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What To Pack In A Hospital Bag For C- Section: A Checklist

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what to pack in a hospital bag for c-section

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While most of the mums-to-be start to pack their hospital bags via the pregnancy checklist in the third trimester, they often forget to pack for a c-section! However, we wouldn’t even dare to push it all onto them as it’s common for most checklists to skip a c-section portion.

For this very reason, we at Parenthood Bliss have curated this article that will help you know what to pack in a hospital bag for a c-section.

First Things First, When Must One Start to Pack a C-Section Hospital Bag?

It’s always best to have a scheduled c-section because then you are aware of the date. You must be ready by the time you are 36 weeks pregnant as there isn’t any guarantee, either way, the baby could choose to pop early or even late, so all mama bears need to be prepared!

Pro Tip: Once you have the c-section hospital bag ready, it is ideal to keep it in the car or by the door so it’s handy once it’s go-time!

What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for a C-section?

A C-section hospital bag checklist has wise and realistic choices and chops off the “fancy,” (not everyone needs everything)! C-section hospital bags are slightly different from spontaneous labor bags. A cesarean means a longer hospital stay so pack two different bags: one that has all your essentials before surgery and the other for the rest of the stay.

What to Pack in Your Pre-surgery Hospital Bag?

  • Carry all essential medical paperwork and insurance cards in a folder or a file
  • A small amount of cash and a credit card
  • Printed copies of your birth plan
  • Your cell phone
  • Chargers for all your electronics
  • A camera to record your journey of labor (if you wish to)
  • A book or a magazine in case there’s a delay pre-op (this will also calm you down in case you are worried)
  • Cozy no-slip socks
  • A music playlist
  • Moisturizers and lip balms
  • Hair ties
  • Eyeglasses in case you wear contact lenses

To help you be more organized and prepared for a c-section, we have curated a list of essentials that you will need along with whatever your new human needs (plus, anything that your partner might require while waiting on you and your little one).

Are you a person who would rather tick everything in a c-section hospital bag checklist, just in case? Or, are you one who believes in a more minimalist pack-the-basics? No matter where you fall, make use of this packing list as a guide to decide what you will pack in your hospital bag for your C-section. So, let’s get started:

What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for a C-section: 21 Essentials for a Mama’s Hospital Stay

  1. A C-section birth plan: Irrespective of it all, you can still have a say in your delivery preferences, even with a C-section.
  2. Bathrobe: Not that you will not be provided with a bathrobe from the hospital, but it’s always best to pack your own hospital gown. Make sure to pick gowns that are dark and comfortable.
  3. Cardigan: It’s a good idea to pack an open-front cardigan for when people are visiting, or for when you walk down the halls, to cover and also give privacy at the same time.
  4. Nursing pajamas: If you are comfortable with front open nursing pajamas, carry your favorite ones to the hospital after the surgery.
  5. Nursing bras: Supportive nursing bras could be quite a delight as you’d be breastfeeding around the clock in the first few days.
  6. Nursing pads: These nursing pads are great to help prevent any breast milk leaks.
  7. Nipple cream: In the first few days your breast (the nipples) will be dry and filled with cracks. Some cream will help soothe the irritated areas.
  8. Breast pump– In case you plan to pump early on you can carry a breast pump of your choice (hospitals provide you with one anyway).
  9. Fibrous snacks: You got to munch away your stress of surgery and what better than some granola bars, chickpeas, and popcorns?
  10. Underwear: Hospitals give you mesh panties but you can bring in your own cozy cotton panties that do not dig into your incision.
  11. Onesies: Your little needs to be wrapped in a onesie if not in a swaddle. Just to be on the safe side, carry a few onesies in your hospital bag.
  12. Journals and pen: As strange as it might seem, it’s a good practice to maintain a journal and start jotting down the birth story, track the feedings, and have a list of important questions before the doctors come to check on you.
  13. Post-delivery outfit: Make sure to pack comfortable and loose-fitting clothes to wear while going home after the delivery to prevent any hurt against the incision. Try wearing loose drawstring pants or a maxi skirt, they would be just perfect.
  14. Chapstick or lip balm: When traveling, at home, or even when delivering, chapstick is a lifesaver!
  15. Toiletries: You name them, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, hairbrush, headband, hair ties, dry shampoo, wipes, soap, you need it all.
  16. Cell phone and phone charger: Given this time and a day without cell phones? Not happening, don’t forget to capture all the moments and read all the congratulatory messages!
  17. Slip-on shoes: Since bending will not be an option, you can expect the nurses to encourage you to walk down the hall and it’s only best with a pair of comfortable slip-on shoes. These will not only help you feel comfortable but are best for swollen feet.
  18. Flip flops: These are for the shower breaks and toilet runs.
  19. Magazines: You need more things to entertain yourself other than the cell phone, what better than a couple of magazines?
  20. Pillow: No it’s not weird. The hospital beds might do fine, but to have your pillow right beside you is the most comfortable pick and the easiest way to get rid of those unique patterns and hospital pillowcases.
  21. Nursing pillow: Once the baby comes, you’ll need a nursing pillow to help breastfeed the little munchkin, be it in the hospital or when you’re on your way back home in the car.

What to Pack for a Baby in a C-Section Hospital Bag: 4 Essentials for Your Newborn Baby

Not a lot of things, but there are surely a few essentials that you’d need as soon as the baby is ready to go home once you are discharged. Listed below are a few things that you’ll need to include in your bag for the baby:

  1. Baby swaddle: Got your maternity robe? Why not pair it with a baby swaddle? Might not be the ultimate requirement, but it could make the best “first” outfits and is surely the best cutest thing ever, making a perfect frame for a photo!
  2. Outfit: Make sure to pack a pair or two of the newborn as well as a 0–3 outfit, since you don’t really know how big your baby would be. How to dress a newborn? Check it out here!
  3. Car seat: You don’t want to have your baby in your lap and safety is a must, make sure you have the baby car seat already installed for their first ride!
  4. Baby blanket: A warm blanket over your baby can keep them safe during cold weather.

What Should Your Partner Pack in Their C-Section Hospital Bag: 6 Essentials for Your Partner for a Hospital Stay

Here’s a list of things your partner must make sure to pack to support you and your baby during the hospital stay:

  1. Change of clothes: You’re going to stay long, which means, you will need to carry a couple of changes.
  2. Toiletries: Toothbrush, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, grooming items, partners, you need them all!
  3. Snacks and coins for the vending machine: While mom will be provided with some food, dads would need to buy themselves meals.
  4. Books or magazines: You can’t keep staring at the wall, you’d need some entertainment while you wait.
  5. Medicines: Make it a point to include over-the-counter medicines as there is a chance for you to get a headache.
  6. Pillow and blanket: Yes, always carry comfort from home!

It’s Okay to Not Carry These Things in Your Hospital Bag!

Listed below is a list of things the new parents need not worry about packing as the hospital would provide plenty. However, make sure you check with the hospital beforehand to be double sure. Also, make sure you have these stocked at home as you’d need them during the postpartum and C-section recovery.

To Conclude: Tips for Packing a C-Section Hospital Bag

What to pack in a hospital bag for a c-section can be confusing and you need someone to help you organize every essential item for your baby, yourself, and your partner. Follow our c-section hospital bag checklist to not forget anything. Here are some tips you could follow to ensure everything in this list made it to your c-section hospital bag:

  • The hospital rooms are going to be fairly small. Therefore, avoid carrying huge luggage as it might take up most of the space. It’s best to only pack the essential items and leave behind the things you aren’t sure about in the car.
  • It’s ok to ask for help. In case you or your partner forgot to pack something that you wanted, ask your friends or family to get it once they come and visit you and the baby in the hospital!
  • Double-check with your doctors about the items you need to pack before you come to the hospital and avoid any confusion and misses.

What To Pack In A Hospital Bag For C-Section FAQs:

1) What is the most common need for cesarean delivery?

Doctors will recommend a cesarean delivery if they suspect the following conditions in you
  • Labor dystocia
  • Indeterminate or abnormal heart rate tracing
  • Fetal macrosomia
  • Multiple gestations
  • Fetal malpresentation
  • 2) Is it important to pack a hospital bag?

    Yes, it is! The closer you get to your due date the more important it gets to pack a hospital bag. Irrespective of the fact that the hospital would provide you with most of the things, it's always best to carry your own for comfort and safety.

    3) What are the must-haves in a hospital bag?

  • Lip Balm
  • Your own toiletries, these include a toothbrush, toothpaste, a brush and hair ties, deodorant, etc
  • Slippers
  • Amatus
  • Glasses
  • Nursing Bra
  • Aziz
  • Nursing Pads
  • Phone Charger
  • Snacks
  • For more details, check the list above!

    4) When must a parent start preparing a hospital bag

    It is best to start preparing as easily as soon, preferably around 34 weeks pregnant from the delivery date.
    Note - The best time to gather all of it at your baby shower, so make a list and pass it around to your friends and family.

    5) How many outfits does a newborn need?

    Babies need an outfit change at least twice a day so it is a good idea to pack at least 4 to 6 onesies with a front zip as well as bodysuits. Get some organic cotton and merino bodysuits that are both long and short-sleeved.


    On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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