What To Pack In Your Hospital Bag

From a fellow mom and birth photographer's perspective

If you are anything like me, you are most likely trying to make a comprehensive list of must-haves to pack in your hospital bag and to have it ready for when labor starts and it's time to go.

You may also be confused on what you really need and should bring by all the different lists and recommendations from friends, family, and mom groups.

While there is definitely a variable in what YOU need, I made a list of my top items not to skip on. Sometime the smallest things make a world of a differenced in your time in the hospital, and in labor itself.

This list is geared towards hospital births, but you can also use it if you are having a birth center birth, or even home birth to make sure you have those few comfort items close by.

Comfy Clothes

I had all three of my babies in a hospital, and one thing that really helped me feel comfortable (as comfortable as you can be in a hospital) was my own, comfy clothes.

Of course these were saved for after delivery - but a few hours after birthing a baby, that first bathroom trip and a quick shower, it felt SO nice to slip into my most comfortable yoga pants and breastfeeding top.

Really made me feel like me. It helped with me to want to be up and out of that dreadful hospital bed and get moving around a little bit.

Highly recommend loose fitting or even maternity leggings or yoga pants with a loose fitting top that has easy access to breastfeed.

Consider a black nursing bra to labor in -

While we are on the subject of clothing, something a lot of people forget about is what they want to labor and deliver their baby in.

Some mamas wear a nursing or birthing gown that buttons all the way up to be easily removed for skin to skin immediately after delivery while some prefer the ease of just a bra, and a nursing bra is a great choice especially if you are having birth photos taken and prefer to be a little covered up in them but still feel comfortable and easily feed your baby.

Bonus: Black won't show as much of the blood, meconium etc and won't be see through if it gets wet!

"Prettier" option more your style?

If something a little more "stylish" is more your thing, a cute bra-let is a wonderful option to consider!

This is especially helpful if you feel your best when you feel like you are put together and look good. Along with a nursing bra, this option will allow you to be more covered up in your photos (if that's something you prefer) and will give you more PG options to potentially share with family.

If you hire a birth photographer, this option could also make you love how you look in your photos more.

Snacks, snacks, and more SNACKS!

Did I mention snacks?

But seriously, bring the snacks. Hospital food is usually not that great, to put it lightly.

Most hospitals have a mini fridge in them so bringing things like cheese sticks, yogurt, and drinks (don't forget your electrolytes!) are a great idea! I also love jerky, peperoni sticks, trail mix, granola bars, honey sticks, etc.

My personal fav was pepperoni sticks. Usually you are told not to eat during labor, in case of an emergency c-section. But that rule is more and more being proven to not only be unneeded, but unsafe.

You need food for fuel. Your body is going through it big time, and labor may be lasting a really. Long. Time.

I remember sneaking pepperoni sticks between contractions and I swear that is what got me through. I remember feeling so hungry and like, "oh my gosh my body NEEDS something to eat badly." So my amazing husband fed them to me whenever the nurse left the room. Thanks hubby :)

Basic Toiletries

I don't know about you, but I do not like the feel of a dirty face. After a good amount of time sweating and probably having old crusty makeup on my face, I need to wash it.

Your favorite face wash and a moisturizer will make you feel so refreshed and ready to take all the selfies with your new baby. Light makeup, optional and up to you and your preferences.

And while we're on things the face needs, do not, under any circumstances, forget the chapstick!

Hospitals are known to be so dry! I'm also the girl that has a car chap stick, one for my purse, the diaper bag, my desk, nightstand, husband's truck - everywhere! Put one in your hospital bag immediately.

Another absolutely non-negotiable item for me are hair ties. Even if you typically wear your hair down, you may want to consider this one. You will most likely, at some point, be extremely hot and uncomfortable.

Whether you braid your hair, pop it up in a mom bun or pony - a hair tie can be so helpful!

A Few Other Thing To Consider -

I have seen a lot of people recommend bringing your own pillow. While this sounds like a great idea, it deserves a little more thinking on if it's the right thing for you.

Hospitals are, well, gross. They are supposed to be the cleanest place on earth, buuuut I don't think that is the case.

If you do want to bring your pillow, I would suggest thinking about how to clean it once you get home, or getting a sanitary cover for it to use while you are in the hospital.

Honestly, I just skipped this one. I did not need more work for myself or husband after just having a baby. Just ask for more pillows, they'll bring you some.

Your Own Undies

I think most people embrace the famous, white, mesh, panty they provide for you. And honestly, it's not completely terrible.

I however do think there are better, more comfortable options to consider.

There are period panties that would work, or even things like bladder leaking panties (think Depends)

These options have come A LONG way, and they have black ones now that look pretty good. Not as bulky as the hospital ones either, huge bonus.

Other Needs -

Of course you want to bring baby some clothes too!

Be sure to pack a couple different options and in different sizes, you never really know how big or small your baby will be until they are here.

And don't forget your partner! They will need at least one change of clothes, and maybe something especially comfy to sleep in.

Make sure to pack any sentimental items - A special blanket or hat, name plaque, or stuffie for when baby arrives.

I wouldn't bother bringing diapers or wipes, the hospital will provide all of that. Unless you plan to use a specific type of diaper, then of course bring some.

Don't forget the basics too - phone chargers (bonus if you can get one with an extra long cord!) The outlets in the hospital are notoriously SO far from the bed!

Glasses, contacts, medications for you and your partner.

A good book, cards, or something else to help pass the time in the beginning and earbuds or a small bluetooth speaker to play some music are also amazing things to consider.

I hope this list of things to pack in your hospital bag is helpful when it is time to pack your bag!

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