Gearing Up for Labor? What You Should Pack And Bring To The Hospital…


Q&A: What should I pack to bring to the hospital? 

I get this question a lot.  So I've compiled a list of things you should have with you when the big moment arrives.  When one of my moms goes into labor and I get the call, I have a bag full of tricks that I bring with me...massage oil, aromatherapy, my iPod with relaxing, spa like music, and some homeopathy.  Truth be told, I'm an over-packer from all my years of traveling and living out of a suitcase. My philosophy is I'd rather have more than less.  That will  probably be true for you.  Just know that most moms don't use everything they bring to the hospital.  But it's best to have it all just in case.   

Attention Partner...Here is a peek of what I love to use at every labor:



So what should you pack and bring to the hospital?

Moms Bag:

  • Insurance card and pre-admission paperwork

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Shampoo and conditioner in case you want to take a shower.  Trust me, you will want to take a shower

  • Disposable gown or 2-3 XXL men’s t-shirts, pre-washed  (unless you prefer hospital clothes)

  • Disposable, warm socks with anti-slip bottoms (at least one extra pair) and slippers. They offer the disposable, warm socks at the hospitals

  • IPOD or CDs of favorite, relaxing and energizing music.  Be sure you bring extra batteries or a charger! 

  • Favorite juice, popsicles, electrolyte-balanced beverage (such as Gatorade) or coconut water

  • Electrolyte pops in a cooler (Pedialyte brand has Aspartame.  Rite Aid brand doesn't).  Coconut water is also a great source of electrolytes

  •  Pillows from home (use brightly colored cases to distinguish from your birth place's linens)

  • Yogurt, bananas, broth soups, juices, lollipops, jelly beans, protein shake and honey sticks for mom (you may have to sign a waiver at the hospital).  The food you bring should be very easy to digest

  • Personal focal point (a picture, flowers, a figurine) to focus on during contractions

  • Nursing bras and nursing tank

  • And extra set of clothes to go home in

  • Extra undies, comfy PJs and a robe 

  • Cosmetics and beauty supplies.  Don't forget the Lip Balm

  • Glasses or contact lenses

  • Hair brush and hair ties

  • Nipple cream if you have decided to breastfeed

  • Bag of aromatherapy, tennis ball for counter pressure if you have back labor, massage oil, a DVD or 2, massage tools, birth ball and wheat heat packs

  • Nursing pads

  • Ice made of peppermint or chamomile tea (make small ice cubes) to suck on during labor


Baby bag:

  • socks or booties

  • one undershirt

  • sleeper with legs (to fit in car seat)

  • receiving blanket

  • cap

  • diapers 

  • special outfit if you want

  • baby mittens


Partner's bag:

  • Grooming supplies (toothbrush, breath freshener, deodorant, razor)

  • Food for snacks.  Such as sandwiches, fruit, cheese and crackers, beverages (consider beforehand what they will do to your tuna!)

  • Sweatshirt, sweater or lightweight jacket (labor rooms are usually very cool)

  • Change of clothes (in case of long labor)

  • Cell phone and charger (or change in case you have to use the pay phone)

  • Charged camera and/or videocamera

  • Extra batteries or charger

  • Videotape or memory card

  •  Extra copies of the Birth Plan

  • Swimsuit so you can accompany the mother in the shower

  • Something to occupy your time when the mother doesn't need your help          

  • Phone list to make calls

  •  Baby book for getting the footprints done by the nurse when she does the paperwork  Call ahead to see if hospital still does footprints

  • Mints or gum.  You don't want to have bad breath!! 

  • This book...The Birth Partner by Penny Simpkins

Want real tips that you can use during the labor process.  Check out my blog on Real Labor Tips For Dads From A Doula-Childbirth Educator

Also check out my blogs on Signs of Labor - What You Should Know If You're Pregnant and What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know About Eating And Drinking During Labor.



  •  Pre-register at hospital

  •  Pay bills

  •  Arrange for child care and/or pet sitters

  •  Pack freezer with 2 weeks supply of pre-made food that you can defrost and heat up

  • Have baby car seat properly installed

  • Bring a nice treat or small present for the hard working nurses. ;-)

Click here for a PDF form of this list. 

QUESTION:  Was this list helpful or can you think of something I missed?  Please share it in the comment section below.  I look forward to hearing from you. 

If you find this information useful please feel free to share it with your friends and loved ones.