For those of you who are already moms, you know that there’s nothing glamorous about childbirth. Of course, holding the tiny little baby that you’ve been growing inside you for the past 9 months, for the first time, is an unexplainably magical moment; however the pain and recovery that comes along with it, is not quite as amazing.
Every woman has a different experience with child birth. Some may experience longer labor, stronger contractions, harder pushing, worse tearing, or perhaps an easier labor, but more difficult recovery including nipple pain from nursing, back pain, or hemorrhoids. I know, it doesn’t sound fun, but women keep doing it over and over again, so it can’t be that bad right?
For my first delivery, I was lucky to not have too much discomfort in the vaginal area, but experienced the most pain while breast feeding. For about the first week and a half, I would be in tears every time I had to nurse my baby because of the pain. It was hard as a mom to experience that, but everyone said it doesn’t last too long, and they were right!
I put together a Postpartum Survival Kit for a friend’s baby shower to give her an idea of things she would need right after delivery. Most of these items were life savers for me in helping with the pains during recovery. This is a great kit to put together for a baby shower, new mom, or even for yourself so you’re fully prepared. If you’re giving it as a gift, I also have a short poem that I wrote to go along with it.
The hospital provides a few of these items so use their supplies while you’re there and also make sure to ask the nurse for extras to take home with you. Also, check out my Hospital Delivery Bag post to make sure you’re well prepared for the hospital.
- Heavy Maxi Pads The hospital gave me super heavy absorbency pads- like 10 layers thick, no joke! These are heavy absorbency, but good for once you go home and the bleeding settles a bit. Expect to bleed for 2-6 weeks down there so its important to have these on stock.
- Dermoplast This will help cool and soothe your vaginal area if you have any tears and burning. It gives a temporary cooling relief so reapply often
- Briefs Yep, this is about how sexy you’re going to look for those first few weeks after the baby is born. Embrace it! But these ones are so soft and comfy, you’ll never want to take them off.
- Stool Softener It may be a little difficult to have a bowel movement so these just help speed things along. They’ll usually give these to you in the hospital, but be sure to have some for home.
- Hemorhoid Cream Like I said before, we all have different experiences with child birth- this was one of my necessities, but other women didn’t experience this symptom at all. It was really helpful to me though!
- Tucks pads Another healing and cooling aid that you can insert onto your pad in your undies for comfort.
- Perineal Cold Pack – These offer cooling relief for the vaginal area that can be placed in your undies as well. They provide these for you at the hospital so take as many home as you can if you’re still needing them when you leave.
- Ibuprofen or Motrin – This works wonders for the pain from postpartum uterine contractions you’ll get, as well as swelling and inflammation.
- Ameda Nipple Gel Pads- These were by far my favorite postpartum accessory! My nipples were soooo sore after the first couple nursing sessions that I could barely tolerate her feeding! I’m not sure if she was incorrectly latching or I just have extremely sensitive nipples, but ouch! One of my nurses recommended these to me and luckily they carried them in the hospital gift shop. I got them right away and they worked great! You can put them in the refrigerator so they are cool and keep them on your breasts in between nursing sessions. It basically numbs the pain. Honestly, I may have given up nursing if it wasn’t for these.
- Lanolin Cream This cream also helped soothe sore and cracked nipples. You can put this in the refrigerator for a cooling feeling. I tried to use more natural and organic products for myself and baby so I also bought Earth Mama’s Organic Nipple Butter, but could really tell the difference between the 2. If you’re experiencing very cracked and painful nipples- use the Lanolin!
- Lansinoh Breast Therapy 2-3 days after delivery, your milk will ‘come in’. This means that once your baby is finished eating the colostrum, your breasts begin to produce the real milk. This tends to lead to breast engorgement which is not pleasant. Your breasts end up feeling like rocks and painful to the touch. To somewhat relieve the pain, taking a warm shower helped me a lot! It helps to manually expel some of the milk which lessens the pressure. Another helpful tool were these breast therapy packs. You can use them cold (refrigerated) on your breasts to help relieve the engorgement pressure.
- Fenugreek – This is an herbal supplement that increases breast milk production. For me, I noticed my milk production slowing down when I started exercising again about 2 months after delivery, so this is when I started using them. I took one a day and could really notice my breasts filling up more. It can be used sooner if you don’t feel that your milk supply is providing enough for your baby.
- Boobie Bars These are a little treat that actually help increase breast milk production too. Just shortly after eating one bar, I could feel my milk production improving They really work and are quite tasty too!
- Suction Milk Saver This was an awesome tool to use during nursing! While you’re nursing your baby on one breast, the other breast leaks out milk too. Normally, you would just have a nursing pad in that side of your bra and it would soak it up to minimize the mess, but who wants to waste their precious breast milk?? Not me! 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!
- Nursing Pads – You’ll need a bunch of these because you’ll go through a few pairs a day while you’re leaking.
- Nursing Bras – I LOVE this Medela nursing bra. It’s so soft and comfortable and perfect for all day wear and sleeping. Regular nursing bras are super uncomfortable to sleep with because you need your nursing pads in there, plus your milk will leak all over if your boob slips out. These fit perfectly for all sizes.
Just For Fun
- Wine – No explanation needed
- Mama Wine Glass
- Mommy Coffee Mugs
- Breast Milk Alcohol Detection Strips – Because you can never be too careful when it comes to feeding your newborn. These strips are great for picking up any trace of alcohol found in your breast milk to give you peace of mind and reassurance that you’re safely feeding your baby after a drink or 2.
- Leggings I lived in leggings during pregnancy and for weeks after childbirth (actually I’m still living in them long after childbirth!) These leggings are so comfortable and soft and super cheap! Stock up on some because you’ll need comfy lounge clothes for awhile!
- Funny Parenting Game This is like Cards Against Humanity, but the crude parents version. Sometimes you just need a break from adulting and this is a great way to do that.
- Funny Parenting Book– Again, being a new parent can be so serious at times so it’s nice to have a comical break from the exhaustion. This is a hilarious book about the not-so-joyous times of parenting and know that you’re not alone!
- Mom Shirts
Poem for Postpartum Kit as a Gift