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Healthy Heart Month - Cardiology

Labor of Love

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What to pack for the hospital

Having the things you'll need at the hospital or birthing center packed and ready to go well in advance of your due date is important. You probably won't have the time or energy to do it once you're in labor, and you'll have that peace of mind knowing that it's already taken care of.

Labor bag checklist

Your labor bag will contain essentials and things that will help you feel comfortable during labor.

For expectant moms

  • Insurance card and hospital paperwork
  • Eyeglasses (if you need them)
  • Loose, comfortable clothes
  • Book, magazine, tablet or cards for early labor
  • Bathrobe
  • Socks and slippers
  • Hairbands, ties or barrettes
  • Lip moisturizer
  • Rolling pin or tennis ball for backache
  • Massage lotion and tools
  • Aromatherapy scents (for the safety of patients and staff, can't diffuse scents at hospital, but may put essential oils on skin)
  • Sentimental item from home, such as a favorite pillow or blanket
  • Focal point, such as an ultrasound or vacation photo
  • Music
  • Birth ball (if not provided by hospital). If you bring your own, make sure to write name with permanent marker.
  • LED candle

For partner/family

It helps to have your own bag of things to make you comfortable during labor and an overnight stay. Bring practical things, and don't be surprised if you're also put in charge of documenting the whole experience.

  • Pillow
  • Directions/map to hospital
  • Camera, camcorder and/or memory card and batteries
  • Snacks for yourself such as crackers and granola bars
  • A few dollars and loose change for parking and vending machines (do not bring more cash than you'll need, credit cards or other valuables)
  • Mints or chewing gum for fresh breath (your partner may be extra sensitive to odors during labor)
  • Basic toiletries, including a toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant
  • Change of clothes
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Phone numbers of friends and family
  • Bathing suit in case you help your partner in the tub or shower during labor

Postpartum bag checklist

Pack separate bags for mom and baby to help you stay organized. If your labor room is small, you can leave the bag in your car until after your baby is born to prevent it from cluttering your labor room. The hospital may be able to provide some essentials, but bring the following items to be safe

For mom

  • Nightgown or PJs
  • Robe
  • More snacks
  • Nursing bra
  • Breast pads
  • Maternity underwear (disposable kind provided by hospital)
  • Toiletries
  • Hairbrush
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Address book
  • Comfortable, loose going home outfit and shoes

For baby

  • Infant car seat and under car seat piece – Make sure you preview/get to know your car seat before your hospital stay!)
  • Going-home outfit in multiple sizes since you won't know ahead of time how big baby will be
  • Receiving blanket for going home in car seat
  • Pair of socks or booties
  • Baby emery board
  • Baby book for footprints

Download a printable checklist

Labor of Love app

Truman Medical Centers/University Health's Labor of Love app offers anytime, anywhere education powered by YoMingo®, a program designed to give you convenient access to valuable information. It includes the tools and support you need at every stage of your healthcare journey and beyond.

Download the app