Postpartum Essentials & What to expect after delivery

Hi everyone! Sorry I’ve been a little MIA for the past month, but I have some big news to share!!

I added a new addition to my family! This is my 5th son and I’m just as in love with him as the others! I’m sure I can go on and on about the love for my kids and the joy that fills my soul from being a mom, but I wanted to share something that was a little more practical in this post.

I’ve been through childbirth 5 times now, and although certain things get easier or are a bit different for every delivery, there is one thing that seems to be the same no matter what; postpartum recovery.

These are my second and fourth boys meeting the new baby

Whether you are planning on delivering in a hospital, birth center, or in the comfort of your own home, these postpartum essentials are what every mom should have on hand.

Motrin– Or some kind of pain reliever. When you leave the hospital, or before your midwife leaves your home, they will normally let you know what dosage you should be taking. Always consult your healthcare provider before taking any medications. I’ve found that Motrin really works best for me during the postpartum cramping. Yes cramping will happen! It’s not as bad as the contractions you just experienced, but they are very uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating.

Mother’s Milk Tea or Pills– If you are planning on breastfeeding, this is a great essential to have. It helps to increase your milk supply. I personally enjoy a nice cup of tea during the last nights of constantly waking up and feeding, but for those who loathe tea, they luckily make pills that have the same effect.

Depends/adult diaper – If you have your child in the hospital they give you these wonderful mesh undies that you line with pads that are equivalent to a diaper, and sometimes you bleed through it. During my first home birth, I found out right away Depends are the way to go! They are disposable and I don’t have to fear about leaking blood through onto my clothes or bed. Yes, you’re going to bleed, and there is no definitive answer as to how long. Every pregnancy and person is different. With these I feel a little more confident about walking to and from the bathroom to my bed. Just save yourself the trouble and get a pack for at least your first week of postpartum.

Peri Bottle– This wonderful little item should be in every bathroom of your home after delivery. The hospital normally provides you with one while there, and it is yours to take home when you leave. Ask your midwife if they are going to provide you with one, or if you should purchase one on your own. They are not expensive but super essential! You cannot, repeat, CANNOT wipe when using the restroom after delivery. In reality you don’t want to! So to keep yourself clean, you’re going to use this and PAT! I prefer to use warm water, but sometimes cool water feels better on swollen and sore parts.

Tucks Pads-After you have your baby, things don’t flow smoothly as they once did. You may get constipated, and unfortunately hemorrhoids are very common in postpartum. You can line your underwear with a few of these for some relief down there while you get your body back to functioning like normal.

Stool Softener- Again, things take a while to get back to normal, especially with your bowels. Being constipated after delivery is not uncommon, and you definitely don’t want to pop a stitch just to use the restroom.

Dermaplast– If there is just one toiletry that you should 100% get, it is this one! After delivery, you’re sore, achy, and more than likely stitched up. Spray this whenever you’re feeling you just need some relief down there. It helps cool it all down and numb it a bit so you’re not so uncomfortable.

Puppy Pads– This may seem like an oddball thing to have included on this list, but trust me when I tell you these are great to have on hand. I use these to line my bed and save my sheets from any accidents that may happen. I also use these during the first week of diaper changes, both for baby and myself. I usually place one in front of the toilet to save my floors from any messes that might occur when I’m using the restroom. Again, it may seem odd, but being able to just pick up and throw away any messes is much more convenient than washing an extra load of laundry or extra cleaning during the first few weeks.

Heating Pad– You’re going to get cramps. It’s an unfortunate fact after delivery. Your uterus is trying to contract back to its normal size. In order to help reduce your pain, use a heating pad to make things a little more comfortable. I use it on both my abdomen and back. When breastfeeding, you may feel the cramping is more intense, and you may be inclined to use it. I suggest placing a barrier between your heating pad and baby, like a boppy or soft pillow to help prevent any injuries.

Belly Band- These are pretty easy to find online or a maternity store. They help to bring your tummy back “close to normal”, and helps provide your with a little more relief during your postpartum cramping while your uterus is contracting back to its normal size. I suggest only wearing it for a few hours each day, so your muscles can also work on their own.

Nursing Pajamas/Dress– I’m all about being comfortable after delivery, and although my husband’s sweats were the most comfortable thing I wore during my pregnancy, I prefer to wear something that will be functional for both me and baby. I’ve found that a nursing dress, or PJs have the most functionality in the days/weeks after delivery. They are comfortable, and provide convenience for feeding sessions at all times of day and I can easily change my “diaper” without having to worry about getting blood on any of my clothing.

Nursing Bra & Pads– If you’re planning on breastfeeding, this is an absolute! Make sure you invest in a good supportive bra that is going to be comfortable at all times of day. If you can’t sleep in it, find a new one. I’ve slept many times with my nursing bra on with nursing pads to save my pjs from getting soaked during the night.

Nipple Cream– Oh the joys of breastfeeding! No matter how many children you’ve had, breastfeeding a newborn takes it’s toll on your boobs! Yes, it does get easier, but while your nipples adjust to being chomped on every few hours, they will get sore, cracked and in some cases bleed. The cure for hurting nips is a good nipple cream. Always apply it after feeding so it gets absorbed and rehydrates.

Pillows– You need to be comfortable, and pillows are just the easiest way to keep you that way. Whether you’re propping up your back or baby during feeding time, or elevating your swollen feet, pillows are an essential to have.

Water– DO NOT SKIP THIS! You need water to help keep both you and your baby hydrated. Breastfeeding mommies need more water than the average person. I keep a few bottles of water in the fridge stocked up so I can just grab and drink throughout my day.

Lactation cookies/ nutrient dense foods/ good fats– Having a good diet after delivery is imperative when breastfeeding. Your baby is still eating what you eat, and in order for your child to grow healthy, momma needs to be healthy. There are certain foods that are better for milk supply than others. Lactation cookies are great to have on hand for in between meal snacks, as well as other milk boosting foods that are high in fat.

Have any postpartum essentials, or luxuries that you loved having after baby? Comment them down below!

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