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How to pack a Realistic C-section Hospital Bag! (+ FREE Printable Checklist)

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If you’ve been following Kin Unplugged for a while, you might have come across my emergency C-Section story. Like any other emergency C-Section, it was mostly unexpected, but ultimately for the best! I don’t know if my packing list for a scheduled C-section would have been very different from my hospital bag at the time. I do know though that a realistic C-section hospital bag really only needs a few things. 


The question of what to pack in your hospital bag for baby is one thing. Packing for yourself is simpler, in my opinion. Particularly if you’ve got a C-section ahead of you. Your packing list for a scheduled C-section could be unbelievably shorter than one for someone going in for a water birth, for example.

Think of it this way. A realistic C-section hospital bag will have a few things to keep you distracted for a while before you get wheeled into the theatre. Your distractions could be anything from people to magazines to just your phone. Then there is another slightly longer list of items for after the surgery. Those would be mainly post surgery clothes and toiletries and I’ll go into those here.

The only items I used from my hospital bag for emergency C-section

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Toiletries required post-surgery

1. Makeup bag for photo ops

There’ll no doubt be lots of photos taken. If you don’t take any selfies with your new little one and partner, someone else will be taking photos of you. If you care enough, you’ll want to make sure you look presentable for those photos. If not, that’s fine – the exhilaration of bringing life into the world may be all the glow you need!

2. Maternity sanitary pads  

Do you need pads after C-Section? Just like for a vaginal birth, you absolutely do. Go prepared. Get maternity-specific pads with wings for added security.

3. Toothpaste and travel toothbrush

Don’t rely on the hospital to provide you with toothpaste as you may end up having to send someone out for some. Get a travel toothbrush that’s foldable, a toothbrush case, or a cover for your toothbrush head. If it’s going to be in your shower bag and just generally in the hospital environment, it might be rubbing up against all sorts. You’ll want to keep your toothbrush head protected.

You may also like: 25 No-fluff Newborn Necessities

4. Travel sized shower gel

If you’re allowed to take a shower, a travel sized bottle or two of shower gel should be enough to get you through a couple nights stay in the hospital. 

5. Towels

If you’re the type who does not like to use hotel towels, then you’ll definitely need to take your own full sized towel and one face towel with you.

6. Hydrating skin moisturiser

Post-surgery, not just your mouth but also your skin can feel dry and unloved! Take some hydrating moisturiser to slather on incase you think you need it. 

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What to wear after C-section in hospital 

7. Giant knickers

C-section knickers can really only be giant. They need to be comfortable and large enough that the wait band won’t be rubbing against your incision. Better yet, get disposable knickers. Disposable panties for new moms hospital stay can be a life saver and you cannot be sure that your hospital will be able to provide you with some. Go with your own set of at least five. If you don’t use them in the hospital, you can use them when you’re home.
I’ve also heard about cantaloop caesarean section briefs. I never tried them but they’re apparently c-section recovery pants – holding you in where appropriate and giving you space to breath where you need it. 

8. Nursing bra
If you intend to breastfeed, this is a must.

9. Bathrobe or housecoat 
For walking around the hospital post-surgery, you may be grateful for a bathrobe. They’ll provide an additional layer to cover up and keep you warm if you deliver in the colder months. 

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10. Going home outfit 

A going home outfit for mom after c section has to be as simple as possible. It has to be easy to put on and take off once you’re home. Comfort should be your priority. Forget trousers. That’s a hassle you do not need.

11. Compression socks 

By all means take some normal socks with you if you’re used to sleeping with them but let your caregivers advise you on whether to wear them. Post-surgery, you may be required to wear surgical stockings instead.  You’ll also be advised on how long to keep the stocking on after C-section. 


12. Slippers 

Opt for some bathroom slippers that will be easy to wear with socks on and walk around with. Fuzzy slippers might get gross to look at and wear if you’re in hospital for longer than a couple of nights. 

13. A nightie (NOT pajamas) 

The best pajamas for hospital after c-section would honestly be no pajamas, in my opinion! A nightie is the way to go as you won’t have to worry about a waist band cutting into your incision or causing any other kind of discomfort. 

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There you have it. My list of items that I did use from my hospital bag for my emergency C-section. It’s my idea of a realistic c-section hospital bag.
Actually, if my C-section was planned and I had an inkling of the level of itching I would have in reaction to the anaesthesia, I would have packed some antihistamines. 

Did you have a C-section? If so, was it an emergency or elective caesarean section? Are there any items you’d add to this list?

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11 thoughts on “How to pack a Realistic C-section Hospital Bag! (+ FREE Printable Checklist)”

  1. Nice list! I had an unplanned c-section as welll and most definitely agree on the giant knickers or disposible panties. Everything else just hurts…

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