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Everything But The Kitchen Sink


One of the most common questions we as doulas get asked is “What should I pack in my hospital bag?” The answer is going to be different for everyone, but there are some things we definitely recommend everyone have. If possible, having 2 bags (a labour bag and a postpartum bag) will help to keep things organized.

Labour bag:
– chap stick! Hospitals are dry
– hair ties (if you have long hair)
– reusable water bottle
– comfortable shoes/slippers. Hospital floors are cold
– snacks for your partner (foods with protein that don’t have strong smells are best)
– your own pillow in a coloured pillowcase
– toiletries like a toothbrush and tooth paste
– chargers for phones and other electronics

– a change of clothes and a bathing suit for your partner


Postpartum bag:
– nursing bras if you are planning to nurse
– comfortable clothes or pj’s to last 3 days (most people aren’t in their pre-pregnancy clothes right away)
– overnight pads or Depends
– diapers for baby
– sleepers/going home outfit for baby
– nursing pillow
– infant car seat
– more snacks

– music and small speakers
– a small blanket
– camera
– bathing suit (for the shower or tub, if you don’t want to be nude)
– clothes to labour in if you don’t want to wear a hospital gown
– tablet or book

There may be things we’ve missed that you couldn’t possibly live without! Make sure that is something you pack. If there is something you aren’t sure about, just ask your doula! And remember, all Ontario hospitals are scent free!

Photo by Alexander Ward. Used under Creative Commons Licensing.

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