C Section Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom, Dad & Baby

Last Updated: March 22, 2024

I completely understand if you are stressing over what to pack in your upcoming planned or scheduled c section hospital bag! 

I was there too!

Although I had an emergency c-sectionand 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 is you 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 believe it’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. 

C Section hospital bag

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 first ask 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.

printable C Section Hospital Bag Checklist 2022

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

    A hospital stay after a c-section delivery is 2-4 days in the U.S. 

    I was in the hospital for six days, two induction days (because I was planning for a vaginal birth that 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 case you have to go into the hospital sooner.

    c section hospital bag

    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


    C Section Hospital Bag checklist

    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 should ask your OB doctor at your first prenatal visit all the essential questions like, what hospital are they affiliated with?”

    This way, you can research the affiliated hospital and decide whether that hospital meets your standards or not. 

    printable C Section Hospital Bag Checklist 2022

      What Should You Pack in Your C Section Hospital Bag?

      Mom Hospital Bag 

      c section hospital bag

      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 be loose clothes, especially around the incision area. 

      Choose things like dress, 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

      dad hospital bag

      Dad’s Toiletries

      Dad Sleepover Necessities

      Dad’s Electronics & Accessories

      Baby Hospital Bag

      c section hospital bag

      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 

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

      Breastfeeding Items 

      When it comes to breastfeeding items, you don’t have to bring much because most 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 after struggling 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.

      Optional Items You Can Add To Your C Section Hospital Bag 

      • 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 recovering from 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 almost 32 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!

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      Realistic C Section Hospital Bag Checklist
      printable C Section Hospital Bag Checklist 2022

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