Packing Your Hospital Bag: CNY Doula Connection’s Christine Herrera shares some must-have items

Pregnant mother writing a list

Your due date is approaching. You’ve chosen a pediatrician, created a birth plan, and decorated the nursery – but what about your hospital bag?

“It is recommended to have your bags packed and ready by 36 weeks,” said Christine Herrera, one of the founders of CNY Doula Connection. “It is helpful if parents pack two to three separate bags: a labor bag for mom (that can be used during labor, but put in the car after baby is born, when mom is transferred to her postpartum room), a partner bag, and a postpartum bag (that will stay in the car until mom is taken to her postpartum room).”

Herrera recommends the following items for each bag:

Labor Bag

Clothing Items

  • Old pair of socks
  • Flip flops
  • Several long shirts for labor and delivery if you would like to wear your own clothing – “Make sure it’s comfortable and long enough if you wish to cover up your lower portions,” said
  • Loose underwear
  • Pads
  • Clean pair of pajamas or comfy clothes to change into after birth
  • Pillow and blanket to make you feel more at home and comfortable


  • Shampoo and soap for taking a shower after labor
  • Brush and comb
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Hair bands/hair ties
  • Lip balm

Information and Documents

  • Birth plan
  • A list of the last-minute packing items (i.e. IDs, partner’s driver’s license, etc.)
  • Hospital paperwork
  • Pediatrician information
  • Insurance card and phone number
  • Placenta release form (if you are taking your placenta with you)

Comfort and Miscellaneous Items

  • Diffuser
  • Essential oils
  • Massage tools
  • Heating pad
  • Music
  • Earbuds/headphones
  • Rebozo (or similar)

Partner/Coach Bag

  • Toiletries
  • Change of clothes (or several changes of clothes if you will be staying overnight with mom)
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Money for parking fees and snacks or meal
  • Camera
  • Phone chargers
  • Cooler and two Ziploc bags (if taking placenta home)

Postpartum Bag

Baby Items

  • Something for the baby to wear home and an extra change of clothes
  • Hat
  • Receiving blanket
  • Four newborn sleepers to dress the baby at the hospital if you choose
  • Swaddle
  • Heavy blanket for over baby in the car seat if it’s chilly
  • Baby nail clippers
  • Nursing pillow
  • Car seat

Clothing for You

  • Three pairs of pajamas or cozy outfits that fit you during pregnancy to wear during your hospital stay – “Something that buttons down or slips off your shoulder is easiest for breastfeeding,” said
  • Outfit to wear home (maternity pants and top or maternity dress)
  • Slippers or flip-flops
  • Bathrobe (if hospital or birth center doesn’t supply one or you want your own)
  • Socks
  • Nursing bra
  • Breast pads/shields
  • Two or three pairs of underwear


  • Hairbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo/soap
  • Tissues (hospital tissue can be stiff and gross)
  • Hair ties
  • Lotion
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Lip moisturizer
  • Face moisturizer
  • Makeup (if you are feeling ambitious)

“A lot of people worry that they are taking too much,” said Hererra. “However, you want to feel comfortable while you stay, so don’t feel like you are overthinking your list. Pack what will make you feel prepared for your birth and welcoming your new baby.”
Preparing Your Car

Herrera also shared the following tips for your car:

  • Install the car seat properly
  • Keep the gas tanks full
  • Bring along a Ziploc bag or two (in the event you get sick in the car)
  • Bring a few towels (helpful if your water breaks)
[fbcomments url="" width="100%" count="on"]
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Most Popular

To Top