Postpartum essentials are crucial to your healing after birth and while I only thought I needed items related to healing after a vaginal birth, there are quite a few things that I realized were more than necessary.
Each mama is different and only a few of these may apply, but if you’re a first time mom or soon to be first time mom and you’re planning on having a vaginal birth, make sure you get some of the things on this list.
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If you’re a c-section mama, some things might still apply, but I’ll let someone more informed share those essentials with you. I’m only 2 weeks in and things have significantly gotten better since the first week. I won’t lie postpartum lowkey freaked me out more than having a baby, but now that I’m in it and recovering through it. It’s not as bad as I was envisioning it. That shared let’s get into 13 postpartum essentials for a new mom.
Frida Mom Postpartum Kit
The Frida Mom kit, the entire kit, that comes with the peri bottle, disposable underwear, cooling foam, witch hazel wipes and the ice pack pads is everything. The pads are the only thing that I didn’t like because they don’t absorb as well as a normal pad does, but they cool/chill your lady parts so while I did use them, I wouldn’t rely on those or buy a whole bunch separately for continued recovery.
The peri bottle, the foam, the witch hazel liners, which I used as wipes were all great and super effective especially in those first 1-5 days of recovery. I didn’t quite tear and that’s because I was holding my perineum while pushing, but I my midwife described my version of a tear as what would be equivalent to a slightly busted lip or like the corner of your mouth cracking from being dry. Thankfully that was it and all the cooling stuff really helped heal that relatively quickly.
Anywho, you need the kit, the whole kit because you will use it all and if you did tear you’ll be grateful to have everything in one place instead of trying to figure out how to piece it together.
Always Discreet Disposable Underwear
My midwives gave me disposable underwear as the Frida Mom kit only comes with 4 pairs, the pairs they come with are like a short style which I did like. Those first few days it’s easy to run through the underwear if you’re not wearing a postpartum pad in addition to the disposable underwear so these will easily become part of your most needed postpartum essentials request. I ended up going with the Always Discreet brand and they worked out just fine.
They are super comfortable and don’t look like you’re wearing a “diaper” in my opinion. I wear pretty fitted leggings and home attire so I felt comfortable in them and didn’t feel embarrassed or anything by them. It’s convenient because the space for your vagina is large enough to catch all that is coming out, but also large enough for a pad to be placed there. I can’t say I experienced any crazy leaks, but laying on your side naturally things shift to the side you’re laying on so that’s something to consider.
Like a diaper though, especially when thinking of your little ones, there is like an extra piece of material to essentially help with the potential of leaking which is helpful. 9/10 would recommend.
Honeypot Postpartum Pads
Any type of cooling pad is a must for your postpartum essentials list, especially if you experienced tearing of any kind. I was also given these by my midwives and while there has been plenty of controversy as well as support for Honeypot, I have to say these are probably the best things I was given.
Their postpartum pads consist of 3 ingredients: mint, lavender, and aloe; they are cooling and feel really good when you’re achey and trying to heal. These were definitely my favorite pads if I had to compare them to the Frida Mom ones. I feel like they helped heal me quicker but also much better and again the cooling aspect really provides so much relief. 10/10 would recommend. Additionally, they absorb like a normal pad so I didn’t have to worry about leaking. They are large/long, sometimes I felt like I wasted them because with proper healing you shouldn’t be filling up the entire pad with blood, but you also don’t want to wear it forever, so it just seemed like there was “wasted” space if that makes sense.
Velcro Waist Trainer
Everyone’s healing method and desired way of bringing their belly “back together” is up to them. If you experienced diastasis recti this may not be the proper solution for you and I would highly suggest speaking with a professional. I don’t subscribe to snapback culture and you’ll never hear me talking about the number of days or weeks it took me to get back to my pre-baby weight. My favorite thing about having a midwife was not being weighed. I estimated that I gained about 18 pounds, whether or not that is actually true, I have no idea and I’m okay with that.
That said, belly binding, velcro bands or support bands are totally normal postpartum essentials and aid in helping support a postpartum mamas back, hips and can help with keeping posture. I love my velcro waist trainer by Bumpsuit, it’s more my style and not restrictive, plus I don’t need help or a special method to put it on. It comes in two colors and if you use my code JAZMYN you can get 20% off.
Speaking for myself, I use both regular bras and nursing bras. As a larger breasted girl, there is two reasons for that. Most nursing bras are on the soft side which is totally great and comfortable, you don’t want anything super restrictive. However, wearing my regular bras by Cuup, the underwire gives great support to my breast when it’s time to feed my little one, so I say do what is best for you as a new mom.
I did get a nursing bra from Bumpsuit and it’s super comfortable and definitely makes me feel good, SKIMS also has a sculpting style bra that isn’t a plunge style, but since I am on the larger side, sizing can be unique. For my Bumpsuit nursing bra, I chose M/L, probably could have done L/XL, but since the bra is a plunge style, I personally didn’t think it would matter as much.
Whether you’re breastfeeding, pumping or giving your baby formula, you need to replenish yourself simply from birth as a whole. Having a baby even when it goes amazingly well takes a lot out of you and I understand fully why it’s so important to rest those first few weeks. I was literally out of breath the one time I went down our stairs and rode in the car.
My favorite and recommended water tumbler is of course a Stanley Cup. A variety of colors and sizes, straw and sipper option, you’re bound to love it and you really do drink so much water with it. Of course if it’s not your vibe, any water bottle will do, but trust me, you’ll love your Stanley.
Having a midwife and doula was such a beautiful experience. From start to finish, it is something that has changed me forever and really made me appreciate the birth experience as a whole. I’m beyond grateful that I had a chance to experience birth in that way and something as simple as delayed cord clamping and being able to encapsulate our placenta as well as make a tincture out of it has been such a unique experience. As I write this, I’ve already received my placenta capsules and cord. They give me really good energy and most likely have played a huge role in the amount of stuff I do or desire to do on a day to day.
Also since I’m breastfeeding, I love being able to still consume my placenta and know that baby boy is benefiting from it even after birth. Look out for my birth story which is coming soon.
Leggings are high on the postpartum essentials list. From being warm, to just feeling supported and almost hugged while your body is recovering has made a huge difference in my postpartum experience. I personally prefer high waist leggings and love having that additional tummy support especially in those early days. From the disposable underwear to transitioning into your waist trainer or belly binding, high waist is great for keeping everything in place.
I wouldn’t recommend wearing your favorite leggings in the first week or so, but that’s just me. They’ll be so exciting to put on once you’ve healed up some and start feeling like yourself, but certainly do what you feel is most comfortable.
This specifically will vary depending on the season you have your baby. As a winter mama, it’s so important for you to stay warm especially since you’ll be keeping baby close. I always look for a reason to pull out all my jackets and crewnecks so I loved the winter and didn’t really feel “worried” about my appearance in oversized tops and high waist leggings.
My most comfortable and most worn crewnecks were my Essentials hoodies. I prefer the men’s option and sizes because they fit oversized and are a good staple, while pregnant as well as postpartum. Again this is all season dependent, you clearly won’t need a hoodie in the summer.
Nipple Balm; when you see it on a registry, make sure you buy it. Unless you’re not breastfeeding, it is crucial for a new mom’s postpartum essentials. I was blessed to receive some early on from a brand called Nēmah and it works so good. I didn’t actually feel like my nipples were bothered until a little over a week in once baby boy started eating more, but chapped nipples is real thing and if your baby has latch issues it can also add to the tenderness.
Luxury Body Care
A shower is a whole different experience postpartum. Not only is it a moment to yourself without being bothered, but just being able to do that one thing after having a baby has easily become my favorite and I’m sure a ton of other mamas can relate. Having a luxurious body wash makes a huge difference. From exfoliants to spa inspired scents, even if you aren’t ready to leave your baby and head to the spa just yet, creating that environment at home can really add to the healing process and make your shower experience one that is rejuvenating.
Having a two or three piece set of any kind as a postpartum mama is great. You can mix and match, put on the whole outfit and not have to think about anything at all. One of my favorite postpartum essentials was being gifted really soft pajamas that had a robe and nursing tops. It was the first thing I put on 1 day postpartum and that little thing made me feel so good and so put together though that was the last thing on my mind. I spent a lot of time in bed the first week and some change, as I hope all of you get a chance to, and having two piece sets and sets that were complete with sweats and a hoodie or matching top really helped me feel good while recovering.
If you aren’t a huge pajama person, get a super comfy robe, that will be easy to wear and it won’t matter what’s going on underneath.
Last, but certainly not least, a journal to document your experience as far as healing is concerned, but also to write and remember what your baby does each day. It’s true that babies change and grow so quickly and even in my 3 weeks, as of today, our little guy has changed so much. We’ve been taking a lot of pictures, camera and camera phone, but being able to remember little things has been sweet.
Additionally, keeping a journal close is a great way to be transparent with yourself as far as your feelings and mindset while recovering. It can be incredibly hard and there were moments during night feedings, where I had to tell my husband, I know I can do this, but I’m overwhelmed. There were a few times that I cried, not because I was ungrateful or scared, but just because that was what I was feeling in the moment. Everything doesn’t have to be super deep, but the emotions are real and it doesn’t mean you’re spiraling or falling into depression, it just is what you’re feeling at that time. The benefit of writing it down is, if you notice a pattern, you can then bring it up to your partner, family or a professional if it starts to feel too heavy.
Even if you aren’t a new mom, this list is great for those close to you that are having a baby or are wondering what to gift a new mom beyond the registry.
If you’re a new mom, what were some postpartum essentials you had to have for your recovery journey?
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