Your hospital stay for the delivery of your baby will require a well planned out packing list. There are essential items you will need for labor and delivery and the few days following birth while you are at the hospital. There are things that your partner will need as well as your baby. Most of your baby's needs should be taken care of by the hospital, but it never hurts to call and ask.
For labor and delivery, there are some essential items to pack and some items that are optional depending on your birthing plan. If you are planning on giving birth vaginally and without pain medicine, you will need some items to help your labor pains.
A couple things that you may want to consider are: a Pilates ball, a rolling-pin, hard candy, music and movies, and pillows. These things could help with your labor pains, but you must keep in mind that everyone is different. Something that worked for your friend may or may not work for you.
Now if you are planning on accepting some pain management drugs, you will need much less of that gear. You may still want to bring your own pillows, or body pillow or nursing pillow. Whatever helps you get into a more comfortable position at home, you should make sure you have at the hospital during your labor.
After giving birth you will need some specialty items to make your postpartum stay more comfortable for you while you heal. You will need some oversized full underwear. The pads that the hospital will give you are quite large and you will want them to be able to go into a pair of panties easily. In addition to the pad you may also have an oversized ice pack to place in your panties.
Pants will be quite uncomfortable for these first few days. You will need a good nursing gown for this time. Nursing Gowns can be used during delivery and after. This will be loose and open for fitting your ice pack and pad into your panties, and it will also be very useful for nursing your newborn.
Your toiletries and basics such as toothbrush, hairbrush, and face wash are a must and should be packed ahead of time. These are things that are inexpensive and it will be worth it when the time comes to not have to start thinking about whether or not you are forgetting something. Just have a whole second set of this stuff packed and ready to go a couple weeks ahead of time.
As far as your clothing goes, you should pack any nursing clothing, socks and slippers, and a very loose- fitting, comfortable outfit to go home in. You may just want to buy a nicer pair of nursing pajamas that double as loungewear for that day. These are all things that you can pack ahead of time as well. It will save you stress and time to do as much ahead of time as possible, if not all. You will be much more at ease that you are ready when the time comes to go to the hospital to deliver your baby.