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Packing for Labor and Delivery

Labor and Delivery

At some point during your third trimester, you will have to get your bag ready to head to the hospital or birthing center. Your bag should contain the items you need for your labor and delivery, your hospital stay, the baby’s hospital stay and things you need to make it home with your baby.


Most of the time, you won’t need any special clothes for labor and delivery except a pair of warm socks. Many hospitals and birthing centers will give you a gown to wear. If you decide to wear your own clothes during labor and delivery, pick a nightgown or other outfit that will make cervical checks easy. Additionally, you should only wear clothes that you don’t mind getting stained (giving birth is a messy process).

After you have the baby, you may want to wear some of your comfortable clothes. Nightclothes and loose clothes are ideal for your recovery in the hospital. Remember that your perineum and your stomach are likely to be sore and your abdomen will still be swollen, so maternity clothes or very loose clothes are the best choices. Also, pack loose cotton panties, a comfortable bra and socks, preferably socks with non-slip soles so you can walk around your room or the halls.

You should also decide on an outfit to go home in. Once again, your abdomen will still be swollen, so maternity clothing or elastic waist pants or skirts are ideal.

For your baby, you need to pack an outfit to come home in. You may also want to bring shirts, socks and onesies for the baby. Many hospitals, however, provide clothing for the baby while she is in the hospital.

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Relaxation Supplies

During labor, you may need distractions from the pain or items to help you relax. Crossword puzzle books, a board game to play with your family and friends, a photo album and a laptop are all ideas that you may find appealing. Personally, I bring my laptop with me so I can play games and journal about my labor and the baby’s delivery.

If massage and counter-pressure are going to help you through your labor, bring tennis balls or other massaging tools. Some aromatherapy oils can help you to relax and may help with the massaging.

Personal Items

Before you head to the hospital, contact them to find out if they provide sanitary napkins. If they do, you don’t need to bring any, but if they don’t you need to bring overnight pads or heavy flow pads.

You can also pack soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss. Also, if your hospital is like mine, you won’t want to bathe with the scratchy towels they have, so bring your own soft towels.


As you approach your due date, place an outfit in the bathroom or in your bedroom that you can wear to the hospital so you don’t have to spend valuable time searching for something to wear. You can also place a large towel, such as a beach towel next to the clothes. Place this towel on the car seat so that if you water breaks, you won’t have a soaking wet cloth seat or a puddle of water on a vinyl or leather seat.

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Bring a change of clothes for your spouse to the hospital so that if you labor is long, he can freshen up at the hospital instead of having to leave you or stay in stale clothes.

Don’t forget to pack the camera and some extra batteries for it. Pack the charger and extra memory cards if your camera uses these. You will want to get plenty of pictures of your newest addition.