Packing Checklist: What to Put in Your Hospital Bag [Free Download!]

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"What should I pack in my hospital bag?"

"What will the hospital provide when I have my baby?"

"What should I bring to the hospital for my baby?"

"What should my husband bring in his hospital bag?"

These are some of the most common questions that we get from our clients. With everything else going on in late pregnancy--from preparing the nursery to preparing your birth plan-- we want to simplify this as much as possible. 

There are a few things you definitely need, a few things you can bring if you want, and a few things to just leave at home. 

when to have your hospital bags packed

We recommend our clients have their bags packed and ready to go around 34 weeks gestation. At that point in a normal, healthy pregnancy you have plenty of time to add anything you may have forgotten without the stress of waiting until the last minute. 

(Believe us, you don't want to be throwing things into a bag while wondering if--or knowing for sure that--you're in labor). 

what you can leave at home

1. Pre-Pregnancy Clothes

While grocery store tabloids may try to tell you differently, your body doesn't bounce back immediately after birth. And that's okay! Make sure the clothes you pack are loose fitting, comfy, and cozy. No one wants to be uncomfortable while recovering from birth and bonding with their baby. 

2. Anything you don't want to get messy

Listen. Birth is messy. Babies are messy. We'll spare you all the details, but there is a lot of body fluid going on during labor, delivery, and the first few days postpartum. Don't wear or pack any clothes that aren't easy to clean. 

3. Your essential oils diffuser

Essential oils are really catching on these days, and that's awesome for the amazing effects they have for some people. What isn't as awesome is using a diffuser during labor.


For one thing, you don't want the people around you with allergies to certain scents to have an allergic reaction. 

You also never know what will trigger nausea or a headache for you in labor, or what just might not smell great. 

If you want the benefits of essential oils, we recommend keeping them contained in a sealed container, like on a cotton ball in a sealable sandwich bag. Make sure to have your partner or doula check with you medical and support team for any allergies before using them. 

the must-haves and the nice to haves


Want more info on what to expect during labor and delivery? Check out our super customized birth preparation course or contact us to find out how we can help.