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What to Bring to the Hospital

The arrival of your new son or daughter is a time of excitement and joy. It’s often a hectic time as well, so it can be difficult to remember to pack everything you need to bring to the hospital. Several weeks before your baby is due, you’ll want to gather things for your hospital stay.

It’s a good idea to pack two separate bags: one for labor, containing items that will be helpful to you and your coach; and a second bag for your postpartum room. Here are some ideas for items to bring:

Labor bag:

  • Focal point to use as a concentration point
  • Deck of cards, magazines, books or games that may help pass the time in early labor (especially useful for labor induction)
  • Handouts from class to refer to during labor
  • Paper and pen to make notes
  • Camera, film, flash/batteries
  • Lip moisturizer
  • Mouthwash
  • Hard candy, suckers that are sour (for dry mouth)
  • Change for the vending machines (snacks for coach)
  • Items that may help with relaxation, such as music (portable music player, favorite tapes or CDs) or pillows
  • Address book with important phone numbers
  • Labor log or journal
  • Socks
  • Sweatshirt
  • Lotion (without strong scent) for massage
  • Band to pull long hair back
  • Phone list of contacts to announce birth to friends and family; phone card, calling card or change for calls
  • Change of clothes for labor partner
  • Birthing ball
  • Massage rollers
  • Hand fan

Hospital suitcase for mother:

  • Personal toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, lotion, deodorant, shampoo
  • Nightgowns
  • Robe
  • Slippers
  • Pillow (some people prefer their own pillow)
  • Bra – a clean one per day; nursing bras and nursing pads
  • Outfit for going home (bring something loose – it may be a good idea to plan to wear something that fit you when you were about six months pregnant)

(Leave credit cards and expensive jewelry at home.)

Baby items to pack (hospital supplies T-shirts, diapers, blankets and pacifier during stay:

  • Going-home outfit
  • T-shirt
  • Baby hat (especially for cold weather)
  • Blanket
  • Appropriate outerwear for weather

Bring a car seat for the baby to ride home in and know how it works! (A receiving blanket neck roll is helpful to put around the infant’s head.) Kentucky state law requires that children 40 pounds and under be in a car seat that meets federal standards.