Postpartum Care Essentials

May 12, 2020

New moms, let’s talk postpartum care essentials

When you’re pregnant it’s really easy to think about all the cute and necessary baby things, but what about you? Have you considered what might be helpful to have on hand as you heal after birth? Let’s be real… probably not, but that stops now. My mother made me care packages for both of my postpartum recoveries and they were very both needed and appreciated. 

Don’t get this list confused with the emotional, physical educational support that’s needed as you recover; I’m listing the care products I think you need as a new mom.  These are things I highly recommend as you prepare to welcome your baby; put these “essential” items onto your registry and then into a basket,  box or nightstand by your bedside so that it’s easily accessible while you recover after the birth. 

A water bottle. If you think you’re thirsty while pregnant, wait until you are nursing your baby. I really like my Swell water bottle but I encourage you to get something with a straw as you’ll be drinking a lot and your hands may be full. 

Maxi pads or Depends. Keep in mind that you will not be allowed to use tampons during the postpartum period (this applies to both vaginal and cesarean deliveries) so be sure to stock up on pads. The hospital mesh panties are pretty comfortable too so try to go home with a pair or two. I’ve also seen birthing people recommend Depends are they are more comfortable and provide more coverage! You cannot go wrong with maxi pads and/or Depends. 

Comfortable clothes. I am all about soft, stretchy and comfy clothing such as yoga pants, leggings, maxi dresses, nursing tanks and cotton bras. You cannot go wrong with comfortable, loose clothes. 

Tucks (Witch Hazel) Pads. After both of my vaginal deliveries these pads were extremely soothing and very necessary. Some birthing people also make their own “padsicles” with witch hazel. 

Sitz bath. This is a great way to get some much needed postpartum healing relief. While you are using a sitz bath, a little bit of epsom salt can help to promote this healing. Helpful tip, epsom salt can also come in handy for a breast soak if you have a blocked duct.

Peri bottle. This little plastic squeeze bottle will be given to you at the hospital, so no need to get your own but remember to bring it home with you. You will use it in the immediate postpartum to rinse out down below while you are peeing, to dilute the sting, and afterward, so that you don’t have to wipe (ouch!!)

Breast Pads. I kept seeing these on baby registry lists and my mother recommended I get them as well. If this is your first baby, let me tell you that you will definitely need these to contain any leaks while your breasts figure out how much milk to make. I recommend getting both the disposable and reusable options; and keep a pair or two in your diaper bag. 

Coconut oil or nipple cream. You don’t need a whole ton, but there is definitely a learning curve as your breasts adjust to nursing or pumping. Keep some coconut oil or a small tube of nipple cream on hand for soothing is a great idea. 

What’s on your postpartum care essential list?

Share with us, leave your thoughts in the comments below or in our Facebook group. We would love to hear what your postpartum care essentials were or if you found this list helpful. 

Authored by Sharita Thompson, M.Ed, HBCE

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