The term “postpartum” refers to the time period immediately after the birth of a child. Some call this time “the fourth trimester,” so this would mean it lasts 3 months. This is an important time for both mom and baby in terms of recovery and developing a bond with each other. There are some postpartum essentials that will help with this!
Unfortunately, though, postpartum care for moms is often lacking. It seems that any checkups occur approximately 6 weeks after childbirth. But there is so much going on mentally and physically during that time! Hopefully, this lack of care will change in the future, but some postpartum must-haves will help make your recovery easier. Here are my recommendations:
While it may seem obvious that having a baby would mess things up in terms of my bowel movements, I never thought about it much! But, I had bad postpartum constipation. So, I wish I had a stool softener right away! However, not all stool softeners or laxatives may be safe after having a baby, so please check with your doctor for a recommendation on one for you.
Of course, water and high fiber foods also help, as well as exercise!
To be honest, I had no idea I could bleed so much after birth, but I did! I wish I had maxi pads right on hand when I got home from the hospital. Alas, my mother-in-law was kind enough to grab some for me.
Heavy postpartum bleeding generally lasts for up to 10 days after delivery. Lighter bleeding can last anywhere from 4-6 weeks after delivery. However, it does depend on the person in terms of how long you bleed. The bleeding is your body’s way of getting rid of the tissue and blood that was needed to nourish your baby.
According to What to Expect, tampons can introduce bacteria into your “still recovering uterus and genital tract”. So, get a lot of pads even if you have to get the thick ones!
These are some maxi pads you can try:
I wish I had known about these, as they offer cold therapy for the perineal area while also absorbing liquid! It also provides full coverage of the perineal area from front to back.
This is something I could have used for my self-care! According to the description on Amazon, this has “mood-boosting botanicals and energizing aromatics to help fight baby blues and promote a balanced mind.” Generally, this helps with hemorrhoids (I had hemorrhoids from Hell, which no one told I could have before I had my baby… lol) and sore muscles.
I decided to breastfeed, and I was so glad I had these! These pads are absorbent and durable, as well as soft and comfortable. And because they are washable, they will save you money (rather than continually buying disposable breast pads).
When I wore breast pads, I was always worried they would look funny in my bra. However, with these, they have a nice contoured shape to fit “smoothly and discreetly” in your bra. Generally, these pads will help keep you comfortable and prevent leaks!
When you are recovering, hurting, as well as tired, there’s nothing better than a comfortable pair of pants. These pants, in particular, have great ratings and are a best-seller on Amazon!
I went home with this after I delivered my baby. This is great for postpartum pain relief, but it can also be used later for any minor cuts and insect bites.
I had a nursing bra similar to this. These have a one-step feeding clasp that you can undo with one hand, which makes it so much easier when you are also trying to hold a baby! According to the product description on Amazon, these bras are durable and the material shouldn’t deform after many washes. Thus, it should be a good investment!
It’s important to keep yourself hydrated after delivery. For one, according to one article, mothers that don’t drink enough water will have a lower milk supply. And by staying hydrated, you will generally feel better and more alert!
I am a t-shirt and pajama pants kind of girl in terms of what I wear to bed. So, to be honest, I never thought about buying anything that would make it easier to breastfeed at night. These are some examples of great nursing pajamas, so you can be comfortable throughout the night, as well as through breastfeeding.
While you may be able to take home some mesh underwear from the hospital, I’d suggest getting some full coverage panties that are more comfortable. You will likely be wearing a pad for a while, so you might not want to mess up any of your better panties. These panties should be more comfortable, as they have a stretchy covered waistband that won’t roll or bunch up.
You can use these warm or cold, depending on your needs. If you heat these, these breast packs help encourage your milk flow, as well as helping to prevent clogged ducts. If you use them cold, they help reduce swelling and pain associated with engorged breasts (I needed this!).
I think it’s important to go ahead and get what you might need for postpartum care before you deliver, so you don’t have to worry about that when you get home. And comfort is everything during recovery! Find ways to relax (such as a sitz bath) and wear comfortable clothing. You just had a baby, so take good care of yourself 🙂 Sneak in some self-care as well so you recover faster.
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Bellefonds, C. (2020). Postpartum bleeding. Retrieved from https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/postpartum-bleeding.aspx.Follow me on social media: