C-section Hospital Bag Must-Haves

Last Updated on February 19, 2021 by Michele Tripple

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A C-section hospital bag is a huge deal. They can make your stay at the hospital a million times better. Check out the best things to have in your bag and start packing now!

Get Ready to Easily Pack you C-section Hospital Bag

Packing a C-section hospital bag can be stressful for anyone. Do I need this? What about that? Am I packing too much? Don’t get overwhelmed!

Packing early can help reduce your stress. Even if you have a scheduled C-section it’s a great idea to get your hospital bag packed before you hit 37 weeks. You never know if your body will cooperate or go into labor before your scheduled day.

It’s a great idea to pack two different bags. One bag with basic things you’ll need before and right after surgery. Another with everything you need for the rest of the time you’re at the hospital.

Check out our million times better C-section hospital bag packing list for everything you need, plus a few things you’ll just want to have with you!

Surgery Bag

You don’t need much in this C-section hospital bag but these items are helpful to have before surgery and right after.


Make sure to pack your ID and your insurance card. Even if you already pre-registered at the hospital, it’s great to have these with you just in case. Also, include a credit card and a little bit of cash.

Birth Plan

You think you will remember what you have on your birth plan but nerves always get the best of us. Having your birth plan with you will make it easy to share with your nurses and doctor so everyone is on the same page.


There will be a little downtime while prepping for surgery. Having music to listen to, games to play, or an E-book to read is a great way to pass that time. Especially since you will be nervous and anxious.

My midwife was amazing and took my phone into the operating room for me. She grabbed amazing shots of my C-section while my doctor delivered my little guy. See if your midwife or nurse can do the same for you.

Pack an extra long charger to go with your phone. Hospitals rarely have plugs in a convenient place so an extra-long charger is handy.

Lip Balm

Lip balm is my comfort and I can’t go anywhere without. No seriously, I have 3 things of lip balm in my purse right now, just in case. There is nothing worse than sitting in a hospital room with dry lips.

Hair Tie

Having your hair tied out of the way is great for when they put that wonderful blue cap on your head. Sure you can gather your hair up and place it in the blue cap but having it all tied together makes it easy and feels put together.

Extra Room

Make sure to leave a little extra room in your bag for the clothes you wear to the hospital. You’ll have to change into a hospital gown for your C-section and you don’t want to leave any clothes behind.

Hospital Stay Bag

Now let’s get to the bigger, better bag. Many of these items are essential but some are just nice to have. Think of your preferences and plan your C-section hospital bag to your liking.

Compression Belt

First and for most, get a compression belt. Or call the hospital to see if they will provide one after surgery. This is the one thing nobody told me to have after a C-section.

Luckily my hospital provided me with one. If not I would have been lost without it. They really do help hold everything in place and help recovery feel so much better.

The one they gave me was a cheaper one and it worked great. It cushioned my incision and compressed my post-partum tummy all together. 

Don’t spend a ton of money on one. Instead, get a second one so you can still wear one while washing the other. I only had one but having another to wear while washing one would have been great.

High Rise Underwear

I cannot stress enough to get high-rise, comfy underwear. They may feel weird for a day or two if that’s not what your use to wearing but your incision will thank you. It’s so tender, you don’t want any elastic running tight on it.

Look for breathable material, like micromesh. Also, try to find tag free so you don’t have the added annoyance of a tag.

Breastfeeding Pillow/ Extra Comfy Pillow

My breastfeeding pillow was a life-saver. I kept that thing around me whenever I was in the hospital bed.

Not only did it help keep my baby off my swollen incision, it provided extra support when I would cough or sneeze. Hold that pillow close to your tummy whenever you cough or sneeze. I promise it makes a huge difference.


Nightgowns are perfect for C-section hospital bags. Lots of people suggest comfy pajamas but nightgowns will not rub on your incision and hospital staff can easily check your incision.

If you plan on breastfeeding, get nursing friendly nightgowns. Look for ones with buttons to make it easier to nurse.

Nursing Bra

If you plan to breastfeed pack a couple of nursing bras. They will give added support to your breasts while navigating breastfeeding. They will help you feel put together.

Non-slip Slippers/ Shoes

The hospital will provide you with non-slip socks but I say invest in some non-slip slippers. You will not want to bend over to put anything on your feet.

Of course, I am sure your husband would be more than happy to put your socks on but having slippers just makes your hospital stay that much easier. If he happens to leave you can easily slip your slippers on if you need to go to the bathroom.

Also bring some kind of slip-on shoes, flip-flops or sneakers for when you go home. Again you won’t want to bend over so the easier to slide on the better.


Hospitals usually provide basic toiletries but packing your own in your C-section hospital bag will ensure you have what you need. I recommend buying travel size ones or travel size bottles to put your favorites in to save room.


High protein and high fiber snacks are the best to keep your digestive tract moving. But bring what you like and will make you comfortable. You just went through surgery!


I know we have phones that have endless amounts of entertainment but it wouldn’t hurt to bring something (cards, games, Sudoku, word search) just to give yourself a break from your screen.

Hospital stays for C-sections can be 3 to 5 days. Don’t think that you will be fine with just your phone. Sometimes you need a break from electronics.

Going Home Outfit

For a going home outfit, I suggest a comfy maxi dress. Nightgowns aren’t the most glamorous things to go home in. Splurge a little on a cute and comfy maxi dress.

It will be easy to get on and have no buttons or zippers to make the car ride home uncomfortable. And feeling cute will boost your spirits.

Things for Baby

The best thing about hospitals is they provide all the diapers and wipes while you are there. You do not need to pack any of those in your C-section hospital bag.

A few things you’ll need for baby are swaddle blankets, or a bigger blanket if going home while it’s cold, a cute outfit to go home in and a car seat installed in your car.

Really, hospitals have everything your baby will need so pack light for them.

Get to Packing

Now you have a complete list of everything you need for your million times better C-section hospital bag. Get organized and start packing. Starting early will help calm your nerves and give you a sense of accomplishment before the baby even comes.

Not having a C-section? Check out Hospital Bag Checklist

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