When you had your first baby, did anyone tell you what it would be like postpartum? For me, I didn’t know much until after I was pregnant and did a lot of my own research! I think it’s common for people to just not talk about what happens to your body or how to take care of yourself those critical few weeks after delivery. I’m certainly not an expert or medical professional, but I have learned some things along the way that helped me be more comfortable postpartum and recover more smoothly.
Here are my top 10 items for a smooth postpartum recovery at home!
Peri bottle | I use the free one from the hospital, but I have also heard great things about the Frida Mom reverse peri bottle. I was given a small bottle of the leftover surgical cleanser from my delivery, and so I fill the bottle with warm water, a little bit of cleanser, and spray away as you pee to dilute your urine. I liked to follow up with a little Mother Love spray just so I felt fresh each time.
Bidet | This was the best thing EVER! When we moved into our house, there was a TUSHY bidet already installed on our master toilet. I was adamant that we needed to remove it...until I realized it’s glory and magic! Trying to angle a peri bottle to squirt your butt after pooping postpartum is just...not ideal. This is genius! I have the TUSHY Spa, and I would run the water until it was a little bit warm, then angle it up to gently cleanse my tender hiney. Works like a charm, and worth every penny because you can use it for postpartum and beyond! Sometimes, I would also use a Tucks pad after the bidet splash to make sure everything was squeaky clean and soothed.
Disposable or Reusable Nursing Pads | I go through boxes of these just from leaking milk at night. I love the disposable ones for nighttime because they can absorb more liquid, and the reusable ones are great for daily use!
Hands-free Pumping and Nursing Bra / Tank | This is something I plan to invest in for the first time with this baby. I work part-time, and therefore I pump while I’m away from my baby. I hate the zip-up pumping bra contraption I currently have and can’t wait to use this so that I don’t have to disrobe myself every time I need to pump. I am also looking forward to using this to pump while I nurse.
Epsom salts | Have you ever heard of a sitz bath? Yeah, me either, until I was in the hospital after I delivered our first. I made the mistake the first time around of not using it enough, but the second time, it was my saving grace! I used the sitz bath they gave me at the hospital to take home, but you can purchase your own, too. I added lavender epsom salts to the warm water and soaked in the bubbly pot for several minutes at a time. The heat helps increase blood flow to your injured areas which can aid in healing! I also loved it because it helped me get a few minutes of alone time where I could just breathe and rest.
Donut pillow | Planning on getting one for this delivery! When you’re resting as much as possible after you get home, sitting can become painful. I’m planning to use this to help alleviate that. I will be taking it with me to the hospital, too, because the hospital bed is just so dang uncomfortable!
Nipple Cream | I majorly stocked up on this with my second because I suffered from SO MUCH nipple pain when I nursed my first. I was determined I would not allow this to happen ever again! Turns out I didn’t need such a large stock, but I still used it after every single nursing session to keep my nipples moisturized and reduce any soreness.
Overnight pads and briefs | Did you know that you can bleed for up to 6 weeks postpartum, whether you deliver vaginally or c-section? And bonus, you cannot use tampons or menstrual cups. So I stock up on the nicest, comfiest pads I can find and pair them with the cheapest, loosest pairs of ladies’ cotton briefs I can find. I tried the disposable underwear, but it was such a pain to change, wasn’t comfortable, and kinda sweaty-feeling. So now I opt for cheap cotton undies I can throw away if I need to and super pads. The hospital often provides cooling / ice pads, and I used those for a little while, but ended up preferring the sitz bath over the padsicles.
Pretty, but comfortable pajamas | It’s just nice to feel a little bit pretty and human after you deliver. I like sleeping in nursing tanks and soft pajama bottoms that coordinate so I feel at least like I’ve done something to be “put-together.” I splurged a bit for this set, but holy moly it is so good and worth every penny. Gorgeous print, perfect for nursing, and it has a wide-band, elastic waist that will be comfortable as my belly shrinks back down. I linked some other, less expensive options below, too!
Big water bottle with straws | It’s so important to drink water after delivery, especially if you are breastfeeding. I like having ice water available in large quantities at all times, and this cup and straw are perfect!
Bonus item! Haakaa | Ok, I know I said this was a “Top 10,” but I had to add this little miracle product! The Haakaa is a silicone, manual breast pump that you can attach to the opposite breast while you’re nursing. It collects all the let-down milk that would otherwise leak into your nursing pad or shirt. That stuff is like gold, so don’t let it go to waste and use a Haakaa to keep every last drop. I like the one that comes with a lid and a suction bottom to prevent spills. Yes, you’re allowed to cry over this spilled milk - but let’s avoid that!
If you are expecting, I wish you all the best for your delivery and postpartum recovery! These items have been life-savers as well as comforts to me in the past, and I hope they will be for you as well. If you've birthed a baby before, what are your must-haves for postpartum?
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