Are you getting ready to face your scheduled c-section on the due date in the operating room? Or perhaps you’re hoping for a vaginal birth but want to be prepared for an emergency C-section?
Whatever the case may be, there are a few things you can pack to help your stay in your hospital bed a more pleasant experience.
One of the most important things to pack is a comfortable outfit, find a support person and be mentally prepared to face the wonderful moment of meeting your newborn baby.
The “reality” of motherhood is brought to a whole new level when the hospital bags are packed and ready to go. I recall making list after list and going through Pinterest for everything I’d need to feel at ease in the hospital.
To be honest, getting the luggage packed took a long time. I stuffed my bag at the entrance with everything I thought I needed and had. Everything else was bought online and placed near the front entrance. Isn’t it a glamorous life?
When I had everything, I spread hospital bag essentials on the bed and sorted them into three bags: mama’s bag, father’s baby bag, and baby girl’s bag. I used Ziploc bags to arrange and compartmentalize my belongings so I didn’t have to rummage through them to get what I needed.
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C-Section Hospital Bag Checklist
What To Put Into Mom’s Bag
Comfortable Clothes: Loose drawstring pants, dark color loose tops, a supportive bra, and comfortable shoes are one of the most important aspects of a c section hospital bag checklist.
Wallet: You’ll need your driver’s license and insurance card first and foremost so don’t forget to add them to your c section hospital bag list. Now is an excellent opportunity to pre-register for your delivery if you haven’t already.
Nursing Robe: You’ll probably spend 2-3 nights in the hospital after a c-section. This means that your comfort must be your top concern. Two essentials are a nursing robe and a warm cardigan. You’ll be able to breastfeed while visitors come and go, and your incision checks will be easy and open.
Compression Band: THIS was by far the most mentioned of all the things you people stated for a planned c-section! After your c-section, these compression bands are a godsend! They also provide you with several advantages, such as improved healing, improved posture, and relief from back discomfort. They could also be covered by your insurance, so make sure to double-check before you buy one!
Gown: If you’re nursing, you’ll be nursing all the time. I packed a robe, a nursing tank, and two nursing bras with me, and I used them all. You’ll start walking to the restroom on the second day, and the gown will make it much simpler to move around. Darker colors might be better because this isn’t a pleasant scenario, yet polka dots are feminine and charming!
Nursing Pj’s: After a c-section, having a pajama set is essential for two reasons: first, the trousers will keep your belly band in position, and second, they will assist keep the pads in place. TMI? Yes, but I believe we’ve reached that point.
Nursing Tank: I wore them all the time after giving birth, and I wish I had brought at least two with me to the hospital. Because I didn’t realize how difficult nursing would be, I used a lot of nipple cream. As a result, the cream splattered all over the tank, which did not look nice. I’d carry three of these tanks, lanolin lotion, and nipple shields if I could repack.
Charger: You’ll want your phone charged and close by so you can capture a million photographs of your baby. A charger is often overlooked on a hospital packing list, so be sure to bring it, even if in a separate bag.
Chapstick: Your lips will be dry after delivery, so lip balm is a good idea.
Mug or Yeti: Only drinks and ice are permitted on the first night of a cesarean section. Your water will stay cold, and your broth will stay hot, thanks to a yeti. My Yeti is, without a doubt, my best mom life hack. You can use it to heat baby bottles after you bring the baby home.
Slippers: Whatever non-slip surface you have should suffice. Hospitals are quite tough on this. You’ll want them to be easy to put on. Nothing that requires you to bend over to put on – that will be challenging. You’ll also want to bring your $2 Old Navy flip-flops. Mostly for showering and taking your first walk after a c-section delivery.
Toiletries: Pick up a toiletry kit from your local Walmart or Target to ensure you don’t forget anything and to make packing easier for your major abdominal surgery.
Make-Up Bag: Putting a little make-up on each morning helped me to feel more normal. Looking back at the photographs, I was even more grateful. To make things easier, I recommend bringing dry shampoo and Colgate Wisp.
Baby App: The biggest lie I tell myself every day is that I’ll remember anything instead of writing it down. Doctors are well aware that a sleep-deprived parent will have trouble remembering when the previous feeding/diaper change occurred, let alone what day it is. I was given a Breastfeeding Log while in the hospital, which was really necessary for this new parent. I made my own, complete with a baby tracker that I hung behind a frame as a daily reminder.
Breastfeeding Pillow: Optional, as they do have pillows at the hospital believe it or not, but they are very soft and you’ll need about 5 of them to prop your baby up properly to feed. Bring your own pillow and make your breastfeeding journey easier from the start. But you can use hospital pillows if you forget yours.
What To Put Into Dads Bag
Clothes: T-shirts, boxers, socks, sweatpants, a sweatshirt, a quarter-zip jumper, jeans, and slip-on sandals are all good choices. Make sure to bring a few changes of clothes. Purchase a separate toiletry bag for him as well as some breath mints.
Food: Food is huge! You don’t want him to have to leave the hospital to have dinner or get snacks while you’re in labor. You’ll need him by your side. Pack high-energy foods like beef jerky and granola bars. A box of chocolates is always a nice idea.
Toiletries: Dad will want a toothbrush and some toothpaste at the very least. You never know if your hospital stay is going to get extended. Don’t forget deodorant.
Blanket and pillow: The hospital does not always have blankets and pillows for dad. Bring a light blanket that rolls tight and a pillow that can also be squished down into a backpack.
Cash: You might need cash for parking, vending machine snacks, or coffee.
Insurance Information: Dad can fill out the paperwork after birth, mom doesn’t need to be bothered with this. (I filled out paperwork for my first baby and I had the epidural. I made some huge mistakes on the paperwork, and it took a long time to get everything sorted out.
Phone and charger.
What To Put Into Baby’s Bag
Believe it or not, your baby isn’t going to need a lot of things in the hospital. Here are the things I would bring for a baby and skip the rest.
Soother/Pacifier: Some hospitals advise against using pacifiers if you’re breastfeeding, however, I breastfed 3 babies and used pacifiers so I’m totally on board with bringing a paci in the c-section hospital bag.
Swaddle: After 3 babies, I still do not know how the hospital swaddled babies using their tiny blankets. Bring a proper swaddle and don’t worry about the baby breaking free from the hospital blankets.
Cute Outfit: Choose a comfortable and cute coming home outfit for your newborn.
Carseat Cover: Depending on the weather, you might need to keep snow or rain off of your baby as you get into the car or into the house, and a car seat cover is a great tool to help keep your baby comfortable and protected.
Packing A C-Section Hospital Bag
What do you need to pack for your hospital stay and recovery? You’ll want a comfy robe or pajamas. A nursing bra is a must if you plan on breastfeeding – plus an extra set of clothes in case the baby spits up!
Make sure to include diapers, wipes, ointments like Vaseline or Aquaphor (to protect their skin from diaper rash), snacks that are easy to eat with one hand like granola bars, applesauce cups, and yogurt tubes. And don’t forget personal care items such as deodorant and hair ties.
Pack more than one outfit for yourself so it’s not too hard to get dressed when leaving the hospital after having had surgery. Plus make sure Dad has all his needs covered too! Even if things do not go according to your birth plan, getting prepared in the third trimester for your big day in the operating room is key to making the entire experience more comfortable.