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What do I pack in my hospital bag?

Expecting mom packing to go to the hospital

The Ultimate guide to what is needed in your hospital-go-bag!

The arrival day is fast approaching.  Have you packed your hospital-go-bag yet?  Here are some "must haves" that moms at the Leachco Team would include in their bags.

Link to ultimate guide to what is needed in your hospital go bag PDF

*The hospital provides some of these items, but you may want to bring your own

For Mom

CLOTHES 

Pajamas/Nursing Gown/Hospital Gown*- What to wear in the hospital is a personal preference.  Hospitals provide a gown you can wear, but if you would like to wear something of your own you are welcome to do so.  This would not be a time to bring your best pretty outfit. Make sure that it can open up for the hospital staff to have access to place monitors and to check on your progress.  
Robe - A robe is great to have, especially for walking the halls to help with the progression of labor.  
Nursing Friendly Top
Comfy Stretchy Pants - Most likely you will still be wearing your maternity pants after having a baby.  It takes a while to get your tummy back to pre-pregnancy status.  Be sure to pack pants that will be comfortable to wear, especially if you will be having a c-section.
Underwear* - The hospital provides mesh underwear after the birth of your baby.  They are not stylish but they serve their purpose.  If you feel you need to bring your own pair, prepare to bring a pair that can fit your postpartum belly and can serve in the healing process.
Grippy Socks* - During labor many mommies-to-be enjoy walking the halls to help with the labor pains.  Comfy grippy socks are a must!!  The hospital does provide a pair but if you want some style on your toes, you may think of bringing your favorite pair.  Be sure that they have the grip beads on the bottoms to prevent slipping on the hospital floors.
Slippers - These are another need for when you need to walk the halls in the hospital.
Nursing Bra/Sports Bra -  Be sure to bring your desired bra with you.  A sports bra is great to have for support during and after labor. If you are planning on nursing, find yourself a GREAT nursing bra.  One for support and with easy access for nursing. 
Going Home Clothes - The truth is that your postpartum body will not be the same as it was before you were pregnant.  Be sure to bring clothes that can accommodate this new body.  Clothes that are not tight around your abdomen and that are comfortable against your healing body.

TOILETRIES

Lip Balm - Hospitals tend to be on the drier side, so lip balm can help keep your lips healthy during your hospital stay.
Flip Flops - These are to be used for when you are showering at the hospital. 
Make-up - Not all moms choose to bring makeup with them to the hospital. If you are a makeup wearing momma, be sure to pack your essentials. 
Towel* - Hospitals provide towels but if you like your own comfy towel feel free to bring one, just make sure it is not white so that it doesn't get confused with the hospitals' towels.
Glasses/Contacts (with solution)
Toothbrush/Toothpaste 
Deodorant
Moisturizer/Lotion - Again, hospitals tend to be on the dry side.
Comb/Brush
Hair Ties/Headband
Shampoo and conditioner
Dry Shampoo
Body Wash
Face Wipes

LABOR ESSENTIALS

Music (Headphones/Speaker) - Music can be a means to help with relaxation.
Handheld Massager - Back labor can be really hard during labor, a handheld massager can be great to help relieve this pain.
2 Tennis Balls in Tube SockPlace tennis balls in a tube sock and have your partner roll them up and down your back to relieve back pain. Or have him rub your back with the heels of his hands.
Portable Fan - If you tend to get hot a small portable fan that you can clip onto the bed is a great have.
Pillow* - Hospitals provide a pillow, but if you LOVE your pillow, bring your own.  Make sure to have a non-white pillowcase, as to not get it confused with the hospital's pillows.
Blanket* - Hospitals tend to be on the chillier side and the blankets they provide are not always the warmest.  If you would love to have your own blanket bring it, if not the hospital will provide you with one.
Water Bottle* - Most hospitals provide you with a large cup with a straw for ice and water.  If you are partial to your own water bottle that keeps the ice cold, bring it.
Essential Oils - If you like to use essential oils for relaxation thebump.com has a great list of oils that they recommend.

ODDS and ENDS

Cell Phone/Laptop/ Tablet 
Camera/Memory Card - This is a great time to capture the first moments of your child's life.  If you do not want to use your phone's camera, a great camera to take these pictures will come in handy. Be sure to bring additional memory cards with you.
Chargers - We live in a time where we use many devices and gadgets, be sure to bring the charges for all of these.
Power Strip - Hospitals only have a few outlets to charge all of your gadgets and gizmos.  This would be a great addition to bring to plug in all of your devices.
Gift for Dad -  A surprise gift could be a way to show your appreciation for the new dad.

Gift for Hospital Staff - A small thank you gift is a great way to show appreciation for the staff at the hospital.

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

Insurance Card
Medical Papers
Driver's License
Social Security Card
Doctors' Info (OB and Pediatrician)
List of People to call

POST-PARTUM

Snacks - Babies come at all hours of the day.  You may need to pack a few snacks in case the hospital's food services are not delivering at that time after you deliver. 
Pads/Depends* - Hospitals provide VERY LARGE pads for you to use, postpartum.  If you are particular with a certain brand, feel free to bring your own.  A great idea is to bring Depends underwear instead of pads.
Breast PadsBreast pads can help absorb any leaking breast milk. They often have a waterproof backing to help prevent milk staining your top. They are available as disposable and reusable or washable pads, in a wide range of fabrics.
Heating Pad - Localized application of heat can be used to help manage pain.  Verywellfamily.com has a great article about the uses of heat during labor.
Nursing Cover - Bring a nursing cover if you would like a little more privacy while you and your baby nurse. 
Nipple ShieldNipple shields are intended for breastfeeding moms who are experiencing serious latch problems and should be used temporarily under the guidance of a Lactation Professional. Moms breastfeeding a premature baby and Moms with flat or inverted nipples may benefit from the use of a nipple shield.
Tucks Pads* - This helps cleanse and relieve painful hemorrhoidal tissue. These gentle pads help provide fast and effective relief, soothing, and protection of irritated areas.
Durmoplast* - This is a hospital strength pain relieving spray for burn and itch.  It is an anesthetic, painless, no-touch application. Provides fast relief. Relieves pain and itching.  
Perineal Ice Packs* - This provides an all-in-one design that combines the cool, soothing comfort of a cold pack with the highly absorbent capabilities of a sanitary pad. 
Peri Bottle* - This is a squeezable bottle.  The gentle flow of water can be regulated via the four small holes in the cap. This irrigation bottle is used to help heal and reduce the chance of irritation or infection of the sutured perineal area.
Nipple cream/Coconut Oil -  During those first few toe-curling weeks of breastfeeding, as you wait for your nipples to ‘toughen up’, nipple cream will become your best friend. There’s no need to fork out on expensive branded products though, simply reach for your coconut oil. This natural moisturizer will help to prevent dry nipples and will allow your nipples to heal while keeping them safe from infection. Coconut oil has the added benefit of being safe for baby, so there’s no need to wash it off before the next feed.  Motherandchildhealth.comhas a great article about other various nipple creams and their uses.

For Dad

Pillow - If dad wants a pillow that will help him to be comfortable during the night you may think about bringing your own pillow.
Blanket - Hospitals have small blankets available but if dad wants a comfy blanket, be sure to pack one for him.
Snacks - The duration or labor and delivery vary with each mom and with each pregnancy.  Be sure to pack some snack items for dad to have so that he doesn't have to find vending machines during this time.
Bottled Drinks  
Gum/Mints 
Money for Vending Machine 
Change of Clothes 
Button Down Shirt for Kangaroo Care
Toiletries 
Phone/ Tablet with Chargers 
Books/Entertainment

For Baby

Going Home Outfit
Photo Outfit - In many hospitals, they have a photo service that will come to your room to get a newborn photo taken of your baby.  You may want to have an outfit for this occasion.
Onesies* - The hospital provides a few white onesies for your baby to wear while in the hospital.  You may decide that having your own will come in handy.
Baby Socks - One of the cutest things about babies is their little toes.  Bringing a few pairs of socks to the hospital can help keep those toes warm and toastie.
Hat* - This is also an item that many hospitals provide.  If you would like to bring your own style feel free to pack your own.
Car Seat - This is an essential item to bring your baby home.  The American Academy of Pediatrics can help with picking the right car seat for your newborn. 
Blanket* - The hospital provides a small blanket for your newborn to use.  Be sure to pack your desired blanket if you would like to provide your own.
Nursing Pillow - This item may not be a must have to bring to the hospital but it could come in handy as you are starting the nursing process with your newborn.
Pacifier* - Most babies have a strong sucking reflex. Some babies even suck their thumbs or fingers before they're born. Beyond nutrition, sucking often has a soothing, calming effect. That's why many parents rank pacifiers as must-haves, right up there with diaper wipes.  The Mayo Clinic gives great pros and cons concerning pacifiers. 
Pacifier Clip - If you decide to use a pacifier for your newborn you may want to invest in a pacifier clip.  They are great for clipping the pacifier to the babies clothes so that the pacifier is by your newborn at all times

DIAPER BAG

Swaddle Blanket 
Extra Outfit 
Burp Cloths   
Butt Paste/Diaper Cream  
Wipes
Diapers*  
Changing Pad