Pregnant women spend all the time preparing and getting ready for your new baby, but you need to focus on yourself. That means gathering up the postpartum essentials you need before your baby arrives.
Taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your baby.
Your body went through a massive change in a short period of time, and you have a lot of healing you need to do. Getting prepared ahead of time for your healing is essential. You don’t want to try to figure out what to need when you get home and feel sleep deprived.
You also don’t want to make a pit stop at Target on the way home from the hospital OR send your husband.
He will never be able to find Maxi pads.
So, let’s take a look at my top postpartum essentials and what you need to have at home, ready for you.
Related Post: What to Pack in Your Hospital Delivery Bag
This post may contain affiliate links for which I would receive a small commission if you were to make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.
20 Postpartum Essentials for Mom You Need
1. Pads or Period Panties
To contain all the bleeding for several weeks postpartum, you’ll need to wear a heavy-duty maxi pad.
Get the biggest and most absorbent maxi-pads that you can find. I also suggest grabbing pads with different absorbency because the postpartum bleeding decreases over time.
However, if you have been used to wearing tampons during your period, maxi pads can be super uncomfortable. I highly recommend investing in some period panties instead.
Loch is the blood discharge that comes from your uterus after you give birth. It’s a combination of blood, mucus, and uterine tissue, and most women experience bleeding up to six weeks. Your bleeding comes and goes; this is totally normal!
Postpartum Period Panties
Thinx Period Underwear contain their own absorption material so you don’t have to walk around with those bulky pads in your underwear. Made with built-in leak protection, Thinx are menstrual underwear that absorb your period without feeling bulky. Plus, the high-waist will help to keep that postpartum belly a bit contained.
- Bambody Period Underwear – More affordable option
- Disposable Period Underwear – No washing necessary
- Kindred Bravely High-Waist Postpartum Underwear (no absorption) plus Heavy Maxi Pads with Wings – If you want to go the standard maxi pad route
The honest truth is that it’s going to be some time before you wear your normal underwear again, especially if you end up with a c-section. High-waisted underwear is the way to go.
2. Witch Hazel Pads
There’s no doubt about it, your vagina will be sore after birth. However, every woman’s recovery time will vary. I only experienced pain “down there” for 4-5 days, but some women continue having discomfort for weeks.
These items should be included in your postpartum essentials to take away the sting, soreness, and burn you may feel during postpartum recovery.
Frida Mom Peri Bottle
This upside-down, ergonomic design offers easy cleaning “down there” when you have limited mobility during recovery. This way, you won’t put pressure on your sore areas or incision. Squeeze the bottle to shoot out a continuous stream of warm water for relief in the right spot. This is truly a life saver!
- Angled Peri Bottle – More affordable
- Hospital Peri Bottle – These are the ones that they typically give to you at the hospital. Take them from there if you can, but otherwise grab some cheap ones.
Make sure you have some sort of peri bottle on hand. Wiping down there is a serious no-go; many c-section moms swear by using peri bottles too because your vagina will still be sore afterward.
So, skip the toilet paper and make sure you include peri bottles in your postpartum necessities.
3. Witch Hazel Pads
You absolutely want to have some witch hazel pads on hand for your postpartum essentials. Witch hazel pads decrease pain, swelling, and bruising in your vaginal area.
Plus, they fight off hemorrhoids, an unfortunate side effect for many women during labor and delivery.
These offer cooling and soothing relief for the vaginal area. Simply place them in your underwear on top of your pad and you’ll feel instant relief.
The truth is that hemorrhoids are a common problem after delivery, so having Tuck’s Pads will help with this as well.
It’s easy to use these. Just place them on top of your regular pad, or you can fold and place near your hemorrhoids.
4. Sitz Bath
Vaginal birth is tough on your bottom, and your entire region will be sore. It makes sense since a baby just came out.
One of my favorite ways to decrease my discomfort was to use a sitz bath. These help ease discomfort while reducing swelling and promoting proper hygiene.
This fits on any size toilet and the warm water sitz bath improves hygiene and promotes blood flow around the anogenital region. This one even circulates the water, unlike the ones they use at the hospital. Simply add the sitz bath soak (listed below), warm water, sit on it, and watch the magic happen!
Sitz Bath Salt
The warm water sitz bath improves hygiene and promotes blood flow around the anogenital region. You can add this to a normal sitz bath, but the one mentioned above is the best option.
Related Post: How to Make Padsicles for Postpartum Recovery
5. Heat or Ice Packs
Another one of my top postpartum essentials are heating pads or ice packs. They provide much needed relief to your vaginal area.
Perineal Cold Packs offer cold relief (just without the witch hazel). They should provide these for you at the hospital so take as many home as you can!
If you don’t want the cold, try a heating pad. You’ll have uterine cramping for the few few days after delivery. Heat feels great and works well at relieving those cramps along with any back aches you might have.
All you need is a simple plug-in heating pad for some quick relief.
6. Pain-Relieving Spray
I’m all about relieving discomfort and pain in the weeks following labor and delivery. Having pain relieving spray helps numb your perineal area and provides immediate relief.
You definitely want this on hand.
You’ll never know if you will tear or not, so Dermoplast numbs you and prevents itching, which happens during the healing process.
This spray will help cool and soothe your vaginal area if you have any tears and burning. It gives a temporary cooling relief so reapply often.
7. Stool Softener
Not only can childbirth mess up your vagina, but it can do a number on your butt (since the two are so close together).
It may be difficult to have a bowel movement after birth so these just help speed things along. Don’t worry, it’s not a laxative to make you go, but it will soften your stool so when it does come out, you won’t have to strain. They’ll usually give these to you in the hospital, but be sure to have some for home.
8. Hemorrhoid Cream
This was one of my necessities during postpartum, but I know many other women didn’t experience this symptom at all. However, if you are prone to hemorrhoids or know that you already have them, you most certainly will get them after birth. This cream helps soothe the area so it’s not so painful when you have a bowel movement or sit down.
9. Postpartum Pillow (Donut Cushion)
For all those pains that you’ll experience from a vaginal delivery, you’ll want to take the pressure off that area while sitting. This pillow helps relieve the pressure you’ll feel from hemorrhoids and soreness to make healing quicker and easier.
10. For All-Over Pain Relief
Most women think that the recovery pain from childbirth is just caused by the watermelon-sized object coming out of your vagina.
However, the rest of your body may experience soreness too. You may have headaches, body aches from pushing with all your muscles, uterine contractions from it shrinking down, and nipple tenderness during breastfeeding.
I definitely suggest adding some sort of OTC pain reliever into your postpartum essentials.
This works wonders for the pain from postpartum uterine contractions, as well as any body soreness, swelling, and inflammation. You’ll want to be taking it regularly for the first few days.
Related Post: 18 Things You Should Not Do After Giving Birth
111. Ameda ComfortGel Breast Pads
A baby suckling on your breast is probably a very different experience for most new moms. Depending on how sensitive your nipples are and how the baby is latching, this may be a source of much pain and discomfort in the early days of breastfeeding.
It’s important to note that soreness is totally normal, but bleeding is not. If you notice your nipples are bleeding, get in contact with an IBCLC for some help!
These were by far my biggest postpartum essential! These gel pads go right over your nipples (in your bra) when you’re not feeding, to basically numb the pain. You can put them in the refrigerator so they are cool and keep them on your breasts in between nursing sessions. They offer immediate relief to sore and cracked nipples.
12. Nipple Cream
Another one of my top postpartum essentials is nipple cream. My nipples always felt better when I used cream regularly while nursing in those early weeks.
Lansinoh Lanolin Cream
This cream also helps soothe sore and cracked nipples. You can put this in the refrigerator for a cooling feeling, as well. If you’re experiencing very cracked and painful nipples- use Lanolin!
- Earth Mama’s Organic Nipple Butter – This will get in baby’s mouth while nursing, so you may want to go a more natural and organic route.
If you’re planning on breastfeeding, make sure you’re in the know about how to get prepared for breastfeeding. There is a lot to learn and you want to start off strong when it comes to nursing your baby. Take Milkology’s Breastfeeding course to learn ALL the basics to get through the struggles of breastfeeding as a new mom.
13. Lansinoh Breast Therapy
Whether or not you choose to breastfeed, your milk will come in any way about 2-3 days postpartum. This means that once your baby is finished eating the colostrum, your breasts begin to produce the real milk. This causes your breasts to become engorged with milk and get rock hard to the touch.
To relieve the pain, these breast therapy packs can be cold (refrigerated) on your breasts to help relieve the engorgement pressure.
- Taking a hot shower and running the water over your breasts helps
- Manually expressing a little bit of milk will also help to relieve pressure
14. Nursing Pads
Between breastfeeding (and even during a feeding), the breasts that are not being suckled by a baby will leak milk. You’ll need some items to soak up the milk so it doesn’t leak through your bra/shirt and also to save it for another time.
Nursing pads protect your clothing from milk leaks. The last thing you want is to add to your laundry pile with milk-stained shirts.
These Kindred Bravely nursing pads are so soft and can be washed and worn again after they are soaked up with milk.
- Bamboo nursing pads – More affordable option
- Disposable nursing pads – These are disposable and can be worn, thrown out, and replaced with a fresh pair – no need to wash!
15. Elvie Curve Suction Milk Saver
Breasts leak – we all know that. But, you don’t have to let that go to waste. I suggest having some sort of milk saver as part of your postpartum essentials if you decide to breastfeed.
Milk savers aren’t pumps; they simply attach to your breast with some sort of suction so they stay in place. Then, they collect the leaking milk, and you can add all of that to your milk stash!
Instead of letting all that milk go to waste in a nursing pad, start saving it! This ‘pump’ is just a plastic tube that suctions onto the opposite breast and helps stimulate it a little bit more so you will end up saving all your extra milk without having to use a pump. You don’t even need to hold it in place because this will sit right in your bra.
- Haakaa Suction Milk Saver – A more affordable option, however it doesn’t nestle nicely in your bra like the Elvie curve. It will stick out and then you’ll risk spillage, however it sucks out the milk great!
Related Post: How to Prepare for Breastfeeding Before Baby Arrives
Don’t forget to order your FREE breast pump through insurance! Aeroflow Breastpumps will confirm your eligibility so sign up today!
16. Nursing Bras
Technically, regular bras work for nursing, but I highly suggest you grab some breastfeeding bras. These make nursing and access much easier.
You have several styles to consider, but I lived in my Terry nursing bras; they’re so comfortable!
Kindred Bravely French Terry Nursing Bra
If I could just pick one nursing bra to have, it would be one that is the most comfortable to sleep in. Let’s face it, you’re probably not leaving the house anyway! I LOVE this Kindred Bravely nursing bra. It’s so soft and comfortable and perfect for all day wear and sleeping. You’ll be nursing a ton in the beginning so you want something that makes breastfeeding easily accessible.
17. Comfortable Clothing
You aren’t dressing to impress during your postpartum recovery period. This time is all about comfort.
I lived in leggings, lounge wear, and oversized t-shirts. Now is the time to relax, and you need comfy clothing to do so.
High-Waisted Postpartum Leggings
I lived in leggings during pregnancy and for weeks after childbirth. These leggings are so comfortable and soft and really tuck in that postpartum belly! Stock up on some because you’ll need comfy lounge clothes for awhile!
This is a great postpartum recovery kit to put together for a baby shower, new mom, or even for yourself so you’re fully prepared.
18. Snacks and More Snacks
Last, but definitely NOT least, snacks. You need all the snacks in your postpartum survival kit.
I made a basket with all of my favorite snacks; the nights are long and you are starving after. I bugged my nurses in the hospital for snacks all night long.
Preparing a basket at home with snacks will help you during those long nights of breastfeeding.
A few postpartum snacks that I love are:
- Granolar bars
- Protein bars
- Trail Mix
19. Big Water Bottles
No one told me that I would feel like I was dying of thirst during my postpartum recovery. So, part of your postpartum essentials should be a few big insulated water bottles.
You need to stay hydrated so you don’t lose your milk supply! Moms need to drink at last eight glasses of water per day.
20. Pink Stork Postpartum Tea
I love all things by Pink Stork, and their Postpartum Tea supports your hormones and mood during your recovery. It helps your body relax and focuses on emotional well-being.
Pink Stork created this tea with 100% organic ingredients, and each package makes 30 cups total. Plus, it’s totally caffeine-free.
Tips for Postpartum Recovery and Healing
In addition to using the postpartum essentials mention above, it’s important to take care of yourself and your health during this time.
Every woman’s experience will be different, but here are a few tips that any new mom needs to know:
- Be patient and easy on yourself – Keep your expectations low and focus on rest and time with your baby.
- Keep taking your prenatal vitamins– Especially if you’re breastfeeding.
- Get good nutrition. You’ll be very hungry while breastfeeding and in the days after childbirth. Prep healthy freezer meals, have friends set up a meal train, use a meal delivery service, or take up friends and family members on their offers to bring food.
- Get fresh air – it will do a lot to boost your mood and speed your recovery.
- Pay a house cleaner if you can swing it, or let family and friends help you!
- Stay hydrated. You’ll be so thirsty while breastfeeding so make sure you stay hydrated.
- Follow up with your OB as scheduled.
- Talk to someone– Your significant other, a mom friend, a midwife, a lactation consultant, your therapist, or whoever you’re comfortable with. Postpartum can be a tricky time emotionally and talking to a supportive person usually helps.
- Sleep as much as you can– You’ll be back to your normal routine soon, so don’t feel guilty taking the recovery time you need.
Related Post: 27 Must-Haves on Your Second Baby Registry
I hope you have found all the tips and postpartum essentials to making your recovery as easy as possible. Be prepared before your baby even arrives by putting together your postpartum care kit well in advance!