Monday, December 15, 2008

What to Pack for a C-Section

The items on this list will also work if you are having a vaginal birth, only you won't need quite as much clothing since your stay will be shorter!

Ideas on What to Pack for You (the Expectant Mom)

*3-4 sets of Drawstring Jammies (or Nursing PJs)


*Comfortable Maternity Top & Pants for Wearing Home

*Nursing Bra

*Nursing Pads

*1-2 Pairs Underwear (hospitals usually provide special ones to wear while in the hospital)

*2-3 Pairs Socks or Slippers

* Your Own Pillow

*iPod (or MP3 player)

*Hair Brush & Hair Bands

*Shampoo & Conditioner

*Contact Case, Solution, & Glasses (if you wear them)



*Lip Balm

*Make-up- (if you are a make-up person) just a few items to help feel refreshed before surgery & for when visitors come

For Husband:

*4-5 T-Shirts

*2 Pairs of Shorts/Pants

*4 pairs Boxers/Briefs

*2-3 Pairs of Comfy Lounge Pants (can double as PJs)

*Razor & Shaving Cream



*Books, Laptop, DVDs, ect. for husband for while mom & baby are resting

For Baby:

*Car Seat

*3 Sets of Comfy Bag Sleepers

*Cute Newborn Outfit if Doing Pictures

*A Couple Soft/Cute Baby Blankets- Can be used to cover baby up when heading home. Also makes a nice background for the hospital pictures

Other Items You Might Want to Pack for a C-Section Birth:

*Birth Plan

*Boppy or other Breastfeeding Pillow (though check with hospital first- many have these available for you to use so you don't have to bring your own)

*Digital Camera, Charger, & USB Cable

*Video Camera w/Tape & Charger*Cell Phone & Charger

*Call List

*Journal & Pen

*Movies to Watch Together

*Books/Magazines to Read

*Baby Book for Foot Prints & to put Bassinet Card into when leaving

*Favorite Snacks (though check first and see if your hospital has a snack room. Ours had a great one, so we didn't need to bring any snacks with us!)

Have Other Children? Here are a Couple More Things You Might Want to Bring:

*Photo of Your Other Children

*Gift for "Baby" to Give to Siblings

*DVD Your Kids Enjoy Watching- in case they get rowdy in the room and need something to do while visiting (especially helpful if they're coming with a grandparent who may want to visit with the new baby longer than the kids do)

♥How about you? What are your items are your favorites to pack for the big day?

Related Articles:

What NOT to Pack!

Photo adapted from


  1. Mine is pretty much the same.

    I will bring a nightgown and robe, instead of the drawstring jammies - just a comfort thing, and I don't want to have to worry about pulling pants/capris on & off after surgery.

    I bring my own panties, but again, a comfort thing. I hate those little mesh undies they have for you. I'd rather wear some of my older panties and be comfortable. I have enough making me UNcomfortable at that point.

    The hospitals have always provided disposable nursing pads, but each hospital is always different - and you'll need them afterwards anyway.

    Yes, yes, YES on your *own* pillow - a MUST!! Maybe two.

    LARGE shoes! My feet have always swollen "beyond recognition" - seriously. Slip-ons, if they are wide enough, or even flip-flops. Of course, in winter, this is interesting, but just have people drive you RIGHT up to the door.

    And a few things to keep you busy: maybe thank you cards to fill out, a good book, your laptop. Definitely your digital camera with LOTS of extra batteries (or the charger), plus your cell phone w/ charger as well.

    Good list ~ and good timing as I need to start thinking about packing up my bag! Just 2 more weeks...

  2. Make sure you have high waisted granny panties that are a few sizes larger. I like them to be a bit loose--too tight and they irritate the incision. Or high waisted maternity panties would work too.

  3. Natural Childbirth & C-Section Recovery Kits

    These recovery kits are great items to have as well! They help mom recover faster so that she can focus on what truly!!!

    New customers can receive 20% off their order with coupon code: new20off

  4. If you bring your own pillow, be sure to use a colored/non-white pillowcase to differentiate yours from the hospital's.

    I like to pack new, freshly washed socks. Fresh, fluffy socks make me happy.

    I'm planning to take my Crocs this time. If something icky gets on them, just rinse 'em off. Plus, they make nice shower shoes. I recommend some shower shoes, because I was pretty lightheaded for my first shower. I had a shower chair, but I'm clumsy on the best of days. Traction is a good thing.

    Tucks hemorrhoid pads or wet flushable wipes. Even though I had a section, everything was a bit delicate. I never depend on the hospital to have it all.

    Probiotics if you are the sort who gets yeast infections from antibiotics. Especially, if you are breastfeeding. Avoid thrush at all costs! Jarrow EPS is shelf stable.

    Snacks-I put some of the drinkable "soup at hand" soup that just has to be microwaved in it's container, then you can just drink it. I also had some instant oatmeal, granola bars, etc. As they advance your diet, your appetite will not correspond with the meal times at the hospital, especially if you are up at all hours.

    Some people really like having a Boppy pillow, if they are breastfeeding. Others make do with regular pillows.

  5. Find out if there is wifi in your hospital, ours did and helped me stay connected with friends, I uploaded pictures faster and it gave my hubby something to do to kill time during our four day stay...

  6. For the above comment, I forgot to say, bring your laptop if they

  7. I just came across your blog and love it! I'm about to have my 2nd section, but didn't plan the 1st. This time around, in addition to everything on your list, I'm bringing some soft sheets for the bed. After a section it's harder to get in and out of bed and you might be there a day or so longer, so soft sheets are going to be a must this time!

  8. Great advice! I'm actually going in for my 2nd C-section (this one planned) tomorrow morning!! If I could add something to the list it would be a large squirt bottle... It really come in handy in the shower when you are still too swollen or in too much pain to lift your legs up. Some hospitals provide them, but I'm packing my own this time. And bring your own towel! Little things like that make you feel more comfortable...

  9. Thank you for your list. As I get ready for section #3 in June, I'm amazed by how much I have forgotten since my son & daughter were born. This site is heaven sent!

  10. I would like to add a few things that I think have become more common in the few years since this post was originally written, and have helped me in my c-section hospital stay & recovery.

    I would definitely second the poster above who mentioned taking probiotics-- I have a propensity for yeast infections ever since I developed a body wide yeast infection after a surgery to remove an ovarian cyst at age 20,and probiotics are my lifesaver! I generally take them throughout my pregnancy because I am so prone to yeast, but starting 2 weeks prior to your surgery should be fine if you aren't as prone to them as I am. They will also help get your gut healthy and help it start moving more quickly and with less gas/bloating after surgery (all major plusses!). I like the brand Culturelle since I the same capsules for my daughter and enjoy not needing to buy 2 kinds, but there are several out there. Take them for at least 2 weeks after the surgery to continue aiding digestion and keeping yeast at bay (they are safe for bf and help prevent thrush as well).

    The second item that was a must-have for me was an abdominal binder.This is a support band you wrap around your middle before you get out of bed(or even try to sit up or roll over). It helps SO much with aiding mobility and helping you be able to stand and walk sooner and more comfortably.

    My DD was in the nicu for 8 weeks (unrelated to the delivery) and I needed to walk down two long hallways to get to her, and then stand at her bedside to be able to see/touch her. Without the binder I would not have been able to do this for a few days. The one I used was purchased on amazon and is the Gabriella brand, but there are several different ones, including some newer varieties by a brand called Abdo-mend specifically sold with other recovery-aiding products.
    I cannot stress how much wearing the band helped me from the first hours after surgery until 2 months postpartum. When you first need to get out of bed it can be very painful and it's common to feel that your insides are falling out, though of course they are not. There are many layers of tissue that have been displaced by the surgery, and that is what causes the feeling, even though you have been thoroughly stitched up and nothing is going anywhere. The tightness of the band helps keep things feeling "together" and really supports your injured muscles. Also aids in breastfeeding and helps prevent the sharp pains from coughing, laughing and sneezing.

    Just a couple ideas from my experiences,and things I will be taking for my next section in a few months.I have benefited so much from reading all these posts, and wanted to do my share to help more new and expectant c-section moms!

    1. Thanks Julie for the helpful tips!


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