The Ultimate C-Section Hospital Bag Packing Guide

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This is everything I packed in my C-section hospital bag. I had everything I needed, it fit it all in one small carry-on-sized suitcase, and I used everything I brought!

When you’re a high risk pregnancy, you have to be prepared, especially if a major health issue could affect your birth. And in my opinion, it’s good to prepare even if you’re not high-risk!

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Call me paranoid, but I packed my hospital bag for both my babies when I was 26 weeks pregnant. And for both hospital stays, I packed for a C-section even though I expected (and hoped for) a vaginal birth. As a mom with type 1 diabetes, I was at increased risk for premature labor and other health issues that might result in or necessitate a complicated delivery, so I wanted to be ready for whatever came my way. 

The ultimate C-Section hospital bag packing list

The good news is, none of the health issues I was afraid of when I got pregnant with either of my babies ever materialized. The less-than-ideal news: Both of my babies did wind up having Cesarean births. 

For the first 24 hours after I had my first baby, I could hardly stand up after birth, let alone walk. So I was really glad that I had a hospital bag decked out with everything my husband and I could possibly need during our four-day hospital stay. I wound up using almost everything I packed and all fit in a standard carry-on sized suitcase.

Want a peek inside my hospital bag? I thought you might! Here’s what I packed: 

The Ultimate C-Section HospItal Bag Packing List

To Wear:

  • 2-3 Nursing bras (<– these were my favorite)
  • Labor clothes (optional)
  • Old sweater or robe (something you won’t mind too much getting dirty) in case you’re cold
  • Pairs of socks (the hospital may have socks with grippy bottoms for you)
  • Loose fitting clothes for going home (I left in a maternity nightgown!)
  • Maternity underwear (something high waisted)

Toiletries:

  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Floss/Mouthwash
  • Body lotion
  • Makeup and hand mirror (optional—for photos)
  • Hair ties
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Wet wipes (just nice to have!)
Mother undergoing continuous fetal monitoring before a c-section

For Breastfeeding:

For Comfort:

  • Lip balm
  • Pillow (in a protector) with old pillowcase
  • Bath towel
  • Flip flops (for the shower)

For Baby:

  • Outfits (optional – the hospital provided some)
  • Coming Home outfit
  • Swaddle blankets (optional – the hospital provided some)
  • Make sure the car set installed
  • Diapers and wipes (these are usually provided by the hospital, but if you have specific brands you want to use, you may need to bring these)

Electronics:

  • Cell phone and charger
  • Small extension cord (in case the outlet to plug in your phone is far away from your bed)
  • Ear buds/headphones (and iPod + charger if you’re not using your phone)
Mother and baby doing skin-to-skin after a C-section birth

For Your Partner/Support Person:

  • A change of clothes
  • Button-down shirt (optional, for skin-to-skin)
  • Toiletries
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Quarters or cash for vending machines
  • Blanket and pillow (optional)
  • Water bottle
  • Entertainment (books, Nintendo Switch, etc.)

And Don’t Forget…

  • Birth plan
  • Hospital registration info
  • Insurance Card and ID
  • List of people to call when baby is born
  • Gifts for nurses

But That’s not all!

As a mom with type 1 diabetes, I also needed to pack to manage my blood sugar. Many hospitals will manage your blood sugar for you, but I regretted letting them do this with my first baby. For my second, I managed my own glucose.

Either way, once you’ve had your baby, you’ll need to have access to diabetes supplies to be used during your hospital stay. Here’s what I brought:

WHAT TO PACK in your hospital bag when you have diabetes

  • 3 infusion sets (I like to have extra in case of bent canulas)
  • Spare reservoir and tubing (I actually brought 2)
  • Insulin (in a cooler)
  • Any frozen colostrum you may have (in a cooler)
  • Spare Dexcom sensor and tape 
  • Glucose meter + charger (or fresh batteries)
  • Lots of extra test strips and lancets
  • Foods to treat low blood sugar (I brought fruit snacks, glucose tabs, & juice boxes)

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