One of the questions that I am asked the most in childbirth classes and conversation with expecting families is “what should we pack?”.
Based off of my experience as a mom of 4 and also a birth doula and childbirth educator… here is my recommended list!
Keep it simple!
Just pack enough for a 3 night stay!
Something to wear during labor & birth
You can absolutley wear the provided hospital gown but alot of birthing mothers find their own clothes to be more comfortable during labor. I suggest about 3 nightgowns, stretchy cotton, and can be pulled down for easy skin to skin with baby.
Your water bottle
You will drink more if you are drinking from yours… I promise!
Coconut water or sports drink
Water is an excellant source of hydration but you will also be losing elctrolytes during your birth. Alternate between coconut water (or something similar), water and a few sips of fruit juice to get some sugars.
Electronics and chargers
Tablet for streaming music and/or movies (think about postpartum!) , speakers , phones, laptop if you anticipate a longer stay and all chargers
Eyglass and/or contacts
And all accesories
If utilizing hydrotherapy; Shower/bath
Most people go into the water sans clothes but make sure you have something in your bag if you don’t think you will be comfortable with that. bathing suit top, swim skirt, sports bra etc. Also for the partner: quick drying shorts just in case they get in the water or get wet from supporting mom
And your partners!
A few outfits for the baby
The hospital can provide these as well
Probably only need about 1 or 2
Buy a few cheap ones… also buy patterned pillow cases so you can quickly tell the difference between yours and hospital
Snacks and food
Depending on where you are birthing it may be suggested that you limit food to clear liquids but you will need snacks for after the baby is born. If your food is not limited during labor then pack snacks that you would eat before and during a long hike… nothing that will upset your tummy! Lot’s of snacks for partner as well
Diapers if you are using a specific brand
Otherwise the hospital will have plenty
That you don’t mind getting dirty/wet
ID, Insurance card, birth preference sheet...
All relevant paperwork
Nice and comfy one!
Change of clothes for partner
estimate about 3 nights
Oils, affirimations, relaxation scripts, coursework from childbirth classes
Author: Liz Oldham
Elizabeth is an experienced birth doula and childbirth educator serving the DC metro area. She is passionate about family centered birthing, believing that families will always remember the support and communication surrounding their births. She currently lives in Virginia with her Husband 4 children and crazy dog.