Classes & Events News Get

A Nurse’s Checklist: Packing for Labor and Delivery

March 22, 2024

Pregnant woman making a list

Bringing a new life into the world is extraordinary. To ease your labor, delivery and postpartum journey, it helps to have a few comforts from home.

“This is an exciting time in life. It’s the moment you finally get to meet your baby and see their face,” says Donna Poplawski, APN, an advanced practice nurse at Atlantic Health System. “There’s no need to overpack for the few days you’re in the hospital. We have everything you need right here, but a few extras can make your experience more comfortable and relaxing.”

1. Baby’s Car Seat: Make sure you know how to properly place your baby in the car seat and secure the base in the car so you’re ready for the trip home from the hospital.

2. Hospital Documents: Pre-register with the hospital before your due date and read the information the hospital sends you prior to admission. On delivery day, bring your photo ID, insurance cards, and any necessary hospital paperwork.

3. Clothing: Pack loose-fitting pajamas with easy skin-to-skin access for baby. You may want your own robe, slippers, flip flops, and socks. Also bring a comfortable bra and a few pairs of cotton underwear.

4. Toiletries: A toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, hairbrush, and hair ties are essentials. Also consider packing your shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, deodorant and lotion. If you’re planning to breastfeed, you can use the hospital’s nursing pads and nipple cream or bring your own.

5. Entertainment: TVs are in each room, but to pass time during early labor, bring a book, magazine, or downloaded music or movies on your phone or tablet. Don’t forget your charger.

6. Personal Items: Leave your jewelry at home. Pack your eyeglasses or contact lenses, water bottle, and your phone/camera. Leave any required medications at home, the hospital can provide those for you.

7. Snacks: Your support partner may want healthy drinks or snacks to stay fueled throughout the process.

8. Extras: Massage tools and essential oils can provide comfort during key moments. Leave your pillow at home, but pack gifts for older siblings, if needed.

9. Birth Plan: If you and your doctor have discussed a birth plan, bring printed copies of it with you so your birthing team knows your pain relief preferences and if you plan to breastfeed.

10. Going-Home Outfits: For the journey home, mom needs loose-fitting clothes and comfortable shoes, and baby needs an outfit. If you plan to do your hair and makeup, bring what you need.

“This is a time to welcome your little one into the world through the miracle of childbirth, so keep the packing to a minimum,” says Donna, who notes that most choose hospital gowns over pajamas because of their easy skin-to-skin access. “Above all, remember to bring your love, hugs, and snuggles for baby, and we can take care of the rest.”

  • Pregnancy
  • Women's Health