During your 3rd trimester, at around the 36-week point, you may want to start organizing and packing the things that you’ll take to the hospital with you. Your hospital may have gowns and socks for you to wear, but you can also take your own, including a robe. It’s a good idea to pack one bag for yourself and one for your baby.
You’ll also want to pack the items that you’ll use during labor. These “labor tools” will help you pass the time and be more comfortable in the hours leading up to delivery. Here are some suggestions:
Mom’s Packing List
Important documents and paperwork
Driver’s license, military ID, TRICARE or other insurance card, hospital paperwork, birth plan (if you have one)
Two or more well-fitting bras
In addition, a nursing bra may make it easier to breastfeed.
- Two or more pairs of cotton panties
Don't bring your favorite underwear, as they may get soiled.
- Two or more comfortable nightgowns
If you plan to breastfeed, it will be easier if your gown opens in the front.
- Slippers or slip-on shoes with non-slick soles
Shampoo, a toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion and deodorant
- Personal items
Eye glasses, make up, lip balm, and hair brush, comb, ties
- Loose-fitting clothes to wear home
You may wear your maternity clothes for several days to weeks after delivery.
- A still or video camera
Don’t forget to take plenty of batteries, power cords, and memory cards (and film, if needed/necessary). Be sure to check with the hospital on its videotaping policy.
Baby’s Packing List
- One “going home” outfit
This may be the outfit that your baby is wearing for his or her first photos!
- Car seat
- Baby bag
This should include diapers, a burp cloth, baby wipes, etc.
- Blanket, hat and warm outfit, depending on the weather
- Snack bag
You can include lollipops, hard candy to suck on during labor, snack foods for your labor partner, and a treat for both of you after delivery.
- Lip balm or lipstick to prevent dry lips
- Focus point
This can be a favorite picture, stuffed animal, flower or anything that you can concentrate on during contractions.
A deck of cards, magazines or a book can help you and your partner pass the time during labor.
- Your favorite pillow
You may want to include your favorite pillow. Be sure to mark your pillow or use a distinctive pillowcase, so it’s easy to identify.
Bring a portable music player to play relaxing music. Some women preselect birthing music to help them during labor and delivery.
Your coach can use this to give you massages.
- Tennis balls in a sack
These are excellent for back rubs.
Items to Leave at Home
- Cash or other valuables
- Medications, including vitamins
Remind your healthcare team and/or hospital staff about the medications and vitamins you’re taking.