There are so many helpful blog posts about what to pack in your birth hospital bag, but I must admit that I still find myself googling and pinterest-ing it even as I approach this third birth. I’ve had a vaginal delivery (with my first son, Everett), and a c-section delivery (with my second son, Daxton), so I’ve experienced both camps of what is needed for those scenarios. However, with each child I’ve learned a little bit more about what is needed and not really needed in the hospital bag, at least for myself. My bag has been packed and re-packed, so if it’s helpful to you to reference, here’s what I’ve got going on!
In My Hospital Labor Bag:
Since labor can require different things from the post-delivery experience, I like to pack a smaller tote bag with just a few necessities I like to have on hand strictly for labor. This helps me from needing to dig through my bag of jammies and toiletries when I’m having contractions!
Diffuser + Essential Oils - I’m planning to diffuse Balance + Wild Orange during labor, and applying a mix of Clary Sage, Frankincense and Peppermint to my inner ankles during labor. Plus I have a slew of others I will diffuse in my recovery room after the baby is born.
I’m bringing a few pre-made rollerballs to support labor/delivery and recovery. Here are the recipes I whipped up:
Labor Support: “Breathe”
- 5 drops Ylang Ylang
- 5 drops Clary Sage
- 4 drops Helichrysum
- 4 drops Cypress
- 6 drops Black Pepper
- 2 drops Peppermint
Combine all these oils in a 10ml rollerball and fill to the top with fractionated coconut oil. Massage inside ankles, on lower back and on belly for labor support.
Postpartum Support: “Happy”
- 10 drops Citrus Bliss
- 10 drops Elevation
- 10 drops Frankincense
Combine all these oils in a 10ml rollerball and fill to the top with fractionated coconut oil. Apply to pulse points and on back of neck to wear as a mood-boosting personal fragrance.
Birth Ball - Has been super helpful during my past labors! (This one doesn’t fit in any bag, but we make sure to carry this in when we first arrive at the hospital - as opposed to some of the baby gear that can stay in the car for a bit).
Bathing Suit + Flip Flops - I tend to have back labor, so in the past I found a lot of relief by getting in and out of the shower a lot during labor. Bathing suit just helps for modesty sake, when the nurses inevitably come in and out to do the fetal heart check every 30 minutes.
Massage Lotion - Already been using this throughout pregnancy so I plan to use this along with counter-pressure for my back during labor.
Snacks - I’m bringing a few, mostly for Stevie. I will be ready for some sour gummy bears after this no-sugar diet!
In My Hospital Recovery Bag:
Packing this weekender tote for the hospital, along with this great toiletry kit I’ve had for like 10 years. These are items I will use after labor and delivery, so they don’t have to come out of the bag until after the baby has arrived!
Robe - I’ve never met a robe I don’t like, but I picked up a new one (ugh, sold out already), for this new baby experience!
Nursing Tanks (2)
Nursing Bras (2)
Butter Pants + Cozy Sweatshirt - Basically the softest things I’ve ever put on my body. This is probably what I will wear when I go home from the hospital. And for every day afterwards forevermore.
Socks/Slippers - I got these socks in the Babylist registry box and I fully intend on using them ;) I personally don’t like the idea of wearing my slippers at the hospital to walk around because I don’t like to think about what has been spilled on those floors before. But I’m bringing both, just in case!
Toiletries - shampoo + conditioner packs, lip balm, moisturizer, toothpaste, deodorant and some makeup.
Pillow - I like to have my own because it’s so firm (I also double up my pillow cases, because again, hospital funk freaks me out).
Phone + Charger - I got this extra long cord just in case the plug is far away. Plus its sparkly. This is such an extra kind of item, not really necessary ;)
Camera - I like to take some photos with our big camera while we’re in the hospital! Those first few days are irreplaceable and I always want to relive the sweet moments that we have with just the baby.
In the Diaper Bag:
I’m planning to continue using this bag that I got when Daxton was a baby, and in it I tucked a few first things for the baby. The hospital will have the basics so you really don’t need a lot here, but it’s fun to have a few soft, personal things for your little one.
Baby swaddles - These muslin ones are tried-and-true and am excited to try these bamboo ones!
1-2 Take-home outfits - I like to have a few sizes, just in case. And you want to make sure these outfits have actual legs/feet so that you can safely strap them into the car seat when you leave the hospital.
Mittens, socks and a hat!
Diapers + Wipes - Just in case for the car ride home!
Nipple Cream! - This stuff is truly the best.
Nursing Pillow - Mine won’t fit in the bag, but it’s something that we can leave in the car until its needed!
One thing I like to do, in addition to all of this, is keep a list of “last minute grabs” in the notes section on my phone for when its actually time to leave for the hospital. On that list currently? Glasses, pillow, hair gel, phone charger and birth plan.
I also like to have a little gift “from” the baby for the boys, when they come to the hospital to meet him. It’s just a fun little toy for each of them, but I think it helps them from feeling like the baby is getting all the attention.
Even though I like to use my own selected products for postpartum care, I don’t plan to bring a whole lot of that to the hospital. It’s such a short and fleeting time that you’re there (no matter what kind of delivery you have), that I just go with the flow and use what they offer up (mostly.) The only thing I’m pretty adamant about it having my own nipple butter, because I really really don’t like the lanolin stuff they have there. But they really do cover you and the baby so well, so there’s no need to pack a ton of diapers and wipes and all that jazz.
We are seriously on the countdown now! I would so appreciate your prayers for me and my family as we head into these last few days of this pregnancy - we are all so ready to meet our baby boy! Thanks for being on this journey with us ;)