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Us mamas spend so much time relishing our pregnancies and anticipating our baby’s arrival (and rightfully so), that we often overlook our postpartum recovery preparedness. Wouldn’t you rather daydream over those first moments when your newborn is placed on your chest, rather than having to decide on which size pads, or worse, diapers you should get yourself? Well sis, I don’t blame you!
But having gone through it twice, I know the importance of being well prepared. Your body’s postnatal recovery is, in fact, a big deal and being prepared to meet your body’s needs plays a major part in helping you recover comfortably and efficiently. You may or may not need to use all of these but you want to be prepared! Below is a list of the top 10 postpartum essentials you need immediately after you give birth.
Speaking of giving birth, are you planning on having a drug-free vaginal birth? If so, then you won’t want to miss out on this post to help you actually go through with it and have the birth of your dreams!
Ooooo and before we continue, I’m also going to share with you 1 SECRET essential you probably haven’t even thought about. In fact, I’m even willing to bet some money on it! I’ve seen several postpartum essentials lists and I’ve yet to come across this one. 😁
10 postpartum recovery essentials you actually need immediately after giving birth
Womp womp womp. You haven’t had a period since your last and after everything you’ve just been through being pregnant and all, you’re hit with the mother of all bleeds. You’ll experience heavy bleeding the first couple of days after the baby’s born. The bleeding will decrease after this but what you’ll experience will still be very period-like. Whether you had a vaginal or C-section birth, you will bleed.
Your uterus will go on expelling blood, mucous, and uterine tissue for about 4-6 weeks (sometimes even longer). During this time you will not be allowed to insert anything into your vagina so no penis (not that you’ll even want one near you), no tampons, and no menstrual cups! Maxi pads will be your new BFFs. Definitely, pack some into your hospital bag and have a stash ready in your washroom at home.
Some mamas even swear by Depends Diapers. Seriously! I mean I haven’t used these but I certainly could have especially during the first 24 hours after my kids were born!
You will want to keep your peri bottle by your side AT ALL TIMES when using the bathroom. Tear or no tear, your lady parts will likely be swollen and very sore after you deliver your baby, and your first pee will burn. If you tore or had any other injuries, it will hurt to pee for some time. You’ll need this bottle to squirt your vagina (from the front to prevent infections) with some water while you’re peeing to dilute your urine and reduce the sting, and afterward for a mini cleaning.
Pssttt! Want to know a secret? Drinking a lot of water will help dilute your urine and reduce the sting factor!
Sitz bath mix:
Your Perineum will have undergone much stress from birthing your babes. Get yourself some witch hazel, coconut oil, lavender essential oil, and Epsom salt, to aid in the recovery of your perineum, which is the area between your vaginal opening and your anus. Draw yourself a warm shallow bath (your tub should be thoroughly cleaned to reduce risk of infection) and put in a little of each ingredient into the water and soak your bum. Combined, these ingredients provide anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, analgesic, and soothing properties. These, of course, will help speed up your healing and provide you with much-deserved relief. You can take a sitz bath 2-3 times a day or as often as you need to.
Soft toilet tissue and wet wipes:
You’ll want to treat your lady parts with extra TLC for the first couple of days after you give birth. Any kind of friction will be very uncomfortable so be kind to yourself and your nether regions and use wet wipes right after you’ve finished doing your business, and soft toilet tissue to dry.
I would recommend using WaterWipes Sensitive Baby Wipes because they will not irritate your delicate skin (also perfect for baby!) and contain 99.9% water and some fruit extract. No harsh chemicals! As for toilet tissue, I’d recommend using anything that is very soft, and that is 3 ply (with all that leakage down there your fingers will appreciate the extra layers of protection).😅
Just remember to PAT. Always, always PAT dry.
Save your sexy VS thongs and cute boy shorts for later, you are guaranteed to leak through your pads especially during the first couple of days. And really, who after having pushed out an entire baby, would want to have any sort of rubbing and wedging go on down there? *Shudders* Yikes. Keep it simple and get yourself some comfy underwear that will keep everything down below in place, and that will keep you feeling comfortable. Rock those granny panties girl!
Extra Strength Tylenol or Advil:
Hmm yeah…This one pretty much speaks for itself. Whether you’ve had a C-section or a vaginal birth, you will experience a wide array of postpartum pains. From headaches to muscle soreness, to uterine cramps (very intense pain especially when breastfeeding), the pains are no joke. Your care provider will likely give you a bunch to take home. Always, always have these on hand. If you are like me and do not like taking medicine, you can always use hot compresses to take the edge off the pains.
This one is the exact same one we use in my house. I get it right from my chiropractor’s office! Taking a spoonful every day aside from your prenatal vitamin makes a huge difference. My chiropractor recommended it to me after I had my son and was suffering from really bad pelvic pain. She even recommended it to my mother for joint pain in the neck. I had no idea that Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties that help with stiffness and joint pain. Studies also show that there is a link between baby blues/PPD and the intake of Omega-3s [source]. So yeah, definitely get some in your diet and take an additional supplement.
Stool Softeners and H20:
Constipation, stitches, and hemorrhoids will make for very painful poos so taking a stool softener and drinking lots of water will soften your stools and make for less discomfort and straining. Also, make sure you get enough fiber through your diet. Check out this website for a list of 20 high-fiber foods!
As your uterus shrinks back to its pre-pregnancy size, you will experience painful cramping. If you are like me and dislike taking medicine, then heating pads are for you.
Applying a heat pack to your lower abdominal area can help take the edge of the pain which are especially intense when baby nurses. I love this heat pack which I can use hot or cold.
Waist trainers or belly band:
Your stomach muscles will be weak after you give birth because they’ve been stretched out for months. A waist trainer will help with your posture, it will alleviate back pain and will keep your stomach muscles taut by providing you with abdominal support. I used this aggressive latex waist trainer from Angel Curves. It really helped me with my posture and helped cinch in my waist (see notes)…which reminds me, I need to go a size down because the one I initially purchased is now too big for me. Some mamas swear by belly bands but I’ve never actually used one. I think the main difference between belly bands and waist trainers is that belly bands are more “gentle” and are safe to use after a C-section.
If you want to that extra baby weight, eating clean and getting in some physical activity is what will get you there. A waist trainer can be added to help you but shouldn’t be used as a substitute!
So there you have it, ladies. A list of postpartum essentials you will need during those first couple of days and weeks after you’ve given birth. You will be in need of some TLC & A LOT of REST (take ALL the help you can get, trust me!!!!) so be kind to yourself by getting prepared.
Wait. I did promise you a SECRET postpartum essential.
Get yourself a CHI-RO-PRAC-TOR girl! I’ll go in depth about this in another post but I just had to include it in this list. I needed one when I was pregnant with my daughter and neglected and I ended up regretting it because I suffered with pelvic girdle pain aka PGP, for a long time. I can’t even wish this sort of pain on my worst enemy. It’s bad. It’s really really bad.
Trust me when I tell you, get a chiropractor. You will need one during your pregnancy and after you’ve given birth. If you get a good one, like mine, you will not regret it!
In case you were wondering, I’m also working on a list of breastfeeding/pumping essentials so look out for that one!
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What were some postpartum essentials you couldn’t live without those first couple of days?
Let’s help the new mamas out, comment below!