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Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist for the Mom Having a Scheduled C-Section

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What’s in your c section hospital bag?

Are you wondering what to pack in hospital bag for cesarean delivery?

It seems everything you come across only talks about the hospital bag essentials for moms who will labor and hopefully have a vaginal delivery. 

But what about the moms who only need a c section hospital bag checklist? 

What are they supposed to pack?

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! 

Today, let’s get you, the mom having the planned c section,  prepared. We will skip the delivery bag checklist and instead help you create a c section hospital bag list for mom and baby. Let’s get to it!

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Protip: Make sure you have the perfect hospital bag for the occasion. This is the hospital bag I used and it was awesome for me and baby! Dad had no problem getting us all out on discharge day. 


In a rush? Grab your c-section hospital bag checklist below!

what to pack in hospital bag for cesarean delivery


When to start packing hospital bag for a scheduled c-section?

The third trimester is full of things to do and now it’s time to add one more task. 

By the time you hit 32 weeks you definitely want to start thinking about hospital bag necessities. 

When week 35 arrives, you want that c section bag packed and in the car!

It’s easy to put off packing for the hospital in advance because you know your delivery date. But, there are many babies who are scheduled for a cesarean delivery that are born before the chosen date. 

Don’t fall into the time trap. Make 35 weeks your deadline. 

This isn’t being said to scare you. Instead, it’s to prevent you from putting off packing your hospital bag because you don’t want to be that person who goes in labor and is scrambling to find stuff and get it in a bag.

Yes, even women scheduled for a planned c-section can still go into labor!


Creating your maternity bag checklist

Things to think about:

How long will I be in the hospital after my c-section 

According to Healthline, most women who have a scheduled c section can expect to be in the hospital for 3-4 days. 

 Sometimes it’s easy to forget that a cesarean section is still major abdominal surgery. You’ll need to be monitored closely. 

You’re not going to want to stay in a hospital gown for 4 days. So, keep this in mind when deciding what to pack. 

Am I going to breastfeed

If you’re considering trying to breastfeed, you should pack items that will make access easier for you and your baby. 

What can I leave at home since I’m not laboring

If you look at any hospital bag checklist, it will tell you to include hair ties on your packing list. This is to help keep the hair out of your face while you’re sweating and pushing the baby out. 

Since you won’t be pushing, you can omit this from your list.

You’ll also see people say don’t forget to pack your earbuds. This is to serve as a distraction while moms are suffering through contractions. Again, this is something you can scratch off!

Remember, your bag just needs what is necessary after delivery.


C-Section hospital bag checklist for mom 

Here is what I packed in my hospital bag.

1. Pajamas

Since I knew my plan was to breastfeed, I packed two pajamas that buttoned. I wanted to have ease of access for nursing but also be able to maintain my privacy. 

I knew that bleeding would be an issue as well and felt that pants would be more appropriate than a nightgown. I ended up staying an extra night so my mother brought me a third set of pjs

The first night I had to stay in bed so I just wore the hospital gown

Looking back on it, a nursing nightgown would have worked well too. Next time I will pack a combination of the two. 

2. Nursing bras

I almost forgot to pack nursing bras and that would have been a huge mistake! No, your milk may not come in during your hospital stay. But, you’ll still need the support and it’s another layer of privacy while breastfeeding. 

Don’t forget to pack lanolin and nursing pads too!

3. Cell phone charger

This one goes without saying. You’re going to want plenty of juice to take photos of your new bundle of joy! Oh, make sure your significant other has their charger too!!

4. Birth plan

Most people don’t know this but you can still have a birth plan with a c-section. I wanted my experience to be as close to what it would have been like if I would have had a vaginal delivery.

It was very important that I be able to bond with my baby as soon as possible. We did skin to skin in the Operating Room. 

I also wanted to see her come out. Most hospitals have the option of using what they call “clear drapes” for c-sections. You won’t see what’s happening during the surgery but they are able to remove a portion of the solid surgical drape when the baby is being delivered. Once the baby is delivered they put the piece back. This experience was everything to me.

Finally, I wanted to witness her first bath. At the time of my c-section the typical procedure was for baby to be bathed in the recovery area while mom was being cleaned up in the operating room. Most hospitals are now delaying the first bath.

5. Shower shoes

I was so swollen after I had my baby that I couldn’t even wear my shower shoes. In the future, I would pack them again in addition to something adjustable like this

6. My loofah and body wash

When I was finally able to get out of bed and take a shower, having my loofah and body wash was everything! That was possibly the best shower I’ve taken in my life.

7. Cosmetic bag

I honestly didn’t care how I looked when people came to visit me. I didn’t put on makeup the entire time I was in the hospital.  Though I did use my lip balm and face wash along with my comb and brush.

I found this to be the easiest solution for all of my hospital toiletry needs. 

8. Bathrobe

I tried to walk a lot once I was able to get out of bed. I didn’t feel comfortable walking the halls in my PJs so the robe came in handy. This was favorite. 

9. Insurance documents and I.D.

I did not end up needing any of this. It did give me peace of mind knowing it was there if needed. 

Every hospital is different so I would still pack it just in case. 

10. My breast friend pillow

I wasn’t allowed out of bed for the first 36 hours after my c-section. This pillow was truly my best friend and kept the baby off of my incision. 

Once I was able to get up and move, I used to breastfeed in the chair and while sitting on the bed. 

11. The baby’s baby book

I wanted to make sure to get her footprints in her book. I knew this would probably be done while I was still in the operating room, so I made her dad keep it on him at all times! Needless to say, her footprint is in her book!

If you haven’t purchased your baby book yet, check out this one

12. Home outfit

Everyone talks about baby’s going home outfit but guess what? Mom needs one too!

Most moms wear what the wore into the hospital, I did too. It’s a good idea to think about that when selecting your going to the hospital outfit. 

13. Maternity underwear

The hospital will supply you with disposable underwear and sanitary pads. But, you’ll want your own for the ride home. 

Considering the fact that you’ll have a healing incision, opt for the granny panties like this


Hospital bag must haves for baby 

1. Outfit for photos 

Most hospitals have a photographer that comes by and takes newborn photos. Even if you’ve already hired a photographer to take photos at home, you may still want the hospital photos too. Either way, it’s good to be prepared and have an outfit for the baby. This is my favorite for a little boy

2. Mittens

Some babies are born with long fingernails and they love to touch their faces. To prevent them from scratching themselves, it’s best to use mittens like these.  

3. Pacifier

The hospital will supply your baby with a pacifier like this. If you have a specific pacifier you want your baby to use, I suggest you pack it and bring it to the hospital. Otherwise, they will develop a preference and won’t want the one at home.

If you are breastfeeding, it’s recommended to wait on introducing a pacifier to avoid nipple confusion.  

4. Onesies

I was told not to pack any clothes for my baby to wear in the hospital because the hospital would supply her with onesies. This turned out to not be true so I definitely recommend packing your own onesies

5. Going home outfit

Of course, you can’t forget the infamous going home outfit! Here was ours


What to pack in hospital bag for cesarean delivery

Now you know just what to pack in your hospital bag for a c section. You can leave the breast pump at home but please don’t forget the car seat or you won’t be able to take the baby home.

This was what I packed in my hospital bag! What’s in yours?

Grab your printable hospital bag checklist for c section!

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Packing hospital bag


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