Whether you’re an expectant mother or her support person, you may be wondering what to pack for the trip to the hospital for labor and delivery. It’s a good idea to pack your necessities and extras about a month in advance.
The arrival of your baby can be a chaotic time. Salem Health nurses recommend bringing less than what people typically expect. Stick to the essentials on this list to be prepared but not overwhelmed.
- Health insurance card
- Picture ID
- Hospital forms (download here)
- Copies of your birth plan
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Lip balm
- Hair accessories (Headbands and hair ties are best because clips may poke you uncomfortably.)
- Two nursing bras and nursing pads (Even if you are not breastfeeding, these will make you more comfortable as your milk comes in.)
- A comfortable, roomy going-home outfit (New moms are usually around the size they were at five or six months pregnant.)
- A warm bathrobe and slippers
- A heavier blanket, depending on the season
- Music to play during labor, if desired
- Sugar-free candy or lozenges to prevent a dry mouth
- A focal point item (Sometimes focusing on a picture, flower or photo of a loved one can help you during relaxation breathing.)
Items for baby
- A going-home outfit and hat
- Receiving blankets to help position the baby in the car seat
- Child safety seat for car (You can wait to bring this until the mother moves up to the Mother/Baby Unit.)
Items for support person
Many moms leave with more than they came with — another reason to leave extra items at home. Friends and family often bring gifts. Salem Health will also have some items to send home with you, including a personalized diaper bag, a memento newborn t-shirt, water bottles for mom and support person and two celebratory wine glasses with a bottle of Martinelli’s sparkling cider.
Things to leave at home
Meals for mom and a support person are provided by Salem Health after your baby is born, so let us do the cooking! The hospital also provides TVs/DVD players, essential oils for relaxation, post-delivery underwear, baby diapers and breast pumps.
If you have other questions about what to bring or expect, visit the Salem Health Family Birth center webpage
. You can take a virtual tour and learn about the birthing suites, visitor information and other resources.