Making sure you have everything on your postpartum checklist for a speedy recovery? In search of all the best postpartum essentials for new moms?
Giving birth was truly an empowering experience for me, but I was pretty surprised by all the postpartum discomforts that come with. After delivering two babies, I’ve rounded up all the best tools for postpartum relief. These tools will help you recover quicker, so you can spend more time enjoying all those newborn snuggles.
In this post, we’ll lay out all the postpartum essentials that will help you thrive during those first few weeks as a new mom. We’ll cover all the best tools for breastfeeding, postpartum cramps, perineal pain, and much more. We’ll even give you a few more things to add to your to-do list, so you can find plenty of time to help yourself heal.
An Ultimate Postpartum Recovery Checklist for New Moms
This boobs to butt checklist includes all the best postpartum essentials for mom after birth. Be sure to have these handy, so you can recover quickly.
For the Boobs
Some nipple soreness is pretty common in those early days of breastfeeding. It’ll take a little bit of time for your baby to perfect his latch and for your nipples to toughen up.
Help ease the pain with Earth Mama’s Organic Nipple Butter. This nipple cream is comprised of herbs that soothe and moisturize. It’s free of petroleum, parabens, and lanolin, and there’s no need to wash it off before nursing.
This stuff was a total lifesaver with my first baby. She was born early, and it took her about a good month to get the hang of breastfeeding.
If you’re in extreme pain while nursing, or still experiencing soreness after the first few weeks of breastfeeding, be sure to meet with a lactation consultant as soon as possible to have your baby evaluated for latch issues and tongue/lip ties.
Another one of my favorite products for sore nipples were these Soothies Gel Pads. I’d keep them in the fridge and put them on after each nursing session.
They had such a nice, cooling effect, and provided instant relief. I used these with both of my kiddos during that first week of breastfeeding and will plan to use these again if I decide to have another.
I can’t tell you how many times I woke up drenched in breast milk with my first baby. Especially, around the 2-3 month age when she slept so nicely (that was short lived!). I hated those disposable nursing pads. They were itchy, felt like paper, and were a total waste.
With baby #2, I decided to invest in some eco-friendly reusable nursing pads. I ended up getting this set, and I couldn’t have been more happy with my decision. These were comfy, great for the environment, and saved me from leaks. They also saved me money and came with a handy storage and laundry bag.
If you’re planning on breastfeeding, you’ll want to get some nursing bras for easy access. I wouldn’t buy too many before your baby’s here though, because your bra size may change.
I honestly wore these sleeper nursing bras like all the time. They were extremely comfortable, yet supportive. And, I liked not having to deal with clips and hooks in the middle of the night.
Some nursing tanks are also great to have, and they can save you a ton of money on buying nursing clothes. You can wear these under any shirt or sweater and still nurse easily in public.
For the Belly
I so wish I would’ve gotten one of these earlier. A postpartum recovery wrap can help retrain your abdominal muscles, ease postpartum back pain, and trim your waist line.
These help you gain back your confidence and feel comfortable in your skin postpartum. Not to mention, they help speed up healing. They even make wraps designed for c-section recoveries.
You guys, coconut oil is an absolute must for both mom and baby. Coconut oil helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks, moisturizes dry skin, and even works wonders as a nipple cream.
You can even use coconut oil for your baby’s cradle cap or eczema. It also works great as a diaper rash preventative and is even safe to use with cloth diapers.
Look for organic, extra-virgin, cold-pressed, and unrefined when picking out your coconut oil.
Heat will come in handy when those postpartum cramps begin to hit. Your uterus will contract in order to get itself back down to its normal size. And, if you’re breastfeeding or have given birth before, your postpartum cramps are much more likely to be stronger and more painful.
Invest in an auto shut-off heating pad, so you can get some relief without losing too much sleep (more than you’re already losing that is). This felt so nice for both my uterine cramps and my back pain after each of my babies.
For the Va-Ja-Ja
Enjoy aunt ruby not making her visits for 9 months? Well, now she’s about to make up for that, as you can expect to have some bleeding for up to 4-6 weeks postpartum.
That bleeding will probably be heavy that first week or two, so be sure to stock up on some quality maxi pads. I normally use cloth mama pads, but my stitches would snag on the cloth, so I ended up using Seventh Generation chlorine-free pads with wings.
If you’re having a hospital birth, you’ll probably be able to take a pack of these home with you. But, if you want extras or you’re having a home birth, you’ll probably want to pick up some of these awesome (that’s not a joke) mesh undies.
They may look silly, but they’re comfortable and help catch the overflow blood. That way all your regular underwear don’t get ruined. I know some moms even just go the adult diaper route instead.
Another thing you’ll probably get from the hospital is a peri-bottle to help rinse off after bathroom visits. It also helps relieve any burning or stinging you may have while urinating if you squirt the warm water onto your perineum.
A 3 pack is actually super cheap, and will come in handy if you have multiple bathrooms in your house or if you’re planning to have a home birth.
Your vagina is probably going to be pretty swollen, sore, and sensitive those first few weeks postpartum. It may even be itchy or just down-right painful. This Earth Mama Perineal Spray has a nice cooling effect that’ll help ease all that discomfort.
Bonus, it’s free of parabens, butane, propellants, and artificial preservatives and fragrances. It’s especially helpful after bathroom visits, but you can mist as often as needed. It also has a lovely cucumber scent, which actually helped me feel better about my lady parts.
Witch hazel pads are another great tool for postpartum care. In fact, these were one of my favorite things for relief.
Their cooling effect helps ease perineal pain, minimizes itching and irritation, and aids in hemorrhoid discomfort. Simply place 2-3 in a row on top of your pad after each bathroom trip.
One more thing you might want to add to your postpartum checklist is a portable sitz bath. This is another excellent option for perineal and hemorrhoidal relief.
Soak your perineum in warm water 2-3 times per day with epsom salts or herbal formulas for optimal comfort and refreshment. Sitz baths can be especially helpful for moms who tore or had to have a episiotomy during delivery.
For the Booty
Turns out, it hurts to sit normally after you give birth vaginally. It’s even difficult to change positions those first few days postpartum. Help take some of the pressure off with a donut seat, like this orthopedic one.
These are also great to use if you have postpartum hemorrhoids, like I did. A must-have to sit up comfortably while breastfeeding. It’s also great for using in the car or if you’ve unfortunately suffered from a broken tailbone from giving birth.
The hospital may give you an inflatable donut seat, but I found the cushioned ones to be much more comfortable. Plus, you don’t have to blow it up!
I thought constipation during pregnancy was rough. But, pooping postpartum was even more difficult. Lucikly, there are lots of natural remedies that help get things moving again.
This Natural Calm is loaded with magnesium, so it helps soften your bowel movements, making it easier for you to poop postpartum. It also helps ease stress, calm you down before bedtime, and minimize anxiety. It even helps with postpartum cramps!
Some other natural stool softeners you could try include prune juice, lots and lots of water, aloe vera juice, vitamin c, and probiotics.
Positioning will also help get things moving again after giving birth. The squatty potty properly aligns your colon, so you can poop better.
It’s fully adjustable, so you can position your colon and muscles to have fast, easy, and comfortable poops postpartum, or anytime you might be backed up.
Plus, a Few More Practical Things
Another one of my absolute must-haves for postpartum is a large, quality water bottle with a straw. Staying hydrated will help keep your breast milk supply up, make it easier for you to poop, help prevent postpartum kidney stones, and just keep you healthier in general.
I say with a straw because breastfeeding makes you THIRSTY, and having a straw will give you easy one-handed access to H2O while you’re nursing.
Easy-to-grab snacks will be your best friend as a new mom. Stick with nutritious foods, like raw fruits and veggies, and foods packed with protein to help keep your energy levels up.
Organic red raspberry leaf tea (RRLT) is great for postpartum, because it helps strengthen the uterus and speeds up recovery. It also minimizes bleeding and helps prevent hemorrhaging.
Plus, if you drink RRLT during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester, you’re more likely to have an easier and shorter labor, as your uterus will be stronger. This herbal tea will help make your contractions less painful and more productive.
Be sure you’re picking up red raspberry LEAF tea or raspberry LEAF though. Red raspberry tea is not the same thing, and will not provide you with these benefits.
Add to Your Postpartum To-Do List
Besides stocking up on these 19 essentials, you may want to add a few more things to your postpartum checklist to help speed up your recovery:
- Stock up on freezer meals: Your days are going to be filled with diapers, nursing, and trying to sneak some sleep in. Save yourself some major time by making plenty of postpartum freezer meals that you can just toss in to cook.
- Hire a postpartum doula: I highly recommend you consider hiring a postpartum doula. A postpartum doula can help you with light housework, entertaining your other kids, and doing some meal prep. She can help you with breastfeeding, newborn care, and finding local resources, such as a lactation consultant.
- Schedule a home lactation consultant visit: If this is your first time breastfeeding, then I would really think about scheduling a home visit with an IBCLC (international board certified lactation consultant) a few days after birth. The hospital may have free LCs available to you, but it’s not always a guarantee that they’ll make it to your room or give you the greatest help.
- Plan out what to do with your placenta: There are various things you can do with your placenta after birth besides tossing it. Some moms like to eat it or encapsulate at, while other moms like to make art with it or plant it in the ground.
- Research new mom support groups: Having other moms to connect with and turn to is so important for your mental health. It can give you some much-needed adult time, help with breastfeeding, and just save your sanity as a new mom.
- Prep activities for your other kids: You’re going to be spending a lot of time caring for your newborn those first few months. It’s extremely important to let your other kids be involved, but also have something for them to do when you’re busy nursing. Make a busy box for your toddler, stock the closet with new toys that you can pull out each day, and grab some new books for them to read.
- Schedule out pet care: Your pets probably won’t be getting as much attention as they used to and their routine may be lost when you bring home your newborn. I strongly recommend finding someone to help out with your pets those first few weeks. Hire someone to come take them for walks, train them, or even take them to doggy daycare, so they can get the physical and mental outlet they need.
Wishing You a Speedy Recovery
Childbirth is truly amazing, but it can bring about some pretty annoying discomforts postpartum. Luckily, we have lots of tools available to us to help speed up healing and survive those initial weeks after giving birth.
With this postpartum essentials checklist, you’ll be able to take on sore nipples, vaginal swelling, hemorrhoids, constipation, and more.
You’ll be able to heal quicker and start enjoying your new mom life!
What About You?
What are some of your postpartum must-haves? Share which products you found most helpful in the comments below and be sure to share this post with other expecting moms.
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