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20 Labor Day Must Haves and What to Leave Home

Katlyn Joy |18, January 2013


As your labor looms closer it's time to get ready. Chances are you are antsy and so you may as well take advantage of the nervous energy and get your final bag packed to go to the hospital. One thing to keep in mind is that this won't be the everything you need at the hospital for the whole stay-bag. Have a separate bag for labor and delivery and another for the hospital stay, and keep the labor bag simple. Take only what you will realistically need, and be allowed to have, in your delivery suite. Be sure not to take anything that cannot be replaced. Childbirth is not the time to bring family heirlooms or anything expensive, except for maybe a camera/video camera. Don't wear valuable jewelry to prevent theft. You may want your laptop later but not for the labor bag.

1. Bring your insurance card and information. You may forget this essential item in the rush if you don't have it packed to go already.

2. Have a list of all phone numbers for everyone who needs called, texted or contacted.

3. Bring a copy of your birth plan as you have worked it out with your birth attendant. This is especially important if your doctor isn't the one who ends up assisting you at your birth. If you have a physician who is part of a group practice, ask what you should do in case a partner attends your birth. Will your birth plan work with other partners?

4. Take along any chargers or necessary batteries for phones and cameras. You will be lost if your cell phone shuts off just minutes after baby makes the big appearance.

5. Bring the baby memory book to record baby's footprints and any other special birth moments. You'll likely gather other related items like the sign from your baby's bassinet or the first little cap the hospital staff puts on your little one.

6. Bring items that will help with dry mouth and lips as this is a common problem. Consider bringing lip balm, ugarless gum or lollipops, and mouthwash and your toothbrush.

7. Many moms insist on bringing a music player with a special list of music for labor. Have a few different playlists that will match different moods. You may find as labor gets more intense that the upbeat songs you thought would be inspirational are merely annoying and you may prefer some quieter or calmer selections.

8. Your partner should bring change for the vending machines. Or bring some snacks to eat, possibly away from you if you are nauseated or starving and not allowed to nibble.

9. If you have a special comfy pillow or related item that you think will be comforting during labor bring it.

10. An extra pair of warm, soft socks may be a godsend when you get chilled in the hospital. Most hospital rooms could double as meat lockers.

11. For focusing during labor, bring a photo or special thing that will help you remain calm and centered.

12. Bring your pregnancy or labor guide book, for those just in case moments. Your partner may find the book in the room reassuring by itself.

13. Tennis balls, a rolling pin, or a handheld massager can make life much more bearable especially if you have back labor.

14. Bring things for your hair such as a brush, and clips or ponytail holders to keep your hair off your face.

15. Lotions or creams, or even massage oil, may come in handy as hospital air can be drying.

16. In case your labor stalls, you may want some simple diversions such as a deck of cards, a magazine or book.

17. You may want to bring some goodies to share with the hospital staff. No it's not bribery but you may want to build some goodwill among the nursing staff all the same.

18. Forget candles or such things, but you can probably bring some aromatherapy spray or a pillow that's been spritzed with lavender or another calming scent.

19. A notebook to record your thoughts, your contractions or to doodle in will come in handy.

20. Your own more attractive and comfy gown, robe and slippers. Make sure they are not too fancy because some gross things are bound to happen. Also, opt for slippers you can slip on without bending over.

Related Articles

Is a Home Birth for You?

After Baby Is Born: When Can We Go Home from the Hospital?

Preterm Labor & How To Avoid Preterm Labor

Home Births on the Increase, AAP Issues Guidelines For Newborns

Hypnobirthing, A New Way To Labor


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