5 Things You Shouldn't Pack for Labor

A pregnant woman packing a suitcase for the hospital
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Packing your hospital bag is something that most people spend a lot of time thinking about. The problem is that many of the packing lists available are actually very outdated and still include items that you don't need for your birth. Packing all of the things on some of the lists would have you bringing multiple bags to the hospital and make it look more like you were moving in than coming for a few days to have a baby.

While it sounds pretty innocuous to have more things that you need, the truth is that having too much stuff can be quite a burden. For starters, your room, as large as it may feel, will quickly feel cramped with people and stuff if you have a lot of luggage laying around. In the vast majority of hospitals you will also need to change rooms, so whatever you bring with you, you will have to move rooms with it. When your baby is here, moving luggage will be the last thing on your mind. So, here are some things that you can definitely leave home.

Here are five things you shouldn't pack for labor:

1. Coins/Change for Phones

While bringing pocket change was once recommended so that you could call your friends and family after the birth. Now, with cellphones and computers, who can even find a pay phone? You will, however, want to ensure that you pack your charger and cables. You may also bring a backup battery pack if you aren't sure if you'll have access to a plug.

This might be a great question to ask on your tour of the facility.

2. Multiple Baby Outfits 

Your baby will spend a lot of time wearing next to nothing for that skin to skin time and wearing a tiny t-shirt provided by your hospital. You will need to bring an outfit for going home and any outfits that you need for the official hospital photos.

You may also find that some people will gift you clothes and bring them to the hospital. Don't overdo it with your packing.

3. Jewelry & Makeup

In addition to the swelling that many women have after birth, making it difficult to wear additional jewelry, there is simply no need for it. You may also find it easily lost or stolen in the hospital. If you want to wear simple jewelry like your wedding rings, be sure that someone knows that you have them on and can take them from you in the event of surgery or other needs. If you prefer to wear makeup, bring as little as possible with you so you don't lose it or get it contaminated.

4. Coat 

Given the fact that you're dropped off at one door and picked up at another... there is little room for a coat. A coat can take up a lot of space in a usually cramped room anyway. If you must bring a coat, consider leaving it in the car. It will be there waiting for you or you can have someone bring it up later if you really need it.

5. Games, Videos, and the Like 

While it seems like you might have a lot of downtime once your baby is born, the truth is there is very little time for watching videos, playing games, etc.

Worst case scenario most hospitals offer both television and many have a video library of baby care topics. You may also be able to stream videos on your phone or a tablet. 

There are a few other items that fall into this category for some women and yet others swear that they  are indispensable. That includes items like:

  • Your own feminine pads (better than the hospitals)
  • Food for you or your partner (some snacks for labor seem to be the exception)

It is also important to leave at home anything that is flammable, including candles. Overall, use good common sense when packing for labor.

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