What Do I Pack In My Hospital Bag?!

During prenatal appointments, clients of our Atlanta Doula agency always ask the same question as first time parents: "What do I pack in my hospital bag?!" It can be daunting to know how to pack for a trip you've never been on before, can't be positive of the itinerary, and are picking up a traveler along the way whom you've never met! We wanted to make it easier on parents who want the most pared-down version possible for their packing list. Add anything else you want, but after we complied feedback from clients, our own experiences, and asked around, these items were the ones that counted most. 

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  • For you
    • shampoo/conditioner
    • toothbrush/toothpaste
    • robe
    • slippers
    • nightgown (if nursing, see below)
    • one change of clothes (nearly every parent commented on the excess of clothing that they brought for the hospital stay after having a baby. The reality is the you just won't be there that long, and you likely won't change clothes as many times as you think you will.)
    • hair ties/headbandheadscarf (even if you rarely or never use these in daily life, hair in your face during labor can be positively maddening)
    • contacts/case/solution/eyeglasses
    • favorite lotion (or coconut oil, or shea butter; again, even if yu rarely use lotion, hospitals are incredibly dry and will dry you out, which leads us to...)
    • LIP CARE. **This cannot be stressed enough. The number one item that parents reported to us that they desperately needed, used abundantly, and couldn't live without again was lip balm.**
  • For Labor
    • something to wear if you don't want to wear the hospital gown
    • birth plan
    • birth ball (burst-proof exercise ball)
    • birth affirmations/HypnoBirthing or HypnoBabies tracks
  • For Baby
    • two outfits that are easy-peasy to put on; sleep sacks are incredibly gentle and convenient for baby care in those first few weeks when newborns down want to be messed for routine care. 
    • swaddling blanket so nurses can show you how to swaddle with your own blankets; it won't help as much to learn how to swaddle with a receiving blanket you'll never see again!
  • If you plan to nurse
    • nursing tank or nursing bra
    • nursing pads
  • Miscellaneous 
    • identification and insurance information
    • snacks for after labor and during your hospital stay
    • cooler for your placenta if you plan to have it encapsulated or otherwise want to keep it
    • bluetooth speaker for playing music with tablet or phone if music is important to you
    • ALL THE CHARGERS!!!