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What to pack in your maternity bag

If you’re pregnant and nearing your delivery date, you may be wondering what to bring to the hospital. Which supplies will the hospital provide when you give birth? What will you need to pack yourself?

A maternity bag should be functional but not overstuffed, says Piedmont childbirth instructor DeAnne Smith, RNC-OB, CCE. Your hospital will offer most of the essentials, so focus on packing items to make you feel comfortable and relaxed.

“You may want to bring something that makes the room feel less like a hospital and more like a little touch of home,” Smith says.

Here are some of her tips for packing maternity bags:  

1. Pack your bag between week 35 and week 36 of your pregnancy.

Because you may begin labor earlier than expected, you’ll want your belongings packed and ready to go. 

2. Don’t bring too much.

Piedmont provides most necessities for you and your new baby during labor and post-delivery. The hospital gives mothers disposable panties and pads, and they can also use Piedmont’s medicine balls, peanut balls and breast pumps. Babies get diapers, wipes, shirts, hats, blankets and changing pads. 

3. Pack separate bags for labor and post-delivery.

Once you’ve given birth, you won’t need the same items you did during labor. Pack one bag for each part of your hospital stay.

“That way,” Smith says, “you’re not overwhelmed with items you don’t really need.” 

In your labor bag, include: 

  • Camera and batteries/charging cords
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Extra pillows and blankets
  • Favorite playlist and portable speakers
  • 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
  • Outfits for baby photos and going home
  • Sleepwear
  • Toiletries
  • Two to three nursing bras
  • Breastfeeding pillow

4. Personalize your room.

Blankets, LED candles, portable speakers and other favorite items can make your stay more pleasant. Pack things that can help you “feel more comfortable with your surroundings,” Smith says. 

Because labor and delivery can get messy, avoid bringing anything expensive or irreplaceable.  

5. Bring a couple special outfits for your baby.

Your newborn will have their picture taken at Piedmont, so you may want to pack clothes for the occasion. Many parents also bring a favorite outfit for their baby’s trip home, but Piedmont will provide everything the baby needs before that. While you’re staying at the hospital, staff members will ensure you have all the necessities. 

“The staff is there to help you through anything,” Smith says. 

Learn more about Piedmont’s maternity services.

Need to make an appointment with a Piedmont physician? Save time, book online.

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