Congratulations, You’re Officially a Momma!
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“Keep in mind that every new mom is different, so every woman will recover at a different rate with different postpartum symptoms.” –The Postpartum Recovery Timeline, WhatToExpectI don’t want to scare you, but postpartum recovery can be rough. It doesn’t have to be! Don’t worry momma. You can absolutely recover quickly and comfortably by creating a Complete D.I.Y. Postpartum Recovery Kit.
Ideally, you’ve prepared for your postpartum recovery before giving birth. Either way, having the right things on hand can make all the difference in practicing self-care while having a speedy and comfortable recovery. While you’re here, don’t forget to download this handy postpartum essentials checklist!
I felt mistakenly prepared when I brought my first baby home. By the time I had my second child, I remembered vividly my postpartum prepping missteps and was better equipped with solutions. Read on for our comprehensive list of postpartum kit essentials from dealing with postpartum bleeding, a sore bottom, and overall aches and pains. Honestly, I wish I’d known about these essentials the first time! There are seriously fantastic products out there you won’t read about in most of the pregnancy books you’ve read.
21 Postpartum Kit Essentials
for Self-Care & Recovery
1. Reusable Period & Postpartum Pads
One of the most notable postpartum symptoms is lochia or postpartum bleeding. It’s basically the longest period of your life. Bleeding can last for 4 to 6 weeks postpartum, and you’ll want to be prepared. Tampon use is not recommended, and the pads they’ll give you at the hospital are uncomfortable and bulky–think adult diapers. Trust me–buying your own will be way more comfortable! You can either use disposables like Organyc 100% Certified Organic Cotton Feminine Pads. Alternatively, you could opt for more earth-friendly reusable ones like these Pixie Pads to reduce landfill waste while recovering like an eco-friendly momma goddess!
2. Reusable Period & Postpartum Panties
The first couple weeks or so of postpartum bleeding is heavier and should taper off in the remaining weeks. You may also experience postpartum urinary incontinence. In addition to pads, grab yourself a pair of period panties.
If disposables are your style, Always Discreet Boutique Underwear for Women is a popular option, but they’re similar to the ones you’ll get in the hospital, so they’re less comfortable than your regular underwear.
If you don’t enjoy feeling like you’re wearing a diaper, get yourself reusable panties like these Neione Period Panties. They offer added protection (front and back), so you can go about your day or sleep at night with security and comfort. There’s a bonus pocket in the front for pad storage. They offer extra protection without the added diaper-like bulkiness. Plus, they come in super cute designs!
3. Loose-Fitting Pajama Pants
Your body is achy, sitting is uncomfortable (if not downright painful), and you’re not planning on leaving the couch or bed anytime soon. Now is not the time to try to fit into those pre-pregnancy pants! Loose-fitting pants are essential when you’re dealing with postpartum bleeding and perineal pain. Care for your newborn and recover in comfort with super soft, stretchy, and loose-fitting pajama pants like these ones from AmiERY Women’s Comfy Casual Pajama Pants.
4. Perinieal Balm or Spray
Perineal pain is common after spending however long pushing another human being out of your body. Surprisingly, you may experience this after a C-Section also. This pain can make sitting uncomfortable and even painful for the next several weeks. Using this perineal balm from Earth Mama will not only relieve the pain so you can sit on your bottom, but the ingredients will speed healing too!
This area’s soreness is sometimes too much to touch to apply a balm, especially early in the postpartum recovery period. The benzocaine spray provided at the hospital can actually cause burning and stinging, especially if you experienced tearing during childbirth. Avoid the discomfort and use this Herbal Perineal Spray by Earth Mama. Your perineum will thank you.
5. Sitz Bath Seat & Herbal Sitz Packs
Adding some healing herbal sitz packs into your warm sitz bath toilet seat for 15 to 20 minutes a day is a relaxing way to encourage your body’s recovery. Additionally, it will improve your comfort with the challenge of sitting, as mentioned earlier. This Organic Herbal Sitz Bath by Earth Mama is genuinely marvelous! Opt for an ergonomically designed sitz bath toilet seat like the Femme Detox Yoni Steam Seat for Toilet. If you have one, your H.S.A. or F.S.A. account may cover the cost of this purchase and many other postpartum products, too, so be sure to check this out and order postpartum products ahead if you can.
6. Postpartum Cold Packs
When you need immediate relief while feeding your newborn, for example, you’ll want to use cold packs. I don’t recommend using the typical ice packs on your delicate parts in your freezer. Cool-packs like this VagiKool – Reusable Postpartum Cold-Pack are shaped specifically for your recovering lady bits. You can tuck them right into your underwear so you can move about without restriction. They come with hygienic sleeves. Get at least two–so you’ll always have one available when the need arises!
7. Postpartum Perri Bottle
Keeping your whole post-birth nether regions clean and helps prevent infection.
“Speak to your healthcare provider if your vaginal pain is worsening or if you develop a fever, as these could be signs of infection.”
Help reduce swelling and discomfort by filling a Peri Bottle with warm water and using it to rinse every time you go to the bathroom. While it’s great for helping you postpartum, I highly recommend packing this Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle in your hospital bag for labor and delivery.
8. Postpartum Donut Pillow
In addition to using topicals to soothe your perineal pain, ensure sitting upright during recovery is as comfortable as humanly possible. If nothing else, use a regular old pillow. However, this specially designed donut pillow from Frida Baby enusres your bottom’s maximum comfort during the 6-week postpartum recovery period. Comfort is key to less stress and an easy-breezy recovery!
9. Heating Pad
Regardless of how you deliver your new bundle of joy, your body goes through quite the ordeal during labor and delivery. Relieve body aches and pains with a good old-fashioned heating pad like the Mighty Bliss Large Electric Heating Pad. It’s larger than your standard heating pad, which is perfect for postpartum’s larger than your usual period aches and pains.
10. Pain Relievers
As I said before, your body has undergone a lot during labor and delivery. Body aches and pains are typical during the recovery process. Pain relievers like Advil Liqui-Gels Pain Reliever, Liquid Fast Pain Relief will give you the much-needed pain relief you’ll want while your body heals. Ibuprofen pain relievers help reduce swelling better than acetaminophen will. When you’ve got a newborn to care for, you’ll yearn for pain relief as fast as you can get it! Always check with your doctor before taking any medication.
11. Cooling Hemorrhoid Pads
An unfortunate truth for many moms after delivery is the uncomfortable itching and pain because all of that pushing in labor has left you with hemorrhoids. Your mother probably neglected to mention this because it’s one of those personal issues no one likes to talk about. Consider this your friendly heads-up and get some Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads.
12. Dry Shampoo
Here’s the truth, some days, it’ll be hard to find time to shower and wash your hair. The hours and days will run together in the early days of having a newborn who wakes every two hours–around the clock. You should definitely try anyway, but when it just doesn’t work out, do the next best thing and use this Not Your Mothers Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo.
13. Shower in a Bottle
When getting up and into a shower is tricky after delivery, this item makes another magnificent addition to your hospital bag. Then use it for the inevitable early mom days when taking a shower just didn’t happen. Who knows where the time goes when you have a newborn? This Shower in a bottle is quick and easy to use. No rinsing required. It’s lightly scented and moisturizing with aloe, cucumber, and Vitamin E. You feel cleaner and better about yourself. My Recommendation: Rinse Free No Shower Body Wash
14. Body Butter
Maybe you’re ahead of the curve and started using body lotion for stretch marks during your pregnancy, or you’re looking for one postpartum. Either way, unless you’re one of the lucky few–pregnancy leaves most of us with unsightly stretch marks otherwise affectionately referred to by moms everywhere as “tiger stripes.” Moisturize your skin and reduce the stripes with a super-nourishing body butter or lotion like this Belly Butter by Earth Mama.
15. Lavender Bath & Body Spa Items
Don’t forget about self-care while caring for your little one. Your relaxation and happiness are crucial for reducing your stress and helping you be the best version of yourself! Pamper yourself with this Body & Earth Bath Spa Gift Basket.
16. Aromatherapy Oil Diffuser & Essential Oils Set
Aromatherapy is a great mood balancer, especially lavender for relaxation– super helpful for new moms. You have to practice self-care to be able to care for others. I recommend InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser and Radha Beauty Aromatherapy Top 8 Essential Oils.
17. Positive Affirmations
The baby blues and postpartum depression are real. Not everyone experiences them, but every mom who faces new parenthood challenges could always use a little inspiration and support. Get yourself the New Mama Affirmations – A Warm and Vibrant Deck of 20 Uplifting Postpartum Affirmation Cards, or buy it for a friend as a new mom gift!
If you or someone you know may be suffering from postpartum depression, please be kind to yourself and immediately call your doctor. Read about the symptoms of postpartum depression and how to get help on WebMD.
Also, check out my post, The Clever Stay-at-Home Mom’s Guide to Getting Organized, to stay on top of the challenges of getting it all done! Includes 12 Motivational Quotes for Mommas in my free PDF–Momma’s Complete Planner! You’ve got this momma!
18. A High-Quality Reusable Water Bottle
You’ll want to get up from your sofa or bed as little as possible while your body recovers from the afterpains of childbirth. You need to maintain your body’s hydration to “ease fatigue and fight constipation,” according to the Postpartum Recovery Timeline from WhatToExpect.com.
New moms should “Eat lots of fibrous veggies, consider taking some flax supplements, and drink lots of water.”
Invest in a large-volume high-quality water bottle that’ll keep your water cold all day long, like the Hydro Flask. If you’re breastfeeding, you definitely need to stay hydrated to help encourage your breast milk supply for the little one. Also, here’s a strange fun fact–nursing makes you thirsty.
“If you drink one 8-ounce glass of water before and after each feeding, as well as with meals, you should be able to hit that 128-ounce goal.”
19. Nipple Butter
If you’ve decided to breastfeed, another fun postpartum challenge is sore, dry, or cracked nipples. Ouch! Remember, once you get the hang of breastfeeding, your nipples will grow accustomed to your feeding routine, and nipple discomfort will be short-lived. Shorten the unpleasantness with Organic Nipple Butter by Earth Mama. It’s soothing for you and safe for your nursing baby.
20. Nursing Bras
If you’re nursing, you’ll need easy access to the ta-ta’s around the clock. You’ll want super cozy and comfortable breastfeeding bras to reduce discomfort from irritated nipples. Nurse in comfort with this super soft and easy-to-use nursing bra.
21. Nursing Bra Pads
Whoa, momma! Did you just come from a wet t-shirt contest? Nope, just lactating. Breasts full of milk can easily spill over into your bra and soak through your shirt. Don’t add more laundry to your already busy new mom schedule. If you prefer disposable items, you’ll want Lansinoh Stay Dry Disposable Nursing Pads. However, disposable pads can be itchy and uncomfortable.
If optimal comfort is what you’re after, stuff these Organic Washable Breast Pads into your nursing bra both daytime and overnight and swap them out when you need to. Aside from being extremely eco-friendly, this 8 Pack comes with a reusable wet bag for peace of mind when you (finally) leave the house.
Practice Postpartum Self-Care & Recover in Comfort!
Now that you've stocked up on postpartum essentials, you can focus on that sweet new baby. Remember that by taking care of yourself, you'll be better equipped to care for your new little bundle of joy! Postpartum can be uncomfortable, challenging, and downright painful (at times). Don't needlessly suffer when you can recover quickly and comfortably! Add these items to your D.I.Y. Postpartum Kit, and I promise the transition into motherhood will be much smoother!
Congratulations and welcome to the momma club!
Have you tried any of these items? Let me know what's helped you in the comments below. Take care of yourself too momma. You deserve it!