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  • Writer's pictureJill Devine

What to pack for the hospital

Photo by Ömürden Cengiz on Unsplash

One thing you need before you head to the hospital to give birth is a hospital bag. Well, at least you should have one prepared. The question is, what should you put in the hospital bag?

I compiled a list for my first daughter based on research and then used that list for my second daughter and adjusted it based on the first delivery.

Let’s use some highlights from this list from What To Expect When Expecting and whether or not I brought them is listed next to the item:


-Your birth plan (several copies, so all staff, on all shifts, can get one) – If you have a specific plan, make sure to do this so everyone is on the same page.

-Your favorite pillow – YES!

-If you have long hair, a clip or scrunchie to keep it out of your face – YES!

-A tennis ball or plastic rolling pin — both make excellent backrub tools — or an actual massager – Never thought about this, but never had a need for this.

-Diversions for a long labor: music, puzzles, magazines, books, a deck of cards, laptop, handheld electronic games – I brought magazines, but didn’t touch them.


-Toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash – YES!

-Hairbrush and comb – YES!

-All your essential toiletry items (don't forget moisturizer) – YES!

-Extra absorbent maxi-pads (the hospital will provide some, but you might want to use the brand you're most comfortable with) - I took advantage of what the hospital had.

-Shower gel, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, makeup, and whatever else it takes to make you feel human again after delivery – YES! I brought makeup for both births. I put it on after the first birth, but didn’t touch it for the second birth.


-Extra pairs of underwear suitable for wearing with maxi-pads (no thongs, in other words) and a nursing bra – YES!

-Nightgown or pj's, socks, and slippers – YES!

-Comfortable outfit to head home in (remember you'll still look six months pregnant, so plan accordingly) – YES! Adidas pants were a “must pack” item.

-Going-home outfit for baby (don't forget socks and a receiving blanket, plus extra layers if it's cold). – YES! Both girls had super cute outfits, headbands and all!


-I used Halo Sleep sacks with both girls and I didn’t bring one for the first birth, but I did bring a couple for the second birth. I would also pack some PJ’s and other clothes for your baby.

-I don’t think a cell phone was listed above, so don’t forget that, along with your phone charger!

-Lastly, pack extra clothes for YOU. With my first birth, I ended up having an emergency C-section and I didn’t have enough clothes packed for me. Obviously, it’s not hard to have extra clothes brought to you, but sometimes it’s nice to pick out your own stuff.

Anything you would add to the list?

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