*This page may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links there's no extra cost to you, just a way to say "thanks" to me for recommending things we use and love.
Congrats, mama! Can you believe it’s almost baby time? That means we need to get that hospital bag packed and ready to go. You really don’t need that much- but I like being prepared in a minimal-is way. This is also my third rodeo as a birthing mama, so I’m sharing exactly what’s in my birthing bag so you can get an idea of what you actually need.
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through a link, I receive a small percentage at no extra cost to you as a “thanks” for recommending our favorite products!
If you’re having a traditional hospital birth, you most likely won’t be allowed to eat until after your little one is born. You can have ice chips! And I recommend adding some flavoring to them to give you a little something instead of just…ice.
You’ll want to have a small arsenal of snacks in your hospital bag for after delivery, (or if you’re in a birthing center!) Think protein rich foods like grass-fed beef jerky, trail mix, nuts or nut butters with crackers, coconut water for hydration, or honey sticks for a quick energy boost. I really loved having instant oatmeal cups to help bump my milk supply from the beginning!
Each labor and delivery is so varied, so this is where you’ll want to have options. With Jep, our second baby, I didn’t even have time to change out of the loose dress I’d worn to the hospital because he basically ran out. With baby number three, we’re planning a water birth so I packed a couple different bralettes that can get wet but are also nursing friendly.
For going home, think loose and comfortable clothing. You’ll want to stash some underwear in your hospital bag that are dark colored and high waisted just in case you have a c-section. I’ve also heard some mamas swear by adult diapers because they’re like a maternity pad and undies all in one!
3. For Baby
Babies really don’t need a lot! A sleeper pajama or two to ride home in, a little hat, nail clippers (because those nails can be SHARP!), and extra diapers and wipes if you’re deciding to opt for your own brand versus whatever the hospital or birthing center provides.
Remember the baby book to get those tiny little footprints, and of course the car seat installed in your car.
4. Personal Care
My midwife suggested focusing on bringing things that will help keep you comfortable during labor and recovery. For me, that looks like having a labor playlist, a stash of essential oils and a diffuser, an angled peri spray bottle and perineum sitz bath mist. (Pro tip: dilute the sitz bath mist with water IN your peri bottle to make going a little more pleasant). Be sure to check with your hospital on essential oils if you plan to diffuse because some won’t allow them, but most birth centers will.
For second time mamas: I definitely recommend a tincture for after birth contractions and some way to heat your belly. With each baby, your uterus stretches more so it’s important to help her shrink down but managing pain. I loved this tincture after Jep’s delivery- just mix it in water or tea and it helps tremendously with cramps.
You’ll also NEED chapstick and hair ties on stand by, trust me.
I did hypnobirthing with Jep’s birth, so I had bluetooth headphones and I’ll use those again this time. I recommend using OVER the ear headphones because the buds will fall out when you move around and it’s irritating. Or you can bring a bluetooth speaker!
5. Daddy’s bag
We can’t leave ol’ papa bear out! Make sure he has some clothes, undies, a toiletry bag, (so like a toothbrush and deodorant) and throw the camera and some chargers for your phones in his bag!
If you’re looking for more info on having an unmedicated birth, you can find all my top recommendations in this post.
Looking for postpartum meal inspiration to make ahead and freeze? This is for you, mama!
What’s your hospital bag essential? I’d love to hear what kept you going during labor and delivery! Come say hi over on Instagram if we aren’t already friends there, I love chatting all things crunchy mom life and pregnancy there too.