Recovering from having a baby can be tough. I remember with my first daughter, I had absolutely no clue what to expect and ended up making an unexpected Target run 3 days postpartum. Walking around Target in a dazed new mom fog left me wondering why no one shared these precious must haves with me before. So here’s my list of postpartum must haves, based on a fairly normal vaginal delivery. I would imagine the list may vary a bit for anyone who’s had a c-section.
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I used a Bellefit girdle after my first pregnancy and was able to fit back into my “pre-pregnant” clothes 6 six weeks postpartum. A girdle isn’t just for vanity reasons though (I mean who doesn’t want to lose the baby weight quickly?). It’s also incredibly helpful in those rough postpartum weeks. Your body goes through after pains as the uterus shrinks. A postpartum tummy also just feels weird. After being stretched to the max, having a support girdle is really essential to recovering quickly.
This magical numbing spray relieves pain and numbs your “area” and is particularly useful postpartum. You want to make sure to purchase the blue kind, not the red. Spray the area as needed to get through that first week or so. You can also order through Amazon Prime and have it shipped straight to your house.
Pads (in various sizes)
You will bleed, A LOT. Stock up on pads of various sizes. I had a pretty heavy flow for at least two weeks and continued needing pads for approximately 8 weeks. Tampons should not be used postpartum until cleared by your doctor. The hospital should provide some pads, and be sure to grab as many mesh undies as they’re willing to give you.
These are so easy to make and are the BEST when you first get home from the hospital. Simply fill a pad with Witch Hazel and Aloe Vera Gel. Stick them in the freezer and you have a refreshing ice pack to help down there heal a bit quicker. I made and used about 20 of these during the first week home.
With my firstborn I purchase two nursing tops pre-baby. I quickly learned that wasn’t nearly enough! For the first 6 weeks I pretty much lived in nursing tanks, no bra needed. I loved the ones with a little bit of padding. I purchased multiple colors and would throw on a sweater or loose shirt if I went out in public. In general nursing tanks were my main wardrobe must have for the whole year I nursed my daughter. They were definitely worth the investment.
These were LIFESAVERS! When your milk comes in, you’ll quickly learn that it’s fairly easy to leak everywhere. The sound of a baby crying or just going a bit too long without nursing can bring on a Niagra Falls level of leakage all over your shirt. Wearing these disposable pads made it so much easier and less embarrassing when my boobs leaked.
Mama Bottom Spray
My sister in law gave me New Mama Bottom Spray as a gift postpartum and wow, it was essential. I love this entire gift set for a new mom but the spray is a must have. Unlike Dermaplast and ice (which are only healthy to do in specific increments) this spray is all natural and can be used as much as needed.
Nursing can be painful, especially during the first few weeks as you adjust to it. It’s an amazing experience, but takes some getting used to. As a new mom you will definitely want nipple cream for after each feeding. I loved using this Earth Mama Nipple Butter. I would also recommend Lansinoh Lanolin or even coconut oil if you prefer to go all natural.
Hemorrhoid Ointment & Stool Softener
The hospital should give you a stool softener, be sure to ask for extra to take during your first two weeks home. If you don’t get hemorrhoids from pushing out your baby yay for you! If you do, I recommend this cream. Yeah there are plenty of brands available at your local pharmacy but this one is by far the best!
Stretch Mark Cream
Stretch marks are inevitable and can show up literally overnight. While you should wear your tiger strips proudly in celebration of your body creating new life, you also shouldn’t be ashamed if you want them to fade quickly. I used Mederma stretch mark cream both while I was pregnant and postpartum and my stretch marks are barely visible.
Ultimately, the most important “must have” for recovering from having a baby is rest. Leave the dishes, ignore the laundry, accept the help from your village. Take advantage of every opportunity to rest. The more rest you get the quicker and easier your body will recover.