What to Pack in My Bag for Hospital Stay (C-section)?

Updated on April 13, 2010
J.F. asks from Bloomington, IN
11 answers

This isn't my first child, but I never got a chance to pack for the first one and now I feel so frazzled that I can't think straight. I am having a c-section (scheduled in 2 weeks), but baby may want to come earlier. My first was a c-section because I had preeclampsia and was done the same day as my 37 week apt. My husband was constantly running home for something.

I am also packing my 2.5 yr old daughter's bag. Too many things to think about!

What do I need?
What do you recommend?


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So What Happened?

Keep them coming! Already found several things not on my list! Boppy, cell phone charger, dark colored clothes! The hospital will supply socks with grippies on the bottom!

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answers from Minneapolis on

This may sound really nutty but one of the things I had my husband bring me from home after my second c-section were a few towels from home! The towels in the hospital were so scratchy and tiny that having my own to dry off with was great, especially when you're dealing with the incision etc! a nice fluffy beach towel or two in addition to what everyone else said :)

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answers from Dallas on

I'm thinking about this too--repeat c-section scheduled for April 27. Here's the stuff I didn't think of last time, but will this!
--dark colored nightgowns (I usually wear pj's, but do NOT want a waistband post c-section!! and dark color is good 'cuz of the potential for blood stains)
--a comfy black knit dress--with crossover top so I can nurse--to wear home.
--big ol' black granny panties (my usual undies--maternity or no--have the elastic hit right on my c-section scar)
--a light black knit bathrobe and flipflops, like the previous poster said.
--nursing bras, pads, and boppy
--basic toiletries and lots of hairbands
--camera, cell phone, books or magazines or whatever to keep you occupied while you're awake.

For DD, I clearly packed too much last time--they'll provide everything she needs in the hospital, you just need an outfit for her to wear home. One-piece jammies are perfect--she, also doesn't need a waistband with her umbilical cord still there, but a nightgown is harder to buckle her into the carseat with.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Two things.

ARNICA, ARNICA, ARNICA!!! Go get 200C dose of Arnica. Take one right before they wheel you into the operating room (sneak it...they will tell you nothing to "eat", but it is a TINY pill that dissolves under your tongue). Then have your husband remind you to take it every hour for at least 6 hours and then a few times a day.

I did this per my midwife's instructions (I had a planned homebirth). I took Tylenol in the hospital ONE time for pain and one time at home after my 2 year old slammed into my incision. I was up and around and taking walks carrying my newborn at 10 days post partum.

It was amazing!

Also, I bought little tiny things for my older son and wrapped them like presents. Everytime he came to visit he got one. In fact, when he walked in for the first time, I had one waiting on me.....it was a fun way to help the "shock" of the baby. I don't know how old your daughter is.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Stationed Overseas on

If you are like me and get cold feet make sure you bring your own slippers. I know they give you those socks but the floors are still way too cold when walking up and down them. Also if you want to get out of your pjs during the day bring sweatpants and a couple of shirts. It felt great to get out of the shower and put on fresh clothes instead of pjs. Congrats and good luck!

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answers from Fort Wayne on

For my repeat c-section I only packed a few things.
--Maternity pants..I had the ones that had the waistband that came all the way up.I could still look like I had regular clothes on, but not worry about them rubbing on my incision.
--Flip Flops or slippers, or even socks with the grippy things on the the bottom.
--A sweatshirt..hospitals can get chilly
--Pajamas, whatever you feel comfortable in. I wore the hospital gown at night
--Regular socks in case your feet get cold
--Toiletries (deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, makeup)
--Camera and battery charger
--Cell phone charger
--Phone number list. I had my husband call everyone and he doesn't have all my family's number programmed into his phone. Plus, that way I didn't forget to call anyone.

For the baby
--a few changes of clothes in newborn size
--Hats (they made my daughter wear a hat all the time.)
--special outfit for pictures if you're having hers taken

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answers from Toledo on

I've had 4 C-Sections...1 emergency and 3 planned. Here's what I packed for each of the planned births.
**1 pair of jammies for each day (plan on at least 3 days including the day you deliver)
**4 pair of high-cut panties in a size smaller than your normal size (you'll probably have to squeeze your legs into them, but you'll want them snug on your bottom to hold the pad in place and support your belly)
**1-2 soft cup nursing bras (or even better) nursing tank tops (I got mine from Target) if you plan to nurse. Whatever it is, make sure it is cotton and comfortable...you'll sweat a lot and sleep in it.
**I preferred my own sanitary pads over the hospital grade "diapers"
**Your normal make-up and hair stuff. It is amazing how much better you feel when you get up and shower and make yourself feel "normal."
**Chapstick! You can use it on your lips or on your nipples if they become sore while learning to nurse.
**Camera batteries or charger.
**I liked to have my own pillow too, since the hospital ones are usually not too supportive.
**If you have a specific drink (pop or whatever) take some of that.

Good Luck and congrats!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I had 2 c-sections and packed very light. I packed a big comfy dress I could just slip on and flip flops, toothbrush and scrunchie for my hair. Both my daughter and I had complications so I was in there for several days and my friend brought me every single magazine available which was very nice. I took them myself for my 2nd c-section. Congrats!!!!

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answers from Columbus on

Hi J., just wanted to add about the granny panties, I had my MIL run out and buy some cheap ones for me (emergency C-section, didn't know I would need them!) and then we cut down the sides a little so that the panties were still tight where they needed to be and loose around my incision.

Also, I took WAY too much stuff (the midwives all commented on my huge suitcase). All I really needed was my nursing tank tops, breast pads, boppy, loose pants, makeup (I'm a little vain) and 3 outfits for the baby and a book to read. GREAT idea whoever wrote about the one pieces jammies for the newborn - we stupidly brought some cutsie outfit that didn't even end up fitting him.

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answers from Phoenix on

I'm right there with you, I've got my second c-section scheduled for next week. For my first it was really helpful to have my bathrobe (I've got a thin cotton one) for when I would get up and walk the halls, it was so nice to just throw that over my shoulders and not have to worry about the hospital gown showing me off to everyone. Also, I bought a cheap pair of flip flops, just because I hate walking on hospital floors and they were really easy to slip on and off and I didn't mind tossing them when I got out of the hospital. I would suggest just starting to pack you bag now and just think about it a little each day and you will come up with more things that you need. Theres always the obvious personal stuff (glasses/contacts, toothbrush, hairbrush, deoderant, lotion etc) Good luck! (and thanks for asking the question, I'm going to watch this one and see what the other mom's come up with that I want to add to my bag!)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

This may sound really nutty but one of the things I had my husband bring me from home after my second c-section were a few towels from home! The towels in the hospital were so scratchy and tiny that having my own to dry off with was great, especially when you're dealing with the incision etc! a nice fluffy beach towel or two in addition to what everyone else said :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Call the hospital you're delivering at and ask them what you HAVE to bring and what you cannot bring (just in case). After you have an idea of what the hospital will provide for you decide what comforts you'd like to bring from home. Always remember to bring super comfy clothes to wear home, a robe, your camera, chapstick, cell phone and cell phone charger. Don't forget about your baby too (I know this isn't your first)... going home outfit, nursing essentials if your nursing, bottles(if you prefer a paticular kind) if not, and some hospitals require you to bring your own pacifier if you chose to use one.

As far as your daughter's bag (I'm assuming your 1st child)... the essentials (change of clothes, brush, toothbrush/toothpaste and etc), a couple of her favorite books, coloring book and crayons, snacks, some hospitals have a dvd player so find out if they do because that kills an hour or so (if they don't maybe bring a portable one), and a favorite toy/stuffed animal (only one because you don't want to worry about losing more than that).

For the both of you... bring your own pillows. The hospitals have plenty of blankets so not to worry there.

I can't think of anything else off the top of my head, but I hope at least this will help. CONGRATS!!!

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answers from Saginaw on

when I pack for my csections this is what I pack.....

Robe, slippers, pjs, underwear, socks, nursing bra, something comfy to wear home, plus I like a few comfy things to wear there besides my pjs, brush, tooth brush, toothpaste, travel size shampoo, conditioner and body wash, my pillow, camera, cell phone charger, magazines and books, plus all the baby things! You may also want to pack a boppy if your gonna breastfeed and you like to use it. I dont mind the hospitals pads but if you didnt like em them bring some of those too! Good luck and I hope we helped!

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