Hospital Bag Essentials

I know it is hard not to pack everything JUST IN CASE you might need it, but trust me, it will be ok if you don’t bring it with you.  In light of the pandemic, hospitals and birth centers are trying to get you in and out to keep transmissions to a minimum, so PACK LIGHTLY.

I have packed 3 of my own bags and helped countless families prepare their bags as well so I think I have it down to a science. If you are early on in your pregnancy, file this blog post away and pull it up later, or print it out and check mark or cross things off as you put it in your bag.  Yes, rolling suitcases make transporting your stuff easier, but you can bring a duffle bag as well.  Pack in whatever you have around or borrow one, don’t go out and buy something new.

The place you deliver at is not a hotel so you will need to pack whatever makes you feel most comfortable being away from home. I realize that everyone has different routines and essentials, some do a lot, some do bare minimum, so I will include it all.  Travel size everything will be plenty.

You can pack your bag at any time, but it is important to have your hospital bag packed by 35 weeks, just in case your baby comes early.

TOILETRIES (this should be enough for mom and partner)

___Shampoo, conditioner or dry shampoo

___Body wash/Face wash/make up wipes


___Toothbrush and toothpaste/mouthwash/dental floss



___Chapstick/Make up

___Hair tyes/Scrunchies


___Contact stuff/Glasses

CLOTHING (mom and partner)

___Robe/front opening shirt

___Comfy pj’s, (preferably a nursing top if available), easy access, partner basketball shorts

___Going home outfit, loose fitting, change of clothes for partner

___Swimwear if planning to be in water for delivery

___Flip flops/Shower shoes

___Nursing bra/nursing tank top

___Underwear if you prefer not to wear the stretchy mesh hospital one’s home

___Socks if your feet get cold

___Jacket or sweat shirt as it gets cold in the rooms


___Outfit for going home

___Picture outfit

___Swaddlers (or learn to swaddle from hospital RN/PCT)

___Diaper bag (put all important paperwork in) can stay in car until discharge

___Properly installed car seat (can stay in the car until discharge)

___If cooler outside, socks, hat and blanket to go outside

___Diapers and wipes should be provided at the hospital but can be prepacked in diaper bag


___Phone charger (long cords are nice)

___Camera/batteries/extension cord

___Tube of nipple cream (your choice); hospitals should have as well

___Breast pads (won’t likely need them but if using nipple cream, they will prevent staining your bra)

___Nursing pillow (mybrestfriend, bosom baby or boppy).  Can be nice to have to know how to use it at home however, the hospital or birthing suite has a ton of pillows.  Leave it in the car until you need it.

___Snacks/gum/Hard candies/honey sticks (great for energy)

FOR LABOR & DELIVERY (can be a separate bag or packed on top of other things)

___Pre register at place of birth PRIOR to delivery or bring in paperwork with you

___Birth plan

___Insurance card/ID

___Heat or cold packs

___Massage oils or lotions

___Massage tools

___Peanut or birth ball (call place of delivery and ask if they already have them if you want one)

___Playlist for labor and delivery

___Birth affirmations

Years working in a hospital as a postpartum nurse and doing home visits as a postpartum doula and lactation educator, I’ve seen it all in hospital bags.  Just remember, hospitals or birthing centers provide you with most of what you need, if you are curious, call and ask:

TMC-520-327-5461 (
Banner University Medical Center-520-694-0111 (
St. Joes 520-873-3000 (
Northwest Women’s Center 520-742-9000 (
BabyMoon Inn 602-314-7755 (

They will tell you what they provide for you in Labor and Delivery and on the Postpartum unit. A good rule of thumb should be if you don’t want it to get dirty, DON’T bring it to the hospital.

Congratulations again, you are almost there! I am excited to hear how your delivery goes and once you get home and settled in, feel free to call as you get started on your motherhood, parenting and breastfeeding journey.  I’d be honored to help you as you transition and grow with your new family member. For more information or to contact me directly

Labor is approaching, what questions should you ask?

Labor QuestionsThird Trimester

Congratulations, you have made it to your 3rd trimester.  Your little one is packing on some weight and you feel her kicks and stretches even more powerfully now.  You are super excited to meet her BUT have patience because there is a lot of developing she still needs to do before she can safely come earth side. Soon she will be in your arms.

As your delivery date approaches, the reality that labor is coming becomes more real. You HAVE to give birth to this baby.

At this point in your pregnancy, you should be thinking about or working on your birth plan (lets people specifically know what you DO and DO not want during labor, delivery and the immediate postpartum period).  Some people want their goals written out, others just talk to their support people and make sure everyone is on the same page. Do whatever makes you feel the most comfortable.

Labor questions to ask your provider:

  • WHO will be delivering my baby? Again, is the OB or Midwife in a solo practice or in a group with other professionals? If a solo practice, ask who their back up/on call professional is. If a group practice, do I get to meet or schedule visits with the other doctors? What is your on call day?
  • Will you be at the hospital the entire time or do you come and go based on how I am progressing in labor?
  • When can we discuss my birth plan?
  • Are you ok with me NOT delivering on my back?
  • What is your position on inductions? Why would you induce me?
  • Vacuum and forceps usage?
  • Do I have to have an IV upon arrival? Oxytocin?
  • What monitoring do you recommend when I go into labor? External or internal?
  • Will you delay cord clamping?
  • Should I keep a copy of my prenatal records with me?
  • Do you perform cervical checks? If so, how often?
  • When labor begins, at what point should I call you?
  • Do you support vaginal breech births?
  • What is your c-section rate? Episiotomy rate? In what situations would you perform one?
  • How long will you let me go after my due date?

Labor questions


Understanding all your options and getting all your questions answered can help alleviate your fears, put you at ease to feel safe, informed and supported during your pregnancy and your labor and delivery.

Give me a call today to learn how I can help you feel the same way once your baby is in your arms and you are in the comfort of your home.

20 helpful questions to ask at your prenatal appointments

prenatal questionsYou have chosen your provider and the news that you are expecting is finally sinking in.  Maybe you get an early sonogram picture and your heart explodes at the life growing inside you. The wheels in your mind are spinning as prenatal questions keep popping up. You devour pregnancy books and ask friends but you won’t have peace of mind until you chat with your provider.

As an RN, a former certified childbirth educator and co-author of Starting out Right: Positive Strategies to Guide Adolescents through Healthy Pregnancy and Childbirth, I have heard almost every possible question that people have during their pregnancy. A good amount I can answer, others I will tell you I need to get back to you and some I will tell you to ask your OB or Midwife. [Read more…] about 20 helpful questions to ask at your prenatal appointments

Pregnant? Who provides your prenatal care?

2 lines or a + sign, now what?


Whom do you tell first? How do you share the news? When do you tell?

Wait a couple weeks or shout it from the rooftops? Sorry, there is no right answer.

Once the initial shock or excitement has worn off and the reality has set in, how do you decide who to go to for your prenatal care? When do you start getting prenatal care?  Do you see an OB/GYN? Or a Midwife? [Read more…] about Pregnant? Who provides your prenatal care?

How to talk about potential parenting issues before baby arrives? Part 1

Pregnancy Tips for Parenting Discussions

How to start talking about parenting with your partner before the baby arrives

Part 1

Postpartum RN-After Baby Consultant-Breastfeeding-Parenting-Home Safety-Consulting in Tucson

With all the excitement that surrounds your pregnancy; doctors’ appointments, picking out names, creating a registry, setting up the nursery, taking childbirth classes or reading books it is no wonder that parents forget to talk about HOW their lives will be affected after their baby arrives. Parenting starts before the baby arrives.

[Read more…] about How to talk about potential parenting issues before baby arrives? Part 1

Pregnancy and Parenting Advice: Part Two

Pregancy and Parenting Advice In Part Two of this blog, I will discuss some of the topics that solicit advice and help you let the advice giver know that you value their thoughts and want to work together and educate each other for the safest outcomes. You may want to take a more gentle approach with someone who seems truly well-meaning, but a more firm approach with someone who seems to be coming from a place of criticism.

As a parent-to-be or new parent, hearing all the advice can make you feel overwhelmed, confused and often times stressed out.  How do you know what to believe or what advice you should follow? Research is ongoing and constantly changing, so it is hard to stay on top of everything. Times have changed and so have many guidelines/suggestions.  Some well intention advice comes from something that worked real well 20 years ago or even 50+ years ago but is no longer recommended today.  Google is at your fingertips and easy to research anything but be careful about the validity of the sites you visit.  Let’s work together to increase awareness about the postpartum period and how to best support your loved ones. [Read more…] about Pregnancy and Parenting Advice: Part Two

Due to COVID 19, Colleen will only be providing virtual in home support.

Feel free to call, text or email her for virtual support in the comfort, safely providing virtual and in-person support based on families needs!