What to pack in your hospital bag if you’re having a C-Section

packing for the hospital

This post was updated.

I’ve had 3 C-Sections and from my experience, the most important item to have in your bag is comfortable high-waisted underwear or a belly band that will help with your C-Section recovery especially when you are trying to walk the first couple of days. My last C-Section was 8 weeks ago and this time around recovery was much easier on me. I guess it helps to know what to expect but it also helps to be prepared.

I never watched TV in the hospital and I didn’t get much time to read a book or do my makeup. All I did was bond with my little one and get as much sleep as I could when possible.

The hospital gives you a basic list of what you need to bring for the baby and yourself which really helps if you a first-time mom but there’s also extras you might want to add just to be safe.

For my firstborn, I didn’t carry enough clothes. I was never prepared for the unexpected vomiting, so for my second I ended up carrying way too much clothing but luckily baby clothes are tiny so doesn’t take up too much space.

Rather carry more than less for baby.

Tips for you:

  • It is a good idea to have separate suitcases for you and baby so you don’t have to keep digging in one suitcase for items. If you are using one suitcase, try to get some GLAD bags to separate the items.
  • Try to organize baby’s outfit for the day in one GLAD bag – example: Fold 1 vest, onesie, hat, nappy and mittens together.
  • If your partner is staying with you, pack his clothing with yours.
  • Keep all your toiletries in a vanity bag and use nappy sacks for bath wash etc. so it doesn’t leak.
  • You can carry a nursing pillow if you really want to but I was fine without mine – Never used one in the hospital for any of my births.

Carrying too many items to the hospital may also overwhelm you. 

hospital baf

My Must-have items:

  • Important documents for the hospital including Baby passport (if your hospital has one to help you register your child with home affairs) and a black pen.
  • Cell phone charger and an adapter.
  • Camera, memory card, and charger.
  • Lip balm and basic makeup if you want.
  • Money – if you want to buy something from the hospital restaurant or vending machines.
  • Hairband
  • Hair brush
  • Fiber rich snacks to avoid constipation and flat coke (it helped my milk supply).
  • Full coverage panties – This was MUST buy for my C-Section recovery. It really helps make walking so much easier as it holds against your operation and it keeps your sanitary pad in place. Boodywear has an awesome range of full panties, I purchased like 8 and used one every day during my recovery.

hospital bag

If you are not a big fan of full coverage panties for your recovery, invest in a good tights or belly band.

Carriwell has always been my go-to brand when it comes to breastfeeding bras. I think the quality is amazing and the bras last like forever! I still have a few from my first pregnancy.

What was in my hospital bag:

Please note I haven’t included pictures of every item on the list for my hospital bag. 

  • Glasses/Contact lenses
  • Salveo Stem Cells Kit – We decided to store our baby’s stem cells, read more here.


  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • 2 Towels
  • Face cream
  • Body cream
  • Body wash
  • Perfume
  • 4 sets of night outfits with buttons so it is easy to open for breastfeeding.
  • 1 Going home outfit
  • Full panties
  • Nipple cream
  • Breast pads – I never ended up using breast pads in hospital but I did always carry a few.

hospital bag

  • 5 Feeding bras
  • Comfortable shoes (warm shoes)
  • Clothing and toiletries for my husband.
  • Disposable panties (I always carry extra, you will bleed a lot during the first 3 days). I used to wear the disposable panty first then my full coverage panty over to secure my operation.
  • Linen Savers
  • Maternity pads

Whats in my hospital bag

What was in my Hospital bag for baby:

What’s In My Hospital Bag

  • Sebamed barrier cream
  • Sebamed facial cream and lotion.
  • Cotton wool and cotton buds.
  • Surgical spirits
  • Telament drops
  • Nappy sacks
  • Dettol hand sanitizer
  • Close Parent nappy changing kit

Close Parent SA

  • Huggies baby wipes
  • Huggies nappies

What’s In My Hospital Bag

  • 6 long sleeve vests.
  • 6 hats
  • Mittens


  • 6 outfits

Love to dream sleeping bag

  • 5 face towels for feeding.
  • 2 bathing towels.

What’s In My Hospital Bag

We installed the Doona Car seat and Isofix in the car before the birth of my sons.


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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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  1. kamilah francis
    2015-09-17 / 11:36

    I think you have it covered :)Good Luck

    • 2015-09-17 / 15:46

      Yaaaay! I have no idea why I feel like I’m missing something.

  2. Varanna
    2015-09-17 / 16:29

    My bag the same but also have socks and a gown and a hoodie in case I get cold

    • 2015-09-18 / 10:03

      Hmmm, will keep that aside at home just in case. 😛

  3. Olivia Williams
    2015-09-17 / 19:41

    Ive never heard of Sebamed before, suppose its coz im 1st time mommy to be… definitely gonna resesrch it.

    • 2015-09-18 / 10:02

      It’s my first time trying it too! Will let you know what I think, I’ve heard all good things thus far.

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