How to Pack for a C Section

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Awhile back I wrote a post about my experience having a c-section. If you would like tips for preparing and recovering for a C section, you can read that post here.

When I found out my baby was breech and I might have to have a c section, I did a lot of research to prepare. Yet, even with all my preparation, there were many things I wished I had done differently. One of those things was how I packed. Packing for a c section can be a little different than a regular vaginal delivery. Here is why:

  • A c section is major abdominal surgery which means your stay at the hospital will be double, if not more, than a vaginal delivery. They gave me the option of staying 4 or 5 days. I chose 5 (highly recommend!) because I wanted to heal as much as possible before returning to the rest of my kids and their demands. 
  • Because you will be away from home longer, you will obviously need more supplies.

Obviously you will need to pack supplies for the baby, but not much. The hospital provides all the diapers, wipes, half onesies, and blankets that the baby will need while they are there. I packed outfits for my baby, but I don’t think we ever used them in the hospital.

I’m only going to focus specifically on how to pack for a c section. Here are the things that I packed  or WISH I had packed!How to Pack for a C Section! I wish I had packed all 8 of these things for my last delivery! #DoubletheBatch

1. Nursing Pillow. This is so critical! I couldn’t hold my baby right against my belly for quite some time after my surgery. My Boppy pillow became my best friend as it put a soft barrier between my baby and my incision for the constant nursing!

2. Electronics. Make sure you bring your phone, laptop, tablet, or whatever you normal use. Not only will you need it for communicating with family, it will be your lifeline for those 4-5 days. (that is, when you’re not nursing or sleeping!) Don’t forget your chargers!

3. Soft Slippers. SO glad I took these with me! A good friend had told me to make sure I walk the halls as much as possible to recover quicker and also to avoid horrible gas pains after the surgery. Well, who wants to put on shoes right after major abdominal surgery?? NO ONE! Make sure you can get them on and off without having to bend at all (slippers with no backs) Plus, nothing goes better with that lovely hospital gown than comfy slippers, right? That brings me to my next item…

4. Comfortable pajamas or extra outfits. Honestly, I never wore a normal outfit for my entire stay. Being comfortable is your number 1 priority. That being said, I’m so glad I brought my own pajamas and robe because those hospital gowns are no fun to wear for 5 days! I made sure to bring a few nightgowns and also 2 piece pajamas that were loose and had an elastic waist that was high enough it wouldn’t irritate the incision site.

5. Abdominal Binder. I had several people tell me to buy an abdominal band or girdle for right after the surgery and I wished I had listened! After the surgery I felt like all my insides were falling out of my body (because, quite literally, they did!) and it was not a great feeling. An abdominal binder also helps your body to recover faster and possibly avoid that dreaded “overhang” of belly fat that so many women get over their incisions after healing from a c section. It also keeps things nice and tight so you don’t feel like you have to grab a pillow to put pressure on your abdomen every time you cough or sneeze. 

6. Depends Underwear. I’m sorry, but those mesh panties and big old pads were just a pain! I was so glad I brought Depends underwear to wear instead as they were more comfortable and gave me more protection with all the bleeding afterwards. Trust me on this one! Mesh panties=No! Depends=YES!

7. Toiletries. Once you can get out of bed to shower you will WANT to. I was surprised that the only thing my hospital had was a dispenser of dial soap in the shower. Make sure you bring sample sizes of shampoo, conditioner, body soap, and anything else you need to freshen up and start feeling ‘somewhat normal’ again!

8. Wipes. Yeah, we’re talking for YOU here, not the baby! Because it is such an event to get out of bed, you will want these to freshen up, wash your hands, face, etc. I kept wipes on the table next to my bed and used them constantly!

If I think of more things, I will continue to update this post but those were the things that stood out in my mind the most! In no time at all you will back in the comfort of your own home and your stay in the hospital will feel like the blink of an eye! Enjoy that baby and PLEASE take care of yourself! (more info on that in my other post mentioned at the beginning!)

For more great tips, the following book is great!

The Essential C-Section Guide

For all the mamas who have been through this, what else did you pack to make your stay more comfortable for a c-section? Please share!