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What Do I bring to the Hospital or Birth Center?

As you near the end of your pregnancy you will probably take a tour of the hospital or birth center where you plan to have your baby. Doing so will help you feel more comfortable in that environment when you go into labor. But don’t forget that you can also bring things from home with you that will help even more!

Things like your favorite pillows, a blanket, music, and a focal point (picture of something dear to you, a stuffed animal or something else to focus on during contractions). Don’t forget your camera or phone if that is what you plan to use for pictures, and all your important contact numbers to call when the big event happens.

When you first arrive at the hospital or birth center they may ask you to change into a gown. If you are more comfortable in your own clothes like a sports bra and some leggings or boxers, most places will allow you to wear what makes you the most comfortable. Just know that as things progress, or if you water breaks, your clothes will get wet and messy.

You will also want to bring a conditioner for your lips like chapstick, something to tie your hair back if it is long, a toothbrush and toothpaste in case you don’t like the ones they have, breath mints, lotion for massage and essential oils if you plan to use them. If you know that you will have hydrotherapy as an option you may also want to bring a bathing suit.

Once you have given birth and are in the mother/baby area, you will want other toiletries that make you feel yourself. You may or may not want to wear your own gown or robe based on the normal amount of bleeding that happens during the first few days.

Don’t forget to take what you want your baby to wear while you are there and when you go home. There will be gowns for your baby, but you may want to dress him/her up in something else, especially for pictures and when family and friends come to visit.

Dr. Cheryl Sharp, Chief Content Officer
Cheryl is a midwife and women's health nurse practitioner who has been caring for women, newborns, and families more than 30 years. She views the opportunity to journey with women through their pregnancy and beyond as a sacred privilege.