I had my hospital bag packed and the crib assembled. I’d bought the baby must-haves that’ll make those newborn days easier. But then I thought about me. What are the essential things you need after giving birth to help us moms recover?
Recovery depends on so many factors. The way we deliver. Whether this is a first delivery. The size of the baby, and so much more.
The newborn days will already be tough. I’ve learned that coming prepared will help make the healing process after birth more comfortable. After all, you’re also healing after giving birth. If it were any other procedure done at the hospital, you’d likely try to rest as much as possible.
My hospital carried a few of these items, so it’s worth checking if yours will provide them.
Otherwise, these are the items to have handy when moms get back home.
Essential things you need after giving birth
Be warned: reading a few of these might seem scary for those who haven’t given birth yet. I had been so scared of giving birth, so thinking about pain relief wasn’t always pleasant.
Still, better to prepare than get caught off guard. Plus, the delivery for both my pregnancies wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be.
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After I gave birth, I kept a basket in the bathroom filled with the following items. Every time I’d use the bathroom, I’d go through my routine of applying these soothing aids. You might want to keep these handy in your bathroom as well:
- Perineal spray: A post-delivery numbing spray will do just that: numb to ease the pain and discomfort.
- Ice packs or frozen pads: Wear ice packs to keep you comfortable as well. In the hospital, the nurses would straight up use bags of regular ice. Other moms also swear by freezing pads and wearing those at home.
- Tucks pads: And after you’ve numbed yourself with the spray and ice packs, you can also place Tucks pads to sooth. These are medicated to help with the healing.
- Bottom balm: A friend swore by the Earth Mama vaginal ointment to soothe any swelling.
- Squirt bottle: After delivery, you won’t want to use toilet paper to wipe. The next best thing? Squirt bottles. Find refillable plastic bottles you can fill with water each time you use the toilet.
Your breasts will go through changes you’d want to prepare for. Here are a few things you need after giving birth:
- Ice packs or cabbage leaves: If you don’t breastfeed, your breasts will still feel engorged, and painfully so. Without a way to expel the milk, they’ll feel full and uncomfortable. But expelling the milk will only trick your body into making more milk, thus extending the cycle. Instead, apply ice packs or cabbage leaves on your breasts to decrease milk production.
- Nursing tops and bras: These are a must for any breastfeeding or pumping mom. Get several camisoles you can wear and layer. Nursing bras work well with your other clothes. Believe me when I say you will wear these things 24/7.
- Nipple cream: Many moms experience nipple discomfort, especially as we learn to latch a baby. You might also have blistered, cracked or sore nipples. Nipple cream will also help prevent these discomforts by applying them before your baby nurses.
- Nipple shells: These shells will keep your clothes from rubbing on your nipples.
- Nursing pads: Along with nipple shells, nursing pads are also a must to keep your breasts from leaking. I also found they added an extra layer of comfort like the nipple shells.
- Medication: Your pain threshold may differ from others. I tried to do without taking over-the-counter medicine, but if I felt I needed it, I took them. I needed to be comfortable enough to be present and able with my babies.
- Belly wrap: After giving birth, you won’t shrink down to pre-baby size just yet (that takes at least 6-12 weeks). Instead, your belly will look how it did at about six months pregnant. For added comfort, use a belly wrap.
- Sanitizers and hand wash: Have plenty of sanitizers and hand wash ready at home. You’ll need them for the constant hand washing after diaper changes. They’re also useful if you have visitors who want to hold the baby.
- Large and low underwear: C-section moms swear by low or maternity underwear that won’t rub against their stitches. And you’ll still be bigger than your pre-baby body, so large underwear will also be necessary.
- Prune juice: Bowel movements might be slow the first few days. To help move it along without too much straining, drink prune juice, which is high in fiber. Other moms also swear by papaya.
You’ll need to rest and recover during those first few days and weeks post-delivery. These items will come in handy to speed your recovery and make you more comfortable.
Get more tips:
- 9 Things to Do Before Baby Is Born
- Come Prepared: Your Hospital Bag Essentials with a Free Printable!
- Preparing for Baby: How to Avoid the Clutter
- The Ultimate Mom to Be Guide: Everything I Wish Someone Had Told Me when I Was Pregnant
- After Birth Must Haves – the Unglamorous Postpartum List
Tell me in the comments: What would you add to this list of things you need after giving birth?
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