Preparation is key when you are having a baby and making sure that you have everything you need for when you are in the hospital is really important. If you are having a planned c section you will want to pack slightly different things which will help you post birth. This post has a handy free printable list of essentials to pack in your hospital bag for a c-sections.
This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you visit a link and buy something. Purchasing via an affiliate link doesn’t cost you any extra, and I only recommend products and services I trust. I may have been sent some of the products in this post free of charge or paid to feature them here. Thank you for supporting this blog.
When to prepare your hospital bag
This was my third elective cesarean section so I knew exactly what I needed to pack in my c section hospital bag from prior experience and two other c section hospital stays! Every birth is different and there are some different things that I would pack for a scheduled c-section as opposed to a vaginal birth. Remember a c-section birth is major surgery so make sure to arrange lots of help for afterwards too.
I try to pack my bag a few weeks before the baby is due just in case I go into spontaneous labour, about 34-36 weeks of pregnancy or about a month before your due date is a great time to have your bag packed and ready to go I think. It is one less thing to worry about before the big day!
I always pack two bags, one with the baby's things in, such as outfits and nappy changing bits. You will need this on hand more than you will need the bag with your things in. This time I packed up the changing bag which is a PacaPod bag. This was really useful as I could just keep the changing pod on the bed with me for nappy changes which is ideal when you can't move after having surgery.
Baby Hospital Bag Essentials
I don't go overboard with packing for the baby because I know that anything I need my husband can pop down to the hospital shop or pick up something from home so I only pack the basics for what we will need for our
- baby towel - the Cuddle Dry towels are my favourite.
- baby hats (for boy or girl)
- baby blanket
- coat / pramsuit
- coming home outfit
- babygrows x 3
- vests x 3
- muslin cloths x 2
- baby wipes (I used Water Wipes)
- alcohol gel
- nappy bags
Mum Hospital Bag Essentials
These are my must-have items for you for your hospital stay.
- make up
- lip balm
- cotton wool pads
- micellar water / face wipes
- hairbands / hair ties
- shower gel
- moisturiser (a face and body one to save space)
- dry shampoo
- nipple cream (I swear by Lanisoh)
Main Bag packing list
- phone charger
- birth plan
- dressing gown
- PJ's x 2
- coming home outfit
- maternity towels
- incontinence pads bed
- nursing bras x 2
- breast pads
- big knickers (I use cheap supermarket knickers rather than disposable pants)
- breastfeeding pillow / extra pillows
- books / magazines
- glasses / contact lenses
- eye mask (one of the best things for getting better sleep on a busy maternity ward)
This is literally everything I took with me to hospital and it was perfect. It was easier having the baby's things separate from mine as I could grab them quickly when he needed changing and I didn't need to rummage through everything. It's useful when you have a planned c-section to take something with you to keep you occupied while you wait for your slot in theatre. I take a book and some magazines and my headphones in case I want to listen to music to calm myself down. You never know where you will be on the list and it's best to be prepared as time will feel like it is going slower if you aren't keeping yourself busy.
Many people ask what are comfortable clothes to wear after a c section in hospital. When you go down to the operating room you will be wearing a hospital gown but afterwards when you have had your first shower I would get changed into some of your own clothes which will make you feel much better. I would recommend a loose fitting breastfeeding top and supportive leggings. Go for high waisted ones with extra support around the tummy area. Don't forget a nursing bra as you will want something to keep nursing pads secure in. Maternity towels and large knickers are a must too! I know some people now wear incontinence pants and find them more comfortable than maternity pads but I would be careful about them irritating your wound.
If you are fussy about a good pillow these can be hit and miss in hospital so it may be better to take your own pillow rather than rely on the hospital pillows throughout your hospital stay. You will want to be comfortable in your hospital bed so extra pillows are probably a good idea.
There is no need to take a car seat in with you but you will need one for leaving the hospital so arrange to have your partner or a family member bring it in.
Post covid additions
Although, post pandemic your partner won't be able to be with you as much in hospital so I have added a few things to the c section hospital bag list 2021 to reflect this below. Although the good news is that now in 2023 I believe partners are able to be with you in your hospital room more.
- snacks & drinks
- face masks
- hand sanitiser
- portable charger
- portable tripod
With fewer visitors than normal you won't have anyone to bring you food and snacks so I would definitely recommend taking lots in with you. You might also have to wear a face mask in certain areas of the hospital so it would be wise to take a couple in your bag and hand sanitiser is of course an essential. It would also be wise to take a portable power bank in case you can't reach the plug socket to charge your phone. A tripod is also a great idea if you are face-timing family as it leaves your hands free to hold or feed your new baby.
I hope that this hospital bag checklist for c section helps you to feel more prepared. I have had three sections now and they really aren't as bad as you think they are going to be. If you think of anything that should be on this list but isn't leave me a comment below! Don't forget to consider a postpartum care kit too!
Did you find this post useful? Share it with your friends or Pin it for later. You might also like these posts...