Pack The Perfect Childbirth Bag

By Lindsay Ekstrom, RN St. Luke’s Birthing Center

Once you reach the third trimester, preparations are likely in full-swing. The nursery is being prepared, you’re meeting with your provider to go over your birth plan, and you’re dreaming of the day you finally get to hold your baby. As your due date approaches, it’s time for another key piece of planning: packing.

The bag you’ll take to the hospital is the most versatile piece of luggage you’ll ever pack. It should be full of everything you might need, no matter the situation. And, of course, it should have more than just what you’ll need. Because you’re packing for two, now.


  • Any forms the hospital needs
  • Insurance info
  • Birth plan



  • A robe or pajamas (our gowns are great, but nothing is as comfy as your own clothes)
  • Flip-flops or sandals (a lifesaver if your feet swell, which is very common)
  • Maternity or nursing bras, something without an underwire
  • Several pairs of large, comfortable underwear
  • Clothes to go home in



  • Something salty like pretzels or trail mix
  • Something sweet like gummy candies or chocolates
  • Something with protein like beef jerky or protein bars
  • Water bottle (for your partner/coach)
  • At St. Luke’s we offer diet soda, but if you’d prefer to bring your own regular soda or sparkling water, there’s plenty of space in your room’s mini fridge



  • Books or magazines
  • A favorite board or card game
  • Cell phone
  • Camera
  • A journal and your favorite pen to record your memories of the experience
  • At St. Luke’s, we’ll provide you with an iPad you can use to login to your streaming accounts to watch movies or TV shows over our free wifi. But, if you have a favorite film or series stored on your own device, feel free to bring it


Toiletries (travel-size versions, where possible)

  • Lip balm
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Face wash
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Lotion
  • Hair clips or ties


The Little Things That Are Easy To Forget

  • Eyeglasses, if you wear them
  • Contact lens case and solution, if you wear them
  • Extra-long chargers for your cell phone, tablet and/or laptop (this is the number one thing I tell people!)


Optionals For Some, Essentials For Others

* denotes an item St. Luke’s can provide, but moms are always welcome to bring their own

  • Sleep mask *
  • Ear plugs *
  • Heavy maternity pads or adult diapers (St. Luke’s provides postpartum feminine pads)
  • Nipple cream *
  • Pillows and blankets from home
  • Delivery playlist and bluetooth speaker
  • A fan *
  • If you’re having a photographer visit, you’ll need clothes and makeup for the pictures
  • A list of people to call with the good news, and a visitor schedule so you don’t get overwhelmed with well-meaning guests


For Your Baby

  • Two going-home outfit options (one in size NB, one in size 0-3)
  • Hat, socks, sweater and/or jacket – if the season calls for these
  • Car seat
  • Blankets to tuck around your baby when leaving the hospital
  • A baby book to get hand and footprints


For the Birth Certificate

  • If unmarried, the baby’s father will need to bring an ID
  • The name of the city and state in which the baby’s mother and father were born


What We Provide

Our birthing suites are designed to create a calming environment, with design features meant to feel more like a spa than a hospital space. That extends out to the items we provide new moms. So, while you’re always welcome to pack your own, rest assured that we can offer you everything from basic toiletries like shampoo and toothpaste; to birthing essentials like a sleep mask, ear plugs, nipple cream, maternity pads and a fan; to a brand new swaddle sack you can take home with your little one.

St. Luke’s Birthing Center is located in Duluth, MN, with St. Luke’s clinics in the surrounding region, including Superior, WI. To schedule a tour of St. Luke’s Birthing Center, call 218.249.5605.


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