Things you may need before and during labor
- An identity document: a passport, driver’s license, etc.
- Medical insurance
- A hospital registration form
- A birth plan. This is a document outlining your requirements and preferences for giving birth in accordance with the hospital’s policies.
- Glasses if you have poor vision
- A dressing gown, a nightgown (2 pcs.), underwear, socks (2 pairs), and rubber flip-flops if you prefer your own things over those provided by the hospital
- A swimsuit if you have opted for water birth
- Travel-size toiletries: a toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel, shampoo, deodorant, hairbrush, wet wipes, lip balm, and moisturizer
- A hair tie to fasten your hair while in labor
- Labor massage oil
- An inflatable birthing ball with a pump for support during contractions
- Anything that can help you relax: books, magazines, a tablet, your favorite music, or your own pillow
- Snacks, hard candy, and water.
Things you may need during your postpartum hospital stay
- Some snacks (i.e., crackers, fresh or dried fruit, nuts) and water
- Panties (disposable or cotton ones that won’t rub your skin)
- Postpartum pads (a couple of packs)
- Nursing bras (2–3 pcs.)
- Breast pads
- A newborn care book
- A breastfeeding guide and a lactation consultant’s contact info
- A notepad and pen
- An eye mask and earplugs
- Gifts for older siblings and their photos
- A going-home outfit. Bring the clothes you wore when you were six months pregnant.
Things for the newborn
The hospital will provide first clothes and diapers for the baby. However, you can bring your own items if you like.
- Onesies (2–3 pcs.)
- Hats (2 pcs.)
- Socks and anti-scratch mittens (2 pairs each)
- A baby blanket
- A set of going-home clothes
- Additional warm clothes (if you happen to give birth during colder months)
- A car seat. Some hospitals won’t discharge you without it.
Track your pregnancy stages with Flo.
Doctor's checkups don't happen frequently. Take control of your pregnancy yourself to take measures if necessary.
Things your partner may need (if you’ve opted to go through the birth together)
- A change of clothes, comfortable shoes, and personal care items
- A hand-held fan to cool you down during labor
- A bathing suit to help you if you choose to shower while in labor
- A camera with batteries and a memory card to capture the big event. Inquire about the hospital’s policy on filming in advance.
- Snacks and water
- A book, magazine, or tablet preloaded with videos
- Some cash or a credit card to pay for parking and vending machines.
Things that are best left at home
- Jewelry and other valuables
- Large sums of money
- Medications, including vitamins
- Diapers. The hospital will provide them for you.
- A breast pump. If you need one, the hospital staff will take care of that.
Don't forget to keep your cell phone charged at all times and have an emergency contact list.
The lists above are a good starting point. However, every ospital has different policies. So don't hesitate to approach the one you've chosen for giving birth to ask what they will supply and what you need to bring.
And even if the hospital birth isn't what you're planning for, you'd better have your bag packed as you may need to go to hospital unexpectedly.