You are planning a hospital birth and you want to know what to bring. Everyone has their own opinion of what you should bring from your own clothes to a crystal ball. Take it from a mom of 3 boys (yes I survived) and a doula you’re going to want to at least consider bringing everything on this list or at the very least have it in the trunk of the car. A lot of the items will do very well in the trunk and then you know you have them on hand. Sometimes leaving items in the car and sending a family member to go and get them (like a very loved Uncle that just had to be there) can be a blessing. Just sayin’.
Last week I wrote a blog telling you what the hospital supplies (click here if you missed it). This week we look at what you may want to bring with you to the hospital. I know that 35 things seem daunting, but every item listed here will serve you well. Don’t hesitate to bring something on this list because you think the hospital will say “no, you can’t have that in your room.” I’m going to say 9 times out of 10 they probably won’t care what you bring, as long as it’s not your pet snake. Well, you know what I mean. Anyway, I have been to many births where I ask women “did you bring music?” and they tell me “no I didn’t think the hospital would let me.” That said, please just bring what you want. All they can say is “no.” Remember “if you don’t ask you don’t get.
Here’s my list
In the Car
1. A large plastic bag and a towel to go over it for you to sit or lay on. The plastic bag will protect your car in case your water breaks.
2. Music you like to listen to
3. Water bottle to stay hydrated
4. A snack or two, just in case you are stuck in traffic
5. Blankets and pillows along with anything else you may want for comfort (like a stress ball)
At the hospital
6. Your DOULA
7. BIRTH PLAN (bring several copies with you along with the copy where the Dr. or Midwife signed off on your birth plan*)
9. Charger for your phones (along with the wall squares)
10. Change of clothes for you and your partner
11. Toiletries for both of you (lip balm, toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, hair brush and comb, mirror, ponytail holder and barrettes etc.)
12. A swimsuit for your partner (for the shower or the birthing tub)
13. Birth ball (the hospital may have them or check with your doula)
14. Rebozo (A 6 to 8 foot shawl that can be used as a comfort measure during labor. Your doula should have one)
15. Small fan with a clip if you can find one. They can be really helpful when you are in labor and your hot.
19. Bra (A very comfortable bra that works for you. Maybe a sports bra)
(Yes these are important. They don’t call it labor because it’s a picnic.)
20. Music that you like to listen to with headphones (The headphones are great if the room gets noisy and you want to block it out).
21. Rice sock(s) to use for a heat pack. (A gym sock you fill half way with rice, beans or corn with the top sewn up.)
22. Tennis ball sock to use for massage. (A gym sock with 2 tennis balls in it with the top sewn up).
23. Stress balls (You may want to bring a few of these. Sometimes family members need these too.)
24. Heating pad (If you do not want to bring a rice sock or your hospital does not have a microwave you can use.)
25. Essential Oils (If you like them, bring them)
26. Food and juice (snacks for you and your partner like juice, yogurt, fruit, cheese and crackers or whatever you like.)
27. Pictures of your family (You may need a focal point and these can help.)
Any other comfort measures you think you may need like candles (battery powered), message oil, blanket, pillow or whatever else you would like.
What you may want for after your birth
28. Nursing gowns (or you can use the hospital gowns. They work just fine)
30. Nursing bras and pads (cloth ones are great. The paper ones fall apart)
31. Food (if you can, have your family bring you some homemade food that you like after you give birth).
32. Clothes to wear home (Maxi dress or something loose and comfy)
33. Clothes to wear home, including t-shirt, outfit and blanket. If the weather is iffy, a hat and a crib sized blanket.
34. Diapers & wipes
35. Car seat
And that’s it. Yes it seems like a lot of things, but you will be very happy that you have all of these things and possibly more. Like I said before, don’t be shy about bringing extra things that you want with you as well. Since you and your partner will probably be at the hospital for a couple of days and nights, really think about what you may want to bring for comfort measures as it is so important to feel as comfortable as possible during labor, birth and postpartum, so don’t think that the hospital is not going to let you bring it in. You can always bring it and see what they say.
The other thing you could do is pack 3 different bags. One for labor, one for postpartum for you and baby and one for your partner. That personally sounds like a lot of work to me but it may work for you. 2 bags may be better, one for labor and one for postpartum. You can put your partner’s clothes etc. in your bag for postpartum. Don’t worry too much about this, it will all work out, I promise.
Oh and don’t forget to make your hospital room your own. You can be in charge of the lights, the temperature, how much sunlight comes through the windows, how many pillows and blankets you have and even who is in the room with you (the nurse or your doula can help with this).
Have an amazing birth. You deserve it.
Can I ask a favor? Please let me know any feedback you have regarding this list. What worked for you and what didn’t. I would really appreciate it. Just click here!
If you would like a PDF of my complete list of what you need for a hospital birth, please let me know and I would be happy to send it to you. Just click here and leave me your contact information.
*Check my blog about being your own advocate for your birth and your baby. It addresses the need to have your Doctor or Midwife sign off on your birth plan. Click here to read it.
My specialty is helping you have an amazing birth for you and your family. Sign up for a FREE consultation with me and find out how. Call (925) 895-4948 or contact me today to set up an appointment.