There is no easy answer to this question. Ideally the hospital would provide EVERYTHING, and some do, but many don’t.

More and more, hospitals are asking you to bring the basics like diapers, femine pads and water bottles. Others, usually birthing centers, pamper you with Egyptian cotton robes, free local calls and cable TV.

I think it’s pretty safe to assume your needs will be met. You won’t starve, your incision will be cared for and your baby will be safe BUT if you have preferences, a hospital may not be willing to accommodate them so you will want to be proactive.

Here are some things to consider:

-If you prefer organic and natural products you will want to pack your own soap, moisturizer, lip balm and cloth (or environmentally friendly) diapers.

-If you plan to breastfeed, bring nursing pads. Many hospitals do not provide these and there are many options (cloth, organic, disposable) so choose one that you like and have some handy.

-If you would rather not be seen in a hospital gown, bring some comfy clothes.

-Hospitals may ask you to bring your own femine pads and many women really don’t like the large “feels like I am wearing a diaper” pads the hospital provides so bring your own and you will be much more comfortable.

-Other nice-to-haves are a soft blanket for baby, refillable water bottle, slippers, baby wipes and lots of snacks (not too many moms rave about the fantastic meals at a hospital).

Patient care (ultimately your birth experience) varies depending on geographical locations, type of insurance, birthing center or hospital and the quality of care from staff. This is a wonderfully exciting time so as you pack your hospital bag, think of things that would make the birth experience comfortable, relaxing and what you want it to be and pack accordingly.

For more ideas on what to pack in your hospital bag, view our Free Printable Hospital Bag Checklist