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What to bring to the hospital when having a c-section

What you need (and don't need) when packing for a planned c-section

by DiannC  |  123555 views  |  4 comments  |        Rate this now! 

I started planning the birth of my baby the very day that I discovered I was pregnant.  I had a very clear idea of how I wanted the birth to be.  I had a whole notebook of checklists and notes, everything I thought I might need at the hospital was listed.  I read articles online and thought I had a comprehensive list for packing for the hospital.  If you run a Google search and look for packing lists for labor you will get hundreds of hits so I searched, cross-referenced, and thought I had the best packing list that I could possibly have.

When I was about 7 months pregnant I discovered that I would have to have a c-section.  My plan was thrown in the trash, nothing would happen the way that I wanted it to.  I started a new notebook, and began planning for a c-section birth.  I searched all over for a list of what to pack for a c-section and found nothing.  I made my own list, but had no experience and had no idea what to expect so my list didn't work out the way that I wanted it to.  I decided to make a list of the things that I wish I had and things that I didn't need to bring so that other pregnant women can plan ahead when packing for their c-section birth.

1.) Several sets of pajamas, not nightgowns.  They will be checking your stitches/staples several times a day and it is much easier to check if you are in a shirt and pants/shorts than if you are in a nightgowns.  Make sure the pants are hip-hugger style or you are able to roll them, you won't want anything pressing on your belly for a while.  Bring at least three or four sets and extra shirts.  Most women stay in the hospital for three to five days after a c-section; your milk will come in by then and when that happens you will want the extra shirts. 

2.) Twice as many pairs of underwear and bras than you will think you need.  You will be bleeding and leaking milk so make sure you don't mind that they may get stained.  The underwear they give you is AWFUL -- you will want your own.

3.) A large flat sheet, preferably an older one, and a pillowcase.  The sheets in the hospital are rough and you will only be able to sleep flat on your back because of the pain.  I ended up with bed sores from the rough sheets.  I wish I had one of my own sheets to lie down on the bed.  I brought my own pillowcase and that makes a difference, as the pillowcases are made from the same rough material as the sheets.

4 comments so far...

  • This is my second C-section and I just needed a little reminder of the items needed for the hospital, The drinking from the straw is good advice, I never thought of the straw giving you gas. I sceduled for my C- section on Friday July 1, 2011 which is soon, so I have a few ,minor adjustments to make in my suitcase.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Allison on 29th June 2011

  • There isn't a lot of lists out there for moms having c-sections!!! I am having my 4th daughter in about 2 months. I have had c-sections with each one and found each time I forgot something :) My youngest is 5 so it's been a bit since I've had to get bags ready.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to get this together. I forgot how uncomfortable the sheets & pillows were and have now added that to my list!
    I did like the net underwear the hospital provided, they were loose and very comfortable. Maybe the hospital you went to had a different type and I'm sorry for that because I LOVED the ones I was given, they were actually 100 times better than the ones I brought myself. And I too took 3 or 4 pairs home with my last 2.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jan on 12th April 2011

  • Thank you so much even tho this is my 4th c-section its nice to see what everyone else needed-didnt need !!!!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mommy4-2010 on 6th May 2010

  • This is nice to have for women who know they are having a c-section. I have had two c-sections and I'm having my third in 3 days. I however disagree on some of the things that are said to bring on this list. I did not want to wear any of my own clothes. I only wore the hospital gown. When I went for walks I wore another gown put on backwards, I'm taking my robe this time around. It is way too uncomfortable to wear pants and when you are in the hospital noone cares what you are wearing. I wouldn't have wanted my own underwear either. I wore the net underwear the entire time I was in the hospital and I took two pairs home and wore them for a week at home. My regular underwear were too uncomfortable to wear on my belly. I am bringing my own pillow but I found the sheets at my hospital to be fine. Good luck to everyone having a c-section.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Megan on 1st February 2010