The checklist for the hospital or birth center is always a top priority for my clients; often it is one of the first questions they ask me when we are meeting for our first prenatal sessions.
Generally, I tell them the basics and as we work through our preparations, I add and take away items once I have a better idea of their birth preferences and lifestyle choices.
Since I am a minimalist and generally prescribe to the ‘less-is-more’ model, I have compiled this Hospital Packing List with that in mind. Remember that everything you pack will eventually have to be unpacked and unpacking is the worst, especially with a new baby.
Keeping in mind these parameters for packing, feel free to make personal adjustments to your own list.
Where are you giving Birth? - Hospitals and Birth Centers are often completely different in what they offer in terms of both supplies and ambiance. Get familiar with your preferred choice by inquiring with your care provider or your Doula.
How long are you planning on staying? - It goes without saying that birth cannot be planned, but if you know for sure that a surgical birth is in your future, plan to stay for 3-5 days. If a Vaginal birth is your goal, 1-3 days is the average hospital stay.
Who will be staying with you? Do you have a partner that will be staying in the room with you or will they be leaving to shower, nap and fuel up at home?
Taking all of the above into consideration. Here is my checklist
This can be a small backpack or tote with all of your easily accessible tools to aid your comfort during labour. As a Doula, I help my clients to develop a plan that includes tools to help facilitate a happy healthy birth. Bonus: I have my own tools and tricks that I bring along with me, so that you do not have to pack and unpack unnecessary items.
These are the items you will want close at hand for once baby has arrived.
That’s it! Please feel free to leave any questions below and to the readers that have packed a hospital/birth center bag, did I forget anything?