Learn what postpartum care essentials you need to help you heal and care for yourself during your postpartum journey!
Your little darling is finally here!
Enduring labor, delivery, and coming out on the other side is exciting!
You get to hold and snuggle your precious little one while becoming familiar with their personality.
There’s nothing like it!
Yet, while the postpartum period is such a wonderful time of relief and bonding, it has its challenges.
Even though you’ve made it through birth, your body still needs ample time to heal.
This process can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks for vaginal delivery.
And that’s for a full recovery.
It’s necessary to give your body the proper care and nurturing to promote healing after childbirth.
Be gracious and patient with yourself in whatever circumstances you’re in.
Don’t be led to feel as though you need to be “doing more”.
You don’t! You just had a baby, mama.
The last thing you want to do is slow down healing because you didn’t give yourself the permission to rest.
Postpartum Care Essentials
Focus on your health, healing and wholeness in the coming weeks.
Here are the best care essentials you’ll need during this time.
Note: Please make sure you consult with your doctor before using any of these products. Every woman’s delivery and healing process is different and it’s important to receive care under the supervision of your OBGYN.
1. Bath Salts
Soaking your bottom in a tub of warm water complete with bath salts is a relaxing way to encourage healing and experience quick relief from vaginal burning.
Here are some of the best benefits you’ll love:
- Reduces inflammation and swelling
- Increases blood flow to the perineum area
- Eases the pain associated with vaginal tears and swelling
- Relax your perineum muscles (and your whole body too!)
Find just 15 or 20 minutes per day to sneak away for some time to soak in the tub with bath salts. You’ll feel incredible, trust me.
2. Nursing Bras
If you still have bras with underwire hanging in your closet, it’s time to tuck them away. Pain is not the name of the game, mama.
Expect your bra size to increase because your breasts will get bigger. And oh my, especially between days 3-5 post delivery!
It’s called engorgement! But don’t worry, it passes rather quickly.
Don’t go overboard, just get one or two nursing bras for now. A good nursing bra will bring you comfort as well as provide easy access for your baby to feed.
3. Nipple Cream
It’s pretty hard to nurse a baby with dry, cracked, and hurting nipples.
Making sure your baby latches on properly during feedings is a prevention measure you should take each time you nurse your baby.
There’s no telling if you’ll experience cracked nipples, not all mothers do. But if so, there is a cure!
Nipple cream is an excellent shield to protect your boobies from undergoing complete torture.
Allowing the baby to suck after your nipples have begun cracking will worsen your pain and draw out the time it takes to heal your nipples.
At the onset of nipple cracking, treat it with nipple cream right away. The pain might not feel excruciating yet, but it doesn’t take long for the pain to escalate if you ignore it. You might furthermore increase your risk of infection.
4. Maxi Pads
If you’ve had a vaginal birth you can expect to bleed in the weeks that follow. It will go from heavy bleeding, to that of a period, to spotting before eventually trickling off.
On average, bleeding usually lasts up to 10 days. So make sure to have enough pads available that you can change at least every three hours.
Keeping your vaginal area clean is important because bacteria loves to grow and thrive in moist, dark places. It’s better to prevent an infection rather than try to treat it.
Your plate is already full. You don’t need another reason to make more trips to the doctor!
5. Peri Bottle
This is something you absolutely MUST get and use if you’ve had a vaginal birth.
After giving birth vaginally, you and your Peri Bottle will become inseparable! Not kidding.
To find relief from the burning sensation you’ll feel during urination, just fill the bottle with warm water.
When you pee, squeeze the bottle while aiming the spout towards your vagainal area. The warm water will help:
- Protect your vaginal area from infection while washing away blood
- Speed up recovery
- Provide relief from stinging and inflammation
- Eliminate the need to wipe with toilet paper (ouch if you have stitches!)
You can bring your Peri Bottle home from the hospital. Ask your nurse for an extra one to keep in your purse or diaper bag to use where you’re away from home.
6. Lip Balm
Do you hate having dry lips? For me, I can live with a messy bun in my hair all day.
I can even do without wearing makeup all day. But I absolutely cannot have my lips dry! I’ve used many so many different brands of chapstick before, but Eos lip balm is the best I’ve found…ever!
It works so well that I almost don’t like using it because I never want it to run out.
It has oils that lock in the moisture and it really lasts a long time. Their sphere-shaped lip balm is unique and I absolutely love it!
7. Large Comfy Panties
Wearing a large underwear makes it possible and easier to wear a large pad to catch the blood. After some time, you’ll be able to wear your normal size again. Remember, bleeding will stop after about 10 days or so.
You don’t want to ruin your nice underwear if your blood happens to run off the pad and onto the edges of your underwear. It’s also irritating not to have enough breathing room down there.
Go for comfy and practical before cute, mama. You’ll be glad you did.
8. Pain Medication
Make sure to have your pain reliever near during your recovery period. You’ll still get occasional aches and pain even after you’ve left the hospital.
Cramping is normal, but it will eventually let up altogether. During your hospital stay, your nurses will offer you pain medication on a schedule.
When you return home, it might be a good idea to follow that same schedule to check in with yourself regarding your pain levels.
The pain can creep up on you and progress rather quickly. Definitely don’t wait until your pain levels are high to reach for your medication. And of course, always express any concerns to your doctor .
9. Breast Pump
Are you planning to breastfeed your baby? I’d highly recommend a breast pump. While breastfeeding is a beautiful opportunity and experience, it’s very demanding!
Pumping milk can be of help by offering you relief when your breasts become engorged as well as allow other caregivers to feed your baby so that you can rest, eat, shower, or enjoy a break.
Unfortunately, there is a downside. Introducing a bottle to your baby too soon may lead to nipple confusion. This makes it harder for babies to adapt to the change and constant switching between the breast and bottle.
Some babies adjust with no issues, while others have difficulty.
Consider these factors and decide what’s best for you! If you do decide to pump, it may be a good idea to wait to introduce the bottle until after the first couple weeks of your baby’s life.
10. Prenatal Vitamins
It’s recommended that you continue taking your prenatal vitamins even after giving birth (I know, I know-not yummy or fun).
These are some of the nutrients your baby needs which the supplement provides:
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin D
- And Iron
If you’re breastfeeding, your baby receives vital nutrients through your breastmilk. So please do take your vitamins. If you don’t like to gulp the giant pill, try consuming the chewables.
As a new mom, you need to up your nutrient intake. Not just your food intake alone. Your baby is depending on you to maintain good health.
Consuming life-giving foods that are nutrient-rich will give you energy and vitality as well as help your baby to continue to grow and develop in a healthy way.
Thing is, you won’t have a lot of time on your hands like you did when you were pregnant. Showering, cooking, and completing housework becomes much harder when you have a newborn.
There were days when my twins were newborns when I just couldn’t finish tasks no matter how hard I tried. Especially cooking! Skipping meals at a time isn’t healthy when you’re trying to make an excellent recovery.
A NutriBullet comes in like a superhero when all you have is 3-5 minutes. You can easily whip up a smoothie until you’re able to cook a meal.
12. Full Body Pillow
With your newborn waking up every 2-3 hours to be fed, changed, and possibly cuddled back to sleep…your sleep quality and routine will never be the same. At least not anytime soon!
So when you do sleep, you need it to be amazing, right?!
A full body pillow will position your body and muscles in a comfortable position. It gives you head, back, hip, and leg support as you sleep. It’s like sleeping on a cloud!
13. Sitz Bath
Sitz baths are a simple and relaxing way to actually shorten your recovery time, mama.
A Sitz bath is basically a portable tub that fits on your toilet.
It allows you to soak your bottom and perineum without actually having to get in and out of a regular tub. Which after giving birth of kinda hard. 🙂
There are so many advantages!
A Sitz bath is convenient because it allows for quick soaks that sooth and cleanse your lady parts as well as alleviate itching and burning. By the way, if you had to get stitches, it helps dissolve those too!
14. Stool Softener
Last but not least, stool softener! First off, make sure to consume lots of fiber and other vitamins that combat constipation naturally.
You certainly don’t want to end up constipated right after giving birth. Your body is still healing “down there” and you don’t want to cause any irritation or tears.
You can get stool softener over the counter or in some cases your doctor may be able to give you a prescription.
To Sum Up
Alrighty! These are all the personal care items you’ll need during your postpartum recovery period. Gathering them early will help ease anxiety. And by early I mean before you give birth!
If you’ve already had your baby, no worries. Just gather these items as soon as you can.
I hope you’ve found this list helpful.
Just remember that in the coming weeks, your body will heal itself if you let it. You can do this!
Over to you! What are your best postpartum care essentials you have on hand? Let me know in the comments.
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