Hospitals are beepey, bright and annoying. Literally the opposite of what is conducive to good sleep. Even if you are planning and unmedicated labor and don't picture yourself sleeping during labor, you will want this for AFTER the birth while napping during the day.
These are vital for anyone giving birth, regardless of your plans for feeding baby. The breasts will go through lactation changes and need to be supported in a way that is comfortable and non-restricting. Breast size will fluctuate after birth so it's really important to have a stretchy tank top that can hold the varying sizes. You will likely live in these once you're home... at least for the first few weeks while your breasts regulate size.
Yesssss you get something like this from the hospital. You get mesh "one size fits all" wedgie-making disposable panties. These are better. WAY better. You also will likely need these things BEFORE you actually get to the hospital. If you water breaks while you're at home, you will be glad you have this massive diaper to wear. You will also be thankful you have them after you deliver as they are the best way to contain the postpartum bleeding.
Hands down, my favorite labor and birth preparation book. Bring this to the hospital with you as a tool to quickly reference when you need ideas for what to do in your labor. Written by a doula, having this in your bag is the next best thing to having an actual doula with you.
Nurses have to wear gloves anytime they are near you and between the constant gloving and constant hand sanitizing, their hands are usually happy to get some quality moisturizing TLC. Pair this excellent travel-size hand cream with a nice local chocolate and your nurses will be thrilled. If you want to step it up a notch, you can put the chocolate and hand cream inside a reusable straw cup with other goodies like chapstick & teas. You will likely have 3-4 nurses in your rotation during labor and 2 for your postpartum time. If you have a cesarean, you'll have 6 for postpartum.
Hospitals smell like, well... a hospital. Antiseptic and sterile. You can make a more comforting environment for your team and your baby by diffusing some light aromatherapy in the room. Hospitals do not allow open flame so you'll need to make sure you have one of these water-based electric diffusers on hand.
Again, no open flame in a hospital means no candles! But these little LED ones are amazing at mimicking the vibe of a candle lit room. Sticking these around your room is an excellent alternative to the bright fluorescent lighting of a hospital room.
This little bugger is a MUST if you are planning an unmedicated labor. Early labor is long and can be made easier at home with the help of a tens unit placed on the low back. Do your research and talk to your care provider about how to use it appropriately in labor but this gadget is SO handy and portable. I have 3 of these in my doula bag on rotation as I'm often leaving them with my clients for use at home in early labor.
Waterproof is really important here... a lot of people spend time in the tub for a good portion of their labor and they will still want their calming music or hypnosis tracks to follow them wherever they go. This little SONY speaker packs an great sound in a little case, and the battery lasts forever. Definitely a must-have!