Most pregnancy books contain lists of what to pack in your hospital bags. Such lists can be found on the internet, in hospital pamphlets, etc. Your midwife or doctor probably gave you a list of what to pack. However, these lists are all based on traditional vaginal births. If you are booked in for a c-section, you will need to pack differently.
Having had two c-sections, I’ve learned about what you do (and don’t) need. Here’s my list for what to pack in your hospital bag for a c-sections.
If you’re having a c-section, you should expect to be in hospital for at least two days. This means that you need to pack more baby things than the normal lists would recommend. You will need:
-at least 6 nappies/diapers (You will probably need more than this, but this will get you started. Expect to have your partner bring in more, or else pack more to begin with)
-wet wipes (I recommend non-scented, delicate ones for newborns, like Pampers sensitive skin wipes)
-several sick cloths/flannels/burp rags. Your baby will probably spit up some of what they eat for the first few days as their body adjusts to eating.
-at least five complete outfits (socks, vest/onesie, bib, shirt, etc.). Babies are messy. They will probably spit up on their clothes, and it’s quite likely that their nappy/diaper will leak at least once and get sticky meconium and/or pee on their clothes. It’s good to have spares. Also pack at least one hat. I would also recommend a sleeping bag-it’s much safer and cosier for them to sleep in than being tucked under blankets. If you want, you can pack just a couple of outfits to start with and count on someone periodically taking away dirty clothes and bringing in clean ones.
-dummy/pacifier. You probably won’t need it while you’re in hospital, but it can make the trip home a lot easier!
-car seat! Obviously this can be left in the car rather than taken in with your hospital bag, but hospitals will not discharge you unless your baby is safely strapped into an age appropriate car seat.
Obviously you need to pack things for yourself as well.
-Comfortable clothes. You will be sore, and confined to bed for the first day. Make sure that the underwear you bring are baggy and that the elastic will not press where the incision from the section will be. I recommend bringing really big, loose cotton ones (preferably in black) that you don’t mind throwing away afterwards. You will need probably two nursing bras, and shirts that are easy to breastfeed in. Personally I love my Bravissimo nightshirt with built-in bra. It is soft and comfortable and easy to breastfeed in. Bring really baggy, soft trousers/pants.
-You will probably want to bring a dressing gown and house shoes.
-Maternity/sanitary pads. You may not have a vaginal delivery, but you will still bleed afterwards.
-breastpads. When your milk comes in, you will probably leak. These will keep you from soaking your clothes.
-a washbag. I recommend deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrush, shampoo, body wash, lotion, and chapstick. I also recommend some type of refreshing body wipes so that you can give yourself a bit of a clean before you can go shower.
-snacks. Bring something easy to nibble on, like trail-mix.
-a camera. You will definitely want your camera for those first pictures of your new baby!
-a book or other entertainment. The visiting hours only last for so long, and your baby will sleep for at least some of the time. It’s a good idea to bring a book along.
-phone numbers. Either you or, more likely, the daddy will have to make a bunch of phone calls to tell everyone the good news after the baby has been born. Make a list of phone numbers for who you will be contacting. Also bring either a cell/mobile phone or change.
There are probably other things that you will want, but this list should get you started and make sure that you’ve covered the essentials.