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As a first time mom, I had no idea what the postpartum recovery period entailed. In fact, I was so focused on making sure I had everything I needed for baby’s arrival and my hospital bag that I didn’t prepare at all for what happens to me AFTER I give birth. That’s not so good considering I vaginally delivered an almost 10 pound baby and ended up with a fourth degree tear and stitches… Thankfully, I’ve mostly recovered since then and I can now really enjoy spending time with my wonderful baby boy 🙂
Remember, that your recovery situation will be different from mine. I’m just sharing my thoughts about what my postpartum recovery essentials were. If you have any postpartum questions or concerns please consult your doctor.
Note: Some items are also on my Baby Registry Must Haves list
- PERI BOTTLE and/or FRIDABABY FRIDET- The hospital gave me a Peri Bottle, but in case you didn’t get one, this one looks pretty similar. If you received this Fridababy Gift Set, it should have come with this Fridet MomWasher. I have both the Peri Bottle and Fridet, and they were definitely crucial for my recovery! I used the Peri Bottle for pee diluting and the Fridet for rinsing and cleaning after. I cannot tell you how much I LOVE THE FRIDET. Whoever invented it is an absolute genius. Seriously. It’s the perfect design for getting a nice clean down there without bending over and having to stick your arm in the toilet to try and get the necessary angle for the water to squirt upwards with a regular Peri Bottle.
- ADULT DIAPERS or LARGE PADS – Because I wasn’t about to deal with any sort of leaks that snuck past my pad when I can barely move, I just used Depends so I didn’t have to worry about constantly changing and washing undies throughout the day.
- VARIOUS PAD SIZES – I stocked Overnights, Regular, and Liners; downgrading absorbency sizes as my blood flow slowed down. I also changed the pad every time I used the bathroom, in order to help prevent infections. Also, many new Mama’s pre-make “Padsicles,” which are basically frozen pads to help soothe down there. At the hospital they gave me the baby diaper version of the padsicle which felt really nice, especially because I was super swollen. However, I never actually made any padsicles myself since I didn’t have any time to do so once I got home 🙁
- DERMOPLAST NUMBING SPRAY (the BLUE one) – The hospital gave this to me, and taught me to spray this on after using the bathroom to give your lady parts some numbing and cooling relief 🙂
- NIPPLE CREAM or BUTTER – From baby’s first latch, or in my case “chomp,” my nips were so sensitive and tender that even just the touch of a cotton shirt was agonizing! Even the water spray from taking a shower was nerve-wracking! The hospital gave me Lansinoh Nipple Cream, but I’ve been using this Natural Nipple Butter.
- NURSING PADS – There are disposable and reusable pads. I have Lansinoh Disposables and these Reusable Bamboobies. The Lansinohs I use for sleeping or when I go out since the adhesive backing keeps them in place. The Bamboobies I like to use when I’m just doing stuff around the house since it feels softer on my nips.
- NURSING TOPS and/or BRAS
- TUCKS PADS – I was taught to lay these on your pad like the cold cuts on a Subway sandwich to help cool and soothe down there 🙂
- PRENATAL VITAMINS – For breastfeeding, Dr recommended to continue to take prenatals to ensure I’m getting enough nutrients for myself and baby’s milk.
- LOTION – Since giving birth, my skin has been extra dry. I’ve been using Palmer’s Cocoa Butter lotion for my dry belly and stretch marks.
- FOOD – Stock your freezer up with frozen meals and have lots of snacks on hand because there won’t be any time to cook anything, nor will you feel like doing so. Well, at least I didn’t anyway, especially because for the whole six week recovery period, I could barely stand or sit without my pelvic area getting super achy and uncomfortable.
- STOOL SOFTENER (if you aren’t given any from your Doctor) – Because if you delivered vaginally, the fear of your first poop after giving birth is intense!
- BOPPY PILLOW – This was supposed to be for baby, but for the first six weeks postpartum it was my go-to pillow if I wanted to sit down and not be in extreme discomfort or pain (cuz fourth degree tear). I was given a blow up donut pillow to sit on at the hospital, but it seems like there’s a debate online whether it’s helpful or harmful to use donut-type pillows in regards to helping you heal, so definitely ask your doctor first.
- SITZ BATH – I received one from the hospital that looks like this one. You fill the bath with warm water, lift the toilet seat and place it inside. Then you sit in the bath for about 15 – 20 minutes, soothing your tender bits.
- PREGNANCY BODY PILLOW – The Hubs thought he would be rid of this pillow once I gave birth… Boy was he wrong! I’m a back sleeper. Since you’re not supposed to sleep on you’re back when you’re pregnant, I bought this Leachco pillow. This pillow was indispensable for helping me to adapt to side sleeping! Fast forward to postpartum, in order to help reduce strain on my poor healing perineum, it was recommended for me to continue sleeping on my side. I think of this specific pillow as the adult version of the DockATot – It makes me feel nice and snug, and I love that it encloses me on both sides so I don’t have to re-adjust the pillow in the middle of the night if I need to roll to the opposite side. Just FYI though, it takes up a significant amount of space on the bed!
- BELLY WRAP? – I didn’t have one, but I added it to the list in case it would be helpful for your situation
What were your postpartum must haves? Let me know in the comments below 🙂