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Packing for the Hospital

We've all seen a comedy scene where a family is wildly scrambling to pack for the hospital while a woman in labor yells at her partner. That scene is probably not part of your preferred birth plan. To avoid it, we recommend you get organized and pack at week 36 or 37 of your pregnancy.

While you are packing for the hospital, make sure you know your driving time to the UnityPoint Health – Methodist Birthing Center. And get hospital bags for mom and the family packed and ready to bring with you when you go into labor.

What to Bring to the Hospital for Labor

For your comfort and your family's, we suggest you get several kits together. We find that packing for these scenarios helps everyone be prepared:

  • Labor: A small bag with just the items you'll need during labor
  • Postpartum: A large bag for mom, packed like you would for a weekend trip
  • Baby: A bag for your newborn baby's belongings
  • Partner: For your labor coach, with things to keep them comfortable and entertained

Labor Packing List

Bring a small bag to the hospital, and include things Mom might need for labor. Suggested items are:

  • Your birth plan – bring a few copies for your chart, your nurses and the room
  • Massage oil and tools such as tennis balls (in a sock) or a foam noodle
  • Relaxing music on a CD or a playlist on your phone and a Bluetooth speaker
  • Your own birth ball (if you prefer)
  • Bathing suit top or dark-colored sports bra (for the jet tub)
  • Cell phone charger
  • Hair ties or barrettes
  • Lip balm

After Labor

A larger bag for your postpartum room will help make your stay comfortable. New moms should pack a hospital bag with:

  • Bathrobe, nightgown, slippers, slipper socks
  • A going-home outfit – stretchy and comfortable since you may still look 5-6 months pregnant
  • Slip-on shoes
  • Toiletries
  • A nursing bra, breast pads and nipple cream
  • Preferred healthy snacks such as granola bars, crackers, fruit, etc., though you can also choose from many snacks in the nourishment center

For Baby

You'll want to be ready for your baby's stay in the hospital. It will help to have:

  • Pediatric provider's contact information
  • Going-home and picture outfits
  • Pair of socks or booties
  • Cap
  • Blanket, depending on the weather
  • Extra bag for gifts
  • Infant car seat with the base secured properly in your car (required to leave the hospital with your baby)

For Your Partner (and Family)

Your birth partner and family will want to be comfortable while they visit or stay with you. Have them pack a bag with:

  • Change of clothes and clothes for sleeping
  • Basic toiletries
  • Money for vending machines, cafeteria or room service meals
  • Preferred snacks
  • Electronic entertainment
  • A camera or video camera and film, memory card or batteries
  • Charging cords for cell phones and tablets and laptops
  • Reading materials
  • Entertainment and snacks for new siblings
  • A reminder note to collect all of the chargers

Contact the Birthing Center

Call 309-672-4852 to schedule a tour of the Birthing Center.

For information about childbirth preparation classes, see our Classes and Events page or call 309-671-2522.

Preregister now to reserve your space.