Inside: Have you thought about the postpartum must-haves you’ll need? Check out our quick list of the best postpartum must-haves for new moms everywhere.
I don’t know about you, but when I was expecting, the last thing I thought about was a postpartum recovery kit.
Diapers? Check. Wipes? Check. Stool softener … WHAT?!
The postpartum essentials you’ll read about here will help you recover from childbirth, and care for your baby.
Because after delivering, you’ll likely experience:
Not fun, I know.
The good news is that there are some fantastic products to help you post-delivery. Think of it as a postpartum survival kit – stocked with all the necessities you’ll need to recuperate.
And trust me, you will need them.
Now, this is important: have your kit ready-and-waiting when you return from the hospital. You don’t want to find yourself hauling a two-day-old baby to the pharmacy, frantically searching for Ibuprofen.
Keep reading to find out exactly what you need in your postpartum care kit.
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Why Every Mom-To-Be Needs These Postpartum Must-Haves
You might be asking, what goes into a postpartum recovery kit, and do I really need one?
It’s true. There are millions of unnecessary products marketed to moms. But, the products in your postpartum survival kit are truly vital.
Because they will:
- Help heal your body
- Take care of unexpected ailments such as leaking nipples
- Help you care for your baby
- Make your life easier
Sounds good, right?
Let’s get into the list.
Postpartum Must-Haves For Every Mom
1. Thick Maxi Pads
You will bleed in the days and weeks after you deliver as your body gets rid of the remaining blood and tissue in your uterus.
In fact, postpartum bleeding typically lasts anywhere from 24 – 36 days. (Source)
Bleeding is heaviest the first few days after your baby is born, so you’ll need thick maxi pads stocked and ready to use.
2. Peri Bottle
Meet your new best friend – the peri bottle. Toilet paper, on the other hand, will no longer be your friend.
To use, simply fill the peri bottle with water and squirt yourself to keep areas affected by childbirth clean safe from infection, without any painful contact with toilet paper.
3. Perineal Spray and Medicated Cooling Pads
This pain-relieving perineal spray by Dermoplast is a natural option to relieve pain down yonder. It’s hospital-recommended for postpartum pain relief and comfort.
Many women suffer from soreness, burning, and itching due to hemorrhoids. These special hemorrhoid pads get rave reviews and contain witch hazel, a naturally soothing ingredient.
4. Breast Pump, Breast Milk Bags, and Bottles
If you plan on breastfeeding your babe, you’ll need a few things, including a high-quality electric or manual breast pump, sanitized breast milk bags, and bottles. Pumping allows others to feed the baby and will enable you to stockpile breastmilk in the freezer.
These manual hassle-free breast pumps get rave reviews from moms all over the world.
5. Nursing Pillow
A nursing pillow is useful both pre- and post-baby, as it provides excellent back and arm support. Whether you bottle feed or breastfeed, a nursing pillow will support the growing baby’s weight.
Recommended: These Boppy Breastfeeding Pillows are recommended by thousands of moms.
6. Nipple Cream
You thought labor was painful, right? Just wait until that baby gets a good latch on those nipples.
Both are formulated with natural, oil-based ingredients that are safe for babies during breastfeeding.
7. Breast Pads
It’s normal for moms to leak breastmilk, but you’ll stay dry and worry-free with disposable breast pads. They’re available everywhere.
8. Nursing Bras
Nursing bras are a postpartum must-have for all breastfeeding mamas.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, newborns must receive adequate levels of vitamins A, D, E and K, and water-soluble vitamins such as C, riboflavin, and niacin. Many of these elements exist in prenatal and postnatal vitamins.
10. Pain Killers
Last but definitely not least – have your go-to pain reliever well-stocked.
With these in mind, let’s consider a few more postnatal must-haves if you’ve delivered vaginally.
Postpartum Must-Haves After a Vaginal Birth
As if you could forget you gave birth, your body will constantly remind you. You’ll find some comfort in the following:
1. Sitz Bath
A sitz bath is a shallow bath covering your hips. Think of it as herbal tea for the nether regions. It can help with soreness and those pesky hemorrhoids. There are many on the market, or you can make your own using baking soda, salt, and water (recipe).
2. Donut Cushion
Does the thought of sitting all day with baby in your arms sound like bliss? Well, it may not be all that enjoyable after labor.
The donut cushion is ideal for all kinds of below-the-belt conditions such as hemorrhoids, tailbone pain and sciatica – all of which can pop up during pregnancy. The pillow raises your hips, relieving pressure on the sore pelvic area.
3. Hot Water Bottle and Cold Packs
The aches and pains are real following childbirth, so have both a hot water bottle/ heating pad and a cold pack to help relieve soreness.
Next up: must-haves to care for your body after cesarean delivery.
Postpartum Must-Haves After a C-Section Delivery
When you return from the hospital, you’ll need to clean and dress your C-section incision yourself. After letting warm water and soap wash over your wound, gently pat it dry and then cover it in absorbent, sterile gauze. You can secure it in place by paper tape for wounds.
2. Stool Softener
The first poo after delivery, especially a C-section, can be brutal and for good reason. Your body has been cut up, pain relievers are constipating, and you’re barely moving. All to say, your bowels are struggling.
A natural stool softener can be your best friend. It will help you to pass feces without having to strain your core muscles painfully.
Moms who undergo C-sections are bed-ridden for a while following delivery, putting them at risk of blood clots. Compression socks help avoid clotting and relieve swelling.
Now that we have your postpartum must-haves covered let’s talk about your baby’s needs.
Postpartum Must-Haves For Baby
Apart from diapers and wipes, these essential items will come in handy daily:
1. Car Seat
You won’t be able to bring your baby home from the hospital without one!
Babies fresh out of the womb sometimes suffer from congestion because amniotic fluid, dust, and spit up can get stuck in their nasal passages.
Non-invasive, gentle nasal aspirators like this one can suck out the irritating material from the nose, allowing your baby to breathe easier.
3. Diaper Cream
Diaper cream is a lifesaver and can be used as a preventative measure to avoid diaper rash – a significant source of discomfort for babies.
4. Sleep sack and Swaddle Blanket
If your baby isn’t a fan of the swaddle blanket, try a sleep sack. It keeps them warm and constricts their movement, so they feel coddled and do not scratch themselves. This one from Halo is soft and breathable. You can also buy arm-free styles.
5. Newborn-Approved Baby Carrier
The reality is that your baby will be in your arms most of the time for the first few months. Baby carriers or slings allow you actually to do things while the baby is on your body.
This carrier is approved for newborns.
Slings can be worn from birth as well.
6. Burp Cloths
Burp cloths are so cute these days, and the muslin ones are soft and washable. They also save you from smelling spit up all day.
7. Sleepers and Onesies
Baby will live in sleepers and onesies for the first months of his/her life, be sure to stock up on lots.
8. Safe Sleep Space
There are many safe sleep options for your baby including a bassinette, crib, or co-sleeper.
This co-sleeper is suitable for babies from newborn – 5 months.
9. Diaper Bag
You’ll be using your diaper bag every day, so try out a few styles to see which is most comfortable.
Tip: lots of sections mean less rummaging around, and the backpack diaper bag frees up both of your hands to handle baby.
You’ll need a stroller to get baby around town. Look for one that maneuvers easily.
Tip: your best bet is to get a travel system stroller.
Bonus: Sound Machine
This affordable sound machine will set your baby up for sounder sleeps for years to come. Babies find constant background noise comforting, as it reminds them of the womb. When introduced to babies early, the sound becomes a signifier that it’s time to rest.
How to Speed Up Postpartum Recovery
You’re probably wondering how you can fast-track this blissful period of postpartum recovery.
You’ve just brought another human into this world, mama! It’s going to take a minute to feel “normal” again.
That said, here are a few things that will help to speed up healing safely:
- Help your perineum heal – take a sitz bath, avoid standing or sitting for long periods, and apply an ice pack every few hours.
- Relieve your pain promptly – managing pain is part of the healing process, especially when it comes to C-section recovery. Follow your doctor’s orders and listen to your body.
- Diligently take care of your incisions – be sure to wash the incision and change dressings as often as required to avoid infection.
- Ease aches and pains with heat packs.
- Eat well for energy, milk production, and bowel function. Try fiber-rich foods, including whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Keep moving – ask your doctor when it’s safe to start exercising. If you’ve had a C-section, walk a few moments at a time until you fully recover.
- Doctor visits – follow your appointment schedule and ask questions to relieve stress and worry.
- Get outside – breathe in the fresh air and feel the sun on your face, even if briefly.
- Drink lots of water, whether you’re breastfeeding or not.
- Accept help from those you trust so you can rest, take a sitz bath, or read your favorite mom blog.
Realistic Timeline for Postpartum Recovery
No matter how you gave birth, the first six weeks postpartum are considered the recovery period.
If you’ve had a vaginal birth, recovery can take three weeks or more, if you didn’t tear. If you suffered a perineal tear or had an episiotomy, healing can take up to six weeks or longer.
C-section moms require more time to recuperate. It’s major surgery and the body needs to fully heal before you take on a regular routine.
Did I Miss the Best Postpartum Must-Haves? Your Turn!
Is there one product that saved you in the early days of motherhood? Can you recommend a postpartum must-have I’ve missed? Feel free to share it in a comment below.