Essential items for postpartum recovery: things nobody told you you’d need
By now, it’s a bit of a cliche to say that the postpartum period is seriously not discussed enough. But it’s still true. We get all prepared for the baby with the nursery and the clothing and even the pump, but nobody talks about what the mom really needs to get through those early weeks. I had almost daily deliveries from Amazon after baby boy arrived, because I kept discovering things I needed and wanted to help me recover. Here is my list of the most useful things I found for recovering from (a vaginal) birth.
Everyone says use the ones from the hospital, but there’s only so many you can take home with you and besides, they are incredibly bulky and best for the immediate postpartum really heavy flow. Soon the flow will lighten up a bit and you will want something a bit less bulky. These are incredibly amazingly comfortable and breathable due to their organic cotton cover, and for a big maternity pad they are surprisingly low profile. They are plastic-free, so there is no annoying crunching while wearing them. I liked them so much that when my flow lightened up even more, I got the regular flow version. For the maternity ones, I think I got about 3 boxes or so and those got me through the early heavier weeks.
…and just general washing up down there
There, I said it. The dreaded word, hemorrhoid. So maybe you didn’t have hemorrhoids before pregnancy, or even before birth, but you definitely might have some postpartum. After 9 months of baby pushing down on your insides and obstructing venous return, those veins around your bottom just might be bulging a bit. Not to mention, the heavy pushing required of birth might make those veins pop even a bit more. Recovering from hemorrhoids might be quite painful, so it’s helpful to have some materials on hand.
These little pads are great. One jar should be enough, and you should have some left over for if your hemorrhoids ever recur and act up again.
My doctor recommended daily sitz baths. This is a nice basic one that does the job.
Into the sitz bath you pour hot water and some sitz bath salts for a nice soothing soak for the lady parts and behind. I didn’t want to buy 5 lbs of Epsom salts that would just take up room in my bathroom and that I knew I would never finish using. This little jar of sitz bath salts does just the trick.
This sitz bath spray from Motherlove I also found to be really helpful, to use during the day or pretty much any time I was hurting.
And you will not want to skip out on getting this amazing peri bottle. It is so much better than the one you can bring home from the hospital, seriously. Fill with warm water and use over the toilet and in the shower.
If you’re planning on nursing, chances are, latching will make your nipples really sore in those first days. It’s helpful to have a nipple balm.
Rub liberally all over your nipples and you can breastfeed directly; the balm is mostly olive oil and will not harm baby in the slightest.
Seriously, make sure you have Tylenol and Ibuprofen on hand afterwards. I took it around the clock for at least 2 weeks.