You’ve spent your pregnancy getting ready for your new baby. Great. Before your baby arrives though, you will need to stock up on a few postpartum essentials to ensure YOU will be okay. After all, you are the most important person in your baby’s life.
Regardless of whether you had a natural birth or a c-section, the first six weeks postpartum are considered a “recovery” period. Your body had been stretched and stressed to the max, and it needs a lot of time to recover.
For your recovery, you will need to create a postpartum checklist. This ensures that YOU will be taken care of, as you take care of your new baby.
Postpartum Essentials For New Moms
New moms have their hands full from the moment their babies are born. The goal, therefore, is to make things as easy as possible for yourself. A big gift you can give yourself is to create a postpartum care kit before your baby arrives. Childbirth takes a huge toll on our bodies and you will need these postpartum essentials to fully recover.
A Postpartum Care Kit To Keep In Your Toilet
Create a little postpartum care kit, and place it next to your toilet. That way, you have easy and immediate access to all you need, when you need it. (The last thing you want is to be looking for things in cabinets and drawers.)
Maternity pads are big and bulky, but you’re going to need it! This is not the time to go with traditional pads – they’ll be a huge waste and you will soak through them in minutes.
Big And Cheap Underpants or Depends Underwear
You may seriously cringe… again, but keep in mind that sexy underwear and postpartum do not go together. In fact, they really dislike one another. Therefore, granny panties is a definite for your postpartum checklist. You are going to need soft, comfortable, full-coverage underwear.
Your goal during postpartum is to make yourself as comfortable as possible so that you can take care of your baby. If big and cheap underwear is going to do that, then so be it. If they get stained, you can throw them out.
Some moms also like Depends underwear. Again, this may be cringe-worthy but they are very effective during postpartum. You won’t have to worry about washing them either!
Whatever you choose to get, keep an extra pair, or two, in your postpartum care kit. If you should ever run into any accidents, you’ll have easy and immediate access to fresh underwear.
Witchhazel Cooling Pads
You’re going to be very uncomfortable down there. You will feel tender and inflamed, and these little Tucks cooling pads are very helpful to help relieve your discomfort.
Perineal Pain Relieving Spray / Lidocaine Spray
While the Tucks cooling pads are helpful, they will not be enough. You are likely to also need a gentle perineal pain-relieving spray to take off the edge. Lots of moms love this, so it’s a good one to add to your postpartum checklist.
Chances are also really good that you will get postpartum hemorrhoids. A lidocaine spray will help to numb the affected area.
A “Peri bottle” is short for “perineal cleansing bottle.”
If you are lucky, they may give you a peri bottle at the hospital. If they don’t, these are very inexpensive.
A peri bottle is basically a squirt bottle to clean your perineum. You’re going to love it! As soft as the softest toilet paper is, it will feel harsh on your sore and inflamed area. Instead, use a peri bottle filled with warm water.
While sitting on the toilet, simply point the opened tip towards the area you would like to clean, and squeeze the bottle to squirt the warm fluid over it.
A Sitz Bath
A sitz bath is basically just a warm bath that you take to cleanse and soothe your perineum. You can use a regular tub as a sitz bath, but running the bath every time you need relief gets old, quickly. Plus, with a new baby on your hands, you may just not have the luxury of time.
So typically you’d buy a sitz bath that fits over your toilet. It’s a small basin that you sit in to relieve the pain and discomfort in your genital area.
Some moms like to add a bit of sitz bath solution to the water to help the healing. You can also make your own sitz bath solution with a bit of Epsom salts. It’s much cheaper and it’s really effective in reducing the swelling and general discomfort you’ll feel.
Postpartum Essentials For Nursing Moms
If you choose to breastfeed, you are going to need nursing bras. However, when you make your purchase, keep comfort and ease in mind. You’re going to be pulling out your breasts often over the next year or two – try to keep it simple.
Also, consider that you will be suffering from engorgement… soon! Engorgement is very painful and uncomfortable, but a good nursing bra can definitely offer relief.
Once your nipples “get broken in” and the initial hurt stops, you will suffer from cracked nipples now and again throughout your breastfeeding journey. Nipple cream is, therefore, essential in the breastfeeding mom’s postpartum care kit.
Your breasts are going to leak, and it can be quite annoying to walk around with a wet t-shirt. Avoid that hassle and invest in a box of breast pads.
Hot / Cold Pack For Breasts
Postpartum Checklist To Relieve Your Pain And Discomfort
Pain medicine is one of those postpartum essentials that everyone will need.
Your doctor or the nurses at the hospital will recommend that you get a stool softener. Even if your metabolism is regular, you’re going to need a stool softener to avoid needing to push.
Ice Packs / Padsicles
Ice packs are really effective in bringing down the swelling and easing the pain and discomfort in your perineal area. You can use any regular ice pack (wrapped in paper towels, to avoid frostbite), or you can make your own homemade padsicles.
Postpartum Care Kit To Make Your Life Easier
The items on this part of the postpartum checklist are certainly not essential, but it will make your life easier for sure.
Postpartum is the time when you can shamelessly walk around in pajamas or sweats all day, every day.
You don’t have to buy anything new. Just make sure you have enough soft and comfortable clothes.
A postpartum girdle is designed to fit snugly around your belly to help aid your recovery. As a bonus, your postpartum body will look better in clothes, which will make you feel better.
Before you commit, do make sure you get a medical-grade compression garment. These can get a little pricey but it’s best to be safe and get medical-grade.
Netflix or Audible Subscription
You are going to be spending hours feeding our baby, or just sitting around with him/ her. As adorable as your baby will be, you will, at some point, need some sort of entertainment. If anything, entertainment may keep you awake during the early hours of the morning, as you feed your baby. This is where Netflix or a good audiobook comes in.
Both subscriptions are easy to set up.
Freezer Meals & To-Go Food
Chances are good that you will not want to cook. Plus, standing in front of a stove – even for 20 minutes, can be taxing for a woman who just gave birth. This is why freezer meals will be your best friend during the first two weeks.
If you have the budget, there’s also uber eats and other delivery food services you can try. Try it out before you go into labor. That way, you’ll be a pro at ordering food once your baby arrives.
Just knowing that food will be taken care of post-delivery, will take a huge weight off your shoulders.
Paper Plates & Plastic Cutlery
Paper plates and plastic silverware may sound horrible to some moms. For other moms who’ve gone through postpartum before, it’s a gift!
You are going to have your hands full with your baby. You will be severely sleep-deprived. You will not have time, nor will you want to make time to wash dishes. Your goal with this postpartum checklist is to make things as easy as possible for yourself. All you should worry about is your baby, and yourself.
A Scented Candle Or Things That Help You Feel Centered
Life as you know it no longer exists. It goes by the wayside when your baby is born. Those first few days and weeks will feel weird and amazing at the same time. Something as simple as a scented candle can inject a little tranquility into your demanding and unpredictable new routine.
But it may not be a scented candle for you. Think about things that make you feel centered and at peace. Find those things and make sure they are easily available when you need it.
A NEW MOM'S GUIDE TO MAKING YOUR LIFE A LITTLE EASIER
Parenting is the hardest job you’ll ever have. This is why moms have to stick together and help one another. Here are several helpful resources from moms who know exactly what you’re going through.