Here is a full pack list for your hospital visit for birth.
Labor is unpredictable, it is good to get your bag ready earlier rather than later, if you want to be on the safe side.
Even your first born may come before your calculated due date. While this is often not the case, it can happen, and it helps to be prepared in order to feel comfortable during your hospital stay and avoid extra trips. Most moms who deliver vaginally stay in hospital for one or two nights, while moms who deliver via C-section often stay three or four nights. If you are pregnant with twins or multiples, you are more likely to deliver earlier than moms pregnant with one babe.
Most hospitals and birthing centers supply you with some essentials. As a first step of preparing, you can find out what that might be. (My hospital provided me with a number of items that I got to use and keep. Yet some items I chose to bring myself, because I wanted a certain brand, instead of the hospital supplied one. Some of the items supplied by the hospital were: a birthing gown, maternity cotton undies, cooling pads, a sitzbath bowl and a squirt bottle.)
Firstly, I would recommend a bag or suitcase that is easy to transport. You do end up with quite a lot of things to haul from room to room, to the car and back. Make your life easier by taking a rolling suitcase and pack mommies items, baby items, and birth partner items in one big bag and divide them in separate packing bags. If you need more than one suitcase, don’t be shy to bring everything you think you need for your experience in the hospital (or alternate location). Take this checklist as a framework and don’t forget to personalize it.
I also recommend taking yourself through your daily routines to remember items that might be important to you on a daily basis. We all have different routines and needs during the day and night.
Let’s start with the mama essentials:
ID / Insurance paperwork
Hospital paperwork (often your OBGYN hands you paperwork prior to your hospital visit to bring with you, or your birth plan written out)
Cell phone / Charger
Laptop / Charger
Toothbrush and paste
Any medication you are taking
Glasses / Contacts and solution
Shampoo & Conditioner
Hair brush and Ties
heavy-duty feminine pads
and more - take yourself through your regular daily bathroom routine to remember what else you might need. How important are those items to you? (Example: Hairdryer and curling iron.)
Clothing and more:
Comfortable Clothing (night gowns and dresses can be handy, for easy access to the boobs and can be used as birthing gowns, if not supplied. Pack 3-4 different outfits and choices, just in case)
Warm socks or slipper
comfortable undies (I went with big old undies that are gentle on the belly and allow space for pads or accommodate a C-section wound without too much pressure on that area, just in case) 4-5
Warm zip up sweater
Outdoor clothing (depending on the weather where you are)
Any other comfort items you would like to use during delivery (examples: electric candles, USB speaker and charger, etc.)
Snacks or foods you don't want to miss
Refillable water cup
Journal or note pad
Book (just in case it takes longer and you are the reading kind)
Blanket (if cold)
Clothes (with leg room, for in the car seat, socks or booties, tiny onesies, short and long sleeve, etc.)
Muslin blankets and swaddles
ID / Insurance docuements
Toiletries (see mamas list for more details)
Phone / Charger
Laptop / Charger
Eyewear and supplies
Food and snacks (sometimes the hospital supplies food for Mama during their stay, but not for the partner.)
Drinks / refillable cup or bottle
Comfort items / Sleeping set up (check with the hospital what sleeping arrangements might look like for your partner, you may have to bring additional blankets, pillows, etc.)
slippers and shower flip flops
books, journal, etc.
Remember to personalize your list. This is a list of essentials and some other things that I brought to the hospital and found helpful. Please share what you found helpful during your hospital stay and would recommend for every mama to at least consider to pack. We can all learn from each other.
May you birth be smooth and quick.