What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for a Vaginal Birth

what-to-pack-in-your-hospital-bag-for-a-vaginal-birth
Image adapted via iStock

When you're entering your 8th month of pregnancy, everyone starts asking, “Have you packed your bag yet?” It's not unreasonable to wonder — you could go into labor and if you're planning on giving birth in the hospital, you don't want to be caught off guard and either have nothing packed or just have all the wrong things. 

As I was getting ready to pack my first bag, I really had no idea what to put in there. I heard all these suggestions on what to make sure I included, but really was all that necessary? I didn't want to roll in there with two or three bags of stuff I'll never use, but at the same time, I didn't want to be in the midst of all the contractions and real-deal birthing and be thinking, “I wish I had _____ with me. 

{ MORE: Study Shows Midwives Bring Many Benefits to Safer Birth Outcomes }

I didn't get it quite right during my first birth because I had a lot of items I didn't use and some that I didn't bring but wish I had. By the time I had my third vaginal birth, my hospital bag was just as I wanted it to be. It had all the items I needed for labor, for delivery, and for the short time I was in the hospital after.  You'll want to check with your hospital to see what they provide (pads, diapers, etc) and if they're not provided, you'll want to make sure they're in your bag. I'm sure you'll have your own items that you'll want to switch out, but here are the items I found to be most useful to have in my hospital bag for a vaginal birth.

Image via Flickr/
Image via Flickr/shankar, shiv

Must-Haves:

Music: I don't know if music has the same calming effect for everyone, but for me it certainly does. I wouldn't have been able to comfortably labor and bear the pain if it wasn't for my iPod filled with all the calming music  – or “pump me up” music – and my headphones.

Comfortable robe: Chances are you're going to be in labor for a little bit and while at the hospital you may want to aid things in moving along by walking, which is where the robe will come in handy. The hospital gowns are not the best at coverage, so you'll be warmer and fully covered with your robe.

Lip balm: Hospitals are dry and you'll be doing a lot of work while you labor so trust me, it will come in handy!

ADVERTISEMENT

Disposable underwear: I know it sounds weird and if you've not had them before you'll likely thinking “gross”, but oh they are so lovely after you have a vaginal birth. They're totally stretchy, to fit any postpartum body and they're roomy so you can have the bulkiest pad or ice pack and still feel put together. If your hospital doesn't provide these it's worth bringing your own.  

{ MORE: What to Bring to the Hospital }

Others:

  • socks or slippers
  • books and magazines
  • relaxing scents
  • maternity clothes to wear home
  • onesies and sleepers for baby

Image via Flickr/
Image via Flickr/juhansonin

What to have ready at home:

Tucks wipes: Hemorrhoids from pregnancy, pushing, or just soreness from birth itself can be relieved with these wipes medicated with witch hazel.

Frozen maxi pads: Even if you didn't experience any trauma such as tearing or an episiotomy, you're likely to be a little sore. Before you leave for the hospital, take some of your maxi pads, put water on them, and place them in the freezer to use as ice packs when you get home. 

Peribottle: A water bottle that you can fill with warm water and use to spray on your perineum as you use the washroom will stop the stings and ensure the area stays nice and clean.

Epsom salt: Adding epsom salts to your bath water will not only help healing and aid in comfort, it's relaxing too. 

{ MORE: Meghan Markle is Hiring a Doula. Should You? }

If you're looking for more suggestions, check out our checklist. 

Already know that you’ll need a c-section? Check out those tips here

:: What did you find useful in your hospital bag after a vaginal birth? ::

Read More

What do you think?

What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for a Vaginal Birth

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

Tell us what you think!

13 comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    Clean socks, shirt, and under clothing for hubby. I went into labor at 1am he came from work. Snacks in case the cafeteria isn’t open and the vending machine is over priced, or in our case all the way down in the basement. iPad for a nice distraction.

  2. Bri says:

    This is a great article. I’m working on my hospital bag now. Looking around to websites and getting information and what others say they desired during the process.

  3. CHIQUITA says:

    I NOW KNOW THAT I DON’T NEED A SUIT CASE TO TAKE WITH ME BUT I DID PACK A DIAPER BAG AND A SMALL BAG FOR ME! I ALSO NOW WANT TO TAKE A BLANKET BECAUSE HOSPITALS STAY REAL COLD AND I NOW KNOW THAT IT IS OKAY FOR ME TO BRING MY OWN! WISH ME LUCK!!!!

  4. bmattler92 says:

    i delivered my son in june and for the life of me i could not keep warm until i was in pushing. so i would recommend a extra blanket or two.i ended up using the blanket we brought for my hubby and it brought me comfort during contractions as well as warmth.

  5. NewMommy says:

    I’m a first time mom too, so this was really helpful. I thought the thing about freezing maxi pads was interesting.

  6. I love this, I’ll save this for future reference next time

  7. April says:

    Also an extra bag for the stuff u will bring home from the hospital.

  8. Aurika says:

    Isn’t Epsom salt too soon? I thought no baths for a little bit after vaginal birth

    • CHIQUITA says:

      I WAS TOLD TO TAKE SITS BATHS WITH MY FIRST TWO CHILDREN. MEANING JUST SIT IN A TUB OF PLAIN WARM WATER. NO BUBBLES OR SOAP ALSO I FOUND SHOWERS TO BE HELPFUL TOO.

  9. Jennifer says:

    This is helpful and I will remember to pack them in the hospital bag.

  10. Jessica says:

    This was very helpful. I kind of want to go home and pack my bag soon so it is done and out of the way. 🙂

  11. Debbie says:

    This was great information! I’m going to be a first time mom and will definetly make a list of these items to bring with me. Thank you so much!!

  12. Donna1 says:

    This is Really helpful, especially since this is my first baby and i have no idea what to pack in my hospital bag! Thanks for great insight

Advertisement
[x]
×

EverydayFamily.com Week-by-Week Newsletter

Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year! Receive weekly updates on your pregnancy or new baby’s development as well as Free Stuff, Special Offers, Product Samples, Coupons, Checklists and Tools you can use today, and more from EverydayFamily! Plus all new members are entered to win FREE diapers for a year!

Due Date or Baby's Birth Date


By clicking the "Join Now" button you are agreeing to the terms of use and privacy policy.

Send this to a friend