These postpartum must-haves are all items that I needed after giving birth to both of my children. They all helped to aid my recovery by making me more comfortable or speeding up the healing process. Make sure to stock up on postpartum essentials before having your baby because the last thing you will feel like doing after giving birth is trailing around the shops looking for maternity pads! I know because I ended up doing this after having my first baby.
The first few weeks postpartum should focus on taking care of you and your baby. It won’t all be perfect – there will be tears, lack of sleep and mess and that is ok. Wear your pyjamas as much as you want to and look after yourself physically and mentally. If you need help ask for it and make sure you go to your 6-week checkup. These first few weeks with this tiny new person are precious so cuddle them as much as you can!
These are the postpartum must-haves that I stocked up on before giving birth:
This is number one on your list of postpartum must-haves for a reason. You will need to make sure you have plenty of these as they need to be changed often. You will need to use the thicker pads when you have just given birth as you will bleed quite heavily. After about a week the bleeding should start to slow down then you can change to thinner pads.
These are fantastic for reducing swelling and helping stitches to heal. You can buy the pads or you can make your own. Try using witch hazel gel on a maternity pad or mix a couple of drops of witch hazel with warm water and pop that into a maternity pad. You can also buy a postnatal relief spray which is really easy and quick to use.
Going to the toilet can be painful after a vaginal delivery, especially if you have tearing or stitches. to make it more comfortable try filling a peri bottle with warm water and squeezing it over the sore area as you go to the toilet, this dilutes the urine and makes it less painful. You can also add a couple of drops of witch hazel or lavender oil to the water.
You will bleed quite heavily after giving birth so disposable underwear is great as you can just throw it out. The hospital usually gives you a few pairs but you can buy your own to use at home. An alternative is to buy cheap dark underwear that you can use and throw away afterwards.
If you have enjoyed reading this check out The complete guide to childbirth. It has personal experiences of how I dealt with and fixed my postpartum hair problems.
It is common to worry about going to the toilet after labour. You will be sore and may have stitches or tearing so the last thing you need is to become constipated. Try to drink plenty of water and not to put off going to the toilet if you need to. If you are constipated try taking a stool softener.
It is common to suffer from piles after giving birth especially if you were pushing for a long time. You may already have been suffering with them during pregnancy. There are lots of treatments out there to make you more comfortable and heal quicker. Try using the Anusol range as this can help with the pain and healing. You can also buy a special cushion shaped like a donut to relieve the pain of sitting down. If you are suffering and it isn’t improving speak to your midwife or GP.
You will need a comfortable nursing bra in the right size and a pack of nursing pads. Stock up on nursing pads whether your planning on breastfeeding or not s you will still have leaks. You need to change your breast pads regularly to help to prevent thrush. I have found Lansinoh to be the most comfortable and absorbent.
Lansinoh is amazing at fixing sore and cracked nipples. Put it on after every breastfeed and leave it to soak in. It helps you to feel better straight away and you can carry on breastfeeding while you are wearing it. It is also great at fixing sore and cracked lips!
If you need some extra help in those first few days then take some Ibruprofen to help reduce any swelling.
I used Lansinoh TheraPearl breast Therapy pads. You can use them hot or cold and also while you are using a breast pump. I heated my pads in the microwave and used them to relieve any pain.
These can be used for relieving any postnatal aches and pains. An ice pack is great for sitting on to relieve soreness and pain after delivery.
I found that I needed regular snacks while I was breastfeeding so I had a little stash in the pocket of my nursing chair. I also needed a lot of water so I carried a water bottle with me everywhere.
Pregnacare make fantastic prenatal vitamins to help you during pregnancy. But they also make postnatal new mum vitamins that help your hair, skin and energy release and they make postnatal breastfeeding vitamins.
Finding clothes or pyjamas that are breastfeeding friendly makes your life a lot easier. You can buy special clothes that are made for breastfeeding mums or you can adapt your wardrobe to be breastfeeding friendly. I liked to wear vest tops under a jumper or a floaty top so I could lift one top up and pull the vest top down. I also wore dresses with buttons down the front, these were really comfy when worn with leggings.
Remember don’t leave it until the last minute. Stock up on your postpartum must haves while you have time to yourself.