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If you have reached the third and final trimester of your pregnancy, you must be excited (and anxious) to welcome your baby! You have everything your baby may need in the first few months, and now all that’s left is his arrival. But the thought of labour and delivery might be keeping you awake at nights. And if you have opted for a C-section delivery (whether by choice or some complication), your anxiety levels must be at a peak. The thought of C-section delivery can be daunting, but there are certain things that you can do such as packing your hospital bag to calm yourself and to prepare for your baby’s arrival.
The reason why you need to pack your hospital bag in advance is that after the C-section delivery, you may have to stay in the hospital for a few days and you will need a whole lot of clothes and supplies for yourself and for your baby.
When to Pack a Hospital Bag
You can pack your hospital bag at around 34 weeks of your pregnancy, as your labour can start anytime from the 37th week.
Things to Remember While Packing Your Hospital Bag
Remember that although all the things that you pack are for you and the baby, you will not be the one handling the bag. Since a C-section may bind you to the bed for a few days, it is very likely that your partner or a family member will be handling the bag. Keeping this in mind, it may be easier for you and them if you spare some time to meticulously label the packs or create sections for easy access.
- Certain things will be provided by the hospital, so you may want to check with the hospital staff before you stack up things.
- Try not to hoard on to things that you won’t need in the hospital at all. You may be an avid reader and may feel that you should pack books but trust us, you will not a dozen novels or magazines in the hospital. Once your baby arrives, he will keep you busy. Furthermore, as C-section will give you very little relaxation time, so you may want to lay off those heavy books.
- While you can pack almost everything you need, it may not be a great idea to carry everything into the hospital room. Some things that you will not need until later can be left in the car, like the car seat, travel pillow, etc. Alternately, you may also want to leave it at home and have your partner pick it up later to avoid stuffing all things into the car at once.
- As your baby may choose to arrive pretty much at any point, listing down essentials and starting to pack at the start of the third trimester can be very helpful. Here is a C-section hospital bag packing list that you may find helpful as you get ready to pack up.
What to Pack in the Hospital Bag for a C-Section Delivery
For the Mother-to-be
Listed below are some things concerning you that you will need to carry with you for your stay in the hospital post-C-section. As mentioned, you may want to check with the hospital and leave behind the things that they provide. However, if you are comfortable carrying your own things, then you can do so too.
- Comfortable Clothes: While going to the hospital, remember comfort is the key! Pack in stretchy, loose and comfortable clothing enough to last for five to six days. There is no understating the importance of comfortable clothes after a C-section. Although you’ll be changed into a hospital gown before and after the surgery, you may want to change in your regular clothes a couple of days later. Don’t get anything that sticks around the waist to avoid contact with the wounds. Also, avoid nylon or lacy fabric.
- Undergarments: We know you won’t forget these, but in those last minutes of madness to reach the hospital, packing undergarments may just slip your mind. Pack comfy and stretchy underwears which do not feel tight or rub against your surgery wounds.
- Maternity essentials: Do pack in maternity clothes like nursing bras, maternity gowns, pants, etc.
- Toiletries: Keep your toothbrush, toothpaste, and soap in a separate bag. If you like you can also keep coconut oil, shampoos, conditioners, face wash, hair ties, moisturizer, body lotion etc.
- Abdominal Compression Binder: If you can, keep an abdominal compression binder – it will help during the surgical incision and help you move around a lot better.
- Nursing Supplies: Once you deliver your baby, you will need nursing supplies a lot. Keep a breast pump, nursing pads, nipple or breast cream. Most hospitals make this available, but if they do not provide you will these essentials, it’s best that you prepare in advance.
- Medical documents: You must have maintained a separate file containing your pregnancy-related documents. Don’t forget to keep it in your bag. All your medical records, documents, and insurance information should be at one place and you must keep the file containing these handy – you’ll need them when you reach the hospital.
- Cash and Card: Keep cash, cards, and cheque book if required. Yes, your partner will take care of this but there is no harm in taking care of everything.
- Bathroom Robes: Bathroom robes, because you will need them!
- Pillows: If you are particular about your pillow, you may prefer carrying a pillow and pillowcase.
- Warm Clothes: Keep shawls or wraps to cover yourself up while you breastfeed your baby.
- Straws: Bendable straws in case you can’t sit up straight to drink.
- Other Requirements: Towels, socks, blankets, anything that you may need to keep yourself warm.
- Lenses or Glasses: If you wear glasses daily, life will seem blur even for just an hour. So keep them handy!
Apart from these essentials, there are a few things that you may want to grab on the way, like your phone, phone charger, a laptop, a book or music, etc. However, be careful to not load too much and don’t pick up things that will not be put to use.
For the Baby
You need to prepare for the little guest who may come anytime now. After delivery, you will need to make sure that your baby is comfortable and well provided for. While most of the essentials for a baby are provided in the hospital, but it never hurts to carry your own for your bundle of joy. Here are the things you will need for your baby.
- Baby clothes are a must. All those shopping trips you took for your baby will now seem worth it. It is best to carry a few pairs of clothes as babies are known to soil their clothes quite fast. It is recommended to get onesies that have socks at the end.
- Don’t forget the diaper bag. Yes, you will need this the most. Pack in diapers, diaper rash cream, wipes, etc. in the diaper bag of your baby.
- Buy a car seat – you will need it when it’s time to take your baby home. So if you haven’t purchased a car seat, buy it today and be prepared.
- Baby hats as babies are known to lose heat from their heads.
Keep a feeding bottle too. In case, your baby refuses breast milk, a feeding bottle will prove to be useful.
- Baby blanket – Your little one will be super-delicate, you don’t want him to feel cold. It is best to keep a warm blanket for him.
- A couple of pairs of scratch mittens to prevent the baby from injuring his or her face or body with the nails.
- Soft baby towels and some hand towels.
- Bibs to prevent baby spit-up from getting on the clothes.
- Baby hairbrush
- Baby nail clippers
- Waterproof sheets in case you plan on using cloth diapers.
For Your Birth Partner
Delivery time, if not equally, will be quite stressful for your birth partner as well. Here are a few things that can help both of you prepare well in advance and a couple of things that you need to remember as you are heading out.
- Clothes for a stay over at the hospital
- Warm blanket
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Toiletries like soap, shampoo, etc, in case frequent visits to home are not possible
- Comfortable socks
- Slippers or flip flops
- Wallet and cards
- Identification papers
- Insurance and documents
- Snacks and drinks
- Laptop, books or music to keep entertained
- Camera to capture the first few moments of your baby
- Mobile phone and charger
- House keys and car keys
Once you’ve got all of these ready and good to go, you can focus on the more important things when the big moment arrives and pay complete and undivided attention to the little one who deserves it the most on all accounts. Prepare well ahead of time and ensure that you don’t miss out on the essentials necessary for you and your baby.
However, again, keep in mind to not take anything that is not necessary as there will be little space to store your things in the room cabinet. You may end up overcrowding the room which isn’t the best thing for both you and the baby.