Your 40 (give or take) weeks of pregnancy have come to an end, you’re hopefully loving those newborn snuggles and inhaling that sweet newborn smell, and you’re learning to take care of your brand new baby. But don’t forget to focus on another crucial player in the postpartum period: YOU!. You spent the last nine months making sure your house is filled with every essential for your baby, so don’t forget to stock up on essentials for you, too! Here are my top products for postpartum mamas:
Down There Care
Whether you delivered vaginally or via cesarean, you’ll need a lot of “down there” care. From tearing to postpartum bleeding, incision pain to hemorrhoids, your lady parts are going to need a lot of attention and comfort throughout the first 6 or so weeks of your postpartum journey. Here are some to consider for your postpartum list.
Sharon Says: This kit is truly what it says it is: essential for your postpartum recovery — basically a personal bathroom caddy filled with everything you need for healing after labor and delivery. Those first trips to the bathroom can be overwhelming and painful but this kit keeps all of your necessities together and in reach. Plus you don’t have to think about each product separately — just grab the kit and go. The Frida Mom Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit includes the following:
- 4 Pairs of Disposable Postpartum Underwear
- 4 Instant Ice Maxi Pads
- 24 Perineal Cooling Pad Liners with Witch Hazel
- Witch Hazel Perineal Healing Foam
- Toilet Top Storage Caddy
Cons: While I think this is a great kit for a new mom during her first week home, there might not be enough supplies to get you through the rough first days. For some newbie moms, it may make more sense to buy these postpartum products separately to make sure you have what you need.
Something to note: There are two different kits available — one with the supplies listed above and another, more expensive kit, that also includes the Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle. My insider tip: Take home the peri squirt bottle from the hospital (if you’ve delivered in one). It’s free and gets the job done!
If you’d rather purchase these essentials separately, here are some other options to choose from:
Sharon Says: The hospital peri bottle works fine, but think of this as an upgrade for your lady parts. This soothing peri bottle is an easy-to-use, portable bidet complete with a retractable nozzle and cover and a waterproof bag so you can bring this anywhere you please. This bottle nozzle is designed with 10 holes instead of an average six and is 12 oz which is the perfect amount for a thorough clean. Added perk: you can use this long after those postpartum weeks, because who wouldn’t want to bidet all day!
Con: It may leak a bit, but since the peri bottle is meant to be used over your toilet, the drips shouldn’t matter too much!
Sharon Says: Your little hospital goody bag will introduce you to these magical witch hazel pads that provide relief from burning, itching, and discomfort caused by hemorrhoids and any stitches you may have. This little container empties fast because you’ll be changing these pads with every bathroom visit, which is why I highly recommend having these Tuck’s Medicated Pads on hand for your arrival home.
Cons: Not all moms love the shape of these pads, finding they have to use a few to reach all of their uncomfortable areas, but for the price and convenience, they are a good option!
Sharon Says: Repeat after me: Comfy disposable undies are your best postpartum friend. The world will try to sell you on the best postpartum undies, but trust me, the disposable ones are the best. These Frida Mom High Waisted Undies, with their high-waist breathable design and super stretchy material, provide comfort for moms who deliver vaginally or via cesarean. Remember, your belly will still be pretty big in the immediate postpartum, so you’ll come to appreciate the stretchiness of these disposables.
Cons: I’m a big fan of mesh disposable underwear after delivery, but keep in mind, they are just that — disposable. Don’t expect each one to last longer than a day, and if you plan to use them for your entire postpartum recovery, it could end up costing a pretty penny. My advice: Use them for the first few days only, then go back to your non-disposable undies. Keep in mind that you’ll need to use pads along with these undies. If you’re looking for more all-in-ones, consider the Always Discreet Incontinence & Postpartum Underwear, which may be useful after the initial heavy flow days (or weeks).
Something to note: These Frida undies come in a regular cut as well as a boyshort style. Choose the style that suits you best. Also, I recommend asking your postpartum nurse for a few extra disposable undies from the hospital to add to your collection!
Sharon Says: After you’ve graduated from the adult diaper/pad combo provided by the hospital staff, you’ll still need extra-absorbent and long pads for the first few days/weeks after delivery (no tampons allowed yet!). While every new mom’s recovery is different, don’t be shocked if you continue to bleed for up to 6 weeks after having your baby. These pads are a tried and true staple for women during their postpartum period. They have a LeakGuard Core that absorbs in seconds and gives you up to 10 hours of protection, so you’ll feel clean and comfortable even when you can’t remember the last time you showered.
Cons: Not really a con, but you may have a pad preference from your pre-pregnancy days, so choose pads that work for you!
Sharon Says: Having a baby is a beautiful experience, but sometimes what happens below the belt ain’t so pretty when all is said and done and baby is born. Hemorrhoids, tearing, and swelling can cause a new mama a lot of pain, making sitting a real pain in the, well, butt. A donut pillow (basically a pillow with a hole in it) can help make sitting a little more comfortable. This Donut Cushion is designed to twist, fold, and go so you can be discreet when you BYOD (bring your own donut). The pillow has two sides, one that helps to relieve pressure and the other that has a cold therapy gel pack used to reduce perineal pain and swelling.
Cons: This cushion is a little pricier than a “regular” donut pillow, so if you’re looking for a no-frills version, go for it. And do keep in mind that the gel pack doesn’t always stay cold long enough, though this seems to be a downside to many cooling products in general (c’mon gel pack creators, do better!).
Sharon Says: Let’s face it: Poop will be on your mind a lot in the early postpartum period — both your baby’s and yours! Indeed, your potty thoughts will quickly change from “Did I poop on the table while pushing?!” to “I am freaking out about pooping again!” Adding a stool softener into your daily routine will gently relieve any constipation or irregularities you’re experiencing after giving birth, getting you back on track in the bathroom department. These stool softeners contain docusate sodium, an OBGYN recommended ingredient for relief.
Your little one will have drawers full of cozy pajamas and you should too! One of the best parts of postpartum is that it’s acceptable to wear pajamas and slippers all day long, and no one will give you a side eye!
Sharon Says: Buttery soft and cool to the touch, this robe is perfect for new mamas. This robe provides easy access for moms, something that’ll come in handy during the first few days when you and baby are recovering with skin to skin care and learning the ins and outs of nursing. The style is cute and classic and can be worn long after those postpartum days!
Cons: The only con is there are not enough color options for this adorable robe!
Sharon Says: This lightweight, super-soft, cool-to-the-touch, jersey pajama set is the perfect outfit to wear during your first few days post birth (and beyond). Cozy and comfy but also stylish, you can wear these pajamas all day, even when people stop by to visit! They’re so cute you can even wear them out and about (no one will think twice about your attire when you’re dashing into Target for a quick sec!). Major props go to the drawstring pants, since they make those endless bathroom trips a snap. Plus the thin material is helpful when you have those dreaded night sweats (and you will have them!)
Cons: This set is a little pricey — but mama, you’re worth it!
Sharon Says: There is nothing better than a new pair of slippers, especially after having a new baby. The first few postpartum days are filled with long days and even longer nights, where you’ll be trekking across the house for bottles, diaper changes, or just rocking your baby back to sleep. These slippers are soft, fuzzy, and adorable, with the perfect amount of grip on the bottoms. But here’s the real reason you need them: They are microwavable and filled with an all-natural grain and dried French lavender for total relaxation. It may be a long time before you get back to the spa, so these slippers are an amazing treat for your feet at home!
Cons: These slippers are a little heavy. My tip: Put those feet up, mama, you just had a baby! Also take care that the slippers don’t get too hot during microwaving. The last thing you want to do is burn your tootsies!
The beginning days of breastfeeding are the hardest, but you’ll get the hang of it! Here are some breastfeeding mom essentials that can help make things a little easier for you.
Sharon Says: If you thought the only pads you needed were for your undies, think again. Your boobs may need them, too! Yes, it’s true: Most breastfeeding moms are leaky moms. You’ll likely leak breast milk when your milk comes in, between feeds, when you hear your baby cry, and on any random afternoon. Not all moms leak milk (and that’s fine! You can learn all about that in the breastfeeding section of my Newborns 101 course). But if you do turn out to be a leaker, you may end up with a damp bra… or a completely drenched shirt… or thoroughly soaked bed sheets! These super soft, hypoallergenic, and absorbent Kindred Bravely breast pads will catch those leaks. And best part — they’re machine washable!
Cons: While super absorbent, these pads may not be up to the task for extra heavy night leakage. They also only come 8 in a set (4 pairs) and your laundry is already overflowing so you may not always have a clean pair ready to wear.
Sharon Says: While not as environmentally friendly as washable breast pads, these nursing pads are mom (and practicality) friendly. This box contains 200 disposable breast pads (100 pairs). They have a waterproof lining that is designed to be highly absorbent and leakproof. These disposables are a great option to always have with you on the go to keep you dry during those leaky moments. Keep a handful in your diaper bag, car, stroller, etc., because you never know when your boobs might spring a leak.
Cons: If the pads rip, the sand-like particles inside might spill out (toss immediately if this happens!).
Sharon Says: Even if you get the perfect latch from day one (and you can learn all about latching on your baby in the breastfeeding section of my Newborns 101 course), your newly-gnawed-on nipples might end up sore, cracked, and downright painful. That’s because your boobs and nipples are an extremely sensitive area of your body, and having a cluster-feeding baby suckling all day and night can cause some serious discomfort for you. This lanolin nipple cream soothes and protects nipples, and can be used both as a treatment for sore nips and as a prevention! It’s also 100% safe for baby, so there’s no need to wipe it off prior to breastfeeding.
Cons: This only comes in a small tube so you may need to purchase a few of them!
Extra bonus: Moms report that it’s the best lip balm you could ever use, making it great for lips and nips! Win win!
Sharon Says: Organic mamas, have no fear — there is a nipple cream for you, too! This Earth Mama nipple butter is made with ethically sourced organic beeswax and contains no petroleum, parabens, or lanolin. It’s used to soothe and moisturize nipples and dry skin and doesn’t need to be washed off before breastfeeding. You’ll also find use for it on other dry skin areas, and you might even catch your partner dipping into this awesome product!
Sharon Says: Engorgement, cracked nipples, and clogged ducts are just some of the boob troubles you may experience during the first few weeks of nursing. Sounds fun, right? Thankfully, the crew at Lansinoh has thought of it all and these Breast Therapy Packs of two are exactly what your boobs need. Use them cold to relieve engorgement, swelling, and pain. Or get them warm for clogged ducts relief and to encourage milk let-down.
Cons: Trying to save money? These won’t break the bank, but you can certainly use cold or warm washcloths instead!
Sharon Says: A Boppy pillow is a postpartum item that nearly every mama-to-be has on their registry — and for good reason. This pillow was designed by a mom to provide support for your arms and back while breast- or bottle feeding your baby. You can use this pillow with all the different feeding positions — from cradle to football hold to crossover hold. Both the pillow and slipcover are machine washable, making it easy to clean up any spit up and spills.
Cons: Some moms don’t love the way the Boppy pillow fits around their waists, while others find the pillow doesn’t provide enough support.
Extra bonus: Let your Boppy perform double duty! You can let your baby use the Boppy during tummy time for extra support (and more comfort).
Sharon Says: The My Brest Friend nursing pillow, made of 100% cotton, helps alleviate some of the strain a nursing mom may feel on her arms, back, and neck. This pillow wraps securely around your waist, fitting most body types. Moms love the support they get from the pillow while nursing, and many celebrate that they can keep it on their waist as they move around the house (not with baby laying on there, of course!) Another added bonus is the pocket that keeps your phone or water bottle in close reach!
Cons: This pillow is a bit overpriced for a nursing pillow, but another option by the same brand is the My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow, which comes in at a lower price but still offers similar benefits.
Sharon Says: This bra is a Mom’s Choice Award Winner, so obviously every mama needs at least one of these in her postpartum wardrobe. This bra is wire-free, soft, and seamless, but provides new moms with the added support they’ll need for their after-birth boobs. With a 4-way stretch fabric, this bra will mold to your changing shape during the first few postpartum weeks. This bra was designed with hook and eye closures for easy (and discreet) breastfeeding access.
Cons: Be careful with the Amazon size-chart — some of the different colors are in fact different styles of bras (and therefore different sizes), so be aware when ordering. Thank goodness, Amazon is great for returns (especially if you have Amazon Prime)!
Sharon Says: Your milk just came in and your boobs need a little extra loving. You need a good nursing bra, and you’ll want a few of them. This one has a perfect amount of comfort and practicality that new moms need. This bra boasts ultra-soft fabric and is easy to pull on with no clasps, hooks, or wires. And the comfy racerback design with pull-aside front cups allows for easy-access nursing.
Cons: If you’re looking for ultra support, you may want to choose a different style bra.
Sharon Says: Another great product from Kindred Bravely is this pump- and nursing- friendly sports bra. This universal, hands-free pumping bra fits all standard pump flanges and boasts a comfortable sports bra design that comes in handy for lower-impact activities like yoga, hikes, or stroller walks. This bra also features a hook and eye top closure for easy access to the openings for nursing or pumps.
Cons: This bra may not be a great option for those with larger breasts, so girls with smaller boobs, this one might be best for you!
Picture this: It’s the middle of the night, you’re running on 45 minutes of sleep (total), you’re up feeding the baby yet again, and to stay awake you’re browsing Amazon. Looking for something to treat yourself with (after all, no one deserves a treat more than a new mom!)? Sure, you may not remember what you ordered when the package comes, but that’s ok mama — you’re worth it!
Sharon Says: Two words for new moms (especially nursing moms): HYDRATION STATION. Staying hydrated after you’ve delivered — and especially when you’re breastfeeding — will be important during those first few postpartum weeks. After all, your body just went through a major trauma and you’ll need to replenish the fluids that you lost. And if you’re breastfeeding, you’ll need to stay hydrated to help with your supply. My new mom hack: drink whenever your baby is drinking! And this water bottle, with its sleek design, a leak proof lid with straw, convenient carrying strap, and BPA- and toxin-free credentials, will be your best companion in the early days. Best part of all is that it’s super cute and has times and motivational messages to remind you to keep up the good work!
Con: This water bottle may not keep your drink as cold as a stainless steel water bottle does. But hey — you’ll soon learn that being a mom often means your drinks or meals won’t be at the perfect temperature! #momlife
Sharon Says: Created by women for women, this belly wrap is OBGYN recommended to help support your belly, waist, and hips during your postpartum recovery. This wrap is comfortable around your midsection and helps to compress your uterus, ease cramping, and ease the transition back to a body that you are confident and comfortable in. While you don’t “need” a belly band, this is an awesome treat-yourself item that sucks you in, supports your midsection, and makes you feel a little more like your old self.
Cons: You might find the wrap bunching up or ending up being a little bulky under your clothes. Plus, there’s no real medical proof that says any type of belly band helps with healing or flattening the belly (though plenty of new moms swear by it!).
Sharon Says: This is the most unnecessary necessary item new moms need. Yes, you could heat up your own coffee multiple times a day. But do you really want to when you are knee deep in poopy diapers, crying sessions, cluster feeds, and tummy time troubles? This item could be your new BFF: a temperature control mug that will keep your coffee or tea at the perfect temperature for up to 3-hours on a single charge or all day when plugged in. This mug features a leak proof lid and, for the high-techy in you, can also be controlled through an app, where you can create custom presets for your perfect cup o’joe!
Con: The coaster won’t be able to hold a charge longer than three hours if it’s not plugged in. And sure, while this is a flaw, you and all the other tired new moms out there know better than anyone what not being able to ‘hold a charge’ means, so cut this mug some slack!
Sharon Says: While it may seem like your days of actual sleep are behind you, new parents still need some R&R. This sleep mask is described as a “hug for your head”, applying evenly distributed pressure for comfort and soothing. The mask also has a light-blocking design that is 100% blackout (your baby isn’t the only one who can use blackout shades!) and features a cold and warm side for whichever soothing effect you may need.
Cons: The velcro may not hold as strongly as you may like, and you might notice the microbeads moving around slightly if you’re not completely still. Another downside: You may want to use this all the time, but unfortunately your new baby will require you to not have your eyes covered!
Hoping that someone special gifts you some of these items? Create a postpartum registry (or add it to your baby registry) for some subtle not-so-subtle hints.
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