- Lip balm/chapstick- your lips will get dry. Hospital air is so dry plus you usually won't be drinking much while in labor so its a good thing to have.
- Hair bands/pony tail holders- If you have longer hair these are great to have. They are great from keeping your hair out of your face and allowing you to focus on other things
- Slipper- The hospital has the non-slip socks for walking during labor, but if you have a comfy pair of slippers I would recommend those.
- Old nightgown- If you don't want to wear their hospital gowns the whole time you are in labor bring your own comfortable nightgown. I would recommend one you don't mind getting dirty and possibly ruined though.
- Birthing Ball- some hospitals now-a-days have them, but if yours doesn't or you have your own you want to use I would bring that
- Picture ID, Insurance card, and hospital paperwork- these items are needed when you arrive at the hospital to have your baby. Some hospitals have you fill out paperwork ahead of time to save you time when it's baby time.
- Your birth plan- some women have them others don't. If you have any requests during labor and for after let them be known and they will usually be followed as long as things go OK. Remember that things may change and they can't always be followed exactly.
- Something to make you relax- some labors can be very long. Even the short ones having something to help you relax is very helpful. Maybe make a playlist of music to listen to during labor. Bring a few good books to read. If puzzles or puzzle books help, bring those. If you have a favorite movie or something, try that.
What about your labor coach/partner/spouse:
- camera/video camera- This is something very handy for taking pictures during/after labor or even taking video if wanted. Baby pictures are the best. Maybe even consider having someone there just to capture these wonderful moments so your labor partner can be there for you. Don't forget the charger, extra batteries, and memory cards.
- snacks- your coach may get hungry and thirsty too so snacks and/or money for the snack machines are great
- change of clothes
- their medicines they need unless they plan on going home
Now let's get to the items you will need for after labor
- Comfortable outfit for going home- remember you will still look pregnant and clothes will still be tight and you will be uncomfortable so bring something loose and comfy for going home
- Clothes for in hospital- some people like to just lay around in the hospital gown while they are there. Others can't stand them and prefer to wear their own clothes while there. The choice is yours.
- Cell phone- this will be great to contact those you want to to let them know baby has arrived. Also great for pictures and using social media to make the announcements. Don't forget your charger.
- Snacks- you will probably be hungry after labor and may not get a hospital meal for a few so bring snacks to help you recharge after your labor
- toiletries- most just use what the hospital provides, but if you prefer to use your own, then don't forget them
What do you need for the baby:
- Car seat- this should already be installed in the car and ready to go for bringing baby home
- going home outfit- this is essential as baby will need something to go home in. Clothes are normally provided for in hospital, but not for the trip home. Maybe bring newborn and 0-3 months because you will not know how big baby will e until he/she gets here.
- outfit for newborn pictures- some choose to just have them wear the going home outfit for pictures, others like an outfit or 2 just for pictures.
- Blanket- you get receiving blankets at the hospital, but if it is cold out, you might want to bring a warmer blanket for the trip home
What do I NOT need:
- diapers- pack a few in the diaper bag if you want for the ride home if you have a long trip or aren't going home right away, but the hospital provides diapers and you usually end up taking some home as once the packs are open they can't keep them.
- Medications- let the hospital and your doctor know about all medications ahead of time and those will be provided for you
- pads and underwear- the hospital provides some lovely after birth underwear and huge pads that are designed for after birth
- bottles and formula- again you might pack in the diaper bag for the trip home but these are provided during your stay and often get some to take home again.
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