When preparing for a baby, a lot of the prep is built around anticipation of this new little person.
You create a baby registry in anticipation of all of the items you’ll need after the baby comes.
A lot of people focus on reading books about pregnancy (which I personally don’t think should be your main focus when choosing what books to read while pregnant).
But what about mom?
So often mom’s care is forgotten in anticipation of all these new baby needs.
But having some items handy for mom’s postpartum care is just as important as having everything set up for your baby.
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A postpartum care kit is essentially a couple of items that will make things easier for mom when she comes home from delivering her baby.
Nope. In fact, a lot of the items you’ll want on hand can be gotten from your hospital before you’re discharged. In fact, you can read more about those items and grab a printable checklist of stuff you can take from the hospital here.
Yup, you sure can. Though a lot of these kits, while terrific, still have some gaps in them and you’ll need to add additional items or at least restock certain items. If you’re pretty sure you don’t want to go the DIY route, though, Frida has great products and they offer a Frida Mom postpartum care kit you can check out.
So whether you’re making a postpartum care kit for yourself or for someone else, here’s what you don’t want to forget:
I received one of these peri bottles from the hospital, but I strongly advise that you have enough of these bottles to keep one in each of your bathrooms at home as well as one in your diaper bag.
Because you will absolutely want to avoid using toilet paper in the early days after giving birth.
Wiping will be something that you won’t even consider after a vaginal birth.
So these bottles cannot be under-rated when creating your postpartum care kit.
Mesh Underwear or Large, Comfortable, Underwear You Don’t Mind Getting Destroyed
Another item you can typically snag from your hospital when you’re discharged is the mesh underwear. But you may run out (depending on how many you take from the hospital and depending on how long you bleed).
Keep in mind that your body will be bleeding for weeks after giving birth.
You’ll want either disposable mesh underwear or underwear that won’t put too much pressure on your vagina and which will be able to accommodate very large pads.
Unfortunately, you may be bleeding for a while after you give birth. For some women it can be 2-3 weeks, for others it can be as long as 8-9 weeks.
You’ll want long pads. And, at least for those early days, you’ll want pads that can handle a heavy flow.
Sorry, I know that’s probably not what you want to hear, but you’ll be glad you have them.
I got my sitz bath from the hospital when I was discharged (so don’t forget to ask for one), so its not something you need to buy ahead of time. Especially since you’re not supposed to be submerging in anything in those early days and weeks after having a baby anyway (but definitely ask your doctor when you can incorporate the sitz bath into your postpartum recovery).
But having a sitz bath to soak your aching lady parts and/or hemorrhoid-laden bottom in is one of the best ways to get relief.
A sitz bath is great.
But a warm sitz bath with epsom salts is ammmaaazzziiinngg.
I had a very long recovery with my first son and one of the primary sources of relief for me came from a warm sitz bath with epsom salts.
If you plan to breastfeed, I’m sorry to say, but you’re nipples will likely need some TLC. Especially when your baby is cluster feeding, if you struggle to get a good latch (which is incredibly common, by the way), or if breastfeeding is just generally pretty difficult (also, totally normal). Nipple cream will help heal your nipples and should definitely be part of your postpartum care kit.
There are a lot of lactation professionals out there who are anti-nipple shield, so take that into consideration when thinking about adding one of these to your postpartum care kit.
It’s basically just a tool to help you get a good latch (and they’re pretty inexpensive). I wouldn’t recommend using it for every feeding, but I kept mine on my nightstand after my son and I finally had mostly figured out nursing effectively. I used it only when we were both too tired to work at getting the perfect latch in those early days and months.
Before being discharged from the hospital, your doctors or nurses should be able to discuss with you what reasonable dosages are for you and how to taper off the pain meds. But I would suggest that you consider having both Acetaminophen (Tylenol) as well as Ibuprofen (Advil) on hand.
Not only will you want to have some oral pain relievers like Tylenol and Advil at home as you’re recovering from giving birth, you’ll also probably want some topical options.
A lot of hospitals offer Dermaplast, but it’s usually a travel-size bottle, so you can buy more. If you’d prefer to go a more natural route, Earth Mama Organics is a pretty popular brand. Though I haven’t used their perineal spray, I’ve heard good things about it and I have used (and been pleased with) their nipple butter and would recommend it.