What to Pack for a C-section

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I had two pretty different experiences delivering my sons. I had a vaginal delivery with my first, and then a planned C-section with my second. Well, somewhat planned. Charles was breech for almost my entire pregnancy, so we did everything in our power to get him to flip (he was not interested), and then by the lasts few weeks of my pregnancy, our doctor advised us that a C-section was our safest route, so that became our plan.

I didn’t want a C-section for a few reasons, but it ended up being a much more beautiful and joyful experience than I expected. So if you’re in the same boat, know that it can be a very special experience! And knowing I was going to have a C-section a week ahead of time gave me ample time to prepare, which was also a blessing. I asked my followers on Instagram for their C-section tips, and packed my hospital bag accordingly. I’m sharing everything I packed below since there are some key differences between what I packed in my hospital bag for my first birth and this second time. And if you’re looking for my postpartum essentials, I have a blog post on that topic too.

I hope this list is helpful for you if you’re packing for a planned C-section, or even if you’re doing a little research just in case you end up having an unplanned C-section!

What to Pack for a C-section

When packing for the hospital, I used one large weekender bag. For my first delivery, I packed in two bags (one for labor and one for post-delivery), but this time, I decided that one larger bag would be easier to pack and transport. I used my ShortyLOVE Weekender Bag, which is the only weekender bag I’ve ever had that can actually fit what I need for a weekend. It’s BIG and that is great for a hospital bag.

My C-section Essentials

There are a ton of things you’ll want to pack for the hospital regardless of your birth plan, so those are all listed below, but I’ll start with my C-section specific must-haves since that’s why you are reading this post!

After wearing the Frida C-section underwear for a few days, I tried switching switched to Baobei bloomers and C-panty undies with a silicone patch. I did NOT find these comfortable since they irritated my incision/scar more than it protected but I know most people love them so I wanted to note them in this section.

I ended up preferring the same large undies I wore when postpartum with my first delivery. They have a seam that hit near my incision but it somehow didn’t bother it.


All of these items went in my beloved Amazon Toiletry bag. It holds SO MUCH STUFF.


Hospital Bag Checklist for Baby

TeriLyn Adams with her baby and husband sharing What to Pack for a C-section

C-section Packing Tips

When to Pack Your C-section Hospital Bag

I’m not a great example of this because I didn’t pack my hospital bag until the week of my C-section. I recommend packing your bag much earlier, just in case! And the great news about this packing list is that everything can be used for a vaginal delivery too, so you’ll be ready for either (maybe throw a pair of cozy joggers and a tank into the bag in case you delivery vaginally since you’ll be able to wear them. I prefer Vouri joggers for this). Pack your hospital bag as early as you want to, but definitely by 37 weeks since that’s when you’re considered full-term.

If you are having a C-section because your baby is breech like mine was, and you are having an ECV to try to flip your baby, make sure your bag is packed for the day of the procedure, just in case it puts you into labor. (We ended up not doing an ECV because it was too risky in our situation.)

What Should I Wear on the Day of my C-section

You’ll have to change into a gown that they will give you for surgery, so you can wear whatever you want on the way to the hospital. I wore joggers and a pullover to the hospital but didn’t have them on long before I changed into the gown.

Afterwards you’ll be able to put on your own clothes for the rest of your hospital stay, which is when I recommend the LAKE Pima Cotton Nightgown for comfort and easy nursing. And it’s feminine and cute, so if you do have any visitors, you’ll feel somewhat put together.

How to Prepare for a C-section

  1. Don’t eat anything for 8 hours ahead of time. My C-section was scheduled for 7am, so I ate dinner early the night before and had a very small cup of black coffee the morning-of. (Ask your providers if coffee is okay. My nurses said yes.)
  2. Don’t shave or wax close to the day. If your C-section is planned, skip shaving or waxing down there since it can cause irritation that could potentially cause infection post-surgery. (I got waxed about two weeks before.)
  3. Discuss pain management. Be sure to communicate if there’s anything your team should know ahead of time.
  4. Bring a phone or camera. If you want to snap a photo in the operating room as you meet your baby, just ask the staff. They will typically allow this if you don’t take photos of the medical team. And most hospitals don’t allow videos.

Final Thoughts

As someone who was adamantly against having a C-section if at all possible, it was so much more beautiful than I anticipated. I hope that this packing list makes your preparation a bit easier!

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