The 9 months leading up to the day you finally get to hold your sweet baby, you prepare for (almost) everything. The crib, the nursery, the milk bottles, and even Baby’s first outfit are carefully picked out. But I find many mothers either forget or spend very little time getting ready for their own postpartum care. After careful research and having gone through the postpartum recovery myself, I found 10 things that were extremely helpful and even sped up the recovery process that I wanted to share with expecting mamas!
Here the 10 most essential items you should consider when preparing for your postpartum care:
- Always Discreet Boutique Incontinence/Postpartum Disposable Underwear
- The greatest thing since sliced bread, seriously! I never liked those netted disposable “underwears” they gave me at the hospital. There’s no built-in padding and the pads they give you is just a very thick piece of absorbent material that does not do a good job staying in place inside the netted underwear. Every movement guarantees it from sliding right out of place! But the Always Discreet Underwears however, were an absolute lifesaver. Not only do they stay in place and are very comfortable (because it’s basically a highly absorbent underwear), I’ve never once leaked through them, ever!
- The one downside is the fragrance. I’d much rather go for a fragrance free brand but I couldn’t find one on the market.
- Earth Mama’s Perineal Spray
- This spray is infused with witch hazel and a lot of great herbal ingredients that help to speed up the recovery process. The natural cooling effect took the stings and pain off the edge. Also, a plus is that the sprayer works upside down so it’s never a hassle to spray wherever you need.
- Frida Mom Peri Bottle Wash
- So this peri bottle is ergonomically made to use upside down, and that’s something you wish all postpartum care peri bottles could do! The ones they give you at the hospital will not work upside down so make sure to pack this in your hospital bag (with the waterproof bag they give you) to use after every bathroom break! Cleanse the area with this bottle and just pat dry! Simple!
- Perineal Cold Pack
- If you’re not a big fan of prepping and freezing your own padsicles, then these are a must. All you need to do is fold and shake, shake, shake! In addition to a second-degree tear, I also had a sulcus tear which called for some extra soreness. One of the best ways to alleviate the pain during recovery was with cold packs. Though most hospitals will give you some, you’ll want a good stash at home. I would say I used 2-3 a day for about a week post-delivery. These cold packs do a great job taking the edge off of soreness and last for as long as 30 minutes.
- Stool softener
- Whether it’s prune juice or an OTC product like Colace, you’ll probably want to keep a stool softener on hand for the first couple times you go number 2. It can be a little scary the first time but with a stool softener, you’ll be able to go with no problem!
- Sitz Bath Salt
- I found taking a sitz bath with bath salts like these helpful for when I wanted an extra layer of protection and healing. Taking a sitz bath promotes blood flow in the perineal area thus speeding up recovery. Many women get hemorrhoids before and after giving birth and sitz baths with soothing salts help reduce inflammation.
- Full coverage large underwear
- After the disposable underwear days are over, you’ll be enjoying the next few weeks wearing large maxi pads. Full coverage, high-rise underwear helps keep them in place and trust me you’re going to want all the coverage and comfort you can get from an underwear. Don’t blame me if you become a permanent full-coverage underwear wearer! As soon as the stay-at-home order lifts, go to Walmart (cheapest place to purchase them) and grab a few or order some on Amazon.
- High-quality, non-toxic maxi pads
- My favorite non-toxic maxi pads brand were the Rael brand. They have both large size pads (for daytime) and extra long pads (for overnight) that you’ll definitely want. I also liked the Seventh Generation Chlorine-free Maxi Overnight pads with wings as well (a bit cheaper than the Rael brand). Everyone’s preferences are different so try a few different non-toxic brands and stick to the ones you feel most comfortable in!
- Bamboobies Reusable Nursing Pads
- It takes a little while for your milk supply to regulate but until then, there is a high chance your breasts will leak. Many times, when you’re breastfeeding on one side, the other side will have some let down which can leak through your nursing bra if you’re not wearing a nursing pad. Instead of going through boxes of disposable nursing pads, investing in a few reusable pairs will save you money in the long run and it’s better for the environment. These nursing pads are highly absorbent and are very soft. Bamboobies is also having a 40% sitewide sale right now with the code MAMA40 so snag some now!
- Earth Mama Nipple Butter
- Even if you’re a seasoned breastfeeding mom, breastfeeding will make your nipples sore in the beginning. I used this nipple butter even before it began to hurt and it made breastfeeding somewhat comfortable for me. Not only did I use this for myself, but I applied some on the scratches my baby made on her face and body. No joke within a few hours, the scratch marks would become faint and disappear by the next day! My daughter is now 9 months old and we still use it on occasional scratches and chapped skin in the winter. This nipple butter is made from organic beeswax so you don’t even have to wash it off before you breastfeed!
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