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Last Updated on September 12, 2021 by MaKenna | MamaKenna

When I was pregnant I was so focused on the pregnancy, and the labor, and the fact there was gonna be a BABY that I completely didn’t think about the postpartum period.

Mistake number 1.

But I know a lot of women do this! So don’t feel bad if you’ve ignored this as well!

My advice, start getting prepared for postpartum BEFORE baby comes! Cause after you have that baby you’re gonna be sore and tired.

This postpartum care kit checklist will help you figure out all the must-haves that you’ll need at home!

Look below to see what they are!

And don’t miss your free printable postpartum checklist at the bottom of this page!

 

(This page may contain affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclaimer policy here.)

 

Postpartum Care Kit Must-Haves

 

Maxi Pads

Postpartum bleeding is VERY heavy in the beginning. So get super-absorbent pads.

Yep you know, the ones that are BIG and LONG. So it’ll help give you full coverage with (hopefully) no leaks!

Think of it as a super heavy period.

But once it starts to lighten up you can change it to a smaller pad for the duration of your postpartum period.

BUT NO TAMPONS! PADS ONLY!

pads are a postpartum care must have

These extra-heavy-duty pads work really well for postpartum bleeding.

 

Related Post: Best Postpartum Pads for After Birth

 

Peri bottle

Part of your postpartum care routine is using a peri bottle. The hospital will probably give you one when you’re there but it

You’re gonna be using it every day multiple times a day.

Now, whenever you go to the bathroom to do your “business” fill it up with some warm water and use it to help clean yourself down there.

Keeping it clean down there will help prevent infections.

The hospital will probably give you one when you’re there, but having an extra one just in case isn’t a bad idea!

postpartum recovery kit item

You can get yourself a peri bottle here!

 

Witch Hazel Pads

These were a total lifesaver for me!

Like these are number 1 on my postpartum essentials checklist!

I ended up having to get stitches after giving birth and these guys helped SO much! The cooling effect from the witch hazel pads gave me great relief and made it feel so much better (but be sure to put them in the fridge to help give it that cooling effect)!

You’ll probably be changing them out at least every time you go to the bathroom if not more.

The hospital gave me a container of them after I had my baby but I used them so much I ended up needing more.

So I’ll definitely be buying extra packs of these for next time!

postpartum recovery essentials

You can get these tucks pads for yourself here.

 

Pain Relieving Spray

When you’re done going to the bathroom and clean yourself up down there with the peri bottle, you can use a pain-relieving spray to help reduce some of the pain during postpartum recovery.

You may actually end up getting some from the hospital.

pain spray is a great item for postpartum care

This is the kind that I used after my pregnancy.

 

Cold Packs

Having something like an icepack, cooling pads, or even padiscles will help give your hoo-ha some relief during recovery.

After my first pregnancy, I was not prepared. I ended up wrapping up frozen bags of peas with a towel to help with the soreness.

But with my second I got these life-saving pads!

These pads helped me SO MUCH and would definitely use them again!

You can check out these Medline cooling pads here!

Just keep in mind that this pad’s absorbency is moderate but they do sell ones for heavier bleeding as well.

 



Heating Pads

You’re gonna have some mighty cramps from your uterus trying to shrink back down to normal size.

And yes cramps will get worse with every baby you have. So having a heating pad may help relieve some of the pain from those postpartum cramps.

A heated rice sock works just as well too!

 

Comfy Undies

Time to get out those lovely (but comfy) granny panties that we love so much!

Either get some period (as in not super nice looking) underwear made from cotton or disposable underwear like the ones you get at the hospital.

After you give birth, you’re gonna want to be as comfortable as possible!

One thing I would like to suggest is not wearing underwear that is tight.

The underwear that I wore felt fine and I wouldn’t even have said that it was “too tight” but they were and it was uncomfortable and HURT.

So I would definitely wear a BIGGER-sized pantie.

But as long as they are comfy and aren’t too tight, I’d say you’re good to go!

 

Comfortable Clothes

Again, you’re gonna want to be as comfortable as you can! So put on some comfy loose PJs, find your robe, and grab those slippers!

comfy clothing is a must on your postpartum kit checklist

Something I would say is a new mom must-have is this nursing gown! It was my absolute favorite thing to wear during pregnancy AND postpartum!

Not only was it lose and comfy but it gave me easy access for breastfeeding!

 

Related Post: Best Postpartum Clothes for After BIrth

 

Pain Killers

I’ve never taken pain medication before so I thought I would be just fine without it.

Then a couple of days later of not taking them, the stitches I had gotten were now EXTREMELY PAINFUL.

I mean could barely walk or get out of bed and had ice packs on there consistently!

So, I finally decided to start taking them. After that, I felt so much better (duh)!

So, my advice to you is to have some kind of pain management around the house. Even if you’re like me and aren’t planning on taking them, at least they’ll be there just in case you change your mind.

When you’re at the hospital they should prescribe some for you while you’re there.



Stool Softeners

Why would you need stool softeners?

Well, some women get hemorrhoids from pushing during delivery and if you have any tears or stitches down there it’s gonna be pretty sensitive.

Eliminating the feeling of having to “push” so much while you’re healing will make for less straining and discomfort when you go to the bathroom.

Your hospital may prescribe some for you during your stay there.

 

Epsom Salt

Inside your postpartum care kit, I’d be sure to have some Epsom salt.

Why?

Well, if you’re planning on taking sitz baths (which I hope you are) you’ll want to use Epsom salts.

Taking sitz baths will help reduce swelling and can help speed up the healing process!

You can even add certain herbs or essential oils to help get an even more therapeutic effect.

epsom salt is a great item for after birth care kit

You can get some to add to your sitz baths here!

 

Nursing Bras

Nursing bras will not only provide support but they also help give you easy access for when you go to breastfeed the baby.

AND it’ll keep those lovely nursing pads on and in place! But be sure it’s not too tight though!

Cause like I keep preaching, you want to be extra comfy!

 

Nursing Pads

In the beginning, you’ll leak.

And I mean A LOT.

I can’t even tell how bad I use to.

I mean it was like 24/7!

nursing pads are a must for breastfeeding moms during postpartum
So nursing pads are something I absolutely recommend.

Cause if you don’t. You’re gonna be soaked in breastmilk all the time.

Wearing nursing pads will help keep you, the baby, the bed, your partner (it was literally everywhere you guys) and your clothes dry!

You can buy some breastfeeding pads here.

 

Nipple Cream

Unfortunately, nursing can make your nipples super sore in the beginning. But you can use nipple cream to help reduce some of the pain.

nipple cream will help during your postpartum recovery

This all-natural nipple cream is what I used and it worked very well for me. They use USDA Certified Organic Ingredients and it’s lanolin-free!

I’ve also heard of people using coconut oil and even their own breast milk as a “nipple cream”.

You can buy the Motherlove nipple cream here.

 

Nursing Pillow

Having some kind of nursing pillow or even an old pillow you don’t use anymore to use while you’re breastfeeding.

I didn’t think I’d ever use one for nursing but once I did it saved my arms and my back! It helped me to position myself better (to help avoid back pain) and made breastfeeding much more comfortable for me.

I wouldn’t say you need one but it really does help!

nursing pillows help a lot while you're recovering after birth

This is my favorite nursing pillow! It gives great support and is very firm and flat to help keep baby is position as well!

You can check out why this breastfeeding pillow is #3 for nursing pillows on Amazon here!

 



Prenatal Vitamins

Yes, your doctor may tell you to continue taking your prenatal vitamins even after pregnancy as they’ll still benefit you and your breastfeeding baby!

 

Big Water Bottle

You should be drinking plenty of water during postpartum recovery, especially if you’re breastfeeding.

At the hospital, they gave me this HUGE cup to drink from.

So something I think new moms need for themselves is a big water bottle! That way you can go longer without having to get up fill it again.

It may sound kinda silly but trust me. You want to make everything as easy as possible for yourself. And even the little things (like having a bigger water bottle) can help.

 

Movies & TV Shows

If you don’t have Netflix or Hulu then get a stack of your favorite movies and TV shows already and prepared for when you get back home.

After you have a baby you should be resting and relaxing. So lay back with your newborn and start binge-watching!

Like a little postpartum marathon!

 

Snacks

Have lots of snacks like trail mix, dried fruit, granola bars, and other easy things that you can eat throughout the day.

 

Pre-Made/Easy-to-Make Foods

You’re healing, tired, hurting, and taking care of a NEWBORN BABY.

It is just straight-up EXHAUSTING in the beginning. So the last thing you want to be doing is cooking meals all day.

As I said make it easy for yourself.

So have lots of food that’s frozen and premade for you and other quick and easy meals.

 

When should I create my postpartum care kit?

 

I would start buying items sometime during your 3rd trimester.

But definitely start at least 4 weeks before your due date.

That way you’ll be prepared and won’t have to worry about it.

diy postpartum care kit basket

You can make your own DIY postpartum recovery kit by storing your items (pads, cooling pads, pain spray, peri bottle) in a basket in the bathroom.

 

What does the hospital give you for postpartum?

 

The hospital will provide you with a peri bottle and some pads.

Everything else will just depend on the hospital.

After my first birth, they gave me some breastfeeding tools, tucks pads, and pain relief spray.

With my second they only had pad cooling pads and pain relief spray.

So expect to get something to help with the pain and healing along with the pads and peri bottle.

They also give you stool softeners and pills to help relieve some of the pain.

 

How long does it take for everything to heal after giving birth?

 

They typically say 6-8 weeks but everyone’s recovery is different. My fourth trimester experience was even different the second time!

But it can take months until you feel “normal” again.

In fact, it can take up to a year until your body is actually back to normal. I mean you were growing a baby for 9 WHOLE MONTHS!

Your body went through A LOT of changes so it makes sense that it would take about the same amount of time for your body after pregnancy.

But if you feel like something is wrong and you are having super heavy bleeding (as in soaking through one pad in an hour), large blood clots, a fever, an incision that isn’t healing, a red or swollen leg that warm/painful to the touch, or a bad headache that isn’t getting better and/or is affecting your vision call your doctor right away.

More serious ones where you would need to call 911 are is you are experiencing chest pain, having seizures, or having trouble breathing and/or having shortness of breath.

 

What should you not do after giving birth?

 

You just had a baby! Be careful, take it easy on yourself, and let your body HEAL!

Things you should avoid after birth are:

  • Sex
  • Tampons
  • Heavy Lifting
  • Swimming
  • Intense Exercises
  • Tight Clothing

 

Printable PDF Postpartum Checklist

free printable postpartum pdf checklist

 

 

(Please keep in mind that I am now a doctor. I am only a Mom who is going off of her own experiences and research. If you’d like to know more you can read my full disclaimer policy here.)

 

Related Posts:

How to Take a Postpartum Sitz Bath

The Postpartum Care Plan You Need

Super Weird Postpartum Symptoms

 

best postpartum recovery essentials for new moms

What is your number must-have item in your postpartum care kit? Are there other things you think SHOULD be on this list? Let me know in the comments! And if you liked this post, give it a share! Thanks!

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