need to make informed decisions about your care. We are knowledgeable about childbirth, breastfeeding, and postpartum recovery to provide you with accurate and helpful information.

Our mission at Kooshlie Care Doula Services is as follows:

  • To empower families during the process of pregnancy, labor, birth, and parenthood.
  • To educate families with the most up-to-date information regarding all aspects of pregnancy through early childhood.
  • To bring comfort, joy, and lasting memories for the early years of child-rearing. 

We would love to talk to you about your birth journey. If you are interested in seeing if Kooshlie Care Doula Services is a good fit for you, please contact us for an interview. We look forward to supporting you in your pregnancy journey.