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  • Writer's pictureKirsten Smith

What's in my Hospital Bag: My Top Recommendations for Expecting Moms in 2023

As my due date gets closer, I’m starting to start pack my hospital bag. Of course, getting ready for a newborn is important. You should have supplies, your nursery room setup, and a car seat installed for your baby. Don’t forget to think about yourself too!

As expecting moms, we have a lot going on in our lives, especially in the months leading up to our delivery date. Still, this doesn’t mean that we should forget about our own comfort and happiness.

Once you’re around the 36 to 37-week mark, I suggest putting some essential items in your hospital bag. You want to feel as relaxed and prepared as possible. This means bringing along clothes, entertainment, and other items that will make you feel comfy.

If you don’t know what to bring with you don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! I’ll be listing some of the things I’ll be putting in my own hospital bag to help you get started.

Must-Have Items For Your Hospital Bag:

1. Maternity Bra

One of the first items I suggest bringing with you is a maternity bra. You’ll probably be wearing one of these bras on your way to the hospital, but it doesn’t hurt to have an extra one around.

I like to bring my most comfortable and supportive bras with me to the hospital. After you give birth, your breasts will start to swell as they prepare for milk production. So, it’s crucial that you have this item with you!

2. Important Cards like DL and Insurance Card

Your comfort is definitely a top priority for your hospital bag, but don’t forget to bring your important documents. This includes your driver's license, birth certificate, insurance card, and hospital forms. Having these with you will make the delivery process go smoother, especially as you prepare to leave and go home with your baby.

3. Comfortable Pajamas and A Robe

Another must-have item for my bag is comfortable PJs. Hospital gowns aren’t the best clothes option. In my experience, it’s better to have something soft and warm to wear before you give birth and after. You can even bring a robe with you to wear once your baby is born so you feel extra cozy.

4. Favorite Pair of Socks

Along with your pajamas and other comfortable clothes, think about bringing socks. Thick socks that are soft and slip-proof are going to be the best option for your hospital stay. When you get up to use the restroom or walk around, you want your feet to be warm and protected. I like having my fuzzy socks with me, but pick out socks that you like.

5. Toiletries

The hospital will have some basic toiletries available. Personally, I prefer to have my own self-care products in my bag. Bring your toothbrush, facewash, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, lip balm, lotion, and any other important items you think you’ll need.

6. Perineal Spray

This next item should definitely be added to your hospital bag! After my first birth, I started bringing perineal spray with me to the hospital. This product can be used after your delivery. It helps reduce discomfort and pain in the vaginal area. If you have any tears or an episiotomy like me after giving birth, you should consider getting a bottle of this spray.

7. Postpartum Underwear

Get a few pairs of postpartum underwear, as well. The hospital does provide some mesh underwear after you give birth. I like having a pair of my own underwear that is soft and absorbent. Postpartum underwear is comfortable and it helps prevent leaks. Plus, you can wash and reuse them after your hospital stay.

8. Cell Phone Charging Cord

There are plenty of things that you’re going to want to bring with you to the hospital. So, it’s easy to forget your cellphone charger! I suggest bringing a charger with an extra-long cord. This way you can keep your phone fully charged throughout your hospital stay.

Some people might not think this is important, but you’ll want to call and text your friends and family. Plus, staying in the hospital can get boring fast without a phone!

9. Favorite Snacks and Drinks

Pack some of your favorite snacks and drinks before you go. Hospitals don’t tend to have the best food, and you’ll probably get sick of what you're eating pretty fast. You can also bring some cash with you to buy snacks from the vending machine or gift shop.

10. Books, Magazines, and Other Entertainment

Your phone should keep you entertained while you wait to give birth. You might want some time away from your screen. Books and magazines can be great ways to distract you. You should also load your phone or tablet with movies, apps, and music that you like.

11. Extra Pillows

From previous hospital stays, I can tell you that hospital pillows aren’t the most comfortable. I highly recommend bringing a soft pillow with you to keep yourself relaxed. If your partner or another family member is staying overnight with you, tell them to bring a pillow along too.

12. Relaxation Items

Going into labor can be extremely stressful. There’s no denying this fact. That’s why I recommend bringing some relaxation tools with you. A back massager, hot pack, essential oil, or stress ball can be good items to add to your hospital bag. Think about other personal items that bring you relaxation and pack those.

13. Comfy Slippers and Sandals

Finally, as you prepare to leave for the hospital, you’ll need comfortable footwear. Slippers are great for cold hospital floors. Still, when you’re ready to go home you might want to have a nice pair of sandals. Your feet are probably going to be swollen and sandals are way more convenient to wear.

Final Thoughts on Preparing Your Hospital Bag

Most expecting moms have a lot to think about during their pregnancy. There is so much to do and plan before our baby comes home with us! However, it’s important to make time for yourself and prepare for your stay in the hospital.

Your hospital bag will help make this stressful time a little more manageable. I included some of my top hospital bag items in my list. If you have other suggestions and want to share other essential items, though, feel free to share your thoughts below in the comments.

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