DISCLAIMER: If you’re not expecting or reading this for someone who is expecting a baby, it’s probably a little TMI! Read with caution Upon returning home from the hospital after giving birth to my baby girl, there were several items I considered ESSENTIAL to a proper and less painful recovery. After a great deal of research, personal recommendations from family/friends and a fair amount of trial and error, here are the my top postpartum must haves for your physical recovery after a vaginal labor and delivery.
Pads in Various Sizes
I purchased three sizes of pads for the varying degrees of discharge that occurs after birth. I used each size for about 2 weeks each, changing them two-three times a day to give you an idea of how many of each to purchase.
These were absolutely heavenly! I made these a few weeks before my due date just to have on hand. They are very simple to make. Using the heaviest pad, I poured Witch Hazel and pure Aloe onto it. I left the plastic sheet on to retain the stickiness, stacked them up and placed them in the freezer. For the first week, I would use these after showering and boy did they feel amazing!
If you’re lucky enough to avoid hemorrhoids, congratulations! For the majority of women though, it’s an undiscussed and painful side effect of pregnancy and delivery. I tried the regular Preparation H stuff from the pharmacy. After delivery, the hospital gave me a prescribed cream as well that was supposed to be stronger. I found neither to be very effective. The best kind I can recommend was Ma Ying Long, an ointment you have to order online from China. Seriously, this stuff works…check it out on Amazon.
Witch Hazel Wipes
Everyone recommends the witch hazel pads, which are nice, but this specific product is even better! No one wants to use toilet tissue. These wipes were a much better alternative. In fact, I only purchased one package and ended up going back for more. If you plan to use, be sure to buy multiples.
Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark Cream
I didn’t have visible stretch marks until my final weeks of pregnancy. Postpartum it seemed I had more appear every time I looked in the mirror. While I have developed a specific process that seems to be working well (read more), this cream is definitely an integral part of that regimen and should be on hand for any new mom.
New Momma Bottom Spray
This spray was a gift from my sister-in-law (supermom of six!) and boy was it a blessing. The spray is all natural and offers a nice cooling sensation. This was definitely a must-have and something I intend to purchase in the future both as a gift for new moms and for future pregnancies. There is a hidden section at Target (near the pharmacy) that is full of wonderful pregnancy and postpartum products. This product can be found there or purchased online here. There are other great items in this section and I would strongly encourage any expecting momma to check it out!
Pretty self explanatory. This stuff certainly will make using the bathroom postpartum an easier feat. They gave me one each day I was in the hospital, but I had been advised to have some on hand when I returned home by friends. I took one every other day for 2 weeks postpartum and it really made the whole experience a little easier.
Create a bathroom basket with all your essentials to keep close a hand for when you get home. This was especially helpful because I could reach everything easily and I didn’t have to worry about forgetting something. If you’re a nesting momma to be, this is a great mini project to prepare for the arrival of your little bundle of joy.