Warning: today’s post on postpartum essentials shares the not so pretty part of motherhood. That is the part where you come home with a tiny infant whose stolen your heart but given you the gift of no sleep and you are so tired but trying to hang on while you figure out nursing. And did I mention you’ve just pushed said baby out of your body and are swollen, bleeding and possibly tending to stitches? It’s not pretty or fun but it doesn’t last forever and gets better each day. I didn’t quite realize how hard the postpartum period would be on my body. I had fair warning from friends and research on what I’d be going through but I still feel like I wasn’t quite prepared. I had a pretty easy birth but did tear and require several stitches – it took over a month for me to feel somewhat more like myself. I purchased several products before I gave birth that were extremely helpful in my healing process that I’m going to share today. I highly suggest getting these products organized and set up in your bathroom and bedroom a few weeks before your due date so they are ready, you can never have too many baskets!
As always, please check with your healthcare provider before trying or using any of these items. I only have experience with vaginal birth, but have talked with friends and readers who’ve had c-sections for their recommendations!
For more on this topic, check out our post on How To Prepare For The Postpartum Period.
19 Postpartum Essentials Every New Mom Needs
- Disposable Breast Pads: I liked these for when I was sleeping because they stick in place, and because they are disposable I always kept a few in my purse and diaper bag so I could avoid leaks as much as possible (though they certainly happened a few times). All women don’t leak milk but many do! I tried the Lansinoh brand first but ended up really liking the shape and adhesive backing on these Munchkin pads.
- Lanolin Nipple Cream: I had the idea that I’d use only organic products on myself and baby but quickly found this lanolin cream to be a lifesaver for my dry, cracked and bleeding nipples. I think it’s the best option out there before prescription strength creams. I also use it on my lips!
- Nursing Bra: You’ll definietly want several nursing bras but I really prefer these breathable, lightweight ones for the first few weeks and for sleeping.
- Milkmaid Tea: If you have problems with your milk production this tea works wonders, I’d be careful to take it too soon, let yourself get regulated as it can cause you to produce too much!
- Bamboo Reusable Breast Pads: I love these soft reusable breast pads that you can just wash between uses because they are a more eco-friendly option and they really absorb well, don’t wrinkle or show creases and tuck easily into your bra.
- Booby Tubes: These soft, organic pads provide cold or hot relief to tender breasts, they were really helpful during my engorgement when my milk was coming in.
- Medela Tender Care Hydrogel Pads: Any relief you can get for your nipples is helpful the first few weeks of nursing and I’ll definietly be trying out these cooling pads this time.
- TendHer Feminine Cold Packs: These ice packs are very similar to what you’re given at the hospital after birth to insert into your mesh underwear and let me just say, they feel like heaven – something I never thought I’d say about a vaginal cold pack!
- Fridababy Fridet, The Mom Washer: I’m so excited about this product, I already have it on hand to try out this time. You really need to use warm water after you go to the bathroom and while these peri bottles work I think the angled head on this new Fridababy product is going to make it a lot easier to use.
- Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray: This spray is a miracle if you have stitches. My hospital sent me home with it and it was the only thing that relieved pain the first few days.
- New Mama Bottom Spray: I used this after the first week for about a month to keep everything healing nicely !
- Extra Large Briefs: You’ll want comfortable over-sized undies to wear for a while after giving birth. They hold in all of your “dressings” and are comfortable for your postpartum bump, be sure the waistband isn’t too tight. If it works with your bump it’s likely to be a good fit after.
- Motrin: My doctor prescribed Extra Strength Motrin as a breastfeeding safe pain reliever I could take after giving birth and I wish I had it so we didn’t have to run out to the store right away!
- Donut Pillow: This is something I wasn’t totally sure I needed to order but I’m so glad I did with my first birth! I had it in the car to go home and it helped ease the pain when sitting for hours nursing!
- Tucks Medicated Witch Hazel Pads: I lined these on my cool packs or in my pads the first week+ postpartum and they were immensely helpful!
- Maxi Pads: You’ll want to stock up on heavy flow maxi pads, be sure not to get any sort of ‘dri-weave’ product.
- Nursing Nightgown: Splurge on at least 3 nursing nightgowns or button front sleep shirts so you have plenty of options to wear to bed (or around the house)!
- Bellybandit Postpartum Belly Wrap: Many women chose to wear a belly wrap after giving birth to help with healing (especially if you’ve had a c-section).
- The First Forty Days: The Essential Art Of Nourishing The New Mother: This is an incredible book full of recipes you can prepare to nourish your body during the delicate postpartum period. I already have it on my bookshelf and look forward to finding recipes to make prior to my bebe’s arrival!
- Essential oils are so incredible for postpartum support and all of the crazy, rollercoaster emotions you may be having. Make a Happy Mama roller to apply on your wrists when you’re feeling down or anxious, make lavender bath salts for a soak, Joy blend is wonderful for emotional and nursing support. Check out the FAQ about The Mama Notes essential oils HERE.
Check out more of our motherhood guides: