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Packing Your Bag for Labor


Updated May 17, 2014

Pregnant woman packing suitcase.
Anne Ackermann/Photodisc/Getty Images

Here is a handy list of things to take with you in your hospital bag when you go to the hospital or birth center when you give birth! I recommend that you pack a bag for labor and birth and leave a separate packed bag for postpartum in the car or with someone else. This prevents you from dragging all of your stuff around the labor and birth wing!

Your Labor Bag


  • Tooth brushes for everyone and Tooth paste
  • Any reference book or pamphlet you might need (I prefer The Birth Partner.)
  • Pillows from home (Use colored cases to distinguish from your birth place's linens)
  • Music you would like (You may need to provide your own iPod, CD Player or Tape Player)
  • Camera with film and batteries
  • Camcorder with charged batteries and accessories
  • Signed copies of your birth plan
  • Water bottles for ice
  • Your own wash cloths, colored ones work better
  • Waterproof pads for the car ride
  • Any clothes of your own that you wish to wear, as an alternative to hospital gowns
  • List of people to call after the baby is born (include your childbirth educator)
  • Lip Balm
  • Massage tools (Oils, massage tool, etc.)
  • Change of clothes for partner, including swim trunks for shower or pool
  • Baby Book for getting the foot prints done by the nurse when she does the paperwork
  • Focal Point (If you want one)
  • Socks for mom
  • Special foods or drinks
  • Suckers or hard candy
  • Snacks for labor support
  • Calling Card for Long Distance Calls
  • Anything else you think you can use (Candles, pictures, etc.)

Your Postpartum Bag


  • Nursing bras and pads (preferably the washable, soft ones.)
  • Breastfeeding book
  • Going home outfit for baby
  • Blanket for Baby
  • More film (Though you can buy this for higher prices in most gift shops.)
  • Another change of clothes for partner and any toiletries needed
  • Your own personal night gown, robe (They will get dirty!)
  • Personal Hygiene items (shampoo, your own pads, etc.)
  • Number of La Leche League or other breastfeeding support
  • Number of diaper service (if you need to arrange for delivery)
  • Car Seat with instructions
  • Going home outfit for mom (You will still be look to be about 6 months pregnant. Most women wear the clothes that they wore to the hospital, some bring nursing shirts.)
  • Birth Announcements, stamps, envelopes

You might also consider packing a bag for dad too. And, think about things you shouldn't pack in labor.

Related Video
Packing a Maternity Bag: Tips
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