The Ultimate Go-Bag: Everything you need for your hospital stay

You’re in the home stretch and starting to think about plans for the big day! Don’t leave it up to your partner to scramble and pull together a hospital bag the moment before you run out the door. We asked labor and delivery nurse practitioner and certified midwife Bronwyn Fleming-Jones to give us an essentials list. Follow this guide and you’ll be extra-prepared and comfortable when it’s time to hit the road.

What to bring for you:
•    Your insurance card and identification
•    Lip balm and your favorite lotion: hospitals can be really dry.
•    Warm, fuzzy socks, a bathrobe, and slippers: hospitals can also be really cold.
•    Your preferred clothing for labor: if you don’t want to wear a hospital gown, bring something comfortable like a nightgown or a sports bra.
•    Hair ties, makeup, and skincare products for postpartum: you may be there for a few days depending on your delivery. Be ready for visitors and photo opps!
•    Toothbrush and toothpaste: the hospital will have these, but yours are probably nicer.
•    Birth comfort supplies: hot water bottles, birth ball, or a handheld massager.
•    Ipod/iphone with charger: if your labor is really long, it might be helpful to have some tunes.
•    Camera or video recorder (and charger or extra batteries): check with the hospital or birth center to see what they allow in the room.
•    Your own pillow or an extra-soft pillow case: really, it’s about anything that’ll make you feel more comfortable and at home. 
•    Nursing supplies: a nursing bra, nursing pillow, and lanolin ointment.
•    Comfortable clothes to go home in: think loose, soft, flowy.  
•    Resources: notes from your pre-conceive prepared childbirth course, birth books, or other resources you have found helpful.

What to bring for baby:
•    Diapers: the hospital will provide these at first, but you’ll want extras for your trip home.
•    Undershirts, onesies, and hats: a couple sets of each.
•    Receiving/swaddle blankets: the hospital will also have these, but you may want a couple of your own for the trip home (plus: yours will be cuter). 
•    Heavier blankets: depending on the outside temp, these may be good to have on hand.
•    Car Seat: it is really important to have your car seat installed properly ahead of time. This isn’t always the most intuitive process, so, fortunately there’s help. You can attend a car seat fitting demo sponsored by the Department of Transportation, or call 311 to schedule an appointment.

What your partner should bring:
•    Cell phone charger: for all of the updates to family and friends!
•    Granola bars, snacks, water bottle
•    Cash and credit card for vending machines and cafeteria
•    Comfortable clothes or pajamas for spending the night
•    Bathing suit: in case a quick swim seems like a good idea. Just kidding. This is optional, but helpful if you’re planning to utilize the shower or a birth tub