So what's the difference? The term hospital bag has been around for a very long time. Generally, a woman would pack her toiletries, nightgown and baby's first outfit. Everything else was taken care of by the hospital. In the 70's most moms would even bring cigarettes and curling irons to the hospital -- thank goodness times have changed!
As the times have changed so has a woman's knowledge about birth, bonding, pain management and her desire to create the best birth experience possible. As a result, labor kits have become a common term as women want to have access to products or items that are important to her during labor and recovery. Items like favorite music, relaxing aromatherapy oils, nursing pads and creams for breastfeeding, or organic and natural products.
Hospitals continue to cut-back to save money and parents are expected to provide even some basic neccesities like femine pads and newborn diapers. Hospital stays are also shorter with many women leaving after the first 24 hours (or 3 days after a c-section). This means more recovery time at home and an increase in need for more heath care related products.
What does this mean to an expectant mom? Pack your bags with the intention of having things available that are important to you like organic, natural products, comfortable clothes, breastfeeding supplies and maybe few snacks since hospital food just may not be cutting it for you! Good luck.