What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for a C-Section
We’ve put together the ultimate hospital bag packing list and talked about what dad should pack, and today we are chatting about what you need to bring in your hospital bag for a c-section. Now, many mamas don’t know they are going to have a c-section, but the good news is that most of these things could easily be used even if you have a vaginal birth, so you might consider bringing them just in case of an emergency c-section.
C-Section Hospital Bag Checklist
If you have a scheduled c-section, you’ll definitely want to pack all of these items ahead of time. This will make things more relaxing on your due date and for the duration of your hospital stay. Here’s the full hospital bag checklist for a c-section birth:
- Insurance Card and Photo ID
- Cesarean Birth Plan
- Belly Binder
- Feeding Support Pillow
- Loose Drawstring Pants or Nightgowns
- High-Waisted Underwear
- Going Home Outfit
- Flip Flops, or slip-on shoes
- Phone Charger
- Toiletries - deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, hairbrush, hair ties, makeup-removing wipes, dry shampoo, handheld mirror, etc.
- Lactation Cookies
Insurance Card and Photo ID:
These are typically needed for administrative purposes. Check with your hospital to make sure you have all the required documents.
Cesarean Birth Plan:
If you have one, this could be good to have for reference before, and after your c-section.
Some hospitals will provide you with a belly binder if you’ve had a c-section (you can ask during your hospital tour), but if yours does not (or if you wish to buy a higher quality product), you should absolutely purchase one for yourself and pack it in your hospital bag. Belly binders are essential to c-section recovery — they have many benefits like reducing swelling, supporting lower back muscles and promoting faster healing. Belly binders can also help your organs and muscles get back into their pre-pregnancy positions faster. It might seem like a tight band would be the opposite of comfortable, but having that protection around your incision and feeling supported in your midsection provides a huge amount of relief.
Feeding Support Pillow:
Don’t make the mistake of leaving your feeding support pillow at home. This multi-tasking pillow will help you find more comfortable positions while nursing or bottle-feeding your little one. Plus, it will also help create a soft, comfortable barrier between your baby and your incision so you don’t wince in pain while holding your sweet newborn.
Loose Drawstring Pants or Nightgowns:
Many women recommend packing yoga pants to wear in the hospital, but if you have a c-section you will want to opt for nightgowns or very loose drawstring pants that can sit above your incisions. You will not want anything rubbing painfully on your incision, so tight pants with elastic aren’t the best idea.
Just when you think your postpartum underwear couldn’t get any uglier, we go and tell you to buy high-waisted granny panties. You’ll want to find undies that sit above your incision so you’re not creating unnecessary friction. There is actually underwear made specifically for caesarean recovery you can give a try, but any soft, high-waisted underwear would do!
Going Home Outfit:
During your stay, you’ll likely wear a hospital gown the entire time, but you’ll want something comfy to wear home. Consider loose-fitting sweats and oversized pajamas.
Flip Flops, or slip-on shoes:
Because bending over to put shoes on is definitely not happening!
You will likely be in the hospital for a few days, so you’ll need a charger to stay in contact with friends and family. Don’t forget about taking and sharing pictures of your beautiful baby as a new mom!
Toiletries:Especially the first day, being on your feet and walking around is tough if not impossible. Make it easy for yourself to freshen up right from your hospital bed by bringing makeup-removing wipes (instead of face wash), dry shampoo and a handheld mirror if you’d like to apply some makeup.
If you start feeling better before you are released, you should have all of your regular toiletries like deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, hairbrush, hair ties, etc.
If You're Breastfeeding…Lactation Cookies:
Sometimes (not always) a c-section can cause your milk to take a little longer to come in. If you plan to breastfeed, you can pack some lactation cookies (we love this recipe), and even if they don’t bring your milk in quicker, they’ll be a tasty hospital snack!
Frequently Asked Questions
What clothes to pack after c-section?
Pack comfortable clothes to wear after your planned c-section. Consider loose-fitting sweats, and oversized pajamas, with really soft material. Hoodies and cardigan sweaters are great to have if you get cold.
How many days does a woman stay in the hospital after C-section?
The hospital stay after a c-section is typically 2 - 4 days; however, this can be longer depending on the doctor’s recommendations.
Don’t forget that a c-section is major surgery! Make sure to be kind and gentle with yourself and give yourself the time you need for recovery. Never be afraid to ask for help. A happy mama is the best thing you can give your newborn baby and taking the best care of yourself possible will help you make a speedier recovery.
Explore our collection of hospital bags that will provide you with the space you need for your essentials — while looking stylish!