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What to pack in your maternity bag

It is almost time to deliver your little bundle of joy. So what do you need to bring to the hospital? Audrey Thompson, RN, IBCLC, a perinatal educator at Piedmont Atlanta, shares a few tips on packing your maternity bag. 

1. Pack your bag between week 35 and week 36 of your pregnancy. “You never know when you will go into labor,” says Thompson. “It’s important to have your bag packed around this time and to have your car seat installed and inspected.”

2.  Don’t overpack. “Some people bring in an enormous duffle bag and only use two things in it,” says Thompson. “Pack less than you think you will need because Piedmont provides almost everything.”

3. Pack separate bags for labor and post-delivery. “You’re not going to need your massage tools, your LED candles or any labor support items after you have the baby,” says Thompson.  “And you don't need your baby's outfits and shampoo while you're in labor. So it's really great to have them in two separate bags.”

In the labor bag, include:

  • Camera and batteries/charging cords

  • Comfortable clothes

  • Extra pillows and blankets

  • Favorite music and playlist

  • Hair bands and hair clips

  • Insurance card and government-issued ID

  • Lip balm

  • Pediatrician’s name and contact information

  • Robe and slippers and/or non-slip socks

  • Water bottle

In the post-delivery bag, include:

  • Cosmetics

  • Going-home outfits for you and baby

  • Outfit for baby photos

  • Sleepwear

  • Toiletries

  • Two to three nursing bras

4. Personalize your room. “Sometimes people like to bring things that make the room personal,” says Thompson. “It could be an inexpensive, cozy throw or a favorite pillow or blanket from home. It should be something inexpensive or replaceable, because the birth process can be a messy one.  And we don't want anything to get broken or ruined in the process.”

5. Don’t bring too much for baby. “A lot of parents like to have a blanket or special outfit for their newborn to go home in, but beyond that, we’ve got you covered,” she says. “We provide diapers, wipes, t-shirts, hats and blankets.”

Learn more about Piedmont’s maternity services.

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