If you’re a first-time mom, you might be almost as scared for the postpartum aspect of giving birth than actually giving birth. This can be because you hear and read all these crazy stories, and you have no idea what to expect after the big event is over.
However, the good news is that if you prepare yourself with postpartum must-haves ahead of time, it makes the thought of the healing process a little more bearable. Plus, it’s one less thing to worry about once you leave the hospital!
Let’s get started!
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. To find out more, you can read my disclaimer here. Also, I am not a doctor; I’m just a mama sharing what I’ve learned through my experiences. This information is not to be used as medical advice or diagnosis, and as always, consult your doctor with any of your concerns.
Postpartum Must-Haves For Healing:
Before I gave birth, I had no idea what Dermoplast spray was. But, let me tell you, this stuff is incredible.
Dermoplast is a pain-relieving spray that you spray on periodically throughout the day, most likely after using the restroom. If you tear during birth and have stitches, Dermoplast brings so much cooling relief and makes the discomfort more bearable.
2. Peri Bottle
One thing that nobody mentions about postpartum healing is that peeing after delivery can be so painful. That’s why a peri bottle might end up being one of your favorite postpartum must-haves!
A peri bottle is a little squirt bottle that you fill with warm water and keep next to the toilet. If you have stitches, you can use the water to help reduce the burning that happens while you pee.
Also, because you won’t want to use toilet paper if you have stitches, you can use the peri bottle to clean up each time you go to the bathroom.
If your hospital doesn’t provide peri bottles or you want to upgrade, I highly recommend this one! The longer spout provides extra ease of use.
Once your bleeding slows down, and you are ready to retire the mesh undies and huge hospital pads (that could be mistaken as a doggy pee pad), you will want to use normal-to-heavy menstrual pads.
Many articles that I read before I went into labor recommended buying more huge pads (or even adult diapers) to have a home. But, I recommend using these ones instead. These pads are so thin, yet they are still super absorbent. Not to mention, they are much more comfortable than a massive pad.
4. Perineal Cold Packs
Cold packs were the best thing that I received from the hospital, hands down. Perineal cold packs are pads that double as cold packs for extra relief. They are complete lifesavers!
Perineal cold packs were another one of the postpartum must-haves that I didn’t know existed before I went into labor. While I got the majority of mine from the hospital, I wish I would have been able to stock up on more beforehand.
When buying cold packs before you go into labor, know that not all cold packs are created equal. You will want to buy some like these ones because they have an adhesive strip that helps to keep them in place. Plus, they come in a pack of 24, which is a significant amount to go home from the hospital to.
5. Tucks Pads
Once you are past the point where you don’t necessarily need the perineal cold packs, Tucks pads will be the next best thing.
Tucks pads are made with witch hazel, which helps reduce swelling and provides some cooling comfort, especially if you have stitches.
To use Tucks pads, you can lay them in a row on your pad if your stitches are giving you discomfort. In addition, if you were extra lucky and got hemorrhoids from labor, you can use Tucks pads for relief from that, too.
6. Preparation H
As mentioned above, if you develop hemorrhoids during labor, you will need extra relief. Trust me, you will not want to skimp on the comfort if you end up with tearing and hemorrhoids.
If you have any pain or discomfort, you should talk to your doctor to get it dealt with sooner rather than later. You don’t want to wait to see if something like hemorrhoids will go away on its own.
7. Stool Softener
While many women don’t talk about the discomfort of peeing after delivery, it’s well known that going #2 after labor can be terrifying.
I wouldn’t have thought of taking a stool softener, but it was something that the nurses gave me along with my ibuprofen and vitamins after delivery.
I used Colace, and I thought it did the job well. It definitely makes that first post-delivery poo a little less scary. And as always, check with your doctor before taking any new medications.
8. Prenatal Vitamins
Your doctor will likely advise you to keep taking your prenatal vitamins, especially if you plan on breastfeeding.
I used this brand throughout my pregnancy and close to two years of breastfeeding, and I liked them. They never made me nauseous as other brands have in the past.
Postpartum Must-Haves For Comfort
9. Mesh Or Disposable Underwear
When you hear ‘mesh undies,’ you might feel the urge to cringe. While mesh underwear isn’t the most flattering thing to wear, they are beneficial to have.
Your labor nurse will set you up with a few pairs after delivery, and it’s best to try them at least while at the hospital.
Because mesh underwear provides a lot of coverage, they are more equipped to handle the massive pads that the hospital provides for you. Plus, you won’t care if they get stained because you throw them away after each use.
Also, it can be helpful to have some disposable underwear to wear once you get home. You can still have heavy bleeding once you get home, so it will be nice to have some like these ones ready.
10. Seat Cushion
If you have a vaginal delivery, it’s going to hurt to sit down afterward. A pillow like this one will help alleviate any pressure from sitting down, and if you are breastfeeding, you will be doing a lot of sitting.
I decided to try this style of pillow over the traditional donut pillow because of the great reviews. I was not disappointed; I still use it over two years later because it makes our office chair more comfortable! Plus, the seat cushion has a removable cover, making it easy to wash.
11. Comfortable Clothing
Whether you have a C-section or not, comfortable clothing is one of the postpartum essentials you won’t want to skip out on!
While you’re recovering from labor and delivery, it’s best to have plenty of loose-fitting, dark-colored clothing. Loose-fitting clothes will be the most comfortable, and you’ll want dark colors in case of any stains.
Between recovery, having a newborn, and even breastfeeding, there’s a good chance something will end up on your clothing.
12. Overnight Nursing Bra
Even if you aren’t going to breastfeed, you’ll find it beneficial to have some overnight nursing bras.
Wearing overnight bras will give you gentle support as your body adjusts to your milk coming in. Plus, bras like these ones aren’t as restricting as regular bras because they are made out of more stretchy material.
And, if you do plan on breastfeeding, you’ll find that nursing bras make feedings even simpler at night.
13. Dark-Colored Underwear
Another one of the overlooked postpartum essentials for new moms is dark-colored underwear. Once you feel that you don’t want to use disposable underwear anymore, it’s nice to have underwear in dark colors in case of unfortunate leaks.
Another thing to think about when it comes to postpartum underwear is size. Because you won’t be back to your pre-pregnancy size after delivery, it’s beneficial to have some dark-colored underwear that is a little bigger. A bigger size will ensure that they fit comfortably.
14. Heating Pad
As your uterus shrinks back down to its pre-pregnancy size, you’ll feel some cramping. A great way to deal with these cramps is with a heating pad. I have this heating pad, and like the seat cushion, it has gotten its fair share of use.
In addition to using this heating pad for cramps, I use it very frequently in the winter (especially to warm up the foot of the bed).
15. Breastfeeding Essentials
If you plan on breastfeeding, you’ll want to stock up on all of the breastfeeding essentials before you have your baby. Stocking up on nursing must-haves will help you feel prepared for this huge change.
If you plan on breastfeeding, be sure to check out this post on breastfeeding essentials. It gives you details on all of the best products you’ll need while breastfeeding your little one.
Even if you don’t plan on breastfeeding, you’ll want to grab some nursing pads and some hot/cold nursing packs. These hot/cold packs are lifesavers when dealing with engorgement, mainly because they can be microwaved or frozen.
You’ll also love: The Best Tips For Breastfeeding Success!
Postpartum Must-Haves For C-Sections
If you end up having a planned C-section (or having an unplanned C-section), your postpartum healing needs might look slightly different. While you won’t need some of the postpartum care products listed above, like a numbing spray, for example, you’ll need items that are special for C-section recovery. Those items are:
16. A Belly Band
While belly bands can benefit all moms, they can be even more helpful for C-section mamas. Belly bands like this one help support your stomach and hips after childbirth.
If you are interested in using a belly band, it’s always helpful to talk to your doctor. They will be able to recommend the best one for your body.
17. Scar Treatment
If you’d like to help your C-section scar fade a little more quickly, or even if you have some stretch marks that you’re not fond of, try some of this Skin & Scar Balm from Earth Mama! Earth Mama is such a fantastic brand, and this balm is 100% USDA Certified Organic.
18. High-Waisted C-Section Underwear
When you have a C-section incision, you must be extra vigilant about staying comfortable. If you’re used to wearing low-rise underwear, it will be time to switch to high-waisted ones like these for a bit to protect your healing incision.
The great thing about these C-section panties is that they have a silicone panel to protect your incision. Plus, they provide some compression, which like a belly band, can help to support your belly.
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What postpartum must-haves can you get from the hospital?
While you’re staying in the hospital after delivering your baby, your nurse will likely set you up with several postpartum care products. These products often include Dermoplast, mesh undies, a peri bottle, pads, and maybe even perineal cold packs.
If you find your hospital had an item that you didn’t get before your delivery, like cold packs, for example, don’t be afraid to ask your nurse for a few more to take home! Often, hospitals get samples to hand out, or you might end up with a generous nurse. Plus, the worst thing that could happen is your nurse tells you no. You might as well try!
Keep in mind that every hospital is different. The items I listed are the products that my hospital had for postpartum recovery. If you want to check ahead of time, you can call your hospital and ask what items they provide for you during your stay.
Also, if you do a walkthrough tour of your hospital before delivery, you can ask them then as well.
Remember: Always thank your labor and recovery nurses! They do so much for you during your stay at the hospital, and a little gratitude goes a long way. I know I am more willing to go above and beyond for someone who genuinely appreciates what I am doing for them.
The Best Way To Store Postpartum Must-Haves
When it comes to storing all of your postpartum must-haves, you’ll want to have a designated spot with easy access. Ideally, a place that’s easy to grab from in your bathroom (or even in multiple bathrooms) will be the best option.
A cute basket next to or on the back of your toilet is probably the most ideal spot, but anything you like will work.
Postpartum is a whole new experience to go through, so keep in mind that everyone heals differently. Nobody has the same labor, and nobody heals at the same speed. Therefore, take the crazy stories you are told with a grain of salt and know that you will get through it!
Also, make sure you take care of yourself. Don’t try to be supermom and do everything on your own. Try to accept any help you can get with anything that needs to be done.
And remember, the more you stay on top of your pain management and the more you rest, the sooner you will start to feel better.
Before you go, check out these related articles:
- The Best Hobbies For Busy Moms
- Simple Tips For Postpartum Weight Loss
- Newborn Essentials You’ll Need For The First 12 Weeks
- Everything You Need To Know About Bathing Your Newborn
- How To Make The Best New Mom Care Package
Would you add any postpartum recovery essentials to this list? I would love to know in the comments below!