What to Pack in Your C-Section Hospital Bag

During my first pregnancy, we found out at 36 weeks that our daughter was breech, and despite my best efforts trying to get her to flip…external version, rubber ball to bounce on, standing on my head (well not quite but close!)… etc.

But it became clear that delivering naturally just wasn’t in the cards for me.

I had so many questions but one thing worked in my favor…

I was procrastinating and hadn’t packed my bag yet!

I started searching all over the place and it was definitely more difficult deciding what to bring when having a C-Section so I wrote all this down hoping it would help someone else out there 🙂

Here is what I’d recommend:

Clothes/Items for You:

  • Birth Plan – here is a guide of what kind of things to include. This helps your nurses and doctors be aware of your wishes and goals during your stay.
  • Any and all necessary paperwork for your hospital.
    • Have anything you can filled out prior to arriving, this will help streamline the process, you’ll be nervous that day so being prepared is important.
  • 1 Robe
  • 1 Pair of Slippers
  • 1 Sleepshirt/Nightgown
  • 1 Zippered Hoodie
  • 1 Long Sleeve Nursing Shirt
  • 2 Pairs of Comfortable Pajama Pants
  • 2 Nursing Tanks
  • 1 Nursing Bra
  • Bring whatever outfit you’d like to wear home – bear in mind, you’ll be sore and uncomfortable. You will be swollen and will still look pregnant, maternity clothing is your best bet if you’re going to wear “regular” clothes. Remember, you’ll have an incision and won’t want anything to rub in that area.
  • Socks: The hospital will provide a pair of gripped socks for the day of surgery, bring a couple pairs if you’d like to wear something different.
    • NOTE: No need for underwear other than what you wear in to the hospital. The hospital will provide mesh underwear and pads to use after surgery – you will want to wear this, it is MUCH more comfortable.
  • Toiletries: Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash/Soap, Deodorant, Razor, Makeup (if desired), Brush, Hair Ties/Clips, etc.
    • NOTE: It is recommended that you smell as “natural” as possible after your baby is born to they can get to know your scent. This is up to you, I couldn’t wait to take a shower and get cleaned up so I skipped perfumes, etc. when I finally got the go ahead, but did use my regular shampoo/conditioner/soaps.

Plan on staying at the hospital for at least 2-3 days, possibly longer depending on your recovery and add supplemental pieces as you’d like ie: long sleeve button down, other nursing shirts, etc.

Clothes/Items for the Baby:

  • 2 Sleepers (preferably with fold over cuffs that act as mittens)
  • Mittens to prevent scratches if needed
  • Nail Clippers or File if you’re feeling ambitious – trimming those TINY nails is NERVE WRACKING!
  • 1 “Going Home” Outfit
  • Any other outfits you’d like to put on them during your stay
    • NOTE: Skin to skin contact is recommended to help comfort the baby and to allow for more intimate bonding after birth, my husband and I opted for 24 full hours of skin to skin with both kiddos. This is truly a personal choice, if you do skin to skin you don’t need as many clothes! And I can tell you that putting a BRAND NEW newborn in clothing can be a bit nerve wracking, they aren’t as fragile as they seem but manipulating them to put on clothes isn’t for the faint of heart!!!
  • Any special blankets you’d like to use; the hospital will supply small receiving blankets.
  • Hat(s): since babies cannot effectively regulate temperature the hospital will supply a generic hat after birth. Our hospital gave us a knitted hat as well that volunteers make for new babies 😍
  • Baby Book: If you have something you’d like to use, bring it with you for footprints, etc. Let your nurse know you need help with this.

Other Helpful Items:

  • Chapstick, Lotion, Cough Drops & Humidifier:
    • Hospitals are very dry, as a result I caught a cold immediately following my first C-Section. The hospital will charge you for some of these items, bring them with you just in case you need them.
  • Prenatal Vitamins:
    • As long as you’re breastfeeding, you’ll still take these. If you have something you prefer to take, bring them with you. I always (and still do) take the gummies, they will give you pills of their choosing if you don’t bring them with you. Be prepared to give them to your nurse to administer, an unopened package is best. The hospital will monitor EVERYTHING you take very closely.
  • Books, magazines, music, etc – you may not even touch these things because you’re so in awe of your new baby but they’re good to have to pass the time until you’re discharged!
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • List of Names/Numbers of people you’d like informed once the baby has arrived:
    • Put a friend or family member in charge of this, you and your partner will be busy ogling over your new baby.
  • Snacks:
    • Our hospital provided food for the mother who was the patient as their diets are monitored (liquids following surgery, slowly returning to regular meals as recommended) but the partner or anyone else was left to fend for themselves in the food department. It’s nice to have some snacks/drinks in the room.


If they don’t offer, ask the nurse to show you how to bathe your newborn. They will have good tips and tricks and will also give you some goodies to take home for baths. Ours showed us a newer swaddling bathing method that we never learned with our daughter and it is AWESOME!

Hospitals are like hotels in that anything in the room will be tossed after you leave. They will encourage you to take whatever you want and make sure you do so. Most importantly – mesh underwear, pads, diapers, wipes, and the highly coveted blue syringe – this is better than anything I’ve ever purchased in a store!

Nurses are excellent at swaddling and they all seem to have different preferred methods. Ask each one to show you how to do it, then you can practice and pick which way you like the best. Babies are used to being confined and swaddling helps them feel safe and prevents them dealing with the startle reflex.

Hope this helps at least a little bit with the C-Section Process!


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