Congratulations on your newest bundle of joy! Labor and delivery is a crazy ride, and the postpartum experience can bring its own set of challenges. The first week postpartum is overwhelming, exhausting, and can feel like a blur. it is finally time to get to know the little person that was inside you for several months. As a third time mom, i was better prepared with postpartum care than I was for my first baby, and yet it is true that every pregnancy is different. The fourth trimester can be more difficult for moms than they expect, especially without feeling prepared. Since I am only 2 weeks postpartum right now, I was created a list of all the postpartum care essentials for mom for the first week while it was still fresh! Here are 20 postpartum care essentials for mom to consider when tackling that first week postpartum for the best recovery!
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If you are planning to breastfeed your baby, I am not exaggerating when I say you will devote HOURS to breastfeeding in that first week. This includes the actual time of breastfeeding but also all the breastfeeding related tasks that pop up as you settle into a nursing routine. I struggle with engorgement pain when my milk comes in, nipple pain, leaking on everything, and feeling comfortable while nursing. These are some breastfeeding essentials to ease the transition:
- Nipple shield: This can be super helpful in the beginning as baby develops a good latch and your nipples become accustomed to nursing. I am a big fan of the Lansinoh brand for all things nipples/bottles but there are tons of different sizes/shapes to find the right fit.
- Organic Nipple Balm: I swear by the organic nipple balm from Bamboobies for keeping my skin from feeling raw or chapped. The ingredients are safe for baby so there is no need to wash it off in between and it keeps me feeling comfortable. A must have!
- Another product I love from Bamboobies is their bamboo nursing pads. These are the best for any leaks and they are reusable! I wear the daytime pads everyday during the first week. I also use the nighttime pads at night to prevent leaking in the bed.
- Speaking of leaks: you need a Haakkaa pump! You can collect milk from the side that baby is not nursing on with virtually no effort! No leaks, and you can save the milk you collect for another feed or your freezer stash. Win win!
- Comfortable nursing bras are a must! It isn’t fun to deal with a normal bra with round the clock nursing! I always sleep in my nursing bras during the postpartum period for added support so comfort is a must. My favorite line of nursing bras for sleep and everyday wear is from Kindred Bravely. Use this link for 20 percent off your first purchase!
- Heating pads: I struggle with intense engorgement pain when my milk comes in. Heating pads (or a really hot shower) are perfect for right before nursing.
- Nursing pillow: Your back may be hurting already, so making sure to not add any additional stress is important with frequent nursing. We are Boppy fans in this house, but there are tons of options including My Brest Friend to find what feels best for you!
Postpartum Care Essentials for Mom
Oh the joys of labor! There is nothing quite like that first week postpartum as your body is coming down from such a major event. Whether you have a speedy recovery or one that is long and slow, there are a few postpartum essentials that make it a little easier for every mama! I have had the pleasure of using all of these products to ease my recovery from three vaginal births and highly recommend stocking up!
Underwear and Nursing Friendly Clothes
The amount of bleeding following your labor can be extensive! I remember being unprepared for the amount and duration I would bleed after my first was born and I definitely did not have enough underwear to deal with the frequent changes. This time I grabbed fresh cotton underwear, pajamas for lounging and nursing friendly bras and tops. Between the leaking breasts and bleeding, having a plethora of comfortable clothes can be essential especially when laundry is not high on your to-do list.
My favorite nursing bras and bras for sleeping are from Kindred Bravely and this time around I grabbed these super comfy pajamas for lounging around. I also grabbed a pack of new underwear (nothing fancy for these postpartum weeks) which was super helpful and I did not need to worry about ruining my good underwear!
Postpartum Pain Relief
Depending on your particular labor pains, some pain relief items will be more necessary than others. Every pregnancy and labor is a unique experience! With this third baby, I was prepared for tearing like with my previous births, but I actually did not have that problem with this babe. I did have the joy of postpartum hemorrhoids this go around which was a first for me. Each labor is different! These are some things I have been loving this past week:
- Organic sitz bath soak: I tried this one from Amazon and loved it! It was so soothing and gave me a little bit of me time during my recovery that I really needed.
- Peri Bottle: The hospital will likely give you a Peri bottle for recovery but I am such a fan of the Nose Frida, that I decided to invest in the Frida brand Peri bottle and it’s amazing!
- Perineal Cold Packs: Instant relief, and easy to use.
- Perineal Spray: I love this Perineal Spray from Earth Mama. With organic ingredients and nothing harsh, this spray is super soothing for anything going on down there!
EVEN IN POSTPARTUM, self care is a must have. This means going beyond the physical recovery and taking care of the whole mama- body and mind. Make sure you are nurturing yourself as best you can, so you can be the best mama to that sweet babe! Here are some top must haves for mom when it comes to self care during the first week postpartum:
- Water bottle: Water intake is crucial for recovery. Grab your favorite refillable water bottle or a case of plastic ones. Drink it as often as you can to replenish your body and provide for nursing.
- Skin care: My skin is very reactive to hormones and I used to face major breakouts during times of hormone fluctuation like postpartum. The cleansing oil from Primally Pure is the only cleaner so far that works to keep my skin smooth and prevent breakouts even during this time! Use code FBMAMA10 for 10% off!
- Healing Skin Balm If you have a c-section you will want something soothing for any wounds or scars you might have. Earth Mama also makes a fantastic body skincare product for c-section scars, rashes, and for stretch marks for any mama.
My favorite part of this list! Having a baby during a global pandemic definitely complicates a lot of the wonderful aspects of the postpartum period. Despite those challenges, I consider these postpartum gifts to be essential for taking care of mama.
- Time to shower daily– it makes a world of difference! Find someone to snuggle that baby for you or drag one of the baby’s favorite lounging spots into the bathroom with you. My first babe loved to sit and coo in her bouncer while I took showers.
- Easy meals– Whether you spent time prepping freezer meals before baby arrived or you are tackling meals like normal, make it easy on yourself for a few weeks. Do takeout, order a meal service, or accept meals from friends and family.
- Help– Help can look like many things. Someone to come hold the baby so you can nap. Someone to come clean up your house for you. A friend to run errands for you. Whatever is most helpful to you, seek out that help and accept it. The postpartum period is not intended to be done alone. Share in the experience with those closest to you and ask for what you need.
The postpartum period is filled with so many emotions and it can feel like it is dragging. While the nights feel long, I promise you the time will go by in a blink. Hopefully you find some of these postpartum care essentials for mom as useful in your recovery as I did. Enjoy your postpartum period as much as possible and take the time you need for your best recovery. Your body will thank you, and so will your baby.
All the best,