What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for a C-Section

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.

  • Recovering from a C-section wound is a long and challenging road. Make sure to bring a belly binder, as it helps reduce swelling, support lower back muscles, and promote faster healing.
  • You don’t want anything touching or pressing your healing incision, so only pack comfortable clothes like nightgowns, loose drawstring pants, and loose-fitting sweats.  
  • Don't forget your insurance card and photo ID, cesarean birth plan, feeding support pillow, and personal hygiene kit.
  • If you’re planning to breastfeed, remember to bring lactation cookies. This will help increase your milk supply.


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:

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.

Belly Binder:

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.

High-Waisted Underwear:

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!

Phone Charger:

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!


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!



When should I pack my hospital bag for a C-section? 

Due dates are just estimated time frames of delivery, no one actually knows when you’re having the baby if it’s sooner or later. So it’s better to prepare early and pack your hospital bag between the 32nd and 35th week of your pregnancy.


What do you need in a hospital bag for a C-section? 

Here are some essentials you need to put in your hospital bag:

  • Belly binder - To help reduce the swelling and speed up incision healing
  • Feeding support pillow - Makes it easier for you to find comfortable positions when nursing your baby
  • Loose drawstring pants or nightgowns - Wearing loose garments helps avoid unnecessary friction or contact with your incision
  • Important documents - Such as insurance card and photo ID, cesarean birth plan (if you have one), and other hospital requirements
  • Toiletries - Make sure to bring your preferred personal items as you will be staying in the hospital for days or maybe weeks


How many things should I pack for a planned C-section? 

Not all moms require the same number of things when getting a C-section. Pack only the essentials in your hospital bag and try not to exceed more than 10 items as it might get heavy and harder for you to carry. 


Do you need maternity pads after a C-section? 

Yes. After undergoing C-section, you will experience vaginal bleeding but don’t worry this is completely normal. Hence, you will need plenty of maternity pads in the hospital and at home to manage the bleeding.


How many maternity pads do I need after a C-section? 

Although the extent of bleeding varies among women, it is recommended to prepare 2 to 3 packs of maternity pads, with each pack containing 10 to 12 pads. This should be enough for the first week after delivery.


What items do I need for C-section recovery?

A C-section is actually one of the major surgeries still performed up today, and the healing journey is not an easy path. You will need these for your recovery:

  • Belly binder or wrap - After a C-section, you will feel abdominal muscle strain hindering you from doing excessive movements. Belly binders are meant to support your body, help reduce swelling, and may even promote faster healing. 
  • Loose clothing - Don’t let your garments be the cause of your irritation or infection on the incision site. Wear loose clothes like loose-fitting pants, loose dresses, and nightgowns to avoid putting extreme pressure on your abdominal area. 
  • Pain relievers - You may feel unimaginable pain after a C-section, so best to take pain relief medications that are, of course, prescribed by your doctor.
  • Maternity pads - Bleeding is a normal part of C-section recovery, maternity pads can surely help you manage this. Stock up with these sanitary pads because you never know when the bleeding will stop completely.
  • Stool softener - One thing to expect after giving birth through C-section is constipation, so your doctor may recommend taking a stool softener to make bowel movements easier.


Do I pack underwear when preparing for a planned C-section?

Yes. Even though hospitals will provide you with gowns during your stay, make sure to bring underwear, especially high-waisted ones to add support to your abdominal area.


What should I wear during C-sections? 

You will be given a hospital gown to wear during your C-section, but make sure that before the procedure, you’re wearing comfortable clothes that are easy to take off.


What is the best thing to wear after a C-section? 

Wear comfortable clothes that won't put too much pressure on your incision site, such as loose-fitting sweats, loose dresses, and oversized pajamas.


How many baby outfits to pack in a hospital bag for a C-section?

Newborn babies require a lot of outfit changes, so you will need to bring at least 5 baby outfits. But also make sure that you have extra ones standing by at home.

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