6 Surprising Items You Should Include In Your Hospital Bag For Your Birth At UNC Wayne In Goldsboro

bags outside of registration door at hospital as parents check in for induction

During my time as a mother preparing for my own babies and as a birth photographer, I have spent countless hours thinking about and researching what to pack in hospital bags when planning for labor and delivery. Whether you are birthing at a hospital or birth center, I have found that these 6 items are essential to making your stay as comfortable and relaxing as possible.

a mother laboring while her partner supports her

1. Your Pillow

At the end of your pregnancy, finding a comfortable position to lay down in is nearly impossible. It usually involves either a ton of pillows or one, LARGE, pregnancy pillow. During labor, many moms will try to walk and move around but there may be times when you need to rest or lay down and when you do, you will be so happy you brought your comfy pillow(s). There is nothing quite like laying down on your own pillow that is already worn in just the way you like it so you can rest and focus on your labor.

dad putting on gloves to help catch baby

2. Honey Sticks (Snacks)

Honey sticks have been a popular snack at my last few labors. Honey is sweet and provides energy for mom while not being too heavy on the stomach in case you start feeling nauseous. If honey sticks aren’t your thing, I still recommend you bring some light snacks that you enjoy as well as snacks for your support person(s). Birth is hard work and can be exhausting so small snacks can really help you keep up your stamina and labor on. Another good suggestion is to bring cash/coins for vending machines in case you run out of snacks or your hospital provides meal vouchers for you and/or your guests which sometimes are cash-only purchases.

3. Chapstick

This list is in no-particular order because if I was putting these items in order of importance, chap stick would probably be my number 1 suggestion. Clinical air is dry and a lot of pain management during labor focuses on your breathing so prepare for your lips to be dry! I would recommend a FEW tubes of your favorite chap stick in different places. During the chaos of labor, I have often misplaced things I wanted and was looking for. Tell your support person(s) to ask you periodically if you need any chap stick if you’d like as well.

Side note: I ALWAYS bring chap stick in my photographer bag to births for this reason and try to bring extra for the birthing person, support, and nurses as well. It is seriously THAT important.

mom keeping warm under blanket and eating after giving birth

4. Comforting Items to make you feel more at home

Trying to make yourself at home in a hospital or clinical setting can be difficult. I suggest your bring some items specifically for helping yourself feel more comfortable during labor (and after). For me, I loved having my robe because I could easily throw it on over my gown or body and feel less exposed while still being easily accessible for birth and breastfeeding after. Essential oils are another tool I see being used during labor a lot and it can definitely help change the atmosphere of the room. In a Facebook post asking for suggestions of what others had to have in their bag. some supporters also recommended twinkle lights and comfy socks for improving comfort.

playing cards during labor to help pass the time

5. Entertainment (deck of cards, dominoes, etc.)

Games, conversation cards, and journals are all things I have seen used to pass time and I wish I would’ve thought to bring some of these things with me during my labors. When you are waiting for your contractions to get closer together or resting with some pain management, you will find a deck of cards, dominoes, or other forms of entertainment super helpful. These also make for some great stories and memories later on to share with your children when they get older.

6. Special blankets or items for baby.

Hospital blankets and hats are great for keeping baby warm especially while they’re still fresh and wet. But it is a great idea to bring a personal blanket from home for all of those pictures you will be taking (and having taken) when your baby is here. I always ask my clients if they have anything sentimental or special from home that they want me to take pictures with as well. I love the stories and memories that are shared with these special things and these photographs always end up being some of my favorites. I’ve seen gifts from big brothers/sisters, blankets from grandma, family traditions, and more.

baby in personalized outfit with gift from family

These are 6 surprising things that will make your hospital or birth center experience a little better-guaranteed! Did you know that I have an in-person consultation with all of my birth clients and send out a complete birth client guide that goes over everything about the photography experience when documenting your birth story? I also include a TON of handouts and information from evidence-based sources to help parents prepare and have an amazing experience. If you are ready to sit down and start planning your birth story session, fill out the form at the link below so we can get you scheduled. I only take a limited number of births each month so let’s get your due date reserved as soon as possible!