My NEW & IMPROVED Packing List for Hospital Delivery
The first night I started feeling some labor pains during my second pregnancy (turned out to be false labor pains), I realized I should probably start packing my bags for the hospital. I couldn't remember what I'd packed the last time around so I revisited my list and had a good giggle when I realized how many things I'd packed for my first pregnancy that I truly didn't need. Four pairs of underwear? Yea, leave that at home! The hospital undies are perfect and plentiful! Snuggle socks? You could even leave those home, the hospital provides pretty comfy ones with grippy bottoms for walking around!
And while this wasn't on my list the first time around, I'd also recommend leaving dangly or large pieces of jewelry at home. You won't want to wear them while you're laboring and you won't want to be worried about them getting lost during your stay.
What I definitely didn't regret bringing for both my hospital stays was FOOD (see more on that below). Not everyone will feel this is necessary but if you're like me and would like a meal that tastes like home and has optimal postpartum nutrition to help your body begin recovery, I highly recommend bringing your own food.
Of course, my list is not exhaustive. But hopefully reading through it will help provide you with some inspiration.
Pack your overnight bag a few weeks in advance and leave your luggage by the door (or in the car). I left mine in my house because I wasn't sure which car I would be heading to the hospital in. Turned out to be a good plan because I ended up in my father's car for my first pregnancy.
And speaking of cars...you might want to have a plastic bucket, garbage bag, and towel at the ready for the car ride. My water broke while we were heading to the hospital in my Dad's car and I had to use a reusable shopping bag, the only thing available, as a towel (sorry, Dad!)
Make a homemade soup a few weeks in advance and freeze it in a microwaveable container, like a pyrex. I made chicken soup with organic veggies from my garden and bone broth. It was so delicious and tasted like home, plus it has all the nutritional goodness a body needs postpartum.
Bake and freeze some healthy muffins for a breakfast or snacking option.
Print out copies of your "leaving the house" check list and have them somewhere visible in your home so that someone else can help if necessary. When you're having contractions and in full on labor, you won't want to be barking orders at anyone. This helps prevent that unnecessary stress.
Make sure you have a plan for a pet sitter if you have any pets and a babysitter if you have any kids!
Hospital Stay Packing List
Driver's license, insurance card, hospital paperwork, wallet
Copies of birth plan
Camera & charger
Cell Phone & charger
Entertainment (books, e-readers, etc.)
Playlist and music player
Slippers and a few pairs of snuggle socks (remember, the hospital will also provide)
Bathrobe (optional, I opted for warm sweaters and was fine)
1 pair of underwear (really not necessary, the hospital will provide, but just for peace of mind)
2 nursing bras or nursing tanks
2 open front sweater/sweatshirts
Bath towel and flip flops
Comfortable walking shoes and outfit for leaving
Nut butter and jelly
Snack bars and/or Energy Bites
Nut milk or soy milk (you don't have to refrigerate until you open!)
Mother's Milk tea (caffeine free & helps milk production!)
1 bag of ice (they will have more at the hospital)
Prenatal Vitamins and probiotics (cause you don't stop taking them until AFTER you're done nursing!)
Fresh fruit (apples and grapes keep well) or apple sauce (homemade is so easy and so good!)
A loaf of bread (since I'm GF, I really like the whole grain loaf from Canyon Bakehouse)
Homemade soup (I made and froze a chicken soup with organic veggies from my garden)
Homemade banana blueberry muffins (I like to throw in zucchini, carrot and chopped walnuts for added nutrition)
Hard boiled eggs
Chia pudding (this is my favorite recipe)
Essential oils (lavendar, citrus, and other simple smells that may help with your birth)
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Deodorant (something natural and breast-feeding friendly)
Hair brush and hair elastics
Body soap, shampoo & conditioner
Baby clothes (a few newborn outfits)
Diapers and diaper cream
3 swaddle blankets
Car seat pre-installed
Bucket and towels for car ride in