As my baby’s due date approaches, I’m thinking more about what my labor and birth will be like. Luckily I am feeling pretty prepared and have everything I need. But something else that I 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, a birth center, or home, you must consider your postpartum time. Luckily, there are some things that I consider to be postpartum must-haves that can help you have a faster and easier recovery after childbirth.
The Top 12 Postpartum Must-Haves I Recommend to My Clients
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. 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. When using a belly binder, corset or belly wrap postpartum, you are taking 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 to reap the maximum benefits.
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. 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.) It’s up to you. I have prepared a total of 20 for myself post-delivery. You can also purchase these postpartum pads already infused with healing herbs, so you just have to freeze them!
3. Pariday TendHer Feminine 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 pack 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 gel packs will definitely help a sore bottom. And if you spray some witch hazel or lavender oil on the sleeves, you will feel even better!
If you’re worried about the gel pack, don’t. The TendHer Feminine Cold Packs are made of super soft-touch, BPA- and phthalate-free film and are reusable for eight weeks or more. And if one of them did so happen to leak (which is very unlikely), the all-natural gel formula they use consists entirely of vegan food ingredients, with no artificial preservatives. You’re safe and good to go!
4. Sprays, Balms, and Salves
On top of the padsicles, you will also want to have sitz baths, bottom balms, 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 heal. And if I need to have a C-section, the healing salve is also great for helping heal incisions.
5. Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle
After birth, the hospital will give you a peri bottle to use so that you can spray and clean your bottom with warm water during your recovery. But have you tried to lean over and aim your peri bottle in the right direction after birth? It can be so 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.
You don’t have to worry about that. No more sticking your hand inside the toilet since its angled spout makes it easier for you to clean the right spots, and it also 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 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 even on the go.
6. Healthy Snacks & Meals
The best way for your whole body to heal is to eat whole foods like protein, fruits, and vegetables. Make healthy choices during this time. The fuel you feed your body will help you feel better and recover from the inside out. True postpartum must-haves! It also helps with breastfeeding!
7. 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.
8. Nipple Butter
I’ve covered the lower regions and now need to cover the upper area! You will be leaking and experiencing many changes with your breasts after birth. If you plan on breastfeeding, you want to ensure that you take good care of your nipples. We want to avoid sore and cracked nipples as much as possible. I recommend using an all-natural nipple balm safe for babies to keep our nipples moisturized. Earth Mama’s nipple butter is a great choice and is the first Non-GMO Project Verified Nipple Cream! Major thumbs up!
9. Nursing Pads
If you couldn’t tell from our previous articles, we love Bamboobies! Take care of your breasts and prevent leaks using these incredibly soft nursing pads. They are super absorbent and eco-friendly. You’ll be so happy that you did.
10. Nursing Tanks & Bras
After birth, you should be resting in bed as much as possible. Having good nursing bras and nursing tanks in your wardrobe are perfect items to wear when resting at home and learning how to breastfeed. I’ve already been wearing these tanks and bras from Bamboobies at home and around town, and I love them. They will be some of my go-to’s when recovering after pregnancy.
Have a few pairs of cute pajamas and comfortable loungewear items that you can throw on. These are a true postpartum must-have. Comfort and breathability are key during your recovery period. Also, it’s nice to have a couple of options that make you feel a little more put together if you have family members or friends stopping by to see you and meet baby, like this matching set.
12. Postpartum Doula
Not only do you need to rest and recover physically after birth, but you 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 to get a friend who just had a baby). A postpartum doula is trained to help you through this transition of adding a baby to your 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, babywear—to name a few), answers questions, and can help you get on a good routine, and so much more. She’s a newborn care specialist that will give you peace of mind and a well-deserved break from baby if you want to take a shower or a little nap.
These are my top 12 postpartum must-haves! Is there anything that you would add to the list? I’d love to know!