Packing for a C-Section Hospital Bag

Pregnant woman packing suitcase.
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If you are having a scheduled c-section, you will still want to pack a hospital bag before your scheduled surgery. Here are some things that you'll want to take with you when you go to the hospital for your birth:

Things to Pack

Here are items to consider putting into your hospital bag:

  • Music (to play while you wait or during the birth; this is a great calming technique)
  • Camera 
  • Signed copies of your cesarean birth plan
  • Any clothes (such as a gown) of your own that you wish to wear
  • Special clothes or a blanket for the baby
  • List of people to call after the baby is born (including your childbirth educator)
  • Lip Balm 
  • Baby Book for getting the footprints done by the nurse when she does the paperwork
  • Socks for mom
  • Sweater for support person (it can get cold!)
  • Special foods or drinks
  • Calling Card for Long Distance Calls (if you can't use your cell phone)
  • Things to keep you busy should you wind up having a long wait
  • Charging cables for electronic devices

Your Postpartum Bag

Below are items to pack to support your postpartum experience:

  • Toothbrushes for everyone and toothpaste
  • Nursing bras and pads (preferably the washable, soft ones)
  • Breastfeeding pillow to keep baby off your incision
  • Breastfeeding book
  • Small pillow to brace your incision
  • Going home outfit for baby
  • Blanket for Baby
  • Change of clothes for a partner and any toiletries needed
  • Your own nightgown and/or robe (they will get dirty!)
  • Personal Hygiene items (no-rinse shampoo, your own pads, etc)
  • Underwear that is c-section friendly
  • Number of La Leche League or other breastfeeding support
  • Number of diaper service (if you need to arrange for delivery)
  • Car Seat with instructions
  • Going home outfit for mom (You will still be looking about 6 months pregnant. Most women wear the clothes that they wore to the hospital; some bring nursing shirts)
  • Birth Announcements, stamps, envelopes
  • You might also consider packing a bag for dad too.

You'll notice that the bags are listed in two different categories. This was intentional. Having all of your stuff with you when you are in the surgical area will be cumbersome. We recommend leaving your postpartum things in the car or having them brought to you later.

For the birth itself, pack only what you will need in the first hours before, during, and after the birth. 

The good news is that if you forget something, you can usually get it replaced. You can run to the hospital gift shop, though this is typically more expensive. You can also run to a nearby store for some items. Don't stress too much!

Also, as you move through the postpartum days, be sure to send things home with people so you don't feel like you're moving out on your last day. You should have just the basics left and move them out with any flowers or gifts that have been brought by visitors. Ask visitors not to bring gifts to the hospital and this will allow you the freedom to not have to bring it back home.

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