In just a few weeks I’ll hopefully having a planned c-section. After coming through two emergency sections this is the most sensible option for me and my body. I’ve often been asked what I packed for my last planned section and although it didn’t end up as planned as we expected I did manage to pack for every eventuality. You see packing for a c-section is not as different to a vaginal birth bag as you think.
So what do you really need?
Your maternity notes – sounds simple but with baby brain you never know!
Comfy and lose clothing. I have got to say this – it doesn’t necessarily have to be maternity or nursing wear but lose clothing helps around your tummy so pop in a pair of yoga style pants. Nursing tops are great for skin to skin but if money is tight why not try a size up in vest tops? I used a set of ‘normal’ vest tops during my hospital stay and then for wearing to bed for night feeds. I kept my best nursing clothes for daytime use. However for support I’ll be taking my Bravado maternity bra.
Take a few spare pairs of maternity pants or size up again. You will bleed as much as a vaginal birth. That was a bit of a shocker to me first time around as I thought they cleaned you all up and out. Maternity pads by the dozen! You’ll need at least 3 packs in those first days and although the hospital usually supply them it’s worth having your own so you don’t have to keep asking for your own or their stock to be replenished.
OhYo collapsable bottle (RRP £5.49) These were great – pop them in your bag collapsed to save space and use to take small sips during labour. Our labour ward gives jugs of water and plastic cups to each patient These were also great on the ward to avoid spills and also to make sure I kept up my fluid intake. You’ll be bed bound for anything up to 3 days depending on your recovery so add a bottle of squash to your bag and some snacks that can be kept close for easy reach.
Your mouth can be very dry (especially if you do go into labour before your section and have gas and air!) so water bottles are great for any hospital bag!
I took some foot spray, hand sanitiser and hand cream in my hospital bag. Perfect for cleaning anything from change mat to water spills and also keeping everyone hands a bit cleaner (if you have siblings visiting this is essential). The hand cream was perfect for soothing my dry skin on hands and feet especially feet – I may have got away with cankles in pregnancy but I was surprised with tight swelling post birth. It was painful so I could only wear flip flops and any cold spray or gel on my feet felt amazing.
A hydrating toner spray – My skin felt dry after gas and air as well as just getting very tired during labour too. I loved the smell of it and would definitely recommend this or something similar for heaping you to feel a little fresher.You can spritz on face or body to feel a bit cooler.
Other toiletries I relied on were face wipes (for those times you can’t or dont have help to have a wash in bed), deodorant, dry shampoo, hair brush, toothbrush and tooth paste. But these are your usual essentials for everyone really! Think about the things that make you feel more normal at home. Although dont pack nail polish…no one on the ward will forgive you if you do.
And finally you’ll need your phone charger and possibly a back up charger. You need enough juice to share your exciting news!
What essentials are going into your hospital bag?
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