Q&A: What should I pack to bring to the hospital?
I get this question a lot. So I've compiled a list of things you should have with you when the big moment arrives. When one of my moms goes into labor and I get the call, I have a bag full of tricks that I bring with me...massage oil, aromatherapy, my iPod with relaxing, spa like music, and some homeopathy. Truth be told, I'm an over-packer from all my years of traveling and living out of a suitcase. My philosophy is I'd rather have more than less. That will probably be true for you. Just know that most moms don't use everything they bring to the hospital. But it's best to have it all just in case.
Attention Partner...Here is a peek of what I love to use at every labor:
So what should you pack and bring to the hospital?
Insurance card and pre-admission paperwork
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Shampoo and conditioner in case you want to take a shower. Trust me, you will want to take a shower
Disposable gown or 2-3 XXL men’s t-shirts, pre-washed (unless you prefer hospital clothes)
Disposable, warm socks with anti-slip bottoms (at least one extra pair) and slippers. They offer the disposable, warm socks at the hospitals
IPOD or CDs of favorite, relaxing and energizing music. Be sure you bring extra batteries or a charger!
Favorite juice, popsicles, electrolyte-balanced beverage (such as Gatorade) or coconut water
Electrolyte pops in a cooler (Pedialyte brand has Aspartame. Rite Aid brand doesn't). Coconut water is also a great source of electrolytes
Pillows from home (use brightly colored cases to distinguish from your birth place's linens)
Yogurt, bananas, broth soups, juices, lollipops, jelly beans, protein shake and honey sticks for mom (you may have to sign a waiver at the hospital). The food you bring should be very easy to digest
Personal focal point (a picture, flowers, a figurine) to focus on during contractions
Nursing bras and nursing tank
And extra set of clothes to go home in
Extra undies, comfy PJs and a robe
Cosmetics and beauty supplies. Don't forget the Lip Balm
Glasses or contact lenses
Hair brush and hair ties
Nipple cream if you have decided to breastfeed
Bag of aromatherapy, tennis ball for counter pressure if you have back labor, massage oil, a DVD or 2, massage tools, birth ball and wheat heat packs
Ice made of peppermint or chamomile tea (make small ice cubes) to suck on during labor
socks or booties
sleeper with legs (to fit in car seat)
special outfit if you want
Grooming supplies (toothbrush, breath freshener, deodorant, razor)
Food for snacks. Such as sandwiches, fruit, cheese and crackers, beverages (consider beforehand what they will do to your breath...no tuna!)
Sweatshirt, sweater or lightweight jacket (labor rooms are usually very cool)
Change of clothes (in case of long labor)
Cell phone and charger (or change in case you have to use the pay phone)
Charged camera and/or videocamera
Extra batteries or charger
Videotape or memory card
Extra copies of the Birth Plan
Swimsuit so you can accompany the mother in the shower
Something to occupy your time when the mother doesn't need your help
Phone list to make calls
Baby book for getting the footprints done by the nurse when she does the paperwork Call ahead to see if hospital still does footprints
Mints or gum. You don't want to have bad breath!!
This book...The Birth Partner by Penny Simpkins
Want real tips that you can use during the labor process. Check out my blog on Real Labor Tips For Dads From A Doula-Childbirth Educator
Pre-register at hospital
Arrange for child care and/or pet sitters
Pack freezer with 2 weeks supply of pre-made food that you can defrost and heat up
Have baby car seat properly installed
Bring a nice treat or small present for the hard working nurses. ;-)
Click here for a PDF form of this list.
QUESTION: Was this list helpful or can you think of something I missed? Please share it in the comment section below. I look forward to hearing from you.
If you find this information useful please feel free to share it with your friends and loved ones.