My incision site felt like it was on fire.
As I gently lifted my belly to inspect it, I found blisters had formed where the surgical tape had been removed.
I dug through my bag of toiletries, looking for something that might help. Neosporin maybe? Instead, I found perineal spray. I rolled my eyes, that was useless.
I’d spent tons of time researching what to pack in my hospital bag, but everything was geared toward vaginal births. Unfortunately, my hospital bag wasn’t the right fit for my C-section delivery.
So what do you need for a C-section? (Hint: it isn’t Neosporin)
If you’re preparing for a scheduled c-section, I’m going to take the confusion out of packing. Plus, I have a bonus that will ensure you don’t forget a thing.
What to Pack for the Hospital for a C-Section
Quick Shop – Items for Your C-Section Hospital Bag
- BagSmart Quilted Weekender
- BagSmart Toiletry Bag
- Freshly Picked Diaper Bag
- Kindred Bravely Universal Hospital Gown
- Cabepow 15ft iPhone Charging Cord
- Travel Toiletry Kit
- Simply Modern 50 oz Tumbler
- Breslatte Non Slip Socks
- Always Discreet Boutique Postpartum Underwear
- 3-in-1 Postpartum Belly Wrap
- My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow
- Kindred Bravely Nursing bra (& pumping bra)
- Goumi Kids Anti-Scratch Newborn Mittens
What’s Different About a C-Section Delivery?
Pack for a long stay
C-sections generally require at least a 48-hour hospital stay. If your baby needs monitoring or you aren’t stable, it can be longer. You both have to be discharged by your physicians in order to leave.
This means you’ll need to pack some extra comfortable clothes for those extra days.
No need for entertainment
You won’t be waiting around before a C-section. You’ll come in a few hours before your scheduled C-Section. And afterward, you have a baby. No downtime to watch movies after your epidural.
You don’t need items that will get you through labor or occupy you before your baby is born.
Don’t worry about medication
The hospital will provide any medication you need. They don’t want you taking medication that they haven’t given you. If you need something, ask for it. You don’t need to bring it.
Pack moderately for Baby
The hospital generally provides most of the items you need to care for your baby. You just need a few things.
They also provide the items you’ll need for breastfeeding. Along with access to lactation consultants.
Everything You Need in Your C-Section Hospital Bag
Don’t Forget the Bag!
A great bag is so important when you have a C-section. The last thing you want to do after major abdominal surgery is spend time in an awkward position, digging through a bag. I think the BagSmart Quilted Weekender is the perfect option because it has a separate laptop compartment that you can use for important paperwork or your baby book. Grab the BagSmart Toiletry Bag to keep your toiletries in order too.
If you don’t already have a diaper bag, my favorite is the Freshly Picked Diaper Bag for your baby’s items.
- Your own hospital gown
- Face wipes
- Lip balm
- Glasses/contact lenses
- Your cell phone and a phone charger with a long cord
- Moisturizer for face
- Hair ties
- Comfortable Loungewear
- A Going Home Outfit
- A Large water bottle
- Slip-on shoes or non-slip socks
- Disposable underwear (2 pairs)
- A Belly binder
Optional Items You Might Like
I need these items, but others found them helpful.
- Dry shampoo
- Your own pillow
- Your insurance card
- Your own bath towel
- An eye mask
- Breast pads
Popular Items You Don’t Need
- Perineal spray (as mentioned)
- AfterEase drops (you won’t feel cramping because of pain meds)
- A birth plan
- Luxury toilet paper
- A playlist
Note: Leave your wedding ring & other metal valuables in a safe place at home. You can’t wear any metal during your surgery. And you don’t need to worry about your ring, watch, or heirloom earrings getting lost.
Items for Baby/Breastfeeding
- Infant car seat
- 1 or 2 outfits
- Swaddle blankets
- Mittens or a nail file
- Nursing pillow (leave this in the car until after Baby is born)
- Nipple cream
- Your breast pump (if you prefer your own)
- Nursing bra (& pumping bra)
- Clothes with easy access for breastfeeding
For Your Spouse
To keep your mind at ease, you may need to know that your spouse has what he needs. So throw these items in a separate bag for him.
- 2 changes of clothes
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Blankets & a pillow (in the car)
- Snacks (the hospital doesn’t feed him)
*The blankets and pillow can be left in the car. The hospital does provide them but sometimes they’re missing or not enough.
Leaving Items in the Car
When you have a C-Section you travel from a labor and delivery hospital room, the operating room, a recovery room, and finally a postpartum room. That’s a lot of moving around. This is why I suggest leaving some items in the car. Your husband, a family member, or a support person can grab them once you’re in your postpartum room.
So if you’re trying to pack your C-section hospital bag, this is what you need (and what you don’t). You don’t need a meditative playlist, a yoga ball, or perineal spray. But you do need some extra comfy clothes, a good hospital bag, and some mental preparation for getting in and coming out with your sweet newborn.
Before you go, I have a printable C-Section hospital bag list for you. Use it while you’re packing your C-section hospital bag so you don’t forget a thing. As a bonus, you’ll also be added to the Librarian Mom community for support on your journey into motherhood. Because no one should have to face motherhood alone.
Want to know more about what to expect before and after your C-Section? See these posts: