Hospital Bag Checklist
This hospital checklist will help you to feel prepared for your new one’s big arrival! Try to finish up this task sometime during week 37. This will most likely give you enough time before you need to head in and deliver. I have broken your packing list in two different bags. One is your labor bag and the other is your overnight bag. You can leave this second bag in the car when you labor.
The items in these bags will bring you comfort and help you to feel your best during your hospital stay. The list will simplify the packing process for you a bit. Feel free to cross out any items I have listed below that you don’t deem necessary and add what you feel I may have left out. Make it yours.
Birthing outfit (cotton loose-fitting dress)
Take note of what time of year it is. What will you feel comfortable in? What don’t you mind possibly staining?
It is nice to have shoes you can slip on and off. You never know where you might end up (walking down halls, taking a shower, etc.).
Warm outer layer
Your temperature may fluctuate during labor. Make sure you have something to keep you warm, especially if you are in and out of water. Also include a pair of cozy socks!
It is common to have chapped lips during the laboring process. There is nothing better than little moments of self-care to keep you grounded during your labor. Make sure to pack a natural balm that will nourish your lips throughout.
An essential oil diffuser with a custom oil blend will be an important aspect of inviting in grounding/calming vibes for your environment.
Be sure to stay tuned for an upcoming blog on “labor oils”. Essential Oils are solid tools to help establish a positive mood for your labor, help you have more effective contractions, even help relieve you of any physical pain and support your stamina throughout your labor. These were key ingredients to my natural birthing experiences.
Fractionated organic coconut oil or a quality oil
This oil can be great for any personal message you may need and can be your go-to item for diluting your essential oils. A drop of fractionated coconut oil on your newborn's bum can also work wonders to help remove any sticky meconium during those first diaper changes. This can save you from irritating that perfect little baby bum and needing to use tons of wipes.
This is an item that can be really helpful to have. The more options you give yourself for birthing positions, the more likely you will feel comfortable moving around during your labor to find what is best for you. If stretching, relaxation, and movement techniques are something your body asks for, you better have the means to honor that. Many women will actually choose to deliver on hands and knees if given the opportunity.
Tea lights set the mood and can help you to better establish your own atmosphere.
This is an item I added to the list for baby number two. It is so important to have positive support on your side, especially for the challenging moments. Being able to read affirmations can be very helpful to direct your focus in a positive way. I had the closest women in my life write words of wisdom on beautiful cards so I could have them at the hospital. It was a great activity at my baby shower and I enjoyed reading them in preparation for labor too.
Have your playlist ready and your speaker charged. Playing music during your labor is another great way to create the environment you want to bring the baby into.
There would be nothing worse than missing out on taking photos for the first moments and days with your little one. Also, you may be using your phone for your music playlist. Some women like to use apps for tracking contractions.
Having your hospital paperwork filled out and ready can really save you time at check-in. Some hospitals let you fill out paperwork ahead of time to expedite this process, take advantage if that is an option for you.
I like to make three copies of my birth plan. Two will go to the Doctors/Midwives/Nurses who are helping you deliver and one can be in your bag in case you need to refer back to it. Many people have different opinions about birth plans and their importance. I am one of those who had a long extensive list. It was more for my own benefit and helped in preparation to make clear my intentions for my birth experience. I found it was very helpful for giving my midwives a good indication of my wishes for a natural birth.
Wallet/ id/ insurance card
Some no brainers but these items can be easily forgotten since they are hard to pack ahead of time! It doesn’t hurt to write a small note to self and place it on the top of your bag so you won’t forget these last-minute items to grab.
It is especially important to stay hydrated and energized to endure your birth. Aim for 4 oz of liquid per hour and have healthy power snacks to prevent burnout before pushing your baby out. It doesn’t hurt to have something packed for your partner supporting you.
Thank you gifts for staff*
You will want to thank those who help you deliver. This doesn’t have to cost much at all. I personally like to make my own, I find it to be more meaningful.
I love a 32 oz glass or stainless steel option with a straw. The straw option helps you to consume more and stay hydrated! This is a great item to have by your side postpartum, especially if you plan to nurse.
Perineal sitz spray*
These last two essential oil DIY’s are helpful to have on hand the moment you birth your baby. This spray will be your saving grace to help relieve pain and heal your lady parts. Shake up and spray this blend on your perineum as often as you need to. It is best to keep this one close to the toilet for the weeks following your birth.
Uterine/ after birth cramp blend*
Contractions continue even after you give birth, especially as you first begin nursing baby. Thank goodness these contractions are nothing like the ones you will have experienced in active labor but they can still be painful. It is your body’s natural response when you nurse to produce the hormone Oxytocin which helps your uterus shrink back down in size. Unfortunately, these cramps increase with each pregnancy. I struggled with this the first three days after delivering my second child. You will want these solutions available. Use this essential oil roller blend sparingly on your lower stomach and be sure to rub it in. Use as often as needed.
A natural invaluable resource for natural health and wellness support for every aspect of your labor to postpartum and baby care.
Baby wipe solution*
To help keep baby’s bottom clean. This is an effective natural solution for babies bum if you are deciding to opt-in for reusable wipes and out of harsh toxic ingredients.
I personally make my own diaper cream that will soon be available to you but there are a number of clean recipes out there to buy if you prefer to go that route. I also have enjoyed doTERRA’s baby diaper rash cream for on the go.
It is so important to start the healing process of postpartum recovery as soon as possible.
Your first bowel movement can be an intimidating experience. Many women experience pressure which can be discouraging. Make sure you are taking your magnesium daily to help aid healthy bowels. It is common to feel constipated during this time. Magnesium can help with this among its many other benefits like increased energy, less anxiety and depression, and help to reduce high blood pressure, etc. I personally buy the liquid internal version from Ancient Minerals. I buy through my nutritional therapist.
Who doesn’t love a deliciously comfortable robe? It is nice to have something easy to throw on and is nursing friendly.
Nursing friendly button-down shirt/ cardigan sweater
Remember you were carrying your baby for ten months. You will still have a belly at the hospital so dress accordingly.
I have never been a fan of nursing bras or I should just say bras in general. This is a good time to let loose or even try to find a bra without underwire.
Partners spare outfit
This may include but isn’t limited to a toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, shampoo & conditioner, face cleanser, and moisturizer. It is these tiny luxuries that help you feel at home and nourished after giving birth. You only need the essentials but having your favorite self-care items are an important aspect, trust me.
Big sister or brother gift
You will only need to pack this item if this is not your first baby. This doesn’t need to cost much but it can be great for having your older child/children meet the new baby. I like to explain that the gift is from the new one to start their relationship on a positive note.
You may or may not be interested in reading during your stay at the hospitable but it is nice to have your next read packed just in case. You may want to read about the fourth trimester, nursing or baby sleep.
Reusable wipes (6-8) & or baby wet wipes
Wipe spray solution*
The hospital will provide you with baby diapers and wipes so feel free to use what they provide unless you prefer a cleaner ingredient version.
Burp cloth (2)
Good things to know:
Use the underwear the hospital provides for you and take any extras home with you! Make sure you have heavy pads waiting for you at home. Panty liners You want to prevent any unnecessary trips once you settle in with your baby.
Designate someone you can trust to tend to any food cravings post-labor. Who will be willing to bring you these requests right after you labor? There is nothing better than having exactly what you need when it is time to relax and enjoy baby on the outside. Mama just put in some hard work, it is essential to refuel the right way and need I mention hospital food? I delegated my best friend for this task. She was someone I felt comfortable with to ask for exactly what I wanted in the hospital and even the first few weeks post-birth. This was crucial for my recovery.
Don’t forget to set up your new baby’s car seat! You want to make sure you are prepared to bring baby home.
Remember that the birthing experience has many unknowns. My first labor was long and I was very thankful to have come fully equipped with all the things that would help support my birth plan even with the unpredictable moments. Now, for my second birthing experience, I labored so little at the hospital that the labor bag wasn’t even opened before my little girl had arrived. Either way, I could not be more thankful that I provided myself with everything I really needed to set myself up to feel good and thoroughly enjoy this special time.
* Look forward to a blog for each starred item to further explain the natural recipes you may want to make yourself!