Women's Health

What to pack in your maternity bag

Photo of pregnant woman prepping for baby's arrival


By Stacy Reader, RN, Maternal-Child Health

Welcoming a new life into the world is a remarkable journey, and as you approach your due date, it’s crucial to have your maternity bag ready to go. Packing this bag is not only practical but also symbolic, as it marks the transition into parenthood. Ensuring you have all the essentials will alleviate stress and allow you to focus on the beautiful experience ahead. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what to pack in your maternity bag:

What to pack for mom

Comfortable clothing:
Pack loose-fitting nightgowns, pajamas and robes for your hospital stay and opt for breathable fabrics that accommodate your changing body.

Nursing bras and breast pads: If you plan to breastfeed, nursing bras provide support and convenience. Breast pads can absorb leakage and keep you comfortable.

Toiletries: Bring your own toiletries, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and skincare essentials. Don’t forget hair ties or clips for labor.

Comfort items: Pack items that bring you comfort, such as a favorite pillow, cozy blanket or essential oils for relaxation.

Entertainment: Bring books, magazines or a tablet loaded with movies or podcasts to help pass the time during labor or recovery.

Snacks: Pack nutritious snacks to keep your energy levels up during labor and afterward. Consider items like granola bars, nuts, dried fruit or crackers.


Learn more about maternity classes and support services at Nuvance Health.

What to pack for baby

Choose soft, comfortable fabrics that are gentle on their delicate skin. Do not pack too much clothing because hospitals often provide onesies designed for them to do assessments and check babies’ vital signs. An outfit or two for pictures and going home is enough.

Swaddle blankets: Swaddling helps babies feel secure and promotes better sleep. Pack a few lightweight swaddle blankets for your baby.

Feeding supplies: If you plan to breastfeed, don’t forget to pack a nursing pillow for support.

Car seat: Ensure you have a properly installed infant car seat ready to take your baby home from the hospital.


Learn more about Nuvance Health’s maternity services and birthing centers.

What to pack for partner/support person

Comfortable clothing:
Your partner/support person should pack comfortable clothing and essentials such as medication for their stay.

Snacks and beverages: Pack snacks and drinks to keep them nourished and hydrated during your hospital stay.

Entertainment: Bring entertainment such as books, magazines or a tablet to help pass the time.

Phone charger: Don’t forget a phone charger to stay connected and capture precious moments.


Miscellaneous items to pack

Important documents:
Bring your identification, insurance information, pediatrician contact information and any necessary hospital paperwork.

Camera or smartphone: Capture memories of your baby’s first moments with a camera or smartphone.

Birth plan: If you have a birth plan, make sure to bring copies for your healthcare providers.

Related Content:
Putnam Hospital Birthing Center celebrates one-year anniversary

Final tips on what to pack

Start packing your maternity bag well in advance of your due date to avoid last-minute stress. Keep a checklist handy to ensure you don’t forget anything important. Customize your bag based on your personal preferences and needs.


Keep in mind that packing your maternity bag is an important step in preparing for your baby’s arrival. By including these essential items, you’ll be ready for a comfortable and smooth hospital stay, allowing you to focus on the incredible journey of bringing new life into the world.


Stacy Reader is a Registered Nurse in Maternal-Child Health at the Putnam Hospital Birthing Center. She is credentialed in Inpatient Obstetric Nursing (RNC-OB) and in Electronic Fetal Monitoring (C-EFM). She is a Childbirth Class Educator and can be reached at putnamprenatalclasses@nuvancehealth.org