hospital checklist for c section
For one reason or another, you already know that your baby’s coming to this world by means of cesarean. You even know the date (weird, isn’t it?) You may not have that packed hospital bag waiting at the front door during those last weeks of pregnancy, but will eventually need one – just a little bit different. So you’re googling “hospital checklist for c section,” and I have some answers for you.
Many women underestimate the pain and discomfort involved with a cesarean and there isn’t much information out there to tell you what to bring and what to expect. What surprised and frustrated me the most was how debilitated I was after the operation. I had no idea that it was going to be so painful. I couldn’t walk for 3 days. Also, I was incapable of caring for my babies once we came home.
In fact, even 4 years after the operation, I can still feel where they put the spinal block in.
What I’m saying is you can’t be prepared enough for what is going to happen to you. You are very wise to be researching this now so you can be as ready as possible.
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Insurance / Identification / Medical Files
Be sure to have everything in one folder for a quick and easy check-in at the hospital. The last thing you need is to be stressing about is getting all your documents together at the last minute.
Toiletries & Cosmetics
Of course this goes without saying, but bring everything you need for your personal hygiene: toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hair brush, hair ties, facial cleanser and basic makeup.
If you’re lucky, you’ll feel good enough to shower. Bring your showering products just in case: body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and hair dryer.
I wasn’t allowed to shower the first few days and was given sponge baths instead. That sounds horrible, but I was in so much pain that I was grateful I didn’t have to try to wash myself. There’s no way I could have reached up to wash my hair.
I’m not saying your experience will be the same. I’m an older mama – had my twins at 40 – just FYI.
Do yourself a favor and bring that makeup. You will be so glad you forced yourself to put it on because you’ll never have this many photos taken of you in your whole life (except for your wedding, maybe.) You may be bloated and hurting, but at least your face will be pretty.
Clothing for You
You need clothing that fulfill these criteria:
- pants with waistbands that are high enough as to not put pressure on the incision
- the incision is easily accessible as it will be examined often
- easy breast access if you’re planning to breastfeed
Unless you’re a unicorn-mom (you know the kind who never get stretch marks?), you’re still going to look 6 to 7 months pregnant after delivery. I recommend wearing men’s flannel pajamas. They’re loose, cozy, and cute. Cotton button-up-the-front nighties are great too, but eventually ride up when you’re lying in bed all day. Comfy socks and maternity yoga-suits are also right on the money.
Don’t underestimate the convenience of the mesh underpants provided by the hospital. They do the job very well. But eventually, you’re going to want your own underwear, so be sure to bring those too. I personally loved these.
Bathrobe and slip-on slippers (ones where you don’t have to bend over to put on) or crocs are great for walking the halls.
Must-have nursing accessories include:
- nursing bra
- nursing pads (use code motherslittlehelpers50 to get them for FREE (excl. shipping)
- breast pump
- nursing pillow (use code motherslittlehelpers50 to get one for FREE (excl. shipping)
I didn’t bring my own pump because I thought I’d use the one at the hospital if I needed one. I thought I’d be one of the lucky ones whose milk came in on the 2nd day. ha! What I didn’t know beforehand, is that my hospital only had one pump for the entire maternity ward!
My postpartum girdle was essential in helping me get back on my feet again. It held everything together and therefore reduced back pain caused by my weakened abs.
The one I bought had hooks in the crotch area so it could be worn like a panty. The hooks were a bit difficult getting used to in the beginning, but I got the hang of it quickly. The hooks in the front had two settings for tightening around the belly when the bloating and swelling finally subsided. It is one of the more expensive ones, but worth every cent.
Once in a while I would try and go without it, just to see how my body was recuperating. But my back was hurting so badly that I could only go half a day without it. I wore it for two months after having the babies – and it made me look slimmer as well! It was money well spent.
The less expensive ones are worn like a belt and tend to ride up after a while, putting pressure on the incision. I did occasionally use one during the third month for extra stability in my core.
hospital checklist for c section – Electronics
Camera, phone, and power bank are all you need. Don’t forget charging accessories, extra SD cards, and headphones.
Although I was pretty busy recovering, pumping, nursing and sleeping, I was glad I had my phone and camera with me for communicating with family in America and taking the best possible photos of my new babies. Speaking of photos – don’t forget to bring your best camera.
My portable power bank was extremely handy for charging my phone while I was bedridden and couldn’t get up to plug it into the wall.
I was too tired for laptops or tablets and I didn’t miss them one bit.
Snacks & Drinks
Pack a few luxurious snacks that will make you happy. I thoroughly enjoyed my Godiva chocolate and granola bars. I was on a coconut water binge at the time, so I brought some of that with me too – delish!
What do you need for a newborn baby?
Most hospitals have clothes and hats on hand for your baby. But if you want to use your own, be sure to bring:
BTW – when choosing pajamas, only get ones with ZIPPERS. The last thing you want to be doing in the middle of the night is messing with snaps or buttons!
Going Home Outfit after c section
Chances are, your hospital will provide baby clothing for the duration of your stay. Check just to make sure.
My advice in choosing baby’s going home outfit is “keep it simple!”
I promised my mother-in-law that I would dress the babies in the going-home outfits she gave us. These outfits couldn’t have been more complicated: long sleeved onesies (body-wrap style with a million snaps and ties), overalls with 10,000 snaps, and then we also had to put on her over-sized self-knitted sweaters, hats and booties! To top it all off we covered them with her self-crocheted blankets. Though my fella did most of the work, I was drenched in sweat and completely frazzled by the time we had the babies strapped into their car seats and we made the photos of evidence.
Don’t do what I did.
My c-section going-home outfit consisted of black maternity leggings, gray cotton turtleneck, black & white cashmere poncho, and black knee-high, flat-heeled leather boots. That outfit was comfortable, looked good and the poncho covered up the Jabba-the-Hutt state my body was in – for even more photos!
What you’ll need to have ready when you get home
Just because you’re leaving the hospital doesn’t mean you won’t still be needing a lot of personal care. Be sure to check out this article to find out what you need for caring for your yourself post c-section:
|C-Section Recovery Products for Your Postpartum Survival Kit|
I hope you found this hospital checklist for c section useful in helping you decide what’s really important.