How to Prepare and What to Pack for a C-Section


On September 28, 2016, my husband and I were shocked to learn that our son was expected to be much bigger than average, like 95% big. It was my due date and I had been praying for over a week that I would go into labor; but when the ultrasound tech said, “Are you ready for this? I believe he will be about 9 pounds 9 ounces,” my prayers did a 180. My doctor advised us that, due to my smaller frame and my son’s apparently broad shoulders, a c-section would be advisable. Neither of us hesitated. I asked everyone I knew to pray for two days that I would NOT go into labor before my scheduled c-section.

I never had one contraction, and two days was just enough time to locate useful research without being totally scared by the information and horror stories that can be found. The one thing I did not find was a packing list that I would consider sufficient. So, as I pack make a list of what to pack for my second c-section, I wanted to share it with you all! I have also included a list of items that I would recommend having at home for recovery.

What to Pack for a C-section

What to Pack for a C-Section:

  • Adult Diapers – There’s an item I never thought I would write positively about! But, seriously, they are the best thing you can pack. I know that people rave about the mesh undies the hospital gives you. But, when you have had a c-section, you do a lot of scooting and sliding on the bed before you regain full range of motion. The adult diapers will stay in place MUCH better than what the hospital has, just trust me. I have no shame anymore, so I just bought mine at the grocery store (yes, with a coupon . . . I am now 101 years old). But, if you are embarrassed, there is always Amazon. 🙂 
  • Nursing PillowThis is especially important if you have had a c-section because it will both protect your incision as you nurse and assist you in supporting your baby without straining yourself. I found myself using it all the time, not just when nursing. 
  • Nursing Gowns/Robes – Comfy clothes are clutch no matter how you deliver, but when you have been through a cesarean, having clothes that do not add any pressure near your incision are wonderful! I would even recommend packing a loose dress to wear home from the hospital if it will be warm enough. 
  • Call/Text List – You are likely to be a little out of it because, well, you just had major surgery! It is best to have a list of who to call/text after baby arrives and just hand it over to your support person along with your cell phone (make sure they know the password). 
  • Headphones and Music – In addition to helping you relax, you may want to drown out the hum of the contraptions they put on your legs to prevent blood clots (they are important, but they do make noise). 
  • Slippers – I love fuzzy socks sooooo much! But, I found that slippers were preferable when I first started walking after my surgery. The first few steps aren’t easy so some traction helps a lot.
  • A snack/lunch for your support person – While you will not be able to eat for hours prior to surgery, there is a wait time while you are prepped. No one wants a hangry support person, so make sure they have a full belly even though you can’t. 🙂
  • Everything you would pack for a vaginal delivery – Driver’s license, insurance card, hospital paperwork, toiletries, phone charger, clothes (for you, support person, and baby), and any other items that will make your stay more comfortable (since you will be there an extra day).
What to Pack for a C-section - nursing pillow
I used my nursing pillow for snuggle time too.

What to Have Waiting at Home: 

  • Tylenol – The pain meds will inevitably run out and it is important to stay ahead of your pain. 
  • A Stool Softener – They should give you one at the hospital. Ask your OB which one they recommend because you will want to be prepared. 
  • A Support Band – Your mid-section will feel weak for quite a while. A support band both helps with this and helps get everything back in place quicker.
  • Freezer Meals – People may bring you dinners, but they may not come every night and likely won’t be bringing breakfast and lunch. The recovery is longer/more involved with a c-section, so the less you need to do, the better. I highly recommend having items like muffins, breakfast burritos, soups, and sandwiches in the freezer that can be heated up in individual portions for a hot lunch or breakfast anytime. 
  • A Plan – This may be the trickiest thing, but it is also the most important. You need a plan for how you will navigate life for the first six weeks post-op. You will need to exert as little physical effort as possible so that your body can recover (I know, easier said than done). But you will also need to care for your newborn (and any other children) and do basic things like eat, drink, and shower. Plan ahead for who will help with these tasks so that you can enjoy your first days home instead of scrambling to get everything in order.
What to Pack for a C-section - recovery takes longer
Going home

This is not an exhaustive list, but these are the things I found most helpful. If you are getting ready to have a c-section, do not be discouraged or fearful! It is not easy (bringing a child into the world never is), but you CAN do it. Check out our post on what recovery looks like here if you would like even more insight. 


  1. This is such a great list! I’ve had three c-sections (my last in September of last year) and can second your recommendation for the adult diapers — they are so much better than anything the hospital will provide.

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