Everyone warned me that postpartum recovery was a literal pain in the butt. I had multiple women tell me that child birth was a piece of cake compared to the recovery. While I definitely don’t agree with that, I do agree that post-birth recovery is not exactly the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. But having the right products stocked up for when you get home from the hospital makes a world of difference in your recovery!
I was lucky enough to receive some of these items at my baby showers and I am forever grateful for the thoughtful mama’s who knew that having the items you need postpartum is just as important as having the items your newborn baby needs! Although the cute baby clothes and shoes are more fun to unwrap than a box of maxi pads, I would highly recommend giving a few of these items to a mom-to-be at the next baby shower you attend (also check out our best baby shower gift guide HERE).
As a first time mom, you really have NO idea what to expect, so after having gone through it all, here are my must-have postpartum recovery items:
You will need more of these than you think! I took 3 packs home from the hospital, but couldn’t believe how fast I went through them. I had one box on hand, but after being home for about 3 days, I got online and ordered more, because who really wants to run out of pads when you are bleeding like crazy?! I am also not picky on the brand, but THESE are my favorite!
2. Witch Hazel Tucks
These are so great for soothing itchy stitches. In the hospital they tell you to line your pad with them, and I continued to do that after I got home as well. They really make a huge difference in cooling a very sensitive area. Like the pads, I took home a few boxes from the hospital, but that was not enough! Again, I ordered three more boxes as soon as I realized I was going to be running out soon (can you tell by now that I am paranoid of running out of anything I need??).
3. Perinial Cold Packs
I don’t think I would have survived without these. Yes, they are huge and bulky and uncomfortable, but not nearly as uncomfortable as feeling the pain from pushing a human out of you. Also, these are the #1 item I would smuggle from the hospital if you can. I had been told I would want a lot of these, so I was a little bit sneaky at the hospital to try and get as many as possible. Each nurse shift change, I would take them all out of the bathroom and put them in my bag, and then ask the new nurse to restock them for me. I can’t even tell you how many I ended up with, but I was so grateful I had them all! If your hospital doesn’t have these, you can purchase them HERE, or just use a regular ice pack, but make sure you have something ready for yourself when you get back home!
I personally did not use this, but almost every women I talked to said they used it religiously. For me, the tucks and ice packs were enough to numb my pain, but I would recommend having a can of this on hand in case your pain is harder to control than mine was.
5. Perineal Irrigation Bottle
The hospital should provide this and let you take it home, but you may want a few more to keep in each bathroom. You will need this to squirt yourself clean after going to the bathroom since wiping isn’t something you’ll be able to do for a few weeks.
6. Always Underwear
Little did I know my newborn wouldn’t be the only one wearing diapers…
Again, I would have had no idea to purchase this pre-baby but a sweet mama gave it to me as part of a “mama recovery” baby shower gift. A lot of women talk about the dreaded first bowel movement post baby, but it’s really not that bad as long as you take a stool softener consistently. You may also need to take Miralax if it has been a few days post birth and you still haven’t had a bowel movement.
Definitely stock up on your favorite snacks before you have your baby! If you are like a lot of women (including myself), learning to breastfeed can be challenging and very time consuming. I spent lots of hours sitting in bed or on the couch the first few weeks learning how to breastfeed my baby, and I was always hungry while doing it! You may also just be so sleep deprived that you don’t even want to get out of bed to eat, so having a quick snack to eat in bed will come in handy. I would recommend simple snacks that you can eat with one hand like an energy bar or trail mix.
Something else I would make sure you have is comfortable clothes to wear while you are recovering, such as loose pajama pants, a comfy robe, and cotton underwear. They don’t have to be cute as you will most likely not be leaving your house for a few weeks anyway!
Are there any other items you would recommend to soon-to-be mom’s that aren’t on this list? I’d love to hear what items helped you in your postpartum recovery!