Last week I hung out with a mom of a 3-month old and a 7-month pregnant mom to be. We got to talking about having babies, and the mom of the newborn said that she wished she had read more on what the postpartum experience would be like. It’s been almost 4 years since I had my last child, but I still remember my postpartum experience with her vividly. Since I had an unplanned VBAC rather than a scheduled c-section and Olive ended up staying an extra week in the hospital, I was completely unprepared for the postpartum pain! You can read about how I felt 6-days postpartum with her here.
Most women prepare for the actual labor and birth, but often the postpartum pain and recovery takes them by surprise. So I’ve compiled the ultimate postpartum care kit with everything you might need to survive those days. I would definitely get the pads, underwear, Colace, and nursing pads ahead of time. Everything else you can order online depending on what type of delivery you have, and your levels of pain. Also every hospital is different, but my hospital provided many things for free including a sitz bath, peri bottle, and much more.
1) Nursing Dress – I’m a dress girl because they’re easy and you’re hot and sweaty in the days postpartum. You can wear these day and night for easy nursing access.
2) Nursing/Sleep Bra – Coobie bras are so comfortable and you can wear them throughout your pregnancy and postpartum. A bra, especially at night, is a must because your boobs will be leaking a lot of milk!
3) Tena pads – Regular overnight pads are not big enough to handle all the postpartum bleeding. Incontinence pads are your best bet! You’ll probably only need one pack though before the bleeding subsides and you can switch to regular overnight pads.
5) Scar Away – I had an unplanned c-section with Charlie, and didn’t do any scar prevention at my incision site. For years it was an ugly dark keloid, and my ob was actually going to try to remove it with my second c-section that ended up being a VBAC. 6 years later the scar has faded a lot, but I wish I had applied some sort of scar prevention treatment because it’s supposed to greatly help.
6) Depends underwear – No one has time to wash out stains from underwear with a newborn. These are affordable enough to wear and toss.
7) Advil – Percocet was a must-have lifesaver for me after my c-section, but advil also helped to manage the pain.
8) Tucks Pads – Put these in the freezer for maximum pain relief.
10) Donut – I had to walk a lot after Olive was born due to her extended hospital stay, which really hurt my postpartum recovery. I was so sore I couldn’t even sit. A donut was a great help.
11) Sitz Baths – Water down there was my friend postpartum. Luckily my hospital gave me a sitz bath.
12) Belly Bandit – They really are a huge pain to wear, but belly compression postpartum does work to help shrink your belly.
13) Witch Hazel – This is an alcohol-free version in case you have sensitive skin, but there is also a version with alcohol that has great antiseptic properties. You can add this to your peri bottle for added relief and cleansing, or pour them into pads and freeze them to create “padsicles.”
14) nursing pads – Once your milk comes in, you will be leaking like crazy.
15) Postpartum Herbs – Add these to your sitz bath for added relief.
16) Colace – I didn’t take my colace consistently with Olive and boy did I pay. Constipation is a very real and very painful problem postpartum!
17) Peri Bottle – This was probably my single best friend postpartum. You use it when you’re going to the bathroom, to clean yourself, and for general pain relief. I couldn’t have lived without it. This bottle from GoSpa is actually a travel bidet, but it has an angled head so you can easily reach everywhere. But a basic peri bottle works just fine too.
18) water bottle – I was so, so, so thirsty postpartum. Drinking all the water helps you flush everything out.
. . . . .
Since Charlie ended up being a c-section, my pain was mostly abdominal and managed with percocet and advil. I was still sore from having pushed 3 hours, but I didn’t need things like the sitz bath or donut. I did bleed however for what seemed liked forever, so the Tena pads and disposable underwear were a must. With Olive I had second degree tears, but my recovery was really exacerbated by all the walking I had to do. With her I needed all the pain relief!
Is there anything else you’d add to this postpartum recovery kit? I also have a newborn nursing and newborn essentials guides coming up!