What You Need To Pack In Your Hospital Bag For A Scheduled C-Section
So…..you’re having a scheduled c-section……..
Ugh….I know this feeling….it’s scary. I actually planned on having a VBAC my last two pregnancies but all three of mine ended up c-sections, so I have a little insight on how this all goes down!
Even though my c-sections weren’t exactly planned, my doctors warned me it would most likely happen because of my medical history. Therefore, I knew exactly what to pack in my hospital bag!!
If this is your first c-section, or even your second or third, it can still be scary. It’s a pretty big deal having a cesarean section. There are people out there who may judge you and say you’re taking the easy way out but believe me, don’t listen to them because you aren’t!! Giving birth to a child either way is no joke! C-section recoveries aren’t a piece of cake, so be sure to remember that beforehand so you prepare yourself! Knowing ahead of time and packing your hospital bag with the necessities you need will make this experience go so much smoother!
To read more about C-Section Recovery Tips that will help you so much (tips only your BFF would tell you about), click here!
Enough of the small talk…..so what the heck should you pack in your hospital bag for your scheduled c-sections???
If you pack all of these things, you’ll be prepared and ready to enjoy your baby and have everything that you need! If I could pack a bottle of sleep in there, I would because…trust me…you’ll need that the most!
The biggest question you’ll ask yourself is, how long will you stay in the hospital?? This varies from mother to mother. Years ago c-section mamas stayed for at least 4-5 days in the hospital. Today, you usually leave by day 2 or 3 as long as there aren’t any complications. So pack for at least 4 so you’re prepared!
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for a free c-section hospital bag checklist!
Scheduled C-section Hospital Bag List For Mom
~Toothbrush, this is a given, but honestly you’d be surprised by all the people who forget it!
~ Phone Charger- yea, don’t forget this! You’ll be taking photos like crazy and be sure to delete or transfer old photos to give you room to take new ones on your phone! I didn’t do this and there I was in the hospital trying to delete and transfer old photos and wasting precious time I could be spending with my baby!
~Chapstick!! I’m in love with these little Vaseline Rosy Lip tubs! It will give you the moisture you need and the extra glow you want! Perfect!
~ Tic tacs or mints of some kind. You won’t be able to have anything to drink for a while once they get you situated, this was the hardest part for me because I’m always drinking water. Bring some mints or gum to help you when you get thirsty.
~ Your favorite trial size of shampoo & conditioner and even your soap or bath gel. They should have stuff at the hospital but it’s never as nice as your own! Go buy yourself a special little travel kit just to use at the hospital, whatever you don’t use, you can use on vacation! Click the photos below for more info!
~ Makeup because most likely you’ll have some pictures taken of yourself at some point! You’ll also have visitors! Pack the necessities you need like your favorite mascara, a great moisturizer, and this awesome cover-up from It Cosmetics since you will have dark circles under those eyes, trust me!
The first few months you will be exhausted! You’ll want to come back and read about these Beauty Must-Haves for Tired and Busy Moms! Products I can’t live without!
~ Dry Shampoo! You don’t know how long you’ll be in there and you may not have time or the energy to wash your hair, then this dry shampoo is your new BFF! You’ll also need to bring some cool hair ties that turn your hair into easy buns or regular hair clips!
~ Jewelry bag You have to remove all jewelry before your c-section. Either you can leave it all at home, or take it off there. You could also bring a small jewelry bag and pack it and bring it with you. Then after your c-section, you can put it on and wear it.
~ Pack your robe! I didn’t do this, I should have but I don’t really wear a robe at home so it didn’t dawn on me. If you are a robe wearing person, pack your own, trust me! It will be much better than the one the hospital gives you! Here are a few options of pajamas and robes below that would be perfect!
~ Comfy sweat pants, must be baggy like these below! Okay, so I packed a bunch of yoga pants in my first hospital bag not thinking ahead. Tight yoga pants WILL NOT work for the first few days/week because you will be bleeding a lot and can’t wear a tampon! You will have bulky pads and mostly likely won’t be comfortable or look very cute under tight yoga pants! So don’t even go there for a few days! Get yourself some cute comfy lounge pants that you can wear. And jeans aren’t even an option for a while so don’t go there either! Here are some great lounge pants below, try and find a pair that won’t rub against your scar. Also, depending on the weather, flowy dresses with little shorts underneath are another awesome option.
More options below:
~ Sweaters, nursing shirts, anything with layers!! After you have your little angel, you’ll look about 6 months pregnant still! Great, right? And between your engorged breasts and your c-section scar, you’re going to need some serious layers! Think button down shirts, nursing tops, cardigan sweaters, anything that will help you feel comfortable or make it easy to nurse if you are breastfeeding.
More options below:
~ A great nursing bra or sports bra is also a must have! If you do plan to breastfeed, then I recommend a good nursing bra or nursing tank like the ones from Cake below. You will live in sports/nursing bras so invest in a couple because they are worth every penny! Even if you aren’t nursing your baby, you’ll need something great to support your “girls” the first few weeks!
More options below:
~ PADS I mentioned above that you won’t want anything tight to wear because you’ll be wearing some bulky pads the first few days because you’ll have what’s like a heavy period for a while. The hospital will provide you with some serious bulky pads. I hated these, it felt like I was wearing a straight up super thick diaper! Yes, they did the job but I just felt so bulky and uncomfortable. The hospital should provide you with mesh underwear to wear over your bulky pads, but not all hospitals do. Wearing something like Always Discreet Underwear might look a bit like a pull-up, but it won’t be as bulky as the pads the hospital gives you and will be much more comfortable. Women swear by these things after giving birth! If there’s a certain type of pad that you really like, then pack those so you can wear them instead. Otherwise, I recommend trying a few of these below:
~ Supportive underwear Don’t pack the thongs, you will not use them! The hospital might give you mesh underwear. Just to be safe, pack some cute undies that are comfortable and can support your pad in case you don’t wear the Always Discreet kind above.
~ Slippers/skid socks Your hospital may or may not provide you with these. If you have a favorite pair or great pair of slippers, bring them. Otherwise, buy one pair of these and hope your hospital gives you some to wear. They will keep your feet warm and prevent your from slipping. You can also use them to walk down the hall and back because you’ll need to start slowly taking walks and get your energy and blood flowing. Or if you’re having a baby in the winter months, have the hubby gift you an amazing pair of Uggs, you’ll live in them!
~ Colace Yes, you want to pack these, trust me. Now in my case, I was lucky enough to have my hospital provide me with this. I’ve heard some moms say their hospital didn’t provide them with it which blows my mind! You need these and it will help you keep things moving because trust me, no matter if you have a vaginal delivery or a c-section, you’re first bowel movement is…well…let’s just say intimidating! lol My nurse staff gave me this every morning and it helped tremendously. When I got home, I didn’t have any and believe me, I got some as soon as I could! You will absolutely need these once you get home!!! So pack this now just in case your hospital doesn’t provide you with it. Colace is safe to take while breastfeeding too! You could also try dried apricots and remember to take a probiotic every day to help as well!
~ Gas Pills Again, your hospital SHOULD give you these, in case they don’t, either ask for them or bring some. You may also need these when you go home for a few days. Anesthesia relaxes the colon which causes gas bubbles. I had gas trapped in my should after my first and third c-section and the pain was so uncomfortable! My hospital did provide me with these my first time around but not my third, I had to ask for them when it was too late. Between the Colace and gas pills, it will help relieve a lot of uncomfortable pain and move things along quicker. And be sure to WALK as much as you can! Walking will help get things moving and also relieve gas!
If you don’t plan on breastfeeding your baby, skip the section below and scroll down to the list for baby!
For the Breastfeeding Mama-
If you plan on breastfeeding your baby, or even attempting it, then there’s a few more things you’ll need to pack for yourself! You’ll definitely want these things because you’ll be in pain everywhere, from your incision to your boobs! The easier you can make this experience on yourself, the better it will be! So pack these items in your hospital bag if you plan to breastfeed!
~ Nursing pillow A nursing pillow is a must have! Honestly, even if you don’t plan to breastfeed, these pillows come in handy so much and are relaxing little seats for your baby! They don’t carry these at hospitals but they should! When I had my first daughter, the nurse helped me with the pillows they had there and it wasn’t easy, that’s for sure. A great nursing pillow will help you so much getting the baby in a great position and it will also protect and cover your incision. This is really important because babies can kick and the last thing you need is some kicks to your incision, trust me…..this will happen and it will hurt! Here are some great breastfeeding pillows below!
~ Nipple cream is another necessity! My hospital provided me with some but it wasn’t all natural and I didn’t like the idea of my newborn eating some toxic nipple cream so I brought this cream and it worked wonders! You will need this during your hospital stay and after! I also used coconut oil when I ran out of nipple cream but I didn’t feel it did as good as a job as the nipple cream. I loved Earth Mama cream and I’ve also heard great things about Motherlove. Both are all natural and work amazing!
~ Breast Cooling Gel Pads So my first hospital stay provided me with these and they were amazing! My second and third did not so I knew enough after my second experience to stock up on some. These breast gel pads cool down your engorged breasts and give you the comfort you need when you’ve got pain all over! I used these during my hospital stay and after for a while. There are two different options below you can check out. Both work great!
~ Nursing Cover I forgot my nursing cover when I had my second baby and let me tell you how badly I missed it! Some moms are totally fine nursing in front of anyone and I’m definitely way more comfortable now than I was my first time around. By the time I had my third baby, I didn’t care. However, I did have some unexpected visitors who I wasn’t comfortable nursing in front of and the whole situation just felt awkward to me. So if you do plan on breastfeeding and aren’t comfortable nursing in front of just anyone, then be sure to pack yourself one! You’ll be nursing around the clock and probably won’t need it unless you have a lot of visitors. It’s good to have in your bag just in case. I love the nursing covers below because it’s not only stylish but it covers your baby great and doubles as a scarf! You can also use it as a cover canopy for your car seat when it’s cold and windy out!
~ Nipple Shield I didn’t have this with my first baby until I got home and I really needed it. If you plan on nursing, I’d buy this and pack it now. Hopefully you won’t need it at all and can return it. If you have a lot of nipple pain and your baby isn’t latching on correctly, consult a lactation consultant to see if they can help you. If the pain is too much to bear between your nipples and your incision but you want to continue breastfeeding, then I recommend using a nipple shield. Not all lactation consultants would agree with me, so please talk to them first and only use when you absolutely need it. Some moms reported of having a hard time getting their baby to nurse without it. My babies always preferred my skin to the nipple shield and never had a problem switching back but every baby is different. It’s better to have it and be prepared than not have it and be in pain. You can read more about how this was the best breastfeeding tip I ever got here.
~ Lactation Tea Moms that have cesarean sections tend to take longer for their milk to come in. This stinks but it’s known to happen. If this is your first baby, it will definitely take longer. Some women say it took 3-4 days, some less. It all depends on your body. For this reason, you may want to speed things up a bit and get some help with lactation tea or supplements. If you are an experienced mom who knows her milk supply comes in low, than this is definitely for you! Sipping on some of this tea or even taking a supplement will help boost your milk supply. As always, consult your lactation consultant or nurse for more information.
Hospital Bag List For Baby
The hospital will provide you with baby diapers, wipes, onesies, and even a breast pump. All the necessities for baby will be taken care of by the hospital. Here are a few extras you will need:
~ Baby Clothes Okay so this is a given! Your baby will obviously need clothes! If your baby is weighing at an average size, pack NB size clothes and size 0-3M since every baby is different. Pack one going home outfit. This outfit is the adorable one you want in the photos. Hospitals will have onesies for your baby. Other than that, pack 3-4 warm footed PJS. Make sure ALL PJs have zippers and NOT buttons! Babies hate getting changed and usually buttons take forever so save yourself some grief and get all zippers if possible! Also, if there’s a favorite hat you might want your baby to wear, then pack that as well. The hospital has warm hats for babies and puts them on right away, especially if your baby is born in the colder months. Don’t be surprised if you don’t use any of these outfits! Usually right after baby is born, the hospital puts the baby in a onesie that they have and swaddles them. Your baby won’t really need many clothes and will want to be swaddled for the most part. Don’t stress out about what they are wearing, so just pack one nice outfit for photos.
~ Baby Mittens Not all hospitals carry these. Mine did not and even if your hospital does, you’ll want to buy a few pair for when you get home. Babies are notorious for scratching their little faces when they cry. Their little hands move all over the place and those tiny little nails are pretty sharp! Baby mittens are a must have!
~ Car seat Have dad or a relative bring this since you won’t need it until your last day and will just take up extra room.
Some moms worry about what dad should bring…I leave that up to dad! You’ll have enough to worry about and dad can come and go as he pleases, you’ll be stuck there!
A Few More Tips
Remember to drink lots of water! The more you drink, the more gas and toxins you will get rid of which is what you need, especially if you are nursing your little one! There are so many other tips and things you will need AFTER your c-section and once you get home. Recovery is the hardest part and will take a few weeks until you feel like yourself again. Hang in there and read these tips to help you out once you’re home! Good luck and congrats!!
Free Printable C-section Hospital Bag Checklist!
If you prefer to have this list printed out for you, click here for my free C-Section hospital bag checklist! 👇
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