What to bring in your hospital bag
It’s a good idea to prepare this in advance as when Labour begins, you will be focused on that and trying to itemize what you need to bring can be stressful.
Here is a list - by no means exhaustive - please feel free to add or change as makes sense for you.
For Labouring Mama:
Hospital paperwork and ID, Insurance card
Pediatrician information - name, address, phone
Birth preferences sheet printed out.
Nightgown/Bra/Comfortable clothing to wear during labour that can easily be removed. Include also comfortable sleepwear for after birth that can give you easy access for nursing if you are planning to breastfeed.
Heavy duty maternity pads -some will be provided by the hospital - again you may want your own supply and you will need them for sure when you return home.
Underwear that are large enough to wear over heavy duty maternity pads.
A plastic bag to put any soiled clothes in for later laundry.
Washable breast pads and comfortable nursing bra, or supportive nursing tank top.
Cozy socks for hospital wear, as their socks aren’t that comfy or warm. Also consider slippers if you want to walk to the bathroom, around the ward or just to prevent slipping.
Your own pillow ~ if you have a favorite one at home, bring it with.
Body lotion or massage oil - great comfort measure during labour.
Water container with bendable straws. Hospital will have this but maybe you prefer your own.
Consider bringing electrolyte water such as coconut water to help hydrate you and replenish lost fluids.
Lip balm for dry lips. Sometimes during labour our lips can get dry and having lip balm handy is an easy comfort measure.
Nipple cream/salve for sore or cracked nipples which can happen when breastfeeding. Often it can be used as diaper balm too.
Toiletries such as travel sized shampoo/conditioner, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, glasses/contacts.
Camera, phone and chargers - to take photos and not run out of juice when you might need it. Also consider bringing a kindle or book or some kind of entertainment to pass time or post delivery.
A play list for music - you can prepare this before or have your partner or support person be DJ
Eye mask and ear plugs to shut out busy hospital noises after delivery.
Snacks - nutrient dense snacks that can give you energy throughout labour. During active labour you may feel less like eating and more like an energy boost. I have seen people having dates, honey, chicken soup, bars, chocolate, anything that you love and that might appeal as a quick pick me up.
Bring more nutritious food for after the birth, as you may find yourself hungry - include snacks for in between meals, and you can even consider bringing food in from your favorite restaurant if that sounds good to you.
Receiving blankets, socks, hats and booties - if you are skin to skin with a blanket babies feet and head can still get cold.
Warm clothes and a hat to go home in - bodysuits diapers and layers for the car seat journey home.
Car seat properly installed in car before you go to the hospital