What should I pack in my hospital bag? Labor & Birth

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Newborn hospital bag.
iStock/ginew
Don't leave packing your hospital bag to the last minute -- when labor starts, you'll want to be ready to go! Check out a doctor and moms' suggestions for what to pack for baby's delivery and your hospital stay.

Pack All the Basics -- and More

"The hospital usually provides the basics, but you may want to bring a robe, some slippers, a breastfeeding pillow, your own nipple cream, face wash, lotion, and other toiletries. During labor, some women like to have light snacks or beverages if their hospital allows it. Some also bring a birthing ball and speakers for background music. If your hospital allows laboring or delivering in a tub or shower, your partner may want to bring a swimsuit. For baby, you will need a going-home outfit --...

"The hospital usually provides the basics, but you may want to bring a robe, some slippers, a breastfeeding pillow, your own nipple cream, face wash, lotion, and other toiletries. During labor, some women like to have light snacks or beverages if their hospital allows it. Some also bring a birthing ball and speakers for background music. If your hospital allows laboring or delivering in a tub or shower, your partner may want to bring a swimsuit. For baby, you will need a going-home outfit -- I usually recommend pants and a shirt instead of a onesie, as the umbilical stump is still there. If you want your baby to have a pacifier, you may need to bring your own as some hospitals have removed them. Also, don't forget a phone charger. Some new moms also have a group list saved so a mass email or text can easily be sent to announce the news of their baby." -- Sarah Yamaguchi, MD, OB/GYN at Good Samaritan Hospital, Los Angeles, CA

Don't Overpack

"The first time, I packed everything I could possibly bring and my husband had to lug it from room to room, which was a pain when we were leaving. They'll have wipes and things for baby, so a coming-home outfit and pj's is all you really need."

Bring a Maternity Outfit

"You'll want to bring a change of clothes for yourself. You'll most likely still need maternity clothes until your uterus and everything else shrinks down."

Soft Baby Items

"For baby: a going-home outfit and cap, receiving blanket, diapers, wipes, diaper cream, and undershirts."

A Few Snacks

"I was so happy to have snacks in my bag! By the time I delivered the baby and got back to the recovery room, the hospital cafeteria was closed, and I was starving!"

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.