View Full Version : what to take to the hospital

09-30-2002, 08:31 PM
Hi, I am having a scheduled c-section in seven weeks with baby #1 and I need to know what I really need at the hospital. My husband is anxious for me to pack my bag (I'm high risk so he's a little on the nervous side) and I agree that I should get it done shortly. We're in the process of moving to a new house and I'm afraid that I will forget stuff that is packed away. So, I really need the advice of all the veteran moms out there. I am planning to take a few button up pajama tops (so that I can nurse) but not the bottoms as I feel those will not be practical, but, I do want to avoid the not so actractive hospital gown look (at least from the waist up). And I do have slippers on my list. I will probably be there a little longer than most as I will be starting some new medication.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.....

10-01-2002, 01:10 AM
Well, since you're having a c/s, you won't need to take food or music with you for the labor!! LOL!! :)

I'm having my 2nd via c/s in 2 weeks!

Bring a robe (along with the slippers), toiletries, camera (for pics afterward!), going home outfits for you and baby (yours will be maternity wear, still), nursing pillow, possibly reading material (you may or may not have a chance to read it), phone numbers of anyone you would like to call (cell phones not allowed in hospitals). You may want to have some food on hand for the midnight munchies (all the hospitals seem to have on hand at midnight is jello, cookies and those nasty, dry vending machine sandwiches). Some like to bring maternity underwear, but I just used the mesh undies the hospital provided. I also used the hospital gowns, but my hospital provides nursing gowns for the maternity ward. Not all hospitals do that. That's what I can think of right now.

A few things to be prepared for...

You will be freezing cold during the c/s. Just a fact of life. all the blankets in the world piled on your chest will not make you warm. The fact is that the room is cold (inhospitable for germs), and that your innards are exposed to that cold air.

They will make you get out of bed the next day and walk a little bit. I thought they were crazy or joking, they weren't. It's a good thing.

You may want to bring slippers in a larger size than you normally wear. My feet were swollen like balloons for a good week! Of course, that may be because I labored 10 hours and then pushed for 2 hours before having DS c/s. I don't know.

Your husband can be in the room with you during the surgery. This was the biggest blessing for me, as I was totally freaked out. The only thing that really got me through with any sanity was DH talking to me throughout the whole thing.

They may not give you the baby immediately. I got to see DS's face for a second, right after they pulled him out. Then I didn't see him again until DH brought him to the LDR room after the surgery was over.

You will need help getting up out of bed for a while after you get home. All those stomach muscles you use to sit up are connected to the place where your incision will be made. Try swinging your legs out of bed before trying to push yourself up, too. I figured this out after a week of being home.

I slept with a blanket folded up & draped over my tummy. The pressure feels good. I slept on my back & DH had arranged pillows at a slope for me to lean back on, and a pile of blankets to raise my swollen feet. It was quite an arrangement!! LOL!!

I hope all this helps!!! Good Luck!

10-01-2002, 09:08 AM
Great idea to pack early, as you never know what will be! I actually found that I would have liked a couple of regular (albeit humongous)night-shirt type things as I wasn't able to master nursing with button downs. The hospital gowns are horrible...also- make sure you bring your own toiletries, I found that as soon as I was allowed (after my c/s) I craved a shower and fresh deoderant! :-)
I, too was in the hospital for a week and my husband brought me dinner some nights b/c the food was so bad.
The boppy pillow is fantastic for nursing and for keeping the pressure off of you incision site. I also agree that as soon as they let you get up, do it, despite the discomfort, because it helps you feel much, much better. Disposable underwear is great, b/c you still have the regular bleeding, and slipper and socks (bigger) are very important, I also swelled up like a blimp afterwards (but mine was due to toxemia). Also, when I had my c/s I could not stop shaking, I don't know what it was from, fear maybe, but the nurses said it was normal, but they had to tie down my arms (they always tie your legs)and the whole thing was just weird. It takes longer than you would expect (mostly the sewing up, but that is good b/c then your scar is cleaner)and although you will not feel any pain, you will feel them rooting around inside you. I also got really itchy from the epidural...anyhow- this all should scare you, it is over fast and you will feel better quickly (esp if you walk when they tell you to) and you get a beautiful baby as a result!!! Good luck and please email if you have any more questions! [email protected]

10-01-2002, 12:07 PM
I had a "surprise" c-section, and had packed a bag of things I did not use, so my list is smaller than what you may think you need. I did bring a button up PJ top for nursing, but did not use it as I wore the hospital nursing gown with the snaps at he shoulder. I just did not feel like changing and also, would not have been comfortable in just a top. If you think it will make you feel good though, bring a couple. I did not bring slippers, but brought socks, which I wore the whole time. I brought some shower shoes and used those after the shower, but not in it. Bottled water, lip balm good to have. Bring a nursing bra! Wear the disposable underwear. As for the recovery, I agree with the other posts, get up and walk as soon as they tell you to, it will hurt a lot and be very hard to do, but it will help you so much! Bring a little bag of toiletries too and a travel hair dryer. One thing that helped me start to feel better was my first shower! Good luck. The first day or two after the surgery are very hard, but after that it really starts to get easier.

10-01-2002, 12:33 PM
I think the shivering feeling you all were describing happens as a normal part of labor; I felt the same way and didn't have a c/s.

In terms of what to pack, I like the idea of bringing a breastfeeding pillow. I like My Breast Friend, and supposedly it can be used after a c/s, but I'm not sure. The button down top is a good idea, but bring bottoms, you might want them. Bring lots of underwear. Although some might suggest slippers with no-skid bottoms, I had a hard time walking, and did better in slipper-socks so that I could shuffle. Also bring a pen and paper to write down stuff (questions for the pediatrician, your phone number, whatever). If you have long hair, something to tie it back will be helpful. Good luck!

10-01-2002, 01:06 PM
I had a C section (not planned) and here's what I thought was essential:

1) your own pillows - I don't know where they get those hospital pillows but they are AWFUL

2) if breastfeeding, a breastfeeding pillow - I had the My Brest Friend and loved it

3) a video camera - since you're on the table, you probably won't be able to see all the stuff going on (weighing, cleaning, etc.). My DH video'd all that for me so I didn't "miss it".

4) GOOD DRUGS - make sure they give you GOOD pain medication and make sure to take it!

5) Shampoo, a hair dryer and make-up - all the better to feel human again

6) Phone numbers and a calling card - no cell phones in most hospitals

Everything else is personal preference. I liked the mesh undies (no mess for me to clean) and just used the hospital gown to nurse in. Definitely get up and move as soon as you can.


10-01-2002, 02:26 PM
That is weird that so many people say no cell phones in the hospital. My hospital let both dh and I use our cell phones in the birthing room (I didn't have a c/s).


10-01-2002, 03:01 PM
We were told that the cell phones interfere with the NICU equipment.

As for what to bring - I didn't have a c/s, but have a few ideas anyway:

-pillows (as mentioned, the nursing coach recommended them, and having 2 helped me prop up and helped with b/f)
-toiletries: I couldn't wait to shower and clean up!
-chocolate :9 A friend dropped off chocolate bars, and they were wonderful!
-notepad: I wrote down the experience once I had a chance, and it's neat to reread it. I also wrote down all the gifts/flowers that were dropped off at the hospital. I couldn't remember much, so having things written down was great.

Good luck - and enjoy every moment.

Michelle - Alia's Mom

10-02-2002, 12:44 AM
OOO! The comment about good drugs reminded me about this one!

My doc gave me simethicone (GasX) with each meal and mylanta each morning. So when I finally did poop, there was no problem. And I had no problem with gas. My 2nd roommate, also c/s,(1st was a vaginal & went home after 2 days) didn't get any of this from her doctor, and had HORRIBLE gas pains. The nurse ended up having to give her an enema to relieve the pressure! Ack! Make sure your dr prescribes stuff for the intestinal woes!

10-02-2002, 08:40 AM
Hi Malisa,

I had a c-section 10 weeks ago. My advice to you: take nothing. (or practically nothing.) I had a big backpack full of things and I hardly used any of it. Here's why.

You'll be in the hospital nightgowns for a few days. The leaking, blood, night sweats, etc. can make you want to change your nightshirt every few hours. If you take your own pjs, plan on saving them for a few days later when things settle down a bit.

Music: I brought 20 tapes and listened to 2. With all the dr.s, nurses, and visitors, there was hardly enough time to relax.

Notebook : a must. with all the pain meds, you'll forget everything they tell you. Plus, they give you a folder with info to take home just incase you forget.

Toilitries: our hospital provided basics, but I did use my own stuff. (and it felt soo good!) Forget makeup, perfumes, or anything overly scented. Not good for the baby either.

Your own pillow: I had my down pillow for the L+D (15 hours of labor before the c) and it was wonderful. Afterward, the nightsweats were too much to use my fancy schmancy down pillow so I waited till the sweats passed.

snacks: someone can always get you chocolates or icecream (that's what we did - hospital food is yukky...)

Slippers and a robe - definitely. You'll be asked to walk around the same day, so make sure to take non-skid slippers and a robe to cover the hospital nightgown.

We did use our camera and video camera a lot. They let us take them into the O.R and I video'd them handing the bundled babies to my DH and watched him cut the cords and got to see the nurses weigh the babies. (didn't video the c though... that's a bit much for me.) Take extra film / batteries if you bring cameras. Not something you want to buy at the hospital gift shop.

Good luck!


twin girls 7.20.02
charlotte & else

10-02-2002, 08:46 AM
oh yes - one more thing. I, too, had the shakes and it scared the you know what out of me and my DH. It was completely uncontrollable. I thought I was having a massive internal infection or something wicked scary. As it turns out, it's completely normal. It occurred about 24-36 hours later and each episode lasted about a half hour. I couldn't talk or move. Even my teeth were vibrating. I also had a slight fever, but the shakes help with lowering temperatures. It's due to the sudden drop in hormones due to the delivery. Drink lots of water. They also had me drink tea with milk and sugar for the calories. (I wasn't really eating substantial meals yet.)

For the fever, they have me this plastic gadget to blow into. It was supposed to help with ciruclation and breathing. It actually felt pretty good and it seemed to work.


twin girls 7.20.02
charlotte & else

10-05-2002, 01:50 PM
Posting again after reading other posts... Do bring your own pillow! I was so happy to have mine! And, the gas pains issue happened to me, and it was possibly the worst part of the whole thing! They did give me the no gas pills, but I guess from the abdominal surgery, sometimes, gas gets in... The walking will help move it along. If you can get someone to spend the night with you at the hospital, that is good too, because the night shift is usually pretty bad even at the good hospitals! One night, I was dry heaving due to the pain meds and they left me alone with the baby to nurse and there I sat, dry heaving with the incision and trying to hold the baby!!! I was ringing and ringing for a nurse, but they were over extended, etc. So, if you can get someone to stay with you the first couple of nights, do it!

10-06-2002, 12:44 AM
What DO you need? You and DH, that's it! ;-) I didn't have a c-section. But my water broke 16 days early--wasn't sure that it actually had, but my doc wanted me to go to the hospital and get checked. I didn't have a bag packed, and didn't take anything except my purse and the clothes on my back. Less than 12 hours later I had a baby! Okay, I guess you need the carseat and an outfit to bring the baby home in (had to send DH back home after the delivery to get that stuff together). But you don't really NEED the rest. I didn't mind the hospital gowns--at that point I didn't care how "attractive" I was. :-) I wish I had some slippers. The ones the hospital gave me didn't fit (one size was too big, the other too small) and I had to throw out the socks I had on during delivery (I'll spare you the details). I got the shakes immediately after delivery, but then I had lost a good deal of blood (the details I'm sparing you about). I had to have two blankets on the bed for the first night to keep warm. Oh, a toothbrush would have been nice. Not sure what I might pack the next time around. Always tell myself the bag WILL be packed months in advance. LOL!