- Postpartum care plan: Tips for healing and boosting your confidence after birth
- Postpartum care kit: Stock up on essential items for postpartum recovery
- Understanding the 4th trimester and how to adjust from pregnancy to a newborn
- 10 things a doula wants you to know about the postpartum period
- Postpartum fitness: Embracing your postpartum belly
Your due date is inching closer and closer, perhaps only a couple of weeks away. You’ve prepped your baby’s crib, bought a ton of unisex outfits (because you want the element of surprise), and absorbed as much information as you can about labor and childbirth.
However, are you properly prepared for what will happen to your body after the delivery? Have you prepared a postpartum care plan?
More importantly, have you created a checklist of all the items you’ll need for your postpartum recovery? That’s the question we’ll focus on in this post. Here is a detailed review of what you should stock up on for your postpartum period.
1. Absorbent postpartum pads
Once you’ve given birth, one of the things you’ll experience is lochia/postpartum bleeding. Think of it as a really long and heavy period. Since you’ll still be expected to breastfeed your newborn and change their diaper, you’ll want to ensure that you have the best leak-proof protection.
For this reason, Always Infinity Feminine Pads should feature prominently among your postpartum recovery essentials. These pads are thin, which makes them comfortable to wear. They are also highly absorbent, offering up to 10 hours of unparalleled dryness.
Lastly, the pack includes 96 of these unscented pads, which is more than enough to last you through this period.
2. Stool softener
Are you worried about your first postpartum poop? Well, you’re not alone. This is one of the biggest fears for women who go through a vaginal birth, especially those who get stitches or tears.
It is why experts recommend adding a stool softener to your postpartum bathroom kit. This product works by increasing the amount of moisture, which helps to soften stools. This, in turn, prevents unnecessary straining.
Chances are you will be given a stool softener after delivery, but just in case your health facility doesn’t offer one, it’s good to have it in your kit.
Kellogg’s All-Bran Breakfast Cereal is another excellent source of “insoluble fiber,” which is effective for constipation relief. Insoluble fiber remains unchanged all the way to the colon, meaning your stools are heavier and softer hence can pass more easily. You can have bran as cereal for breakfast or sprinkle in a lactation boosting trail mix or in a yogurt parfait.
3. Perineal spray
Did you know that a baby’s head at birth is the same size as a cantaloupe? This explains why the majority of women suffer perineal tears. Research shows that some 80% experience this problem during childbirth.
Thankfully, there are certain products that can help ease the pain and discomfort resulting from vaginal tearing.
If you haven’t already, consider adding the Herbal Perineal Spray by Earth Mama to your new mom care kit. Several buyers call this a lifesaver, and it’s easy to see why.
For one, it doesn’t contain any artificial compounds, additives, or fake scents—it’s completely organic. Remember, your perineal area has just undergone intense trauma, so the last thing you should do is experiment with products that will do more harm than good.
This particular spray is formulated with witch hazel, cucumber extract, vegetable glycerin as well as peppermint and lavender oils.
4. Postpartum cooling pads
If you’ve had a vaginal birth, it’s important to clean and care for your perineum well. Luckily, the Tucks Md Pads can help with that. All you have to do is line them on your pad, and you’re good to go.
They offer instant relief from soreness while soothing and protecting any inflamed parts. Moms particularly like the witch hazel formula, which is gentle and doubles up as a cleanser. The Tucks pads also help to relieve hemorrhoids, which often occur in the third trimester or after child delivery.
5. Disposable underwear
One of the joys of pregnancy is that it gives you an almost year-long break from your menstrual period.
However, as soon as you’ve delivered your baby, your body pays you back for that breather ten-fold. The resulting postpartum bleeding can last anywhere from 10 days to 6 weeks.
This is where postpartum disposable underwear comes in handy. Often made of soft mesh, these undies secure your postpartum pads in place. They’re also designed to accommodate your belly, and some even offer mild support to your abs.
Be sure to add the Always Discreet Postpartum Underwear to your recovery essentials. The underwear, which is available in various sizes, is highly absorbent. It also boasts a FormFit design, which helps it fit snugly, and it has an odor-prevention feature.
6. Peri bottle
Following childbirth, your perineum will feel sore, perhaps even become swollen. Postpartum bleeding, which can persist for weeks, can aggravate the pain and discomfort in this area.
This is where a peri bottle comes to the rescue. Put simply, this is a squirt bottle designed to help you clean your perineum gently and easily. Keeping your perineal area clean has 2 key benefits: it minimizes the risk of infection and speeds up your recovery.
The Fridababy MomWasher peri bottle is a must-have for your postpartum care box. Its biggest selling point is its design, which allows you to hold it upside down. Furthermore, its neck is quite narrow, which also makes it easy to maneuver the spray with ease. To top it all off, it can maintain continuous and gentle water pressure.
7. Sitz bath
The items you include in your recovery kit should not only be functional, but also improve your comfort. In this regard, you shouldn’t omit a sitz bath from your postpartum comfort kit.
This is basically a warm and shallow bath that you sit in, with only your hips and ladybits submerged. The idea behind this is to maintain good perineal hygiene while also increasing blood flow to it to promote healing.
To take this bath, you’ll need a special basin, usually designed to sit on top of a regular-sized toilet. The Soothic Sitz Bath is one of the best for the job. It’s compatible with any toilet bowl, regardless of the shape.
Its one-piece design makes it very easy to clean, which also reduces the risk of infection. Plus, it has several overflow vents, keeping messes to a minimum during bath time.
8. Leak-proof nursing bras
Nursing bras won’t help you directly with your postpartum recovery, but they will make your transition into motherhood a whole lot easier.
For one, their structure and fit account for the change in your breast size. Secondly, they’re designed to offer maximum support and comfort. This explains why most maternity bras are made from soft and breathable fabrics. Most importantly, they make it easy to breastfeed your newborn.
If you’re looking to add some maternity bras to your postpartum kit, we recommend this 3-pack by iloveSIA. Each bra is made from a soft and stretchy material, allowing it to offer support without being too snug.
The bras also have clip-down cups, which are great for keeping pump elements in place should you choose to pump. Lastly, they’re available in different sizes and colors.
9. Lounge set
In addition to the leak-proof nursing bras, you’ll also need to think about your postpartum recovery clothes in general.
There are 2 things you should take into account here: comfort and fit. Essentially, choose outfits that are loose-fitting and comfortable. Think baggy sweatpants, oversize tees, and shirt dresses.
A good example is this 3-Piece Nursing Pajama Set by Bearsland. It includes a nursing-friendly top, a half-sleeve cardigan, and sleep pants. The waist is made of elastic fabric, making it easy to adjust. Plus, the use of polyester and spandex in all three pieces ensures maximum comfort and support.
10. Nipple cream
When you start breastfeeding your little one, your nipples may feel a bit sore for the first couple of days because they’re still getting used to the constant feedings. This is where a nipple cream comes into play.
Dabbing just a small amount of this product has a soothing effect. This eases the discomfort and makes the whole nursing experience tolerable and comfortable for both you and your newborn.
Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream is one of the top-rated products in this class on the market. As you’ve probably guessed from its name, the key ingredient is lanolin, which does a pretty good job of soothing and protecting sore nipples.
It’s completely safe to use as it does not contain any parabens or preservatives. Plus, it’s been clinically tested, so you can rest easy knowing that it doesn’t cause any side effects.
11. Pre-packed postpartum kit
If you don’t want the hassle of buying individual items to assemble your own postpartum kit, consider investing in a pre-packed one.
You might end up paying slightly more for such a kit, but this also saves you a huge amount of time. That said, we suggest going over the postpartum recovery products included in the kit to ensure you’ve covered all bases.
One kit we’d strongly recommend is the Frida Mom Postpartum Recovery Kit. This package contains 4 pairs of disposable underwear, a perineal healing foam, 4 Instant Ice maxi pads, and up to 24 perineal cooling pad liners.
What we like most about this all-inclusive kit is that each item is thoughtfully chosen. For instance, the manufacturer doesn’t include just any menstrual pads. Rather, it includes instant ice maxi pads, which combine the healing power of cold therapy with maximum absorbency.
Your journey through postpartum recovery definitely won’t be a bed of roses. On top of the wacky hormones and the constant fatigue, your body will feel a little strange, especially your ladybits as they were responsible for squeezing out an entire human being.
The good news is that there are a ton of products designed to ease the pain and discomfort stemming from vaginal childbirth. A complete postpartum care kit checklist includes items such as cooling pads, a peri bottle, stool softener, an afterbirth sitz bath, disposable underwear, and postpartum maternity pads, among others.