What to take in your hospital bag when you give birth

Just a warning, I kind of write in detail on some birthing things so be aware!

As a first time mom, I had no idea what to do. I had no idea you were even supposed to pack a hospital bag? But my perinatologist recommended that I should get that bag packed a couple weeks before my induction date which was at 36 weeks.

At the hospital, they gave me a booklet that a list of things to bring, but I also decided to google and pinterest to figure out what more I might need to bring. For me, I ended up getting our bag together by 34 weeks, and I was in the hospital at 35 weeks for preeclampsia, so it’s good to try to get that bag together, because you really don’t know what could happen! Get that bag packed in your third trimester! Some women give birth prematurely at 30 weeks and some go full full term at 40/41 weeks! Also, you really don’t know how long your stay will be! If there are complications with you during birth or after, doctors may want to keep you longer or they may send you home a bit quicker, depending on the situation. Thankfully, for us, we were allowed to go home with our babies the day after their birth.

Yes, I was giving birth to twins, but it really ended up becoming a lot of stuff and my husband brought more stuff over because I had to be at the hospital for a week prior to giving birth due to my preeclampsia being monitored.

Here is a list of what I took and what I really took but did not need.

What I brought to the hospital:

  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • body wash
  • hairbrush
  • hair oil
  • hair ties
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • floss
  • face wash
  • face lotions
  • contact lens case
  • contact lens solution
  • glasses
  • essential oils diffuser
  • essential oils: clary sage (causes contractions and eases birth) and lavender (calming)
  • mints
  • granola bars
  • birth plan. Kaiser provided us with a worksheet that allows us to write down our preferences for the birthing plan. I gave it to the nurse upon arrival, and I wrote that I do not want the episiotomy, that I want just my husband in the room and that I prefer to get an epidural, but honestly, the staff will ask you anyways so the plan isn’t really necessary. But that’s just my opinion. Other people might disagree.
  • Clothes: comfy dress, tshirt, robe (to be cute), leggings, socks, postpartum panties (I wore them on the second day when I didn’t have as much blood coming out), nursing bras (didn’t wear bras until it was time to go home), flip flops
  • Otherwise, at the hospital they give you this mesh disposable underwear, then they put a pad that looks like the one that potty training puppies use, then put a ton of witch hazel pads on top of the extra heavy overnight maxipads.
  • extra long phone charger. I got this from amazon because I wanted my phone with me next to my little bed stand thing, instead of asking someone to get it charged up near the plug.
  • iPad and charger. I watched netflix and IHOP prayer room.

In the baby bag:

  • receiving/swaddle blankets (apparently you’re not supposed to take the ones they give you at the hospital, so just to have it when you go home)
  • onesies, hat, socks. (I just took 2 outfits, 1 for each baby, body and head should be protected especially when you leave from the hospital!)
  • lactation supplements (I started taking these as soon as the boys were born, except for me, my milk didn’t start coming in until a couple days later)

What I took to the hospital but didn’t need/use:

  • Makeup. I took the whole thing. I took a eyeshadow palette, eyelash curler, mascara, eyebrow pencil, foundation, remover. But I ended up not using any of it. I’m sure some people want to look a bit decent, but I dont think I cared for it at all.
  • Back massager. This was suggested in one video I watched, because it’s supposed to help when you labor. However, my labor was different because I wasn’t allowed to walk around or bounce on a ball or be up and about due to the risk of increased blood pressures for the preeclampsia. My labor was done all on the bed and I barely wanted to be touched so the back massager thing was really unnecessary baggage for us.
  • Long sleeve shirt and leggings. I just gave birth. It’s June in California. I thought it would be cold in the hospital, but that’s what blankets are for. Otherwise I did not need to be all bundled up.
  • shorts. Yeah, it’s gonna hurt down there so best clothes is to just wear a comfy dress!
  • baby nail clippers. Yeah, they dont need their nails clipped from day one haha. I really don’t understand why I took these.
  • aquaphor. I took this for circumcision care, but I learned at the hospital they give you everything you need and teach you how to care for the circumcision. They give you a bunch of vaseline and you put mountain size on the penis and put gauze over it then put the diaper on.
  • perineal spray, frida momwasher (Water+witch hazel), tucks pads, padsicles. These were all provided at the hospital. But these were all very necessary once you come home and continue to care for your vagina after giving birth.
  • nipple cream. unless there’s a preferred brand, the hospital gives you samples and you can ask for more! I definitely used this the first couple months because we had some latch issues for breastfeeding
  • stool softener. helps you poo! it’s quite common to get constipation or hemorrhoids so this helps with that. except, they bring you this medication as well as vitamins at the hospital so you don’t need to bring your own. But defnitely need it when you go home!
  • mini icebox for padsicles. Yes, I made these padsicle things which came in super handy coming home, but you really don’t need it when you’re at the hospital because they take care of all that for you with the whole mesh underwear thing.

What my husband had to additionally bring:

  • Food and snacks. Something I didn’t know was that you have to fast and you’re not allowed to eat when you are induced into labor and give birth. I was so sad, so for my last meal before birth, I totally had a innout cheeseburger. But, I also totally enjoyed every hospital meal. I ordered everything on the menu breakfast, lunch, and dinner, since I was there for a week. Despite what people say, Kaiser’s hospital food is pretty good. Lol! I am also a total snacker and love food so much so people brought me all sorts of yummies while I was in the hospital.
  • Water. Yes, they provide it for you, but I drink always drink a ton and I used it also for my diffuser. I also felt better drinking our purified water or my own bottled waters, instead of the one they bring you in the jug or constantly asking for their small bottles. A friend of ours also brought a whole case of water bottles which was really helpful for us
  • Bible, pen, notebook. I wrote out the bible while listening to IHOP to pass time while I was at the hospital before giving birth.

This is just my list and I’m sure what you bring to the hospital can vary depending on your preferences, but I hope this can help those who are pregnant and wondering what to take!

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