A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (2024)

I completely understand if you are stressing over what to pack in yourupcoming planned or scheduled csection hospital bag!

I was there too!

AlthoughI had an emergency c-section,and there was no way for me to prepare for that in advance,

I was still stressing over what I should pack in my hospital bag and when we (hubby and I) should have them ready?!

So, I know the feeling of wanting to make sure you bring everything you need to make your hospital stay as comfortable as possible.

But the truth isyou don’t need much!

I packed everything I needed in my c section hospital bag the first time around, and I didn’t even know what I would need!

That should tell you a lot!

This is why I believeit’s essential to research the hospital you will be giving birth in before you give birth!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (1)

Related Post: 18 Do’s and Don’ts After C- Section!

Because even though I didn’t prepare my hospital bag for a c-section birth,my hospital(in NYC)provided me with everything I needed during my stay!

(Expect a hairstylist, which I could have used since Charlie didn’t even know how to tie my hair up into a ponytail! Lol).

In this post,I will share what items my hospital provided me with, plus a checklist of everything I would’ve liked to have in my c section hospital bag.

This way,you can decide what you should and shouldn’t pack in your c section hospital bag to make your c-section hospital stay more comfortable.

Let’s get into it!

Table of Contents

How to Prepare for Hospital Stay After C-Section?

Before you start packing everything in your house into your hospital bag,

I would recommend you firstask your doctor or the hospital where you will have your c-section the following questions:

  • What do they provide in your hospital stay after a c-section for you, your partner (Dad), and your baby?
  • Will you be sharing a room with another mom?
  • Does your room have a bathroom and shower combo?
  • Is Dad able to stay overnight?

After having these questions answered, you will know exactly what to pack in your c section hospital bag from the list I provided below.

A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (2)

How Many Days Do You Stay in the Hospital after Giving Birth C-Section?

A hospital stay after a c-section delivery is2-4 daysin the U.S.

I was in the hospital for six days,two induction days (becauseI was planning for a vagin*l birththat later turned into an emergency c-section), and four c-section recovery days.

When Should You Pack Your C Section Hospital Bag?

Most scheduled/planned c-sections occur around 39 weeks, but a baby is considered full term at 37 weeks.

Therefore,most doctors recommend you have your hospital bags packed by 37 weeks in caseyou have to go into the hospital sooner.

A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (3)

What Size Bag is Best for Hospital Bag?

Your hospital bag should not be bigger than a carry-on bag.

You will spend most of those days in a hospital gown, so you don’t have to pack like you would for a vacation.

Favorite Hospital bags on Amazon:

Mom & Baby


A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (4)

During My Hospital Stay I Was Provided With The Following:

1. A private room/suite

2. Hubby was able to stay with me the whole time until I was discharged.

3. Private bathroom and shower.The bathroom had:

  • pads
  • mesh underwear,
  • peri bottle,
  • toothbrush,
  • toothpaste,
  • shampoo,
  • conditioner,
  • bar soap.
  • towel

4. They provided me with a belly band (that I noticed on the day I was discharge but was able to take home)

5. Pain medications and stool softer (of course)

6. Breast pump (upon request) including bottle and nipples to feed baby.

7. Dad was provided with:

  • Sofa bed (not too comfortable)
  • pillow

8. Baby was provided with:

  • Diapers size 1
  • Diaper cream
  • wipe cloth
  • Formula for baby
  • Onesies but too big for newborn
  • Multiple hospital baby blankets

I know hospitals will not provide the same things, and this is why when preparing for birth, you shouldask your OB doctor at your first prenatal visit all the essential questions like,what hospital are they affiliated with?”

This way, you canresearch the affiliated hospitaland decide whether that hospital meets your standards or not.

A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (5)

What Should You Pack in Your C Section Hospital Bag?

Mom Hospital Bag

A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (6)

Important Documents

  • Health Insurance Card (Mom & Baby)
  • State ID (Mom & Dad)
  • Baby Pediatricians Info
  • Pre-registration paperwork

Mom’s Toiletries

Mom & Dad Eye Care (if applicable)

Mom’s C-section Going Home Outfit

Great going home outfits for moms after a c-section will beloose clothes, especially around the incision area.

Choose things likedress, leggings, or sweatpants that don’t roll down or put pressure on your abdomen or incision when you are sitting in the car.

Here are some options from Amazon:

Outfit #1

Outfit #2

Outfit #3

Dad Hospital Bag

A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (7)

Dad’s Toiletries

Dad Sleepover Necessities

Dad’s Electronics & Accessories

Baby Hospital Bag

A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (8)

When deciding on baby clothes size,I recommend you ask your doctor in the last few weeks, “what is the expected weight of your baby at birth”so that you can bring something that will fight your baby well.

My daughter’s expected weight at birth was 7lb-7.5lbs, and as my OB predicted, she weighed 7lbs 1 oz at birth.

Therefore, I brought baby onesies and clothes, size newborns.

(She wore newborn size for the first month and a half, and then I got 0-3months).

Hospital Bag Snacks

A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (9)

Mom, stick to healthy snacks and foods because you don’t want to have trouble going to the bathroom after a c-section!

When it comes to breastfeeding items, you don’t have to bring much becausemost hospitals have a hospital-grade breast pump and lactation consultants you can take advantage of if you like.

I took advantage of the lactation consultant afterstruggling to get my daughter to latch.

The LC also brought me the hospital-grade breast pump during my stay (including bottles, nipples, bottle caps for storing bottles, and a manual pump).

If your hospital does not provide you with a breast pump, then you can bring your own light weight portable breast pumping like the Willow, Bellababy or BabyBuddha.

A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (10)

Extra Items You Can Bring In your C Section Hospital Bag (but don’t really have too!)

  • Stool softener
  • Gas pills
  • Underwear pads
  • Breastfeeding pillow
  • Belly band
  • Make up
  • Non-Slip Socks or Slippers
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Gum

Here are my thoughts on why you don’t need to bring the items list here:

Stool softer and Gas pills

Your doctor will provide this at the hospital.

Underwear pads

The hospital also provides you with mesh underwear and pads, which are already included in your stay, so why not use them!

Breastfeeding pillow

When it comes to a breastfeeding pillow, you can use a pillow from your hospital bed to help support your baby if you need it for the days you’re in the hospital.


You can bring a belly band if your hospital doesn’t provide one or if you have a particular brand of belly band you like.

But,I found wearing belly bands more comfortable when I wasn’t in bed(which you will be in the hospital), so it will be of better use after you go home and walk or stand for more extended periods.


Due to the discomfort and pain you will be feeling while recoveringfrom your c-section,the last thing on your mind will be to put on makeup.

Now, if you are someone who would do it anyway, then go for it!

Non-Slip Socks or Slippers

Most hospitals in the U.S provide you with non-slip socks, so you might as well use them while you are there and then through them out once you are discharged. But, of course, you’ll be in bed most of the time anyway.

However, if you feel more comfortable with slippers, then bring them.

Shampoo and Conditioner

It’s not something you can do yourself since it’s hard reaching over your head after a c-section, so someone else will have to do it for you. Plus, you won’t want to be standing in the shower long enough to get it all done, trust me!

So, I would say wait till you get back home.

Last Thoughts

If you pick an excellent birth team and hospital, you can trust them to tell you what you’ll need during birth and your postpartum care.

Therefore, avoiding the need to bring things you most likely won’t use.

For most expecting moms reading this, I know this may not be your first c-section.

But I also want to welcome new expecting moms who may experience a scheduled, unplanned, or emergency c-section since almost32 percent of births occur in c-section.

Thank you again for being here, I hope this post was helpful.

Don’t forget to get your free printable c-section hospital bag checklist below!

A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (11)

A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (12)

A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (13)

A Simple & Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist! (For Mom, Dad & Baby 2023) | Motherhood Taught Me (2024)


What do I need in my hospital bag planned C-section? ›

What to pack in your hospital bag for a C-section
  • a file or folder with essential medical paperwork, list of current medications, insurance card, etc.
  • a credit card and small amount of cash.
  • printed copies of your birth plan.
  • a list of important phone numbers (unless they're already saved on your phone)
  • your cell phone.
Jul 21, 2020

What should dad bring to hospital when baby is born? ›

Partner or Dad's Hospital Bag Checklist

Cozy footwear: comfortable shoes such as sneakers, Crocs, or other slip-ons. Sleep accessories: your own pillow and blankets from home. Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, and more. Eyewear: glasses, contact lenses, and contact solution, if needed.

What do I need to take to the hospital for ac section? ›

Important documents - Such as insurance card and photo ID, cesarean birth plan (if you have one), and other hospital requirements. Toiletries - Make sure to bring your preferred personal items as you will be staying in the hospital for days or maybe weeks.

What should I wear for C-section? ›

You'll be asked to change into a hospital gown when you arrive at the hospital on the day of the caesarean section.

What should I do the night before my C-section? ›

The Night Before Your C-section

Try to get a good night's sleep. You may brush your teeth in the morning. Check with your doctor if you are taking any medication. Take a shower before coming to the hospital.

What is the best last meal to eat before C-section? ›

To help with gas and bloating, eat lightly prior to your elective C-section. Soup, clear liquids, juices, and smoothies are best choices. Avoid meats and dairy, as these tend to cause bloating and heaviness. You may be hospitalized up to four days after your elective C-section.

What should my husband bring to the hospital? ›

18 hospital bag essentials for expecting moms and dads
  • Toiletries. Expect to be at the hospital for several hours, and even overnight (or several days, in some cases). ...
  • Snacks. ...
  • Medication. ...
  • Cash. ...
  • Electronics. ...
  • Chargers. ...
  • A change of clothes. ...
  • Reusable bottles.

What do birth partners need to pack? ›

A few suggestions for your birth partner
  • a change of clothes.
  • toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant.
  • phone and charger.
  • camera or camcorder.
  • snacks and drinks.
  • swimwear if they'll be getting in a birth pool.
  • any medicines they're taking.
  • spare glasses or contact lenses if they wear them.

What should dad wear in delivery room? ›

Clothing. Fresh underwear, a clean shirt, and a pair of socks should be sufficient to keep you feeling clean and ready for anything. It also might be wise to include a warm sweatshirt in case the room is a little cool. Parents in labor often feel warm and may turn the thermostat down in order to keep cool.

Why drink apple juice before C-section? ›

Why should I drink clear liquids before a cesarean birth? Clear liquids and carbohydrate drinks give you energy to heal after delivery. You'll feel less hungry and more hydrated.

How many hours after C-section can I walk? ›

It's important to get out of bed and walk around within 24 hours after surgery. This can help ease gas pains, help you have a bowel movement, and prevent blood clots. You can try gentle exercises a few days after the C-section: Deep breathing: Take 2 or 3 slow, deep breaths every half-hour.

What is the best week for C-section? ›

This is why it's important to wait until at least 39 weeks for a scheduled c-section. If your pregnancy is healthy, it's best to let labor begin on its own. If your provider talks to you about scheduling a c-section, ask if you can wait until at least 39 weeks to have your baby.

Do you wear socks during C-section? ›

You will then be given a hospital gown and anti-embolism stockings (flight socks) to wear. Your birthing partner will also be given theatre clothes to change in to.

How long does it take belly to go down after C-section? ›

You'll likely lose much of that weight over two months after giving birth as your uterus shrinks and your body flushes out the remaining fluids. Nonetheless, your body could take anywhere from six to nine months postpartum—and in some cases, as long as two years—to return to pre-pregnancy weight.

How long will my stomach be swollen after C-section? ›

Some swelling after a c-section is completely normal—chalk it up to the IV fluids during surgery and those post-pregnancy hormones—and should go down after a week or so. The more you walk and move around, the more readily your body will get rid of all that extra fluid.

When should I start packing my hospital bag for C-section? ›

At around 36 weeks, pack your bag so you're ready to go at a moment's notice. Even if you are planning a home birth, it's a good idea to have a bag packed in case you need to go to hospital for a premature birth, or if you have pregnancy or birth complications.

Do I need a peri bottle for C-section? ›

Peri bottle

Peeing might sting if you have stitches, and the vagin*l area might be extra sensitive, so using regular toilet paper may not be comfortable. Peri bottles are also helpful for C-section moms, as they won't have to bend to wipe. “ A peri bottle is always my number-one recommendation.

How many weeks is a planned C-section? ›

You will usually have a planned c-section at 39 weeks of pregnancy. The aim is to do the c-section before you go into labour. Babies born earlier than 39 weeks are more likely to need help with their breathing. Sometimes there's a medical reason for delivering the baby earlier than this.

How many maternity pads do I need after C-section? ›

Maternity pads - You'll need these as you'll still experience some bleeding from your womb (uterus), or lochia, as with a vagin*l birth. You may need as many as 24 pads, though you may want to buy more than this and keep some at home for when you leave hospital.

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