One of the questions pregnant women are asked the most is “have you packed your bag yet?”
Well done if you can answer with a confident ‘yes and I know exactly where everything is.’
Remember though when you have a caesarean section you will be confined to bed for a while. During this time it will be your partner, a relative or your midwife who will be searching your case for the required items.
Here are some tips for packing your hospital bag when you are having a planned c-section to make it easier for them to help you.
Packing a hospital bag for a planned caesarean
What to pack and how to pack it
You may want to have these three items easily identifiable or even labelled in your suitcase.
- A bundle marked ‘baby’s first clothes.’ Include in this bundle a grow suit, baby singlet, baby hat and a swaddle or wrap
- A comfortable top you would like to wear. Immediately post-operatively you will be in a hospital gown. Many women like to put on one of their own tops once they get back to the postnatal ward such as a singlet top, pyjama top or T-shirt. If this is something you plan on doing it helps to have the top easily accessible and identifiable
- A bundle marked ‘clothes for after my first shower’. You will normally be up to the shower the day after your c-section. In this bundle you can include comfortable clothes or PJs, a bra and a comfortable, stretchy pair of underwear.
Having these items marked and easily found can help stop your beautiful, neatly packed suitcase from ending up in a jumbled mess. And make life easier for those assisting you while you are confined to bed.
What else you’ll need to have handy
- You will also need your maternity pads to be easily accessible. While you are confined to bed your midwife will be regularly checking and changing your pads. The thicker maternity pads are best for the first few days after your caesarean section. A thinner maternity pad is often suitable by your fourth or fifth postnatal day.
- Your toiletry bag and nappy wipes should also be easy to locate.
- You may also want to pack some sanitised hand wipes, so that you can easily cleanse your hands until you are up and able to get to the bathroom independently.
When and where to take your hospital bag
So now your hospital bag is packed. There is one more piece of information that you need to know. And that is, when and where to bring your case.
Some maternity hospitals will admit you directly into the operating theatre unit of the hospital. In that situation you may be best to leave your main suitcase safely secured in your car and simply take your prepared baby bundle of clothing and swaddle with you. Your partner, relative or support person can retrieve your suitcase after your surgery when you are settled in your postnatal room.
Other hospitals will admit you via the postnatal room that you will be returning to after your caesarean section. In this situation it makes sense to take your case with you. Be sure that you either leave your valuables at home or safely lock them away before you are taken from the postnatal room to the operating suite.