Around 34 weeks into my pregnancy, I was convinced I was going to go into labor early! I’d already begun researching what all to have in my labor and delivery bag (or as my husband referred to it: bug out bag). I turned to google and pinterest to figure out what I would need. With this being my first pregnancy, I was overwhelmed by all of the information! Some people suggested packing as if it were a 1 month vacation; other people took a more minimalist approach. I decided to gather all of the “data” I could, and I customized a checklist that worked best for me! Below is a list of items I brought with me to the hospital, along with an editable checklist for you to download and information on gifts for your nurses!
Must Have Items: These are the things I would 100% have during my next pregnancy
- Hospital Gown: the hospital will provide you with an extremely fashionable (read: sarcasm), one size fits all hospital gown. I decided to buy my own hospital gown because I knew it would make me feel more comfortable. The gown I chose was perfect! I loved the pattern, it fit my tiny frame really well, and it came with a ton of features, such as shoulder snaps on both sides (perfect for skin-to-skin and breastfeeding) and the back had snaps all down the back (perfect for examinations and the epidural without showing your butt to everyone in the room!).
- Toiletries, makeup, and brush: More specifically, I brought my makeup bag, brush, headbands, deodorant, face wash, toothbrush & toothpaste, shampoo & conditioner, and vaseline for chapped lips! Again, I wanted to feel human and look my best for labor, delivery, and postpartum. There’s a ton of pictures taken, you’ll be seeing family/friends, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll just feel better with hair that isn’t in knots, brushed teeth, and maybe a little makeup to cover the bags under your eyes!
- Socks: I brought about three different pairs of non-slip socks. You’re not going to want to walk around a hospital barefoot, so bring some comfy socks.
- Pajamas: I brought about three pajama sets. For breastfeeding/pumping/skin-to-skin purposes, I would get the pajama top and bottom sets that have a button down top so you can easily unbutton for easy access 😉
- Nursing bras: I brought two pair, but may even bring 3-4 next time. My go-to outfit while in the hospital was my button up pajama top and bottoms with a nursing bra under it. These are the nursing bras I bought!
Unnessecary, but useful Items: If you’re trying to be a minimalist with your packing, these aren’t “must haves” but they were nice to have!
- Pillow and blanket: obviously the hospital will provide you with pillows/blankets, but it was definitely nice to have to make the hospital room feel a little more like home! I brought one pillow from home and a nice, soft blanket.
- Music player: if you’re planning on having a labor and delivery playlist, it’s nice to have something to play it on other than your phone. I brought my Google Home since it’s small but still has a loud speaker on it.
- Going home outfit: if you want to leave the hospital in your comfy pajamas, more power to you! I brought my super comfortable maternity overalls to go home in. Just remember that you’ll be leaving the hospital looking about 6 months pregnant (sorry if I’m the first to tell you), so leave the size 0, pre-pregnancy outfits at home!
- Gifts for your labor/delivery and postpartum nurses: so this will probably get its own entire blog post, but if you’ve never had a child before, prepare to be mindblown by just how well the nurses are going to take care of you. They’re pretty much angels on earth. They will take care of you, love on you, and pretty much deliver your baby. I decided to bring gifts for two reasons. One, like I just mentioned, these nurses work hard and will take care of your every need. Plus their shifts are 12 hours, so they could use a little appreciation! And two, we knew our daughter would be born with a cleft, so we really wanted the nurses to be on board with our birth plan and not just ignore it (which I’ve heard some nurses will do but ours definitely did not). A little sucking up to the nurses might take you far :)) In the baskets were Starbucks frappuccino’s, gum, fruit snacks, granola bars, Oreos, Nutter Butters, etc. (about four of each). Here is a link to download the cute little sign I put on each of them!
- Checklist: Here is the checklist I made ! I made it editable so you can add/delete things to customize to your needs! Check it out to see what else I packed in my bag, what my husband packed, and what we had in our daughter’s bag.
- Hospital Provided: I recommend doing a tour of your hospital or at the very least calling ahead to see what they provide. For example, I brought with me a bunch of “granny panty” style underwear because I had read that you need them to accommodate the huge pads you have to wear. The hospital provided disposable underwear that was perfect for this! The panties I had bought did come in handy when I was back at home though!