• Don’t wait for the contractions to start before you pack your hospital bags. I assure you that if you do you will end up with a random array of items, many of which might have nothing to do with either you or the baby. So, pack ahead of time and put the bags near your front door. This way you can grab them and go when your big day arrives. It’s easier to pack two bags- one for Labor and one for Postpartum- so that you don’t have to rummage around as much and you can leave the postpartum bag in the car when you initially go in. After the baby is born you can have someone go back and grab the second bag.

    Labor Bag
    This bag will contain items for your delivery.

    1. 1. A copy of your prenatal labs and test results, including your hepatitis B status and Group B Strep test results.
    2. 2. Pre-registration forms, insurance card and picture ID
    3. 3. Toothbrushes and toothpaste
    4. 4. Camera with extra batteries/memory card
    5. 5. Video Camera with extra battery/tape/memory card
    6. 6. Pillow(s) – Don’t use white pillowcases or they might get mixed up with the hospital pillows.
    7. 7. Comfortable clothing for you, including warm socks and slippers.
    8. 8. Tennis balls/lotions/oils/focal point/anything else that is in your delivery birth plan
    9. 9. Two copies of your birth plan
    10. 10. Baby book – Your nurse may be able to put the footprints directly into your book.
    11. 11. Music/iPod/CD’s (be sure there will be a CD player available if you are bringing Compact disks)
    12. 12. Lip Balm/Ointment
    13. 13. Hair clips or bands for long hair
    14. 14. Contact case & solution/Glasses
    15. 15. Water bottles
    16. 16. Change of clothes for your partner
    17. 17. List of people to call after delivery (set up a phone tree in advance so that you only need to make a few calls yourself)
    18. 18. Snacks, lollipops, hard candies, gum
    19. 19. Cash for incidentals

    Postpartum Bag

    1. 1. Magazines
    2. 2. Breath mints and gum
    3. 3. Cell phone charger
    4. 4. Clothing for you and for your partner. If you are planning on breastfeeding bring pajamas that button down in front for easier access.
    5. 5. Nursing bra and pads.
    6. 6. Slippers
    7. 7. Going home outfit for mom. Here’s a sad reality point – you will go home in maternity clothing. It takes more than 2 days (at least) to lose the baby weight. Plan for being about the size you were at 6 months of pregnancy.
    8. 8. Maternity underwear (those bikinis/thongs/v-strings will have to wait!)
    9. 9. Going home outfit for baby.
    10. 10. Baby blanket(s)
    11. 11. Toiletries, makeup (if you’re inclined), your own pads and shampoo, lotion, hairbrush, clips/bands for hair, glasses/contact case and solution.
    12. 12. Baby nail clippers
    13. 13. Thank you notes (in case you’re looking for something to do at the hospital)
    14. 14. Paper, pen
    15. 15. More Cash
    16. 16. If this is not your first child you should pack a gift for each older child that they can open when they visit you and their new sibling for the first time.

    A nursing pillow and infant car seat won’t fit into the postpartum bag but you will want to have them ready in the car when you leave for the hospital.

    -Monique Araya, MD, FAAP

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