As you’re gearing up for the birth of your baby, don’t forget to prepare the postpartum essentials.
Our youngest son is nearing five weeks fresh into the world and it was only after bringing him home from the hospital that I realized I had forgotten to prepare for my postpartum self. My mind was narrowed in on the essentials to have for a newborn. Once your little one arrives you will not want, or be able, to leave home for a bit of time, so it is helpful to assemble your postpartum essentials in advance.
FOR YOUR BREASTS
Nursing bras are amazing. They are designed for nursing: therefore, they make the tricky and often difficult endeavor of breastfeeding a little easier. You also wouldn’t believe how often you are going to need to wash and change your bra, so I suggest investing in more than one as well as multiple types.
The sleeping nursing bras (top right image) are comfortable and make night feeds simple; the every-day-wear bras (top left image) have clasps to pull down the front, making your breast accessible quickly. If you are able to get out and try a few on before buying, I highly suggest it!
Ask a store employee if they do sizing for you. It is extremely important to have a bra that fits you. It may not be scientifically proven, but many new moms have complained of plugged ducts (resulting in mastitis) after wearing an underwire bra or bras that are too tight.
These are a few of my favorite nursing bras online:
Breastfeeding is hard. Breastfeeding can be painful. Breastfeeding is absolutely worth it. Your nipples are a tender and sensitive part of your body. A lot of moms become discouraged the first 1-3 weeks of breastfeeding due to the pain. Some moms even avoid nursing as often as their baby needs (because of cracked or bleeding or sore nipples) and their milk supply dips. Purchase a couple containers of nipple creams or butter in advance to use immediately after each feed from the get go. You do not have to wipe off this cream before feeds. I suggest either Lansinoh Lanolin (
When your baby cries you may or may not feel the gush of milk being let down through your breasts and nipples…into your bra. Nursing pads prevent the liquid gold from leaking through your shirt, saving you from a little embarrassment when out and about.
Here is a link to purchase
FOR YOUR VAGINA/PERINEUM
Bleeding should be expected for weeks, whether you deliver naturally or via a cesarean. Have a good amount of them at home and ready for you.
Witch Hazel Pads
You can find witch hazel at just about any store with a pharmacy area. It was $2.39 at my local Target. You pour witch hazel into your maxi pads and freeze them; this helps with relieving pain from tearing and/or hemorrhoids.
Birthing a baby between your legs leaves everything pretty sore.
“After a vaginal birth, hemorrhoids may make it difficult or uncomfortable to wipe after emptying your bladder or having a bowel movement. Filling a squirt bottle with some simple tap water can help you feel cleaner after you use the bathroom.” // www.fitpregnancy.com
Because of your excessive bleeding, you are going to want some disposable panties – you do not want to ruin your good underwear. You will also want comfortable panties for when the heavy bleeding stops; comfort is key in the post-partum weeks.
OTHER POSTPARTUM ESSENTIALS
You would be surprised at how uncomfortable it is to pass a bowel movement after delivering a baby! Especially if you have a cesarean, you can expect to be constipated for at least a week. Begin taking stool softeners the day you deliver.
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When your milk first comes in, your breasts will probably get engorged. Engorgement and cracked nipples both find relief with a hot washcloth or heating pad.
You’re going to be lifting/lowering that shirt a lot to feed your new baby. Having clothes that are both comfortable and breast-accessible is key.
We would love to hear what postpartum essentials you recommend for new moms!
Featured image source: www.blacknaija.com