Published on April 27, 2015

How to pack your bag for the BirthCenter

What You Do—and Don't—Need to Pack for the BirthCenter

When you go into labor, the last thing you want to think about is what you need to take with you to the hospital.

To prepare for delivery day, keep the items you need packed and in the car (or by the front door) starting at your 36th week of pregnancy. This will ensure you're ready to head to the Genesis BirthCenter at a moment's notice.

Unsure of what to pack for yourself, your partner or your new arrival? Just follow the helpful guidelines below.

What You Need to Bring

Make sure to include these items in your packed bag.

Documents & Information

  • Picture ID
  • Insurance information
  • Hospital registration forms (if you haven'preregistered online)
  • Birth plan (if you have one) – Your labor, delivery, and postpartum preferences
  • List of people to contact about the birth – So you don't have to remember on the spot
  • Envelope or file folder – Stores any paperwork you get


  • Two to three pairs of warm, non-slip socks – You may want to walk around during and after labor. Choose socks you don't mind getting ruined.
  • Two nursing bras without underwire – Even if you don't plan to breastfeed
  • Nursing pads – Even if you don't plan to breastfeed; will guard against leaks by absorbing milk
  • Maternity underwear – Choose some you don't mind getting ruined.
  • Going-home outfit – Sized for when you were approximately six-months pregnant


  • Deodorant
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Face wash
  • Lotion

Accessories & Personal Items

  • Lip balm – Since your fluid intake will be limited, your lips may get dry.
  • Hairbrush
  • Headband or ponytail holder – Clips are OK but may poke you if you lean back.
  • Eyeglasses and contact lenses (including case and solution)

Technology & Devices

  • Cell phone and charger
  • Camera and/or video camera (or smartphone)
  • Extra film, batteries or memory card for camera (if applicable)

Additional Items

  • Hard candy or lozenges – Keeps your mouth moist during labor
  • Pen and paper
  • Nonperishable snacks or change for the vending machines – In case the cafeteria is closed after delivery
  • Empty bag – To carry home items you get at the hospital

What You Might Like to Bring

These items aren't necessities, but they might make your experience more comfortable.

Documents & Information

  • Baby book – If you'd like the nursery to place your baby's footprints in it


  • Warm sweater or robe – Choose one you don't mind getting ruined.
  • Sports bra – Some women find it helpful to use in hydrotherapy during labor.
  • Nightgown – Choose one you don't mind getting ruined. It should have loose or short sleeves so you can have your blood pressure taken and open in the front if you plan to breastfeed. A dark color or busy pattern will help hide stains.
  • Slippers you can put on and take off easily – Choose a pair you don't mind getting ruined.

Accessories & Personal Items

  • Back massager – Helps alleviate labor pain
  • Makeup

Technology & Devices

  • Music – Can help you relax
  • MP3 player docking station or portable speaker

Additional Items

  • Towel for your car seat – In case your water breaks on the way to the hospital
  • Light reading, such as magazines – Can help distract you during labor
  • Massage oils – Can help relieve back labor
  • Extra pillow – Choose one you can distinguish from the hospital's pillow and that you don't mind getting ruined.

What You Don't Need to Bring

You can find these items at the Genesis BirthCenters if you need them. If you prefer to use a certain brand or your own personal item, though, you are welcome to bring it.

  • Labor tools, such as a labor ball – Help alleviate pain 
  • Stopwatch to time contractions – There's an app for that.
  • Nursing pillow – For breastfeeding or bottle feeding
  • Hairdryer
  • Breast pump
  • Heavy-flow sanitary pads
  • Nipple cream – Helps alleviate sore, cracked nipples from breastfeeding

What Your Partner Needs to Bring

Your partner should also pack some items, especially if he or she will stay overnight with you in the room.

  • Change of clothes
  • Pajamas
  • Bathing suit – If you want his or her support in the shower or labor tub
  • Toiletries – Including toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush and other items, as needed
  • Nonperishable snacks or change for the vending machines – So he or she doesn't have to go far for something to eat or drink during labor
  • Light reading
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Camera and/or video camera (or smartphone)
  • Extra film, batteries or memory card for camera (if applicable)

What to Bring for Your Baby

  • Coming-home outfit – Including booties or socks
  • Hat – Light material for warmer months and heavier material for colder months
  • Warm blanket – For the ride home
  • Seasonally appropriate outdoor wear – Newborns are especially sensitive to cold.
  • Installed, rear-facing infant car seat – Needed to leave the hospital

Experience How Genesis Delivers

Learn more about our safe, modern facilities. Sign up online for a tour of the Davenport BirthCenter, or call 309-281-4450 to schedule a tour of the Silvis BirthCenter.