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Labor: Preparing for the Hospital

During the final weeks of your pregnancy, you may have irregular contractions. You may feel a drop in your baby’s position. And the profile of your stomach may look a little different. Because due dates are not exact, have your bag packed and ready for the hospital.

Packing for the hospital

Pregnant woman sitting on bed putting items in overnight bag.

Here are some items you may want to have ready for the hospital:

  • A watch or clock with a second hand

  • Insurance card and identification

  • Nursing bra, nursing pads, and maternity underwear

  • Toiletries

  • Something to entertain yourself, like books or a tablet or laptop (and charging cord)

  • Heavy socks or slippers and a robe

  • Pillow

  • Mints or breath strips

  • Glasses or contact lenses

  • Clips for your hair, a brush, and lip balm

  • Important phone numbers or email addresses

  • Going-home outfits for you and your baby

  • A car seat to take your baby home in

Leaving for the hospital

Follow the instructions you’ve been given on when to leave for the hospital. You may be told to call your healthcare provider when it becomes hard to walk or talk during contractions or if your amniotic sac breaks (this causes a gush of water). If your partner makes the phone call for you, be nearby. That way, your healthcare provider can speak to you directly. Many women are told to go to the hospital after an hour of contractions that come  3 to 5 minutes apart. Leave sooner if the hospital is not nearby or is hard to get to.

Online Medical Reviewer: Donna Freeborn PhD CNM FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Tennille Dozier RN BSN RDMS
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2024
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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