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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 having a baby is gonna make you sore and tired.
So make it EASIER on yourself!
With this postpartum essentials checklist, you’ll find everything you need after birth.
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Postpartum Essentials Checklist
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!
These extra-heavy-duty pads work really well for postpartum bleeding.
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!
You can get yourself a peri bottle for under $4 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!
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.
This is the kind that I used after my pregnancy.
Having something like an icepack, frozen peas, or even padiscles will help give your hoo-ha some relief during recovery.
I would have a few at hand that you can use. I had 2-3 bags of frozen peas (yes I used peas cause yes I was unprepared) that I could rotate out so I always had one ready to go!
Just remember NOT to put them directly on your skin or you’ll get frostbite! Either wrap it up in cloth or have something thick enough on top of your skin to help protect it.
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.
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 those they are comfy and aren’t too tight, I’d say you’re good to go!
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!
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!
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.
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.
Inside your postpartum care kit, I’d be sure to have some Epsom salt.
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.
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!
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!
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!
Unfortunately, nursing can make your nipples super sore in the beginning. But you can use nipple cream to help reduce some of the pain.
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”.
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!
This is my favorite nursing pillow! It gives great support and is very firm and flat to help keep baby is position as well!
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 all ready 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!
Have lots of snacks like trail mix, dried fruit, granola bars, and other easy things that you can eat throughout the day.
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.
How Long is the Postpartum Period?
Even though your bleeding only lasts about 6-8 weeks, the postpartum period can last up to 6 months!
It’s actually divided into 3 stages; the first being the acute phase which lasts 6-12 hours after childbirth, the subacute phase which can last 2-6 weeks and the 3rd is the delayed postpartum period that can, surprisingly, last up to 6 months.
This article here talks more about the postpartum period and how you’ll be physically and mentally around that time.
(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.)
What is your number 1 on your postpartum essentials checklist? 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!