A hospital bag for delivering a baby should contain anything that the mother will need to remain comfortable throughout the birthing process. It should also contain items for the father, partner or birthing coach. Hospital bags should be packed and ready to go about a month prior to the due date.
The hospital bag should include a birth plan, a source of photo identification, health insurance documents, a bathrobe, a nightgown and slippers or socks. It can also include eyeglasses or contacts, a pillow, a device for playing music and a book for long periods of waiting.
The birthing coach or partner will need toiletries and two or three changes of clothes. He or she should also have cash and credit cards, snacks, something to read or watch and comfortable shoes.
Necessary items for after giving birth include a cell phone charger, a nursing bra, toiletries, a set of clothes for returning home, a receiving blanket and an outfit for the baby to wear home. Optional items include a baby or memory book, nipple cream, disposable underwear and pads, sandals for showering, products to keep hair tied back, nail clippers or a nail file, a watch and candy. An extra empty bag will be useful for bringing gifts and hospital supplies home.