There are a lot of things to do after you find out you’re pregnant. There are prenatal vitamins, prenatal checkups, ultrasounds, making room for baby and baby’s things, maybe a baby shower or two, and an endless number of blogs and apps with tips and products. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the noise. To help you erase just one thing on your list, Henry Community Health has a recommended hospital bag checklist. We even include some tips for your labor support person! So sit back, relax, and put up your feet. You’ve got this, mom!
Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom
It can be tempting to jam-pack your bag for the hospital, but it’s best to think of it as a bag for a weekend trip: easy to grab and focused on the necessities. Here are some key components for a balanced bag, and each includes the necessary items and a few suggestions.
- Hairbrush or comb
- Hair dryer
- Hair clips/hair ties/scrunchies/headbands
- Body wash or bar of soap
- Lotion (face and body)
- Massage oil
- Lip balm/chapstick
Pro tip! To help you pack early (and before you get too stressed or uncomfortable), consider buying travel-size toiletries. Also, if you forget something, never be afraid to ask your nurse! Oftentimes, the hospital can supply you with some basics, like a small bottle of shampoo or bar soap.
- Nursing bras or soft bras
- Clothes to go home in
- Comfortable slippers or other slide-on shoes
- Flip-flops for the shower or to walk in
- Nursing pads
- Extra clothes
- Maternity pads
Pro tip! You may be wondering why something as intimate as underwear is listed under “extras.” That’s because the hospital is equipped with plenty of items to help you both during labor and postpartum. Common supplies include: a hospital gown, hospital socks with grips, disposable underwear, maternity pads, and ice packs. This can help you slim down your hospital bag a lot, so be sure to check with your hospital before you go crazy packing tons of clothes.
#3: Technology and Personal Items
- Phone charger
- Glasses or contacts and contact lens cleaner (if needed)
- IDs and paperwork (any medical paperwork, insurance card, personal ID)
- Birth plan (if you have one)
- Favorite pillow
- Tablet or laptop
- Eye mask
- Breast pump (if you think you’ll need help setting it up)
Pro tip! If you’re notorious for forgetting your phone charger or wallet, a few weeks before your due date, tape up a list of “grab and go” items to your fridge or door as a visual reminder before you leave home. Also, if you’re worried about breastfeeding supplies, never fear! Many hospitals have lactaction consultants on staff who can help you and even provide a few helpful items, like nipple shields or a manual pump to help you get started.
You can consider all of these items “extras,” but be sure to remember that labor can last a while. Distractions can help the time move a bit faster!
- Books or magazines
- Puzzle books (like Sudoku, crossword puzzles, etc.)
- A labor playlist you’ve created
- A small bluetooth speaker (but remember you’re near other laboring moms, so keep it low!)
- Access info for your favorite streaming service in case you want to watch on a tablet or laptop
- A portable game, like a deck of cards
Pro tip! Your hospital room will likely have a TV equipped with some solid entertainment options, so don’t panic if you leave something behind.
Before you get too intense about this one, remember that you won’t be eating during labor. Just a few light snacks for after baby’s big arrival will be plenty, and the hospital kitchen will provide you with the rest.
Pro tip! Ask your nurse about any vending machines for any time the kitchen may be closed. Then your labor support person can always go grab you something without having to travel far.
Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby and a Labor Support Person
This list combines baby’s needs and a labor support person’s needs into one for two reasons. First, you’ve got enough to pack and think about. Lean on your support person. Second, your labor support person can leave to get anything that you may forget, so let them be your fallback.
#1: Items for Baby
- Going home outfit
- A hat, mittens, and/or blanket
- A favorite brand of diaper rash cream or other favored baby product
- A car seat (with base already installed in your car)
Pro tip! The hospital will have nearly everything a baby needs except their going home outfit. They will have diapers, wipes, blankets, washcloths, towels, and more.
#2: Items for a Labor Support Person
- Extra clothes
- A favorite comfy pillow or blanket
- Basic personal items (toiletries, phone, phone charger, glasses/contacts, etc.)
- Any technology for documentation and/or entertainment (like a video camera or special first photo prop)
- Relaxation tools for support (like soothing essential oils, a small handheld massager, etc.)
- Snacks and/or drinks (but be mindful of when mom can’t eat so you don’t rub it in!)
Pro tip! Your labor support person should be around you as much as possible. However, sometimes that means letting them go home briefly to take a quick nap or shower. When you let them up their energy, it means they come back refreshed and can maybe take over for baby while you take a turn getting some rest. As a bonus, you can also ask them to bring you back a special treat or other food craving.
Something that belongs on every mom’s checklist is a supportive and helpful OB team to surround you before, during, and after your pregnancy. At Henry Community Health, we offer a full range of women’s health services. We are also home to Antolin & Benninger Obstetrics and Gynecology, a practice that takes pride in exceptional service guided by years of experience.
Are you in need of women’s health services? Then call Henry Community Health for more information at 765-521-0890 or call Antolin & Benninger Obstetrics & Gynecology at 765-521-1217.