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What you should bring to your labor and delivery

Introduction

The arrival of your new son or daughter is a time of excitement and joy. It's often also a hectic time, so it can be difficult to remember to pack everything that you need at the hospital.

About a month before the baby's due date, you should make sure you have the following items. Pack as many beforehand as you can. Use the following checklist as a guide to get organized for the big event.

Items for Mom

The hospital will supply you with a gown, slippers, disposable underwear, and basic toiletries. While it’s nice to have your own clothes with you, labor and the first few days postpartum are a notoriously messy time, and you may not want to bring out your brand-new lingerie. Items you should bring:

  • Nightgown and bathrobe
  • Slippers
  • Bra and nursing bra
  • Breast pads
  • Socks (several pair)
  • Underwear (several pair)
  • Hair ties, "scrunchies"
  • Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, lip balm, lotion, deodorant
  • Comfortable and loose fitting clothing to wear home

Items for Baby

  • Going home outfit for baby
  • Receiving blanket
  • Warm clothing to wear home and a heavy bunting or blanket (if the weather is cold)
  • Baby socks
  • Baby hat (especially for cold weather climates)
  • Baby car seat. (Call the Auto Safety Hotline at 1-888-DASH-2-DOT for more information on the safety rating of a particular model.) A car seat is required by law and should be properly installed in your car before you go to the hospital.

Items for Labor Coach

  • Stopwatch or watch with a second hand for timing contractions
  • Phone list of contacts to announce your baby’s birth to friends and family; cell phone, phone card, calling card, or change for calls
  • Snacks and drinks for the coach, and, if allowed by the hospital, for you
  • Massage rollers, massage oils to relieve back pain due to labor
  • The object you've chosen to use to focus your attention during labor (the "focal point")

Items for Hospital Staff

  • Health plan insurance card
  • Hospital admissions papers (you may have to be pre-admitted)
  • Pregnancy medical file; over-the-counter and prescription medication information
  • Birth preferences
  • Contact information of the doctor who will be caring for your baby, so the hospital can let the office know your baby has arrived

Other Important Items

  • Money for parking
  • Camera -- still, video, or both -- film, batteries, videotapes
  • Books, magazines
  • Music (portable music player and favorite tapes or CDs)
  • Items that comfort or soothe you, such as such as crystals, prayer beads, lockets, and photographs

Review Date: 6/15/2012
Reviewed By: Melanie N. Smith, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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