Q: What should a mom-to-be bring in her hospital bag?
A hospital bag may include items for mom, baby, and even support people. While the hospital provides bedding, socks, and a gown, many women feel more comfortable with items from their own home. These may include: a comfortable pillow (with a non-white pillowcase so it doesn’t get confused with hospital pillows), cozy blanket, slippers, breastfeeding-friendly outfits for after delivery, and a robe. Many women also include a copy of their birth plan.
Women also need to supply personal items, including their hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and lip balm. Support people who are staying through the labor and beyond also appreciate having their own pillow and blanket, personal items, and change of clothing.
Some women in labor like having hard candy or popsicles on hand, as food intake can be restricted in labor. Protein-rich snacks are ideal for support people, in case they are hungry and can’t step away.
Some families want to create a calming environment and will bring LED-candles, a smartphone speaker, an essential oils diffuser, photos of other children or family members, and a tennis ball for back rubs.
The hospital provides most baby essentials: baby diapers, onesies, infant hat, receiving blankets, pacifiers, and formula (if desired). However, many women also choose to bring a special swaddling blanket and going-home outfit. And of course, don’t forget the car seat!