19 Postpartum Must-Haves for a Faster and Easier Recovery After a Vaginal Birth
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19 Postpartum Must-Haves for a Faster and Easier Recovery After a Vaginal Birth

From belly wraps and loungewear to padsicles and bath herbs, here are our postpartum must-haves for recovery after a vaginal birth.

Updated March 30, 2024

by Nina Spears "The Baby Chick"

The Baby Chick®: Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum Expert
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If your baby’s due date is approaching, I’m sure you’re thinking about what your labor and birth will be like. But something else you need to prepare for is the postpartum recovery period. Remember, your body will go through many changes after having your baby. And you need to heal. Whether you have your baby at the hospital, in a birth center, or at home, you must consider your postpartum time. Luckily, there are some things I believe to be postpartum must-haves that can help you have a faster and easier recovery after a vaginal birth.

Top 19 Postpartum Must-Haves After a Vaginal Birth

Here’s what I recommend that my clients have for the postpartum period after a vaginal birth:

1. Belly Wrap

Some people love them, and some people don’t. But there are several benefits when it comes to postpartum belly binding. First, it can help repair diastasis recti, resulting from the uterus growing and stretching out the abdominal muscles.1 Second, it can help with lower back and pelvic support. During pregnancy, our bodies produce the hormone relaxin, which allows our bodies to become looser and more flexible. This is necessary to grow and birth our babies.2 When using a belly binder, corset, or belly wrap postpartum, you take advantage of the relaxin still in your body by putting pressure on your hips, pelvis, and ribs to help them return to their pre-pregnancy state.

If you’re wondering how often you should be belly binding, it’s recommended that women wear it for four to six weeks after delivery and 10 hours a day.3,4

Read our full review of the Nano Bamboo Postnatal Recovery & Support Belly Band from Mamaway.

postpartum belly band
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Bellefit Postpartum Girdle Corset
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2. Postpartum Underwear or Diapers

I recommend having some comfortable underwear or diapers to wear as you’re healing post-delivery. You will experience bleeding after birth, and wearing underwear or adult diapers you can easily toss out when finished using makes things much easier. Get something soft and stretchy like this postpartum underwear, and use it with postpartum pads. Or, if you prefer not to wear disposable underwear and a pad, you can use postpartum diapers, like Always Discreet diapers or these organic cotton covers. These are like an all-in-one. I wore postpartum diapers after both of my deliveries and put padsicles in them. The diapers helped absorb any leakage from my body and the padsicles, which brings me to my next point . . .

Frida Mom Disposable Cut Postpartum Underwear
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always discreet heavy long pads
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always discreet postpartum underwear
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Real organic cotton cover period underwear
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3. Padsicles

This one is a definite postpartum must-have! It may have a funny name, but these things will be well worth it and feel oh-so good. I did a Facebook Live video (a long time ago) and wrote an article on how to make padsicles to help you after birth.

The ingredients you place on the pad will help your vagina and bottom feel much better and heal more quickly.5 You can change your padsicle as often as you would like. After delivery, women usually change them out every three to five hours when they are bleeding more and experiencing more soreness. This will decrease as time progresses and your body heals. But it’s up to you! In the past, I prepared a total of 20 for myself post-delivery after I had both of my babies.

Alternatively, you can purchase postpartum pads like these ones or get these heavy-flow overnight pads. Both are already infused with healing herbs, so you just have to freeze them! You can add a little aloe vera for extra soothing. You could also get these ice packs or this postpartum kit with many healing essentials.

HoneyPot post-partum pads
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HoneyPot heavy flow overnight pads
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Frida Mom Instant Ice Maxi Pads
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Frida Mom Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit
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4. Sprays, Balms, and Salves

Not only do I recommend using padsicles, but you will also want sitz baths, rhoid balm, sprays, and salves for recovery. As stated in my instructional video, I prefer to use all-natural products on my body, especially during birth and immediate postpartum. This is why I chose Earth Mama products to help me and my doula clients heal. And if I need to have a C-section, the healing salve is also great for helping heal incisions.

We love Earth Mama’s bath herbs, bottom spray, and bottom balm. They are perfect for postpartum recovery after a vaginal birth!

Sprays, Balms, and Salves graphic
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5. Postpartum Cold Packs

These things are amazing. I love that you can freeze them, put them in the fridge, or warm them for a perfect cold or hot pack for your nether regions. They provide full coverage down there, so you can easily tuck them in your underwear, and the sleeves can be rinsed and reused or tossed for convenience. Wearing these packs will definitely help a sore bottom.

I highly recommend spraying some witch hazel or lavender oil on the sleeves. And if you’re worried about these gel packs, don’t. These reusable cold packs are made of super soft-touch, medical-grade PVC.

postpartum reusable cooling pad
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6. Epsom Salts

Another product I recommend for sitz baths or regular baths is this mood-boosting blend, which includes Epsom salts, herbs, and essential oils. You can use it daily during the postpartum period to help provide relief, which is why it’s one of my must-haves! It can help with your physical and emotional recovery.

Epsom Salts
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7. Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle

After birth, the hospital will give you a peri bottle to spray and clean your bottom with warm water during recovery. But have you tried to lean over and aim your peri bottle in the right direction after birth? It can be awkward because you have to stick your hand inside the toilet to hold the peri bottle at the right angle to get the right spots. No thanks. That’s why I love and prefer the upside-down peri bottle from Frida Mom.

No more sticking your hand inside the toilet since its angled spout makes it easier to clean the right spots. And it holds two more ounces of water than your average peri bottle. That’s another win since you won’t have to run to the sink mid-bathroom break to get more warm water to clean your lady parts properly. Thank goodness! I also love that the spout is retractable and comes with a travel bag, so you can still wash and recover at the hospital and at home.

Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle
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8. Frida Mom Donut Pillow

Also from Frida Mom, this donut cushion is another postpartum must-have because it helps cool and relieves soreness on your perineum. You can use the cushion alone to ease pressure, which is great for hemorrhoids. Or you can use it with the cooling gel pack for cold therapy, which helps reduce swelling. And the cover is machine-washable! I had to sit on a donut pillow after giving birth to my son, and I really wish this would have been available to provide that extra cooling effect for better healing.

fridamom donut pillow
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9. Dermoplast

Dermoplast has been a staple postpartum recovery item because it really helps relieve pain. Since it’s a spray, it’s easy to apply and works quickly. Just shake and spray on the areas on your bottom that need the pain relief most. For moms who experienced perineal tearing, this one is for you. It also contains aloe, lanolin, and menthol, which help soothe and moisturize your skin.

Dermoplast
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10. Healthy Snacks and Meals

Young woman preparing a muesli for breakfast in her kitchen, morning routine and healthy lifestyle concept.

Eating whole foods like protein, fruits, and vegetables is the best way for your entire body to heal. Try to make healthy choices during this time. Remember that the fuel you feed your body will help you feel better and recover from the inside out. It is also the fuel you use to feed your baby (if you choose to breastfeed). This is why healthy snacks and healthy meals are true postpartum must-haves! This also helps with breastfeeding!6

Here are some helpful resources for eating healthy postpartum:

11. Stool Softener

For most women, the scariest thing after delivering a baby is passing their first bowel movement. It’s no fun. And that’s especially the case if you tore during delivery. Ouch! I recommend taking a stool softener to make that first bowel movement easier and less scary. Talk to your care provider before purchasing and using it.

Colace Regular Strength Stool Softener
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12. Tucks

Another one of my postpartum must-haves is the TUCKS cooling pads with witch hazel, which don’t contain any dyes and are hypoallergenic. Place these on your pad in your underwear or in your postpartum diaper. You will be so glad you did! They provide soothing relief and can help with discomfort down there after a vaginal birth.

Tucks
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13. Nipple Butter

I’ve covered the lower regions, so let’s discuss the upper area, too! You will be leaking and experiencing many changes in your breasts after birth.7 If you plan on breastfeeding, you want to take good care of your nipples and avoid sore and cracked nipples as much as possible. To keep them moisturized, I recommend using an all-natural nipple balm that’s safe for babies. Earth Mama’s nipple butter is a great choice and is the first Non-GMO Project Verified Nipple Cream. Major thumbs up!

Earth Mama Nipple Butter
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14. Silver Nursing Cups

Silver nursing cups are another one of my postpartum must-haves for breastfeeding mamas. When you first begin breastfeeding your newborn baby, it can take some time and practice for mom and baby to get a nice, deep latch. During this time, mom’s nipples can get chapped, sore, become cracked, and start to bleed. Experiencing these symptoms will cause any mother to dread the next feeding time.

This is why I recommend using silver nursing cups! These are basically shields for your nipples that go on after you feed your baby. They use silver’s natural healing and soothing properties to soothe nipple irritation and accelerate the healing process of cracked, painful nipples. Just place them in your nursing bra between feedings. They help prevent cracks and irritation and relieve your sore skin. This is helpful if breastfeeding becomes painful at any time.

Silver Nursing Cups
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15. Nursing Pads

I am a big fan of Bamboobies’ reusable, washable nursing pads! I have been recommending them for years to mamas because they are soft and comfortable on your breasts, very absorbent, and easy to wash. Take care of your breasts and prevent leaks from occurring by using these washable nursing pads. I love how well-made they are and that they are eco-friendly.

Bamboobies Nursing Pads | Baby Chick
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16. Nursing Tanks and Bras

After birth, you should be resting in bed as much as possible. Nursing bras and nursing tanks are the perfect items to wear when resting at home and learning how to breastfeed, so it’s a good idea to have some good ones in your wardrobe. I’ve worn these tanks and bras from Bamboobies at home and around town, and I love them! They were some of my go-to’s when recovering after pregnancy. Another brand I highly recommend for nursing tanks and nursing bras is Kindred Bravely!

Bamboobies tank top and bra
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17. Loungewear

Have a few pairs of cute pajamas and comfortable loungewear items you can throw on. These are true postpartum must-haves! Comfort, breathability, and the ease of putting on and feeding baby are key features when choosing pajamas and loungewear during your recovery period. Also, it’s nice to have a couple of options that make you feel a little more put-together (like this matching set) if you have family members or friends stopping by to see you and meet baby.

Lake Pima Maternity Nightgown
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mom wearing her nursing gown and robe while holding her baby swaddled in a matching blanket - mommy and me set
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18. Wishgarden Herbs

A lot of changes happen after you have a baby. You may think that uterine contractions stop once the baby is born. Although they slow down tremendously in speed and intensity, they don’t stop. They continue after the birth during the involution phase while your uterus is trying to get back to its pre-pregnancy shape. The more babies a woman has, the stronger and more uncomfortable these post-delivery contractions can be because the uterus has to work harder. I’m a big proponent of using natural ingredients to help our bodies heal, and these tinctures are two I recommend.

I love how both of these herbal supplements from WishGarden are designed to help with postpartum recovery. The Afterease tincture is for soothing postpartum spasms and contractions to help the mother feel more comfortable as she experiences post-delivery contractions. The ReBalance tincture is great for rebalancing a new mother’s fluctuating postpartum hormones. Some women like to encapsulate their placenta and take them the first weeks after childbirth as their “happy pills.” Others prefer a tincture like this one. Whatever we can do to keep the baby blues at bay so we can have a happy mama is what we want to do!

wishgarden afterease after birth contractions
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WishGarden Herbs ReBalance After Birth Hormonal
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19. Postpartum Doula

Postpartum doula helping a new mom with her baby as she feeds her baby boy a bottle.

Last but not least, not only do you need to rest and recover physically after birth, but you also need to recover mentally and emotionally. You’ve gone through a lot and need to relax and process it all. Postpartum doula care is probably one of the best things to get yourself (or give to a friend who just had a baby). A postpartum doula is trained to help a new mom through this transition of adding a baby to the family.

She helps with light housework, makes you snacks and easy meals, teaches you baby care (like how to bathe baby, swaddle, change a diaper, breastfeed, bottle-feed, burp the baby, and babywear — to name a few), answers questions, can help you get on a good routine, and so much more. This newborn care specialist will give you peace of mind and a well-deserved break from baby if you want to take a shower or nap. She’s there to listen and provide the family with physical, emotional, and informational support.

These are my top 19 postpartum must-haves for moms after a vaginal birth! Is there anything you would add to the list? We’d love to know!

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Nina Spears "The Baby Chick" The Baby Chick®: Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum Expert
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Nina is The Baby Chick® & Editor-in-Chief of Baby Chick®. She received her baby planning certification in early 2011 and began attending births that same year. Since then, Nina has… Read more

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