Inside: Here are the top postpartum essentials you’re going to want on hand before bringing your little one home for the first time. These postpartum necessities will help ease the pain and make the recovery period a bit more bearable. This post contains affiliate links. Learn more here.
During the last few weeks of pregnancy, often the biggest thing on mom-to-be’s mind is labor and delivery.
You read endless books, you do all the stretches, you perfect your breathing technique and have a fail-proof birth plan written up.
But what about when you’re done at the hospital?
What about when you get back home and your hormones start to shift out of balance and the weight of what your body just endured has a chance to catch up with you?
That, my friend, is when having a house stocked with postpartum essentials will be your life- and sanity-saver.
I used to think labor was the scariest part of pregnancy…
Now I know that labor and delivery can’t even hold a candle to the daunting postpartum period – or, as some call it, the fourth trimester.
Do yourself a favor, mama, and have a well-stocked postpartum recovery kit with the following postpartum essentials waiting for you when you get home with your new baby.
(Trust me, you will not want to waddle through the drugstore looking for vag spray 2 days postpartum.)
The 37 Best Postpartum Essentials You’ll Regret Not Having
Not sure what you should have on hand post-delivery? Here are the most must-have postpartum essentials for new moms:
After pushing a baby out of your vagina you’re going to be desperate for some kind of relief. The Frida Mom Instant Ice Maxi Pads offer 30 minutes of soothing cold therapy while at the same time offering optimal absorbency for all those post-delivery fluids. Plus, the super-soft top layer will help your perineal feel like it isn’t sitting on a prickly pear cactus.
Frida Mom is a popular name in the baby/postpartum realm and they know exactly what moms need to maximize comfort post-delivery.
There are peri bottles, and then there’s the Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle. Peri bottles are the fairy godmother for your lady bits after birth.
Whether or not you get stitches post-delivery, pushing a basketball through a small opening takes its toll on your body.
A peri bottle helps keep things clean and sanitary down-under after bathroom trips and throughout the day without it having to come in contact with scratchy toilet paper (sorry Charmin, even you feel about as soft and cuddly as a porcupine right about now).
However, trying to position your peri bottle in a way that the warm water is at the opening but you’re also spraying the desired area can be a job in itself. That’s where the Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle saves the day, the ergonomic design makes it extremely easy to aim and hit the desired spot, all without you even having to look at what you’re doing or bend into awkward positions.
This pain-relieving spray contains aloe gel, lanolin, and menthol, among other ingredients that provide fast-acting soothing and cooling relief from postpartum pain on your nether regions.
Plus, Dermoplast can be used for so much more than just new-mom-pain-relief. From minor cuts, scratches, burns, and bug bites, the whole family can benefit.
If something on the more natural side of things is more your type, the Earth Mama Herbal Perineal Spray is a natural and organic alternative also offering soothing comfort to postpartum pains (plus, you can store it in the fridge to get that same cooling effect).
Moving away from the nether regions for a bit, let’s look at other areas that may need some aid during the postpartum period. Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream is the #1 recommended nipple cream brand in the USA. Cracked, blistered, and bleeding nipples are a real thing (I know, I was horrified too).
If you plan on breastfeeding, you’re going to want a tube (or 10) of nipple cream on hand at all times to aid in sore, cracked nipples. Lansinoh nipple cream is a thick, rich cream that soothes and protects nipples and is 100% natural and safe for baby – meaning you don’t have to remove it before baby breastfeeds (the less work involved, the better).
Get this. Trust me, your nips will thank you.
A sitz bath is a common way to speed up postpartum healing downstairs. Soaking your bottom in the tub with these sitz bath salts will ease pain, speed up healing, reduce swelling in the area, and helps with good perineal hygiene postpartum.
A sitz bath is most effective when:
- taken in the early postpartum stage and,
- is done with cold (or cool) water
This study states cold sitz baths are significantly more effective in relieving postpartum perineum pain. Postpartum moms received the greatest amount of pain relief after taking a cold sitz bath rather than moms who took a warm sitz bath.
If submerging your legs, bottom, and belly in cold water doesn’t sound appealing to you, some moms purchase a sitz bath seat so that only their bottom is in contact with the cold water.
Witch hazel can reduce postpartum swelling, pain, and bruising and also offers comfort from itching and inflammation. These Tucks Cooling Pads soothe, cleanse, and protect your sensitive areas.
You can use them to wipe down the outer rectal or vaginal areas or place them directly on your pads to offer continual relief. For lasting cooling relief, place the pads in the fridge and take them out as needed.
These reusable hot or cold postpartum/hemorrhoid packs are a great way to provide cooling comfort to your vagina and perineal area post-delivery, aiding in reducing swelling and itching, specifically for hemorrhoids and offering instant relief.
They can also be used as breast pads – when used as a cooling breast pad you will get relief from pain due to engorgement, and when used warm they will relieve mastitis and plugged ducts and encourage milk flow.
Stool-softener is a definite postpartum essential. You don’t want to be straining for your first few bowel movements right after pushing a baby out – especially if you have stitches. Using a stool softener will help keep you regular and make bowel movements easy, minimizing the pain of straining.
With breastfeeding comes a plethora of different sensations, as well as occasional excruciating pain from engorged breasts, mastitis, and/or plugged ducts.
The Lansinoh 3-in-1 Hot & Cold Breast Therapy Pack uses cold therapy to reduce pain and swelling caused by engorgement, and the hot therapy offers relief from plugged ducts and mastitis, as well as encouraging milk let-down.
On top of all that, these breast therapy packs work hand-in-hand with most breast pumps to encourage milk let down and decrease the time you spend pumping.
10. Nipple Shield
As much as I wish it wasn’t, breastfeeding is usually a bumpy road for first-time moms. Various different things can cause issues and hinder breastfeeding for both mom and baby.
Nipple shields come in handy in addressing breastfeeding issues like an overactive let-down, baby with a lip or tongue tie, flat or inverted nipples, or sore, cracked nipples (in which case, you’ll want to use Lansinoh’s nipple cream).
These nipple shields are made with ultra-thin, soft and flexible silicone to feel as much like mom’s natural nipple as possible while still providing the maximum amount of skin-on-skin so you still get that bonding time with baby, even if breastfeeding isn’t going as smooth as you’d hoped.
Nursing pads will eliminate the embarrassment of noticing halfway through your grocery shopping trip that you’ve got two large wet spots proceeding from your nipples through your bra and visibly onto your shirt (while you also have a screaming infant drawing attention to you).
The Lansinoh Stay-Dry Disposable Breast Pads offer maximum absorbency, aren’t visible through your shirt, and they wick away moisture so your breasts don’t feel like they’re sitting in a puddle of milk.
12. Pain Meds
I thought it was important to mention these somewhere on the list. Having some good Tylenol on hand is critical.
13. Donut Pillow
The drive home after giving birth can be brutal – and simply sitting up for the next several weeks can cause immense pain. This donut cushion offers comfort by keeping pressure off of your sore lady bits and comes equipped with a cooling pad for comfort in places you most need it. Being two-sided, you can either choose to use the “donut” side to keep pressure off of your sore perineal parts, or the cold therapy side to reduce pain and swelling and have some post-delivery relief.
Plus, the donut cushion tightly folds up for easy, discreet transportation – even in your diaper bag.
14. Maxi Pads
No postpartum essentials list would be complete without postpartum pads. Most women bleed for up to 4 – 6 weeks after delivery (source), with heavy bleeding lasting up to 10 days, and light bleeding carrying on for up to six weeks. This means you’re going to want a well-stocked cabinet of postpartum pads to protect from leakage.
*Pads with wings leak far less than pads without wings, thus it is important to ensure your postpartum maxi pads have wings.
15. Mattress Pad
While we’re on the topic of leakage… a waterproof mattress pad or protector of some sort will save your pricey bed. Leakages happen from all different ends postpartum, from leaky breasts to leaky lady parts. Keep your mattress stain- and odor-free with simply a mattress pad or protector of some sort.
This lactation massager helps new moms with breastfeeding by improving breast milk flow and even restoring diminishing breast milk due to undersupply or reduced supply, relieving pain caused by engorgement and plugged ducts, and make breastfeeding so much easier for both mom and baby.
The Haakaa Breast Pump. Aka, the best thing you can do for yourself as a new mom (maybe not quite, but close).
When you’re breastfeeding your munchkin, this “breast pump” uses nothing but suction to attach to your free breast and collect that valuable let-down milk and constant leaks through the breastfeeding session that would otherwise go to waste. This thing makes life with a newborn so much easier – and it saves more milk than you might think.
These pumps are so good it’s worth buying two – one to keep at home and one to keep with you in the diaper bag to ensure you always have one on hand while nursing. (They can also be used while pumping!)
Speaking of breast milk… you’ll need somewhere to store that liquid gold you’re collecting. Breast milk storage bags come pre-sterilized and have a double zipper seal to prevent leakages when laid down or toppled over. Designed to lay flat, these breast milk bags protect your breast milk and allow for fast-freeze and fast-thaw, all while taking up minimal space thanks to the space-saving flat freeze position.
19. Nursing Pillow
A nursing pillow is a postpartum essential for every breastfeeding mom. Unlike traditional nursing pillows, the My Brest Friend nursing posture pillow wraps all the way around your body, offering sublime support and posture assistance, which is especially important to stop you from slouching when holding or nursing your new baby. The firm, flat top of the pillow prevents baby from rolling off the pillow or out of position, plus, there’s a handy little pocket on the side of the pillow that you can keep your water bottle, snacks, or other breastfeeding essentials in while you nurse.
Comfortable granny-panties are your best friend post-delivery, and these mesh disposable delivery panties are sublime. With plenty of real estate to cover all your lady bits and lots of room for bulky postpartum pads, these underwear are comfortable and a definite postpartum must-have. Plus, if you get blood on them, you can simply throw them away without feeling bad.
21. Nursing Bra
If you plan on breastfeeding your little nugget, a comfortable, supportive, and stylish nursing bra is a postpartum necessity you don’t want to live without. Comfort is non-negotiable, and these nursing bras are just that. The mesh design offers breathability, the seamless nature ensures you don’t have any uncomfortable seams poking into your skin, and the no underwire makes these bras ultra-luxurious without sacrificing an ounce of support.
…that also double as labor, delivery, and nursing clothes.
Comfort is your bosom buddy leading up to- and post-delivery. You will be so thankful you have a couple pairs of comfy pajamas and clothes to lounge around in post-baby. Soft, stretchy, and easy to put on, these postpartum pajamas are perfect for cuddling on the couch with your new bundle.
Staying hydrated is important – especially as a breastfeeding mama. When breastfeeding, you aren’t just responsible for keeping yourself hydrated, you’re also hydrating your baby, and since breastmilk is about 90% water (source), it’s important to keep yourself hydrated with water to sustain your breast milk supply. Carrying a reusable water bottle around with you will make you much more likely to drink water throughout the day than if you have to go out of your way to fill up a glass of water whenever you’re thirsty.
Postpartum Essentials for Baby
Now that we’ve talked about the postpartum recovery essentials you’ll want to have on hand for yourself post-delivery, it’s time to talk about postpartum essentials for baby. These are things you’ll want to have on hand that will make caring for your new baby so much better.
Nosa… what?! (It’s okay, I was horrified at first, too.)
There’s not much worse than having a stuffy newborn and being unable to get the snot and gunk out of their nose.
Enter: the NoseFrida, the hygienic snot sucker that allows you to effectively and quickly remove boogers from your little one’s nose.
Don’t worry, the disposable filters prevent any boogers or bacterial germs from getting transferred to you from baby.
(In other words, you will not end up with your baby’s snot in your mouth… just to clear the air. But you will be able to clear your baby’s nose quickly and effectively by… sucking the snot out.)
The famous Dr. Harvey Karp can’t say enough good things about swaddling your newborn to help them soothe. He claims it helps them feel like they’re in the womb, which triggers an automatic reflex that helps them calm down. Swaddling your baby will help them calm down and help them sleep longer periods of time by mimicking the snug feeling of the womb. (source)
A best-seller among parents, the BIBS BPA-Free Natural Rubber Pacifier was designed to help your child to self-soothe by allowing them to exercise their instinctive sucking instincts by mimicking the shape and soft materials of their mother’s breast.
While you don’t need this specific pacifier, it is a good idea to have a few pacifiers on hand for when your baby comes home. To babies, sucking = soothing.
27. Boba Wrap
Wearing your baby with a baby wrap is an effective way to calm them down and offer skin-on-skin or closeness with mom while keeping your hands free to get things done all at the same time.
No more being couch-bound with your snuggle-bug, now you can be productive and keep your baby close and secure. The Boba weight limit goes up to 35 pounds, allowing you to continue to keep your child close even as they grow.
Help your baby sleep better and longer by offering some background noise with a white noise machine. This specific white noise machine has 14 different soothing sleep soundtracks to softly help your baby sleep.
29. The Baby Shusher
The Baby Shusher, aka “the sleep miracle”, uses a real human voice to “shush” and lull your baby back to sleep. The sleep miracle works by engaging the natural calming reflex of your baby to get even the most defiant sleepers to sleep. With 15- and 30-minute timers, you can ensure your baby is sound asleep before the shusher shuts off.
30. Diaper Cream
Bum rashes are inevitable. The friction and constant moisture contacting the skin due to wearing a diaper 24 hours a day can take its toll on your little one’s bottom. Having good diaper cream on hand is a lifesaver and something you most certainly do not want to forget. The Desitin Maximum Strength Baby Diaper Rash Cream is clinically proven to provide protection from wetness and friction for up to 12 hours, making it the ideal overnight bum cream. Most other creams would rub off in this amount of time.
(This specific bum cream also works very well.)
31. Burp Cloths
Burp cloths will save your shirt on many occasions and make dealing with spit-up much more manageable. Plus, these muslin burp cloths are 100% cotton and extremely multi-purpose. Use them for everything from burping your baby, as a change mat cover when out and about, a breastfeeding cover, and for teething babies.
32. Baby Shampoo
The Honest Company boasts in making a tear-free baby-friendly 2-in-1 baby shampoo and body wash that is made without parabens, dyes, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, and substances that could be harmful. It’s important to note that although you may feel like you need baby shampoo on hand right when your baby gets home, most experts agree to just wash baby’s delicate skin with nothing but water and a soft washcloth until they are about 4 – 6 weeks of age. (source)
33. Wash Cloths
Newborn’s skin is incredibly delicate, so you don’t want to risk using a cloth that could have harmful chemicals in it from previously being used for something else, even if it has gone through the washing machine. It’s a smart idea to grab a few baby wash cloths and use them specifically for your child. These bamboo cloths have 2 layers of soft absorbency and are ideal for use on baby’s soft, delicate skin.
Some parents swear they will never use anything but zip-up sleepers. Others prefer buttons. However, not having to fight with buttons during those middle-of-the-night diaper changes is worth something. These Burt’s Bees baby sleepers are made from 100% organic cotton and feature a non-slip “bee grip” on the bottom of the foot for stability.
Even if you plan on exclusively breastfeeding, it’s still a good idea to have a couple bottles on hand. Worst case scenario, breastfeeding doesn’t end up working and you’ll need to bottle-feed. Best case scenario, breastfeeding is going great, but it’s still nice to get a break from time to time (like if you need to leave baby with a sitter for even just half an hour).
Comotomo bottles are designed to closely mimic breastfeeding to reduce bottle/nipple confusion or bottle rejection. The dual anti-colic vents prevent upset stomachs from unwanted air intake.
It’s heartbreaking to watch your little one struggle with an upset stomach. It’s even more heartbreaking when there’s nothing you can do about it. Avoid that by having these gas drops on hand as soon as your baby gets home. These gas relief drops are a #1 pediatrician recommended brand and help your baby’s upset stomach by gently breaking down their gas bubbles safely.
Be game-day ready by reading this book cover-to-cover. Dr. Harvey Karp has helped hundreds of crying babies in his practice learn how to calm down and sleep better (and longer). And in this book, he equips new parents with his knowledge to tackle the newborn stage with ease (something not many people can do).
The Best Postpartum Essentials New Moms Need
Now that we’ve gone over the list of postpartum must-haves for new moms, I’d love to know your thoughts! Would you add anything to the list? Let us know in a comment below.