Here’s a compilation of the top things 101 Mamas recommend to have in your hospital bag for your adventure to the other side of motherhood ❤
If you’re expecting your first, you may look at this boxing water bottle and think it’s superfluous, but honestly, this was by far the #1 recommended item by all the 101 mamas. There are several brand options, but just make sure you get one that’s clear so you can see how much liquid is in it and most importantly, that has a very long, flexible straw. Your partner/birthing assistant can bring it to your mouth as you labor and it’s fantastic for the thirst explosions you get throughout your time breastfeeding.
#2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker ($100) + Ready to Go Playlists on Spotify/Cell Phone
Many mamas will tell you that being able to set the ambiance in your hospital room as much as possible is key to helping you feel at peace for labor. Having my own music made a big difference, especially during push time (fun fact: my baby was born to Toots and the Maytals 🤣).
☀️ BONUS TIP: Make playlists for both labor and the days after so you have fresh tunes for your whole hospital stay and your baby is introduced to the world via music that mama likes! Thanks for the tip Jen!
#3 Sweat-proof Sandals/Slides ($15–$20)
You’ll be so happy to have sandals you can just slide in and out of every time you go to the bathroom etc. Slides are better than flip flops because they’re much easier to wear with socks and/or with sweaty feet, which trust us, you’ll find very convenient as you transition from home to hospital during early (or late!) labor.
#4 Lip Balm/Chapstick ($2.50 each)
You will be shocked at how chapped your lips get and how desperate you are for chapstick throughout your labor. Take a few sticks just in case your frantic partner can’t find it when you most need it 😉
#5 Delivery Gown / Robe ($30)
Lots of mamas recommend having your own delivery gown or robe for the hospital. This one that 101 mama Tamara suggests has various prints available, snaps up the back and along the chest area for easy access nursing. As another option, 101 mama Heather recommends this simple nursing robe that can also be used at home.
☀️ BONUS TIP: If you don’t want to get a gown, I recommend taking a zip up sweatshirt, button down shirt or nursing top so you can be comfy in the hospital and still be able to easily breastfeed skin to skin.
#6 Eye Mask ($10) / Essential Oils
Again, to best be able to be in your own zone during labor, we recommend a blackout eye mask. My doula recommended this one because it doesn’t touch your eyes because sometimes laboring mamas don’t like any extra sensations. It’s also great for getting more 😴 with the nurses coming in and out of your room all the time.
#7 Extra Pillows / Wedge Pillow (#23)
In 101 mama Alicia’s words: “These saved my life at the hospital, then Jules (another mama in the group) used them at hospital and then at home to help with C-section recovery and lack of mobility. Total game changer!” By the way it’s also a pregnancy pillow!
#8 Frida Peri Bottle ($16)
The peri bottles they give you in the hospital will suffice, but while I haven’t tried this myself, the fact that it has an upward facing spout is genius! Your perineum will thank you.
#9 Hair Ties / Hair Clips ($5)
Labor is called labor for a reason. This may be the hardest you ever work in your life. You’ll want to have your hair tied back and some extra ties or clips in case one is lost or breaks.
#10 Gift Cards / Chocolates / Small Gifts for Delivery Nurses (prices vary)
If this is your first baby, you’ll be shocked to learn how hard your labor and delivery nurses work and how much they can add to your birth story. Both you and the nurses will be grateful you have a token of appreciation for them 🙌 🙌
☀️ BONUS TIP: Help set the mood in the hospital for birth the way you want it with these flameless battery-operated candles ($30 for a set of 12). According to 101 mama Heather: “The candles gave the hospital room just enough light that the nurses didn’t have to turn anything on when they came in and check in on us while we were sleeping.”