What to pack in your hospital bag for a C-section?

First of all, I want to congratulate you on your pregnancy momma! How exciting! And if you are reading this post, you are already thinking about labor and birth, your baby is coming soon! Pack your bag before the scheduled C-section. Have everything ready around 35 weeks in case you go into spontaneous labor. Install your car seat around that time as well

This post is for you if you are planning to have a C-section. But I also recommend moms pack a few essentials for an emergency C-section, just in case as a backup. The things you would usually pack for a vaginal birth differ from the things you need after a C-section.

A C-section is a major procedure and you will need to stay longer after birth in the hospital for recovery. Having two bags, one with pre-surgery items and one with post-surgery items will help you to stay organized. You will not want to spend your time and energy looking for things when the baby is here. And also it makes it easier for your birth partner to find exactly what you need to relieve your discomfort after a C-section.

Items for your pre-surgery bag

  • Print your birth plan (if you don’t have one, reach out and I’ll help you develop yours)
  • a small wallet with your credit card and a small amount of cash
  • bring all your most important medical paperwork
  • your insurance card
  • your phone and a charger (it’s worth investing in an extra long charger)
  • a book and magazines (I couldn’t read a novel during labor, a magazine was just fine)
  • an easy card game like Uno
  • a music playlist with your favorite songs to lift up the mood while you wait and to relax when labor starts
  • comfy non-slip socks and a scarf (your temperature can fluctuate during labor)
  • lip balm & moisturizer
  • if you have contact lenses, bring your eyeglasses too, some anesthesiologists will ask you to remove them before surgery
  • water bottle because it’s more convenient to drink from it than a cup. It helps you keep hydrated throughout labor
  • coconut water or isotonic water
  • hairbands
  • positive birth affirmation cards (you can get them for free in my shop)
  • Confidence! You can do this!

Items to pack for a positive birth environment (yes, also for a planned C-section)

  • download all your audio hypnosis files on your phone and bring your headphones
  • twinkly lights
  • LED candles
  • aroma diffuser with lavender (ask upon arrival if you are allowed to use it)
  • or alternatively, add 3 drops of essential oil to a tissue and smell on it
  • a cozy blanket
  • pictures that make you smile
  • a speaker to play relaxing music or your favorite dance songs to shake those hips

Items for your post-surgery bag

  • If you plan to breastfeed bring your nursing bra and nursing pads
  • your breast pump if you plan to pump
  • nightgown and your robe
  • another pair of non-slip socks
  • C-section undies, high rise, cotton and single-use. Look for knickers without nylon or lacy fabric, as these can catch on or irritate your wound.
  • a plastic bag for dirty clothes
  • nappy bags to dispose of your used sanitary pads and wipes easily
  • face wipes as you won’t be able to go to the bathroom easily, this will help you to stay clean and fresh
  • pack your toiletry bag with travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, face cream
  • your favorite pillow
  • a nursing pillow (this is also helpful when you bottle feed your baby)
  • loose clothes for your hospital stay, you will want to avoid everything that can hurt the incision scar
  • snacks with fiber to help you get things moving after surgery
  • a journal & pen
  • use that water bottle with a straw
  • Purified lanolin ointment or cream in case your nipples get sore when you start breastfeeding
  • Backless slip-on slippers or flip-flops that you don’t need to bend down to put on

What to pack for the baby

  • body suits, pants
  • socks
  • knit caps
  • 1 going-home outfit
  • muslins (sleep already with one a few nights, it will catch your smell)
  • Baby blanket for the ride home

Some hospitals provide onesies, knit caps, swaddles, and pacifiers. If you plan on formula feeding, check with your hospital in advance to find out whether they supply ready-to-feed bottles or if you should bring your own.

For the birthing partner

  • Cash & credit card
  • Extra set of clothes in case you want to shower or change
  • Toiletry bag: toothbrush and deo
  • Chargers and electronics
  • Ear plugs and headphones if you want to take a nap or relax too
  • Plenty of drinks and snacks

Ask your birth partner or family members that come visit you to take home items that you no longer need.

Having everything you need or might want to be organized and close to you before and after your surgery will make this experience easier. You will want to focus on what really matters: the birth of your baby. You got this, mama!