Two people picking up two birth bags are they prepare to head to the hospital.

“What do I need to pack in my birth bags???” Expectant parents have so many things on their mind– changes happening in the body and mind, the birth plan, when to stop working, the nursery, and so on. In the midst of all of this preparation and anticipation, parents may feel overwhelmed about what to pack for the birth. Or, they may forget altogether about this to-do item until the last minute.

Don’t worry, though, Austin Baby Guru has you covered so that you will have your bags for birth packed in plenty of time! Keep reading for our client-approved packing lists.*

*This blog post contains affiliate links for products that we think highly of. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). ABG links to these products because of their quality and not because of the commission we receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

How to Pack Your Bags for Birth 

Our first recommendation is to pack two bags for birth, especially if you are birthing at a hospital! Most of the time you will labor and deliver in a different part of the hospital from where you will stay postpartum. When you arrive, bring in only what you need for labor. You partner or another support person can return to the car for your postpartum items when you are moved after birth. 

What to Pack in Labor Bag:

    • Outfit or gown to labor in. For many people having a familiar clothing item is comforting and feels less sterile.
    • Robe and slippers for walking the halls.
    • Music and a way to play it. Many people use their cell phone and a small speaker. By the way, creating a playlist can be a fun prenatal activity!
    • Hard candy and/or lollipops to soothe dry mouth, which can happen during the hard work of labor.
    • Hair bands and/or headbands
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and/or mouthwash for the birthing person and partner.
    • Lip balm
    • Extra pillow or two. Use a colorful pillow case so your pillows don’t get mixed up with hospital bedding or left behind.
    • Cell phone & charger. You’ll likely want someone to take photos during labor and birth, which is something you can address in your birth plan. Plus, you’ll want to send announcement texts or calls after the birth.
    • Change of clothes for your partner 
    • Bathing suit for your partner. This is helpful if you’re laboring in the shower or bath.
    • Baby book if you want to put footprints directly in it.

What to Pack in Postpartum Bag:

    • Outfit or gown for postpartum.
    • Breastfeeding pillow.
    • White noise machine. This will help baby and YOU. Hospitals are noisy at times, and you’ll all need the rest.
    • Toiletries. The hospital provides very little, and it can be soothing to use your regular products.
    • Clothing with easy access for breastfeeding. Bring 1-2 items or outfits that are loose and comfy!
    • Nursing bra or tanks.
    • Snacks and/or change for the snack machine.  The hospital will also have snacks for birthing person in nutrition room, but it can be nice to have favorite snacks on hand.
    • Clothes for the trip home. Again, think comfortable, loose, and approximately 5-months pregnant, size-wise. 
    • Clothes and toiletries for partner if they are staying in the hospital with you.
    • Baby clothes for the trip home— and lots of photos. 
    • Car seat. You will need the car to take the baby from the hospital! We suggest having the car seat installed a few weeks before your due date so that you are ready to go (Leave the car seat in the car until discharge day.)

Things Not to Pack:

Don’t worry about including baby diapers, wipes, baby clothes, or blankets for the baby in your bags for birth. The hospital will provide all of this for baby. You can also leave your peri bottle, pads, and panties at home– unless you’d like to avoid the mesh underwear and/or want to use an adult diaper.

In the coming months and weeks, you will have a lot on your mind. We understand! Let this packing list for your birth bags take one step off your plate, share it with your partner or other support team members, and ask for help when you need it.

If you’d like support or coaching through the preparation process, please reach out. Austin baby Guru is here for you.