Every mom’s postpartum journey is going to be unique. For one, every person’s medical needs will be different depending on the type of pregnancy and birth experienced. Each mom also has individual ideas on how they envision their postpartum, and plus, friends, family and even strangers give advice based on their own personal experience and what has worked for them. Because of this, it can be a little overwhelming to think about what will happen after birth. With this in mind, here is a condensed list of 10 items meant to provide you with a baseline of products that may help during your postpartum days.
Whether you’re giving birth vaginally or by cesarean, the recovery period will require a lot of different products, most likely with trial periods to deduce what works for you and what you prefer. Below are some suggestions on what to purchase to get you started!
The “Peri” Bottle, also known as the perineal irrigation bottle, is meant to help clean yourself off when you are going to the restroom, without having to use toilet paper. Many moms experience perineal tears, so using a peri bottle can be especially helpful after a vaginal birth because everything is much more sensitive and likely to be easily irritated. Using a peri bottle can also be helpful in making urinating less painful which is always a plus!
Mom Favorite: Though peri bottles are often given out by hospitals, many moms love the Upside Down Peri Bottle from Frida Mom because of the angled neck of the bottle, which makes it much easier to use.
Adult diapers and maxi pads are a must after both a c-section or vaginal birth because of the common occurrence of vaginal discharge. Also, your body has not experienced a period in approximately 40 weeks, so you’re most likely not stocked. Some moms choose to also create “padsicles” with maxi pads, witch hazel, and aloe vera for some relief from any irritation and swelling.
Mom Favorite: The Always Discreet Underwear, like its name, is a discreet adult diaper that you change like underwear. It’s high-waisted for comfort and made of cotton, so it won't irritate any of your sensitive areas like a swollen perineum or incision. Some moms prefer this over mesh panties as they aren’t bulky like many other adult diapers and provide strong protection against leaks.
If you have a vaginal birth, it is likely that if you have a vaginal birth, you will experience a perineal tear. So, in addition to a peri bottle, having a pain-relieving, anti-bacterial, anti-itching spray can really ease the potential pain and itchiness of your perineal.
Mom Favorites: Two very common ones that we see moms using are Dermoplast and this Perineal Spray from Earth Mama. The Dermoplast brand is used often by hospitals and moms like it for the numbing effect that it provides after a vaginal delivery. Some moms prefer the Spray from Earth Mama over the Dermoplast because it uses more natural ingredients and it provides a soothing sensation without necessarily numbing the perineal.
The first bowel movement after pregnancy is likely to happen a few days after you give birth. This can be nerve-wracking because many moms, especially after a vaginal birth, experience hemorrhoids, a “painful swelling of a vein in the rectum.” Regardless of hemorrhoids or not, we recommend increasing the amount of water and foods with fiber in your diet and considering stool softeners and toilet stools to make your first bowel movement after birth less painful or uncomfortable.
Mom Favorites: A particular stool softener brand that is popular amongst moms is Colace. Moms enjoy this because it is on the more mild side in comparison to other laxatives (read: it doesn’t make you go, it just makes it easier for you to go). Also, a toilet stool (i.e. a Squatty Potty), helps to imitate a natural squat and can also assist with your first bowel movement.
For breastfeeding moms, a nipple shield is used to address latching issues, and can also help reduce soreness and overactive letdown. This is only meant to be used until your baby is able to breastfeed with little to no issues. We recommend speaking to your doctor or a lactation expert to see if a nipple shield is for you and utilizing it with their guidance!
Mom Favorite: There are a lot of nipple shields on the market, so at the end of the day, you should get one that suits your needs. A popular one that moms use, however, is this one from Medela, designed with a unique cutout that allows more skin contact between you and your baby for bonding.
Whether you have a c-section or vaginal birth, taking the good old ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be very helpful with any pain you are experiencing post-surgery or post-birth. Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen are also safe for breastfeeding moms who are in need of a pain medication when their milk is coming in.
Mom Favorite: Common over-the-counter options include Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen). If you find the pills hard to swallow, you can also try the soft, liqui-gel formats that also come in mini sizes.
A beautiful, tiny human has entered your world and of course, they will require a lot of your time. However, it is so important to make sure that you are prioritizing your own mental health and well-being during this time as well. You deserve it! Here are some product suggestions to help you take care of yourself.
Your body has gone through some drastic changes and you are in recovery, so some comfortable, soft loungewear can make your postpartum experience much more enjoyable–it is truly about the little things! Many moms enjoy nightgowns or enjoy super loose pajama-type loungewear. You may be in loungewear for a while, so take this opportunity to invest in a few quality pieces.
Mom Favorites: In addition to pajama-type loungewear and nightgowns, some breastfeeding moms like to get nursing dresses, such as this one from Kindred Bravely. The particular one has pockets, is soft and comfortable, and provides easy access to your breasts if you need to breastfeed. It’s also extremely versatile and can be worn out or as a nightgown!
Whether you’re nursing or not–take care of your breasts. Find a bra –whether it be a nursing, sleeping, sports, or lounge bra– that is supportive and cozy to wear around. Again, take this opportunity to invest in your comfort.
Mom Favorites: Some solid starting options include the Larken X Nursing Bra, noted to be extremely comfortable for a “hands-free” pumping bra. If you're looking for a tad more support, you can also try out The Everything Bra by Bodily, "designed with a lactation consultant to optimize breast health and minimize afflictions, such as mastitis and clogged or plugged ducts." Even better, its extended back closure and front-adjustable straps mean that you can adjust the bra to best fit your changing body from pregnancy to postpartum.
Need we say more? When you are finally able to get some “you” time, don’t just take a shower or bath – make it a spa experience! This includes before, during, and after your shower or bath. Here are some suggestions to upgrade your “you” time and and make it even more special:
Mom Favorites: Enhance your shower with an environmentally friendly shower steamer from Ardent Goods. Or, pick from an assortment of different scents and products such as whipped body soap, body butter, body oil, and body polish from Ancient Cosmetics (a Black-owned, all natural home & beauty brand) to pamper yourself and your skin. Also, invest in a soft robe to put on after you shower and bathe. This particular robe from Amazon has excellent reviews and is worth looking into.
Amazon Essentials Women's Lightweight Waffle Full-Length Robe ($24.40)
Baby registries are very common, so why not a Mommy registry? Make a list of everything that you might need to aid your mental comfort and well-being during this postpartum period.
Mom Favorite: Little Honey Money is a great registry whose primary focus is parents and siblings because “healthier babies start with parents and siblings that are supported.”
There you have it, and we hope this helps! Be sure to consult with your doctor about any products you may be using and be sure to prepare early for the postpartum period so you are ready and stocked when the baby comes. And, when you have figured out what works for you, pass that information along too—you never know what could help a fellow mom.