What you’ll need, after the baby arrives, to care for yourself.
A friend of mine who is due in a few months asked me what my postpartum must-have items have been so far, and I loved that question. It was natural to write about what I registered for, and what I packed in my hospital bag, but I hadn’t thought about postpartum items! And postpartum items are equally as important. These would make great gifts to any expecting moms you know as well since it’s easy for mom to get overlooked after the baby comes. And I promise you, it’s going to be hard enough for her to find time to take care of herself… you can help her make it a little easier and show her some love with these things.
I hope this is helpful for any expecting or new moms or those trying to support them! This is the exact list of post-partum must-haves that I texted my friend!
My Postpartum Must Haves
Water bottle with straw
I’m so thirsty ALL THE TIME, especially when nursing and staying hydrated is so important for milk supply. The straw is convenient while nursing!
I wore a corset type thing or my pregnancy running maternity support belt for a few weeks postpartum, but stopped wearing it after my pelvic floor physical therapist said she didn’t recommend them long term. But, it helped in the beginning when my core felt like an overcooked spaghetti noodle.
Care for down there
I like the Frida mom angled spray peri bottle than the straight shot bottle from the hospital. Don’t worry about buying pads… the hospital will send you home with plenty. For pain relief, I liked the Tucks pads and Dermoplast the hospital provided and this Frida foam that a friend gave me. You might also want to snag a few pair of disposable underwear so that you don’t ruin your nicer pairs early on. Snag this pair of disposable mesh underwear.
Since having Thomas, I wash my hair a LOT less since I haven’t been running. I’ve always loved Primally Pure’s dry shampoo, but I lately I prefer the convenience of this aerosol dry shampoo. It’s just a bit easier and less messy to use.
Big soft undies
Trust me, you won’t want anything that rubs (see ya lace) or anything that digs into your sensitive parts. Get big undies. Size up. Make sure they’re full coverage. I like these and these. High waisted felt nice. I also got to a point where I preferred to wear two pairs of undies rather than liners or thin pads. I never really liked the feeling of maxi pads, but that works well too if you don’t mind how they feel.
While we’re on the topic, your doctor might also recommend that you do a sitz bath. This is where you soak your bottom half, where you’re likely a little swollen or sore, in warm water. I didn’t know much about these prior to hearing about them while pregnant, and they can help reduce swelling. You can order a sitz bath online here. Witch hazel and ice packs may also be helpful.
And if you struggle going #2 after delivering your baby, you can likely use a stool softener. Just make sure to consult with your doctor.
I tried give different brands. This nursing bra is HANDS DOWN the most comfortable. You also my find that you need nursing pads to help absorb any leakage in-between feedings.
Nursing friendly PJs
Some warm, some cool, night gowns, sweatpants, shorts, tanks, all versions! The night sweats and hot flashes are real, and I often change PJs multiple times a night. Sometimes I’m freezing and other times drenched in sweat. Dark or white is ideal since gray shows EVERYTHING. Not that it matters in the middle of the night but I have found that breast milk tends to stain.
I’ve never been much of a robe person and now I use them daily as part of my postpartum recovery. They’re nice to throw on over PJs or nursing bras to cover up or for a little extra warmth for middle of the night feedings. I have this one and this is a great maternity & nursing friendly PJ and robe set that my friend gifted me right before I had Thomas. This set is cute and practical too!
Haakaa and Pumping Bra
Pumping can be really inconvenient but the haakaa helps capture milk while you’re nursing. The Spectra S2 is the pump I do have and use occasionally. If you or your favorite new mom is pumping a lot, I highly recommend this pumping bra to simplify life and make it less of hassle.
Joggers & sweatpants
Postpartum doula hours
Give yourself the gift of a postpartum doula, ESPECIALLY if you don’t have family close by. Heck, even if you do have family close by, a postpartum doula is there to support YOU, with whatever you need. If you’re local, I highly recommend Piedmont Doulas. I’ve used them for daytime support and overnight shifts. (I’m planning a post all about my decision to hire a doula when pregnant…feel free to leave questions about it and I’ll address in that post!)
Small table on EACH side where you plan to nurse!
When I switch sides nursing, suddenly I can’t reach my water bottle or the burp cloth. A small table on each side is key! I like this a lot.
Having my groceries delivered (especially costco!) is SO nice as a new mom! Use my link fro $10 off your first order!
My phone dies all the time these days so I keep one of these near the places I nurse most often. This is a powerbank, so you can just plug into it no matter where you are – since outlets are never where I need them.
In addition to dry skin, my lips are really dry. I have one of these chapsticks at every spot where I nurse!
This is a rehab program designed to help strengthen your pelvic floor and core. The workouts are 15-20 minutes and the program is designed by a runner. (And the same company where I bought my maternity running belt) I started these workouts after I was cleared at my 6 week OBGYN appointment. I’m also working with a pelvic floor PT so I keep her posted on these workouts, as well as completes the exercises she gives me!
Body Oil & Face Oil
My skin is so dry since giving birth. It was dry while pregnant and perhaps even more-so since… likely because of the colder temps. I love this body oil that a friend gifted me. This is the oil I use on my face.
One of the best things we did was hire a sleep consultant to help with Thomas (who was simply NOT sleeping). It was MAJORLY helpful. We used Molly from Sleep Shore. Use promo code Teri10 for 10% off.
Read Molly’s sleep tips in this post too!
After having Thomas, I wanted to stay on top of my health and make sure that I wasn’t neglecting anything that could have long-term implications. I also didn’t know what biomarkers could be impacted by breastfeeding, if any. InsideTracker provided a great way to develop a postpartum care plan that is tailored to me. And it simplifies things, which is great since I’m juggling a lot while working, managing a team and learning this mom thing. Use this link and code AFOODIESTAYSFIT at checkout for 25% off an InsideTracker plan!
A smooth stroller
Thomas hated the stroller when he was only a few months old, but now he’s obsessed. And plenty of babies love it right away! We are in love with our strollers (yes we have 3!) and I rave about them to my friends all the time. We have the UppaBaby Vista 2 for everyday use, the Thule jogger for running and when we go to Boone, NC, and the Cybex Libelle stroller which is amazing and packs up SO small, making it much easier to use on the go now that he’s big enough for it.
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What were your postpartum must-haves?