My Hospital Bag Essentials

Top five things to pack for labor and after birth.

Andrea Rudy

2/14/20232 min read

Deciding what you need to pack in your hospital bag? Here are my top five suggestions!

1 - Birth Plan
Pack two copies of your printed birth plan - one for your doula and one for the hospital staff. Include information like your preferred approach to labor, any allergies, and your desires for post-birth and breastfeeding.

2 - Snacks and Drinks
You may need a quick energy boost while you're in labor, so bring snacks that have sugar and are easy to eat (honey sticks, granola bars, etc.) and drinks that have sugar and electrolytes (apple juice, VitaminWater, etc.). You may want snacks in the middle of the night or the next day as well, so plan accordingly!

3 - Phone Chargers
Don't forget to bring both chargers for your phone and your husband's phone. You'll be so glad to have a charged battery if you're playing music during labor. You can also ask your doula or the staff to use your phone to take photos during labor, and of you and your baby after birth!

4 - Baby Wrap
Skin to skin bonding immediately after birth is so crucial for baby's system to regulate, and to support your hormone changes and breastfeeding journey. A stretchy baby wrap carrier will also help you and baby get some much needed rest while you stay at the hospital. Dad can also participate in this!

5 - Self Care
After you give birth, it will feel amazing to continue your simple daily wellness routines. Bring deodorant, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and any supplements and vitamins you normally take. You may or may not feel ready to take a shower, but you could also pack travel size hair care, skin care, etc.

I recommend packing two separate bags - one with the items that you'll use during labor and birth, and one with everything you'll use in recovery.

Turn bag packing into a "date night" with your husband! It's fun to talk through plans and what you think it'll be like together. Most importantly your husband will know what you've brought and exactly where to find it in your bags.

While it's better to overpack than underpack, keep in mind that you'll also be carrying a carseat and a newborn baby on the way home. Making multiple trips back and forth to load the car will be the last thing you want to do after your stay at the hospital. Stick with the essentials!