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Packing Your Labor Bag with Melissa

Erin Howard

So many times when I was on labor and delivery, I would see couples walk in with so many suitcases. I swear they had college applications in those bags! In New York City, thats probably not far too from the truth. Once we packed everything in the labor room, people barely had a place to sit down! There is one thing I can promise you, the hospital has everything you need to have a baby, so not to worry.  Here is a list to help you know what is essential -- so your husband is not left at the nurses station like this . . . 


I wanted to start with what NOT to bring when you are in labor to help your trip to the hospital be as easy as possible.  

1.  Car seat. This is the most common mistake. You don't need this until the day you bring the baby home. It will just take up space in the labor room.

2.  Diapers, wipes, onsies and receiving blankets.  The hospital will have plenty of these.  Don't risk loosing your lovely new baby clothes and gifts.   Sometimes nurses, doctors and care technicians will place dirty baby clothes in the hospital hamper by accident.

3. Pads. The hospital has ALL THE PADS.  Save yours for home.

4. Your favorite pillow case.  Bringing your favorite pillow is great for comfort, but please don't bring your monogrammed pillow cases.  The hospital staff will feel horrible if it gets ruined.

5.  Underware. Labor and delivery and postpartum units the world over have what I like to refer as Victoria's deepest secret.  They are mesh and one size fits all.  Honestly, they are pretty comfortable! 

So here is a small list of things that will really help with your labor.  When in doubt, keep it simple!

1. Birthing ball. Bring it in deflated and inflate in the hospital if possible.  It helps you have less to carry.

2. A great playlist with a mix of soft relaxation as well as energetic songs for pushing.  My favorite song to start pushing to is "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross!

3. Essential oils and coconut oil - aroma therapy is so helpful.  Your favorite scent mixed with coconut oil is great for relaxation.

4. Travel size of your favorite toiletries

5. Vasoline for lips. Read my lips. Hospitals are DRYYYY. I carried vasoline around in every lab coat and scrub pocket. Don't get stuck with only a sticky lip gloss in your bag!

6. Ginger candy.  In labor, women tend to get nauseous. Ginger helps with nausea and fights that horrible post throw up taste.

7.  Robe and slippers. I'm not one to advocate bringing nice things to the hospital or birth center, but having something cozy that feels like home is a plus. I do always give the warning that it shouldn't be your most favorite in case it gets lost or ruined. An inexpensive robe and slippers for the hospital is a good registry item, or mom to be gift many don't think of.

8. Microwavable heating pad.  Heat is so helpful for muscle aches and pains. It also is helpful to achieve let down if you are engorged.  I recommend a heating pad with a washable cover.

9. The multitasking cardigan.  Obviously!

Have a bag packed at home that contains you and your baby's "going home" outfit that your partner can bring to you on the day you go home.


Hope this helped!