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What to bring to your labor and delivery

Introduction

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

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

Alternative Names

Prenatal care - what to bring

Items for Mom

The hospital will supply you with a gown, slippers, disposable underwear, and basic toiletries. While it is nice to have your own clothes with you, labor and the first few days postpartum are most often a very messy time, so you may not want to wear 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, and deodorant
  • Comfortable and loose fitting clothing to wear home

Items for Baby

Items to bring for the new 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

Items to bring for the 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, including a 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 from labor
  • The object you have chosen to use to focus your attention during labor (the "focal point")

Items the Hospital Will Need From You

Items you will need to bring to the hospital:

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

Other Important Items

Other items to bring with you:

  • Money for parking
  • Camera
  • Books, magazines
  • Music (portable music player and favorite tapes or CDs)
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Items that comfort or soothe you, such as such as crystals, prayer beads, lockets, and photographs

References

Carlo WA. The newborn infant. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 94.

Kilatrick S, Garrison E. Normal labor and delivery. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, et al, eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 12.

Wesley SE, Allen E, Bartsch H. Care of the newborn. In: Rakel RE, Rakel D, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 21.

Review Date:5/16/2016
Reviewed By:Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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