Giving Birth? Here's What You Need to Pack in Your Hospital Bag
Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Unless you're having a scheduled C-section, packing for the hospital is hard. You'll want to have your bases covered for wherever your birthing journey takes you, but fear not! There are a few staples that will have you totally covered during those first few days with your sweet new baby.
A Lightweight Robe
You don't need anything extravagant, but you may want to upgrade considering this robe will likely be your best friend for a few weeks (or months) after delivery. I found a cute pink one on sale from PinkBlush.
Remember, you will leave the hospital with a belly that looks about five months pregnant. Your boobs will also be about a size bigger than they are in your third trimester. (If you can believe it!) I stocked up on a few from Gap and Old Navy, and then bought a few more as my body sized back down. For the hospital, pack 2-3 of these. If you are stuck there longer, ask your partner to bring some more clean options from home.
If you're planning to breastfeed, you'll definitely want to stockpile these lifesavers from Medela and some nursing pads. (Every mom I know recommended them to me when I was pregnant -- and I found them at Target.) Again, you'll want 2-3 of these for the hospital.
Once you're home, you may want more support with something like this. (I have five in variations of black, pink and nude.)
As your tummy shrinks back down, compression feels aaaah-mazing. The hospital may provide you with a belly wrap, but high-waisted maternity leggings are great on their own. Alternately, if you deliver via C-section, you're going to want lowrise, under-the-belly leggings. I packed one of each, just in case, along with two pairs of comfy sweats for sleeping.
Frankly, hospital socks are the worst. Pack cozy socks with grippers on the bottom (and pack a few spares). Mine got soaked in amniotic fluid when my water broke... so I could have used a few extras during delivery! The nurses won't let you walk around in your bare feet, so make sure you have these.
If your room has a shower, take advantage. Those will become a luxury as soon as you're on your own with babe. Bring travel size toiletries of whatever will make you feel good. Shampoo, Conditioner, Dry Shampoo, Body Wash, Face Wash, Moisturizer, Deodorant, Eye Cream, Hair Ties, Lip Balm, Tinted Moisturizer, whatever. No matter how long your stay is at the hospital, you'll definitely want a refresh after going through labor.
Most hospitals have an on-site photographer ready to take those classic newborn shots. You'll want to have a few outfits for baby -- and be prepared to have your photo taken, as well. (I was adamant that I did not want to be photographed, yet here we are. See below. Those memories are precious, so just embrace it. They don't need to go on the 'gram.)
...Will need a few changes of clothes for themselves. We also packed a few pillows and a warm blanket for Dad. (The hospital won't provide, since he's not their patient.) Don't forget a sweatshirt! Hospitals are cold when you're not the one giving birth.
Luna bars will be your best friend. Pack easy, nonperishable snacks for yourself in your bag and don't forget some extras for your partner. True story: After more than 30 hours in labor, when it came time to push, I asked my husband to have a snack ready to pop in my mouth the SECOND Everly was born. I was starving and so done with shaved ice and Jell-O.
The hospital will hook you up with the classic pink and blue-striped blankets, but bring a few from home to practice with. My favorites are Pottery Barn Kids' muslin swaddles. (They're huge, so you can fold them in half diagonally for swaddling a newborn. Plus, they've got some stretch to them, which is perfect if you're new to the swaddle thing.)
You may sleep better on your own pillow from home (use a brightly colored pillowcase so it doesn't get mixed up with the hospital pillows). If you're planning on using a nursing pillow, bring it with you for those first breastfeeding sessions!
Going Home Outfits
For you and the babe. I opted for a cozy maxi dress from PinkBlush with flip flops. (I delivered in August during a California heat wave.) Remember that your newborn is going to need to be strapped into a car seat, so all arms and legs will need to be free to be buckled in.
Happy pushing! (LOLz, I know.) If you play your cards right, there may be a big glass of wine waiting for you on the other side of this. :)
Mom Needs Merlot