When you imagine giving birth, you may feel a combination of emotions. Add to that all of the little logistical details and, yes, it’s completely understandable to feel a bit overwhelmed at times.

Here’s the thing, mama: You’ve got this—and we’ve got you. By taking a few of those little details off your to-do list, you can give the glorious gift of some more mental space to focus on anticipating the wonderful moment when you meet your baby. 

While there is only so much you can do ahead of time, one of the best tasks to cross off your list early in the third trimester is packing up a hospital bag. Trust us, the moment you start feeling contractions is not when you want to toss together the bag in a rush. 

When packing your hospital bag to give birth, you shouldn’t have much of a problem with remembering the essentials... Comfy robe? Check. Baby’s going home outfit? Check. Swaddling blankets? Check. Phone charger? Check. Makeup and hair care products? Check.

Among the Motherly team, however, there have been plenty of hospital bags packed—and here’s what we wish we would have remembered to include...

Thank You Cards

After delivery, your top priorities should be resting and bonding with your baby. But, if you have a moment (and you almost certainly will), this is a great opportunity to write thank-you notes to the doctor, nurses and support staff who have helped during labor, delivery and recovery.

Nourishing Snacks

We all know hospital food is, well, less than amazing. Prepare yourself by stocking up your bag with some nourishing, delicious snacks to help fuel you after welcoming your baby. We’re partial to Nunona’s whole food, plant-based bites that can help with the production of breast milk.

Postnatal Supplements

Just like how prenatal vitamins support your body and your baby’s development during pregnancy, specially formulated postnatal supplements can also help—starting after your baby’s arrival. By adding these to your hospital bag, you’ll get the vitamins and minerals needed to replenish your body after the incredible feat of bringing a baby into the world.

Compression Socks

For many mamas, one not-so-joyous part of the postpartum experience is continued swelling in the lower legs and feet. (This is especially common if you have a cesarean section or get IV fluids.) An upgrade over regular socks, compression socks will help minimize discomfort from swelling.

Want to simplify the task of packing your hospital bag? We've got you covered with our fully loaded bags.

Shoppable