Postpartum Essentials to Make Life after Birth Easier
Postpartum essentials look different for every women, there isnt a one size fits all for what you might need for after giving birth. It would be nice if there was, but no such luck!
When it really comes down to it, you can take all the advice for what you might need, but you wont truly know until after you give birth for the first time. Because it is YOUR unique experience.
With all of that said, I recently gave birth to my second son and I didnt feel quite so blind to what postpartum was going to be like this time. That can be both a blessing and a curse. I knew what items I wanted to purchase this time to make after birth recovery easier, but at the same time I knew what was coming, and I knew it wasnt going to be easy.
I will say, giving birth and the recovery process for baby number two was so much quicker then number one. Your body knows what to expect after the first time, so your body can recover and heal a bit quicker. This isnt the case for everyone, but I am happy to say that was my experience.
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They have really come a long way with postpartum supplies over the last few years, which is awesome! The postpartum experience needs to be talked about and normalized more. I am so glad they are coming out with postpartum supplies to make that period a little bit easier, and help mamma feel a little pampered after giving birth!
My favorite brand for postpartum essentials is Frida Mom. It is by no means necessary to take postpartum supplies to the hospital, they will provide everything necessary for you. But if that is something you are interested in; I highly recommend the Frida Mom hospital packing kit for labor. It is a splurge, but so worth it.
It provides a labor gown, peri bottle, postpartum underwear, instant ice maxi pads, toiletry bag, witch hazel pad liners, and so much more. It has everything you need to feel a bit more pampered while going through a big life experience.
The items the hospital provides get the job done, but they are very basic. If you want something more thoughtfully put together, this is a great pre birth gift to yourself, or something you could add to your registry. Mamma is important too! A happy mamma is a happy baby.
After you get home from the hospital, I would make sure you have a basket in each bathroom in your house that you can keep your postpartum essentials in. Trust me, you will want to have these on hand. You dont want to be searching for your postpartum supplies under the counter. Have them handy!
If you do this before you head to the hospital, you will have everything waiting for you when you get home. Try to eliminate having to run to the store as much as possible.
Postpartum Essentials To Add To Your Checklist For Postpartum Recovery At Home
Mother Earth Herbal perineal spray: This is a more natural Version of the demoplast spray that I switched to after being home for week or so. It provides a cooling effect for pain relief, it also has a nice, natural scent to it.
Dermoplast spray: This is a no-touch cooling/numbing spray that provide quick pain relief for after birth. The hospital should provide one, but I would have a few extra on hand once you get home in your postpartum essentials basket.
Tucks cooling pads: These are a must have in my book! These give immediate relief to the burning and itching that hemorrhoids can cause. I like to layer these on top of my pads for extra cooling relief.
Postpartum underwear: I ended up wearing the hospital underwear for the first day and then I switched to the Frida mom postpartum underwear after that. They are very similar, but a bit more comfortable. After being home for a few days I switched to this brand after my bleeding had subsided a bit. They are high waisted so they provide that extra support that is needed after childbirth.
Postpartum pads: I found the maxi pads the hospital provides to be too big after the first day or two. I switched to these pads after that which I found to be more practical & comfortable. After a week or two I switched to thinner pad liner. Bleeding will vary after each birth. I would recommend having multiple sizes on hand so you have options once you are home.
Frida mom perineal pad liners: These pad liners will cover the length of most maternity maxi pads to add extra cooling pain relief. They help to reduce swelling and speed up the healing process.
Friday Mom Peri Bottle: This peri bottle far exceeds the one they provide at the hospital. The Frida mom peri bottle is angled so it makes it much easier to use. Trust me on this one, its worth it.
Frida Mom Perineal Foam: This foam provides an added layer of cooling foam to sooth hemorrhoids after birth. It helps heal soothe and heal perineal tears and stitches.
" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener sponsored nofollow">Frida Mom Perineal Cooling Doughnut Cushion: This may not be a glamorous item, but oh so practical. It is pretty painful to sit down for the first week after giving birth due to swelling & stitches. This doughnut cushion provides cooling relief without putting any added pressure down there.
Postpartum Sitz Bath: I definitely recommend soaking in a sitz bath after giving birth if you are able, it helps soothe everything and is a nice way to feel a little more pampered after giving birth. Highly recommend. Magnesium flakes are also great to add to your bath to help relax muscles and for extra pain relief.
Tylenol/ Advil & Stool Softener: I would definitely recommend having a pain reliever on hand. Talk to your doctor about which one is best for you and how to rotate them. In order to keep swelling down and keep pain to a minimum, this is a must have. I would also recommend a stool softener. You want to avoid pushing at all cost, so you want to make sure to keep things loose. Some people only need a stool softener for the first few days but others might need them longer.
Some comfy PJs/ Robe: If you are like me, you will be living in comfy clothes for the first few weeks post delivery. Its important to have something that you can easily access the goods if you are breastfeeding, it is also important for skin to skin.
Some Other Postpartum Essentials You May Want To Consider Adding To Your Postpartum Checklist:
Freezer Or Crockpot meals: I am the main cook in our house so I found it easiest to have meals made ahead of time that my husband could quickly prepare for us in that first week at home. Its nice to have something home cooked that you dont need to put a lot of effort into. You want to make sure you are getting those calories in after delivery! Dont be ashamed of takeout either, convenience is what matters right now!
Entertainment: If this is your first baby, take this time to soak everything in. Lay in bed or on the couch and snuggle with your newborn as much as possible. They are adjusting to life outside of the womb and you both are recovering from childbirth, so take all the time to heal and rest. Have your favorite shows, movies or books on hand, maybe its a good time to start a new series!
If this is not your first baby, things may be a bit harder. I know for me, the biggest change once having my second son was managing my toddler while taking care of my newborn. You might not be able to lay in bed all day and soak in the newborn snuggles; but make sure to carve out some time for it, you both certainly need it!
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Related Article: Why You Need The Haakaa Manual Breast Pump
Mother earth nipple balm: If you plan to breastfeed, your nipples might be sore and cracked for the first few weeks while you get used to breastfeeding. Especially if you are a first time mom. I love this nipple balm because it made with all natural ingredients No need to wipe it off before you feed baby!
Reusable Breast Pads: You will probably leak breastmilk for the first few weeks, if not longer if you are breastfeeding. This is absolutely normal! I prefer reusable breast pads as opposed to disposable. They are softer and made of cloth, rather then a disposable material.
When im already wearing maxi pads, its nice not to be wearing too many disposable items….just me? Its also less wasteful. You do have to wash them often, so I would recommend buying a good amount so you have plenty on hand.
Nursing Bras: Nursing bras arent absolutely necessary, but I find they are convenient for those first few months while establishing breastfeeding. Nursing is messy in the beginning, you will more then likely wake up drenched more then once and will be changing your bra a lot.
Its nice to have extra bras during this time so you dont have to ruin your nice ones. If you do plan to wear regular bras, make sure they are not too tight as that can cause clogged ducts, and nobody wants that! You should also make sure you can easily pull them up or down.
Haakaa Pump: I cant say enough good things about the haakaa! Look over my post on the haakaa to learn why I like it so much, and how to use it. It is a manual silicone milk catcher that you put on the opposite breast while nursing. It catches all the extra let down so you can easily build a freezer stash, while your supply is still regulating and you have a surplus of milk. Dont let that liquid gold go to waste!
Manual Breast Pump: I like to have a manual pump if I plan to be gone for an extended period of time. They are small, so you can just throw in your purse or diaper bag and go!
Madela Electric Pump: I did some research on breast pumps before I had my baby, and this is the one that kept coming up. I like the suction levels, and it is very user friendly. I dont pump very often due to my love for the haakaa pump, which has allowed me to have a freezer stash of breastmilk on hand. This pump is great if you are planning to return to work, trying to increase your supply, or just want have some extra milk on hand.
Madela Breastmilk Storage Bags: I would recommend buying some milk storage bags if you plan to store breastmilk in the fridge or freezer if you are pumping. I have tried a few different brands and prefer these ones for their durability.
Bedside Nightlight: I purchased this small nightlight to keep on my nightstand for middle of the night feedings. It is the perfect amount of light to get what you need done without turning on a bright light. This sound machine & nightlight is another great option. You can control by your phone or manually, and you can transfer it to the babys nursery once they start sleeping in their own room.
Comotomo bottles: If you plan to bottle feed, these are awesome bottles! They are made of silicone instead of plastic and I love the way they feel. They are great bottles for breastfed babies as well. Although, I would recommend that you dont purchase too many of one type of bottle. Baby may not prefer it, so I would only start out with a few to see what baby likes. If you have a gassy baby, I recommend the Phillip advent bottles. We have used and love them too.
I have yet to find a good nursing pillow for the first month after baby is born. They are so tiny, and I still have to prop them up with my arms whether I am using the nursing pillow or not.
I like this pillow for when they get to be a little bigger so you can be hands free while breastfeeding. It is also great for propping baby up after 3+ months.
Nursing Essentials Basket
My last recommendation is that you create a basket with nursing essentials to have next to your bed, or wherever you plan to breastfeed the most. This way you have everything you need right at your fingertips.
Some things I like to include are:
- Breast pads
- A big ol water bottle (keep hydrated!)
- Snacks (granola bars, trail mix etc..)
- Electrolyte powder (for added hydration and minerals)
- Nipple Balm
- An extra baby outfit
Make After Birth Recovery Easier On Yourself With These Postpartum Essentials
I hope I can ease your mind a bit, you got this! This experience is unique to YOU, and my biggest advice is to to purchase and use what YOU feel comfortable with. I hope this list is something you can come back, and be able to refer to if you need some suggestions and inspiration. You will find the things that work for you along your unique journey.
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