Preparing for cesarean birth, particularly if you have previously given birth vaginally, can be quite a different experience and it can be challenging to know what to pack in your hospital bag. Not only may you require a longer hospital stay after a C-section, but you may have a far higher level of physical discomfort. As such, many of the must-have hospital bag items for C-section births will be focused on providing you with a more comfortable postpartum recovery.
Here are our must-have items to include in your C-section hospital bag:
Ask any Mama what their must-have item is after a C-section and decent underwear is likely to come top of the list. Your section scar will be incredibly tender and potentially quite sore and as such, it’s important you wear high waisted and comfortable underwear. Whilst you can buy specific post section underwear should you wish, you can also simply buy underwear in a larger size (around 2 sizes over your usual) so that the top easily covers your scar. It’s recommended you avoid products with nylon or lace edges that can catch or irritate, as this could lead to infection.
A C-section is major abdominal surgery and as such, you are likely to need fairly significant pain relief after your baby is born. If it is your second or third pregnancy, you may find that post-birth uterus contractions are also more severe than you experienced the first time around. You should keep up the pain killers for around 7-10 days after your section and take pain killers as and when recommended by your doctor, particularly if you are breastfeeding.
Even though you haven’t given birth vaginally, you will still experience postpartum bleeding called lochia – a combination of mucus, blood and womb tissues as the lining sheds after your baby’s birth.
Postpartum pads are generally more absorbent than menstrual pads, and you may get through quite a few – generally replacing your pad every few hours in the early days following childbirth.
It’s fair to say your body will feel quite tender after a C-section, and as such, high waisted clothes made from slouchy material or with elasticated waists are ideal. Alternatively, you may want to opt for loose-fitting dresses or tunics which are easier to put on without assistance.
It’s fairly common to experience some constipation after childbirth and that first post section bowel movement can be quite a daunting experience. Snacks high in fiber can help keep your bowel movements regular and more comfortable.
Bottle with a straw
Getting in and out of bed or even moving from lying to sitting can be a slow and steady process after a section, so you may want to consider a drinks cup with a bendy straw. This can help you easily rehydrate with minimal effort whilst lying down.
Whilst additional pillows in your bed can help you lie more comfortably, you may also want to consider a v-shaped pillow for feeding. Placing a v-shaped pillow around your waist whilst breastfeeding can help prevent the weight of your baby’s head from touching your tender tummy and make feeding more comfortable. They can also be incredibly useful for the journey home, where you can feel every bump and turn in the road!
What were your post C-section essentials?