20 things a labor nurse says to pack in your hospital bag

pink hospital bag on a bed


Aside from being an IBCLC trained lactation specialist, I’ve also been a labor and delivery RN for five years. From unexpected breech delivery to multiples to emergent c-section to everything in between. Let’s just say I’ve seen A LOT! This has given me a “behind the scenes” perspective on the labor, delivery, and postpartum process. So after many clients have asked me what they should put into their hospital bag, I came up with this list to share. Hopefully some of these things will make your recovery a little more comfortable and functional. Your spouse will thank me from having to run home 20 times!

20 Things to Pack

1. Robe (Find a comfortable robe, great for showering and temperature swings—I love Gilligan & O’Malley brand at Target)

2. Jammie Sets (Simply Vera or Gilligan & O’Malley)

3. Slippers (Nice to have for walking the halls. Find some cheap, you’ll want to throw these away before coming home-germs)
4. Depend disposable underwear (I know. But you may thank me big time for not having to wear huge pads inside mesh underwear. One piece coverage = less mess and more comfort).
5. Nursing bras (These have built-in clips for easy access. I like Gilligan & O’Malley at Target or @bamboobies brands)
6. @lillemer comfort breast packs (Flaxseed and lavender infused, can be used as heat or ice packs — use code LACLINK for 15% off)
7. @undercover_mama nursing undershirt (This undershirt converts any bra to a nursing bra. Use Code ‘LactationLink20’ for 20% off)
8. @coveredgoods multi-use cover (car seat cover to protect baby for when going home, then a nursing/carseat cover/scarf from there! Use code ‘lactationlink15’ for 15% off)
9. @coco_lavish natural deoderant (Because you want to smell fresh without all the chemicals-I use this stuff everyday. Use code ‘lactation link’ for 10% off your order. Her products are all-natural and she also has great spray diffuser and body butter and scrubs).
10. @babybeminematernity Gown (great material, awesome patterns, you may want to save for after delivery to avoid getting it soiled)
11. @eoproducts hand sanitizer (keep this right at your bedside and use often! My favorite is coconut+lemon)
12. @lansinohusa HPA lanolin nipple cream (if you would like a lanolin-free option try Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter)
13. Nursing breast pads @lilypadzllc are reusable/silicone pads. @bamboobies are reusable pads made from organic cotton and bamboo rayon. @johnsonsbaby has disposable breast pads (you don’t need all of them-try one and see what you like
14. @b_baby_boutique deflatable/portable nursing pillow (many Moms find the shape of this pillow to be more comfortable with their postpartum tummy)
15. Essential Oils small diffuser + a few calming oils (this will be a lifesaver during and after labor)
16. Hard Candy/Gum/Few snacks (this can help get rid of any cotton mouth or bad tastes after labor)
17. Chapstick (You never know when you may need this item! I like mint @eosproducts)
18. Toiletries (Bring your favorite shower gel and lotion in travel size if possible—Makes you feel more at home and you may not love the hospital supplies!)
19. Your own pillow (Sleep may be a little scarce post delivery, so comfort when you can rest is a priority!)
20. Outfit to wear home (Remember to pack a loose, comfortable outfit for you. Otherwise you’re coming home in what you arrived in).
I would love to help you get started breastfeeding and I’ve created this great e-mail course to help you get started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.