I don’t recall anyone really talking about postpartum when I was pregnant, and I didn’t consider it until the last couple weeks of pregnancy.

It was then that I ran across a few Pinterest posts on what to bring in your hospital bag, and I remember specifically noticing the items listed under “Things To Bring For Mom”.

I thought, “What does mom need apart from the usual clothes, toiletries, and electronics?”.

Sure an extra pillow, maybe some warm slip-ons, but there was a longer list than I anticipated.

 

For one, I didn’t realize you needed so much essentials for breastfeeding.

Isn’t breastfeeding natural?

Why all the extra stuff?

 

Secondly, I didn’t know that vag’ care was a lot more than just wearing a monstrosity of a pad.

There’s a whole process/routine for recovery!

 

 

Because I didn’t know, I ended up buying a whole lot of stuff I really didn’t know what to do with.

If it wasn’t for my nurses, it would have been a lot tougher than it already was!

Thankfully my nurses educated me and equipped me with a few essentials and knowledge of how to have the quickest recovery.

 

Now, I can say that postpartum is not as overwhelming as it was the first time around because I was more prepared.

But, boy do I wish I knew and understood what I needed the first time around!

It would’ve made everything a lot let stressful and overwhelming.

 

That is why I’d recommend this post to every first time pregnant momma out there!

You need to not only know what you need postpartum for your recovery, boobs to butt, but you also need to know what it’s for!

 

 


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Disclosure: This post may have affiliate links to products that I have used and enjoyed. These are for your convenience. I do receive compensation without any increase to your own price.


But First.. Why Is It Important To Prepare For Postpartum?

No one really talks about postpartum, and until recently, moms weren’t able to find that many resources on how to prepare for that phase of motherhood, even though it can honestly be more traumatic than childbirth itself.

 

Think about it.

Childbirth is but for most hours, but postpartum is weeks to months to years!

 

Postpartum is the aftermath of delivering a human into the world.

Your body goes through a lot!

And it’s not just the physical stretching of your cervix or the perineal tearing that can occur in the process of birth or even the blood vessels or muscles that you can potentially damage with incorrect pushing during labor, it’s also everything else your body goes through to recover back to a new homeostasis after the delivery of your baby.

Back to a body that isn’t supporting a new life.

That recovery and healing is postpartum and it’s complicated, to say the least.

 

Preparing for postpartum physically (and mentally) is important for your self-care.

You need to take care of yourself before you can adequately take care of your newborn.

That is why having the right tools is so important!

 

In this day and age, we are beyond blessed to have so many AMAZING tools available (yay for innovation!) that we can use to make physical recovery (and don’t forget about breastfeeding/pumping postpartum!) more comfortable and quicker!

Before we get into the tools, though, it would help to categorize them by purpose, in regards to the area of recovery that they’re meant for.

 


The “Kits” Of Postpartum Recovery

Postpartum and postpartum recovery can be broken up into five primary categories (for the sake of categorizing your kits).

There’s vaginal healing (vaginal birth), c-section healing (cesarean birth), breastfeeding (helpful tools), pumping (extra equipment), and momma self-care (postpartum mental health).

 

You can skim through the headings that interest you and skip ahead if you’d like!

This is just the order in which I’ll be going.

 


Vaginal Healing

Recovering from a vaginal birth isn’t only about taking care of the vagina.

 

Yes, there is the toilet-side postpartum kit for every time you need to change your pad or use the restroom.

I call this the classic postpartum recovery kit and it contains your basics.

 

But, there are also other super useful items you will definitely want to have within reach, for the rest of your postpartum healing and recovery, so make sure you consider the FULL list!

 

What You’ll Need (for the Classic Toilet-Side Kit)

1. Disposable Underwear

 

These are basically adult diapers.

 

You might be wondering, why diapers?

Well, the short answer is that they make for holding everything together and containing the leakage so much easier and more comfortable, so you’re not playing around with a maxi pad AND mesh underwear.

They’re basically a combination of the two.

And, although they’re not as cute as your mesh shorties, they’re way more practical and useful, in my humble opinion.

 

It is important to note that these are not usually offered by hospitals which is why I’d recommend purchasing them well in advance and packing them into your hospital bag.

 

I ended up only working through a pack and a half through each of my postpartum recoveries, as they’re primarily for your most heavy days.

Once your bleeding slows, you can then resort to using a maxi pad with either mesh underwear or maternity panties (or, honestly, any regular comfy underwear!).

 

2. Tucks Witch Hazel Pads

 

These are the medicated cooling pads that most hospitals supply, which is why I used them in particular.

I mean you technically already paid for this stuff, so take as much as you can home with you!

There are other brands with medicated cooling pads like FridaMom which has ones that are conveniently one long sheet so that you don’t have to line up 4-5 Tuck’s circles, so that’s also nice.

 

These witch hazel cooling pads work great to minimize the burning stinging of any wound stitches or hemorrhoids that you might have as a consequence of birth.

They also minimize swelling of the perineum, reduce any inflammation, and fight against bacterial infection (1, 2).

 

For your post-birth recovery and healing, you would line 4 to 5 of these up onto your postpartum disposable underwear (I refer to these as ‘padded mesh underwear’ in the infographic below) or maxi pad.

I made this (below) infographic to simplify all of the steps, so save it to your Pinterest board for later!

 

 

3. Anesthetic Spray

 

You will need some anesthetic spray down there to tone down the pain.

That’s where Dermoplast comes in!

It’s like local anesthesia without the shot!

 

There are other brands that carry their own anesthetic spray (Earth Mama) or foam (FridaMom), but I was introduced to Dermoplast at the hospital and it was so easy to use, not messy, and did the job so I just stuck with it!

I really didn’t need anything else!

 

For best results, you would spray this onto your lady bits after you wash down the area with a peri bottle (more about this below) and before putting on your postpartum undies or pad.

If you are using the foam, the best results are found when you directly lather it onto your perineum with your fingers.

 

4. Peri Wash Bottle

Via Amazon

 

Why a wash bottle you ask?

Well, it’s for when you pee, actually!

 

You wash your perineum simultaneously as you go number 1 to dilute and avoid some serious stinging down there.

You’ve got an open wound and that with acidic pee makes for a very uncomfortable combination!

 

Now, there are two types of peri bottles out there.

The ‘ketchup bottle‘ and the ‘hand-held bidget‘.

 

Personally, I was introduced to the ‘ketchup bottle‘ (not really a ketchup bottle, but it looks like one!) and it worked great for me (and it’s cheaper!).

Some women prefer the upside down hand-held bidget since it is angled and so you don’t have to really ‘aim’ as much to wash your perineum.

I couldn’t get used to this ‘angled’ FridaMom peri bottle (it always collapsed on me), but it could work for you!

 

5. Pain Medications

 

This one doesn’t need an explanation.

 

Postpartum is painful, especially the uterine contractions.

These are the result of your uterus shrinking back to its normal size, but the problem is that they can feel exactly what birth felt like.. after you have just delivered your baby!

 

This is why pain meds are so important during this time, even if you have a high pain tolerance.

You need some rest before the marathon of sleepless nights!

 

It’s great that in this day we have safe options when it comes to taking something to numb that pain a bit (another win for the twenty-first century!), just make sure to first get approval from your doctor.

If you will be delivering at the hospital, they will have breastfeeding-safe pain medication all ready for you.

 

6. Stool Softener

 

These too are prescribed, so technically every mom gets these postpartum at the hospital whether she considers it or not.

In case you are not a fan of taking prescriptions, though, I’d say this one (like the pain meds) is a must!

 

All that pushing during labor can have some serious consequences on your rear and your first poop session postpartum!

 

For one, you use the same muscles for pushing baby out that you use to release your bowels, and that can make for some pretty uncomfortable (and frightening!) postpartum bathroom sessions.

You feel like you might tear something if you go or sometimes you forget what it even feels like to go since those muscles are so sore.

As a result, you can end up holding it back, and the last thing you want to be postpartum is constipated (even more ouch!)!

 

Second, all the pressure focused on one area will definitely have ramifications on the surrounding tissues and blood vessels.

No surprise that hemorrhoids are a common side effect of birth.

That can also complicate going number two.

 

A stool softener really does help you go more comfortably when you need it most!

Also, opt for fiber foods postpartum like prune juice and legumes to naturally help with the flow of your bowels and get things going.

The sooner you have your first poop, the faster your bowels can get to functioning like normal again.

 

7. Iced Maxi Pad (not pictured in the ‘Classic Postpartum Kit’)

 

I didn’t include the iced maxi pad in the ‘classic postpartum kit’ picture mainly because the use of the ice pack, in regards to vaginal swelling, is most effective in the first 24-hours.

This defeats the purpose of making a bunch of padsicles, in my opinion, although moms still prefer the soothing feeling they still offer after that mark (3).

 

You can purchase your own iced maxi pads, but in case you want to save on money, the hospital usually also provides these.

If you still prefer to just make padsicles for yourself, this post is a good source of info for how you could do that, since the hospital may only provide you with a limited amount.

It’s totally up to you!

 

Other VERY Useful Vag’ Recovery Tools

8. Postpartum Girdle

 

The girdle is essential for helping your abdominal muscles and intestines get back into place post-baby.

 

Your abs along with your intestines have moved to make room for your growing baby.

Well, now that baby is out, it’s time to get everything back in order!

 

The first time you get out of your hospital bed you will feel how loose everything is.

For me, it felt like everything was just gonna collapse into my pelvis, gross I know!

 

One way to help things start to feel closer to normal is by wearing a postpartum girdle for the weeks to months following birth as it helps combat gravity and holds all your muscles and intestines in place for healing.

The less moving around your insides do postpartum, the faster your abs will feel like normal.

 

 

9. Loose Pants

 

When it comes to vag’ post-birth recovery, this important must-have item is often overlooked.

 

Most of the ‘comfy’ pants and pj bottoms I had on-hand after I delivered my first were tight fitting, especially around my waist.

I was miserable in them!

 

After birth, your stomach goes through a lot shrinking down to it’s pre-baby size, and this can be quite painful.

You have painful ‘birth-like’ contractions that feel worse every time you breastfeed, your previously crammed insides now feel uncomfortably ‘loose’, and, if that wasn’t all bad enough, you’re also super sore (hello fundal massage!)!

Any slight pressure on the area is bound to irritate and nauseate!

 

I ended up wearing the oversized nursing-friendly t-shirt dress for the bulk of my postpartum for that reason.

If you prefer to be able to wear pants postpartum, make sure you’re stocked with ones that are specifically loose or adjustable around the waist-line.

High-waisted pants work great as well!

 

10. Bümmaa Postpartum Donut Cushion

 

This is probably the MOST underrated postpartum essential out there.

The donut cushion.

 

You might wonder, why in the world would you ever need this postpartum?

I too never thought I would need it as much as I did!

 

If you really think about it, though, it makes sense.

A baby just came out of your vagina.

It will hurt to sit.

 

Although a lot of postpartum sitting pain can be directly the result of perineal tearing, episiotomies, stitching, hemorrhoids, muscle tearing, and coccyx injuries during childbirth, uterine contractions and the amount of time you’re forced to sit due to cluster feeds and pumping sessions also plays a big role in sitting pain postpartum.

 

It was the latter, the contractions plus the back to back cluster feeds, that did it for me the first time around.

I was miserable and I DREADED sitting specifically because my lower back would hurt so much due to the lack of support my couch and recliners offered.

I discovered the Bümmaa Original Postpartum Pillow and it has made a world of a difference (I was prepared come baby number two!)!

 

Via Amazon

 

What I love about the Bümmaa versus all of the other hemorrhoid pillows out there is that it is a memory foam ‘donut’ cushion (which explains the price tag), so it conforms and hugs your tush just right while taking pressure off of the typical postpartum and sitting pain points like your perineum and coccyx.

It comes with a clear case for easy portability, it has a removable and washable slipcover so that you can keep it looking like new for years to come, and it’s cute!

Oh, and it’s just an awesome sitting cushion in general, one that will last you way beyond postpartum!

 

11. Sitz Bath + Salts

 

The bath that soothes your vag’.

 

Soaking your perineum in lukewarm water helps to speed up your recovery, cleanse and disinfect your perineum, reduce swelling, and relieve any itching or pain you might have (4).

I, personally, never used a sitz bath (the Tucks and Dermoplast were enough for me), however, if you need extra relief because you have more severe tearing and stitching, then this is the treatment for you!

 

You can either transform your bathtub into a sitz basin (you’d NEED to sterilize it first) or you can purchase a separate sitz bath kit that comes conveniently sterilized and that sits over your toilet.

You fill your tub with 3 inches of lukewarm water and submerge your perineum for 20 minutes.

*0ptional: Add some Epsom Salt (1/2 cup or ‘tablet’ if using basin or 2 cups if using tub) for more cleansing and soothing relief.

Once you’re done soaking the area, pat it dry with a clean dry cloth.

 

Although, sitz baths are easily accessible over the counter, make sure to always get the ok from your OBGYN physician before starting any new treatment.

Many times your doctor might even recommend using antibacterial additives in your sitz bath.

 

12. Maxi Heavy Maternity Pads

 

You’ll be bleeding a lot postpartum, so heavy maternity pads will be a must.

 

As mentioned earlier, I opted for the disposable adult diapers as they are basically a huge wearable pad plus disposable underwear, but, I get it, not everyone is head over heels over wearing diapers.

If you’d rather go the pad route, then you’re also going to need mesh underwear to keep everything better in place.

 

 

13. Mesh Underwear

 

These are the cotton postpartum boy-shorts that replace your own underwear, at least until the heavy bleeding subsides.

Sure, you could try to wear your own underwear, but you probably shouldn’t if you don’t want to ruin them once and for all.

 

Mesh underwear are designed for postpartum.

They’re made of super stretchy and gentle material so as to not cause irritation to things like wounds and stitching.

They are also big enough to hold those enormous maternity iced pads..

 

These are the ‘postpartum shorts’ you normally see in all those Instagram postpartum pics.

 

14. Bio-Oil (optional)

 

Yes, stretch marks are still game after birth!

The biggest problem area to watch out for is the breasts, though weight gain postpartum due to breastfeeding can also cause stretch marks in other trouble areas.

 

Bio-Oil is a great way to keep your skin hydrated and also help improve the appearance of skin that may be damaged due to stretching.

Apply wherever you feel tightness.

 

I wouldn’t recommend using the Bio-Oil on your breasts while you nurse or pump, but coconut oil is safer if accidentally diluted with breastmilk and it also helps with improving the elasticity of your skin and reducing damaging stretching in that problem area.

You can use the Bio-Oil in between sessions, if you still want to, and just clean the area well before the next nurse or pump session.

 

 

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C-Section Healing

 

Recovery after a c-section is obviously different from recovery after a vaginal birth, although there are similarities.

No matter how you gave birth, you are still recovering from a 9-month pregnancy.

 

You still deal with some vaginal bleeding due to uterine contractions, although not to the same extent as you would if your baby came out of your vagina.

You will still need to wear a girdle to help get your abs back into shape.

You will still want to take stool softeners and pain relievers.

 

Where there is the most difference is the fact that you have a very significant wound in a very vulnerable and sensitive area that will need special attention.

That’s where most of the focus of this list will be.

 

What You’ll Need

1. High-Waisted Underwear

One of the most important necessities of postpartum, c-section edition.

 

You do NOT want anything rubbing against your scar!

This will both irritate the wound and impede the healing process.

 

High waisted underwear are not only going to help prevent unnecessary incision irritation (the seam is much higher), but they will also help with abdominal support and security.

Most high waisted underwear are made of nylon which makes them tight but stretchy.

This is good for your postpartum scar and belly as it will help keep everything in place.

 

I like these high-waisted underwear because they are made specifically for c-sections and so they go high enough to offer FULL support and scar control while helping you slim back to your new post-baby waist.

 

2. Silicone Scar Patches

 

Also another must!

Scar silicone patches help to both speed up your healing and recovery and help with the appearance of your scar.

 

Most c-sections performed these days are low-traverse incisions, meaning that the cut is made at or below the bikini line.

This is done so that the scar isn’t visible when you’re wearing your bikini or your underwear, so essentially they try to make it less visible as possible.

However, you will still have a pretty massive scar, and if you would like to lessen the significance of its appearance, then the scar patch is the way to go.

 

The silicone scar patches are infused with healing scar healing properties, but more importantly they work to keep everything in place.

It literally acts like another layer of skin, protecting your wound from any disturbance while resting comfortably on your skin.

Just make sure to wear it everyday for how long the instructions say if you really want to reduce the appearance of your scar and prevent keloids.

 

This silicone scar patch is particularly successful and has a great reviews from the c-section community, and it’s nursing-friendly!

 

3. Pain Medication

 

Like with vaginal delivery, you will need pain meds postpartum, but more so since your belly was literally cut open.

 

As with any surgery, a c-section being a type of surgery, you will feel a lot of pain where your incision was made.

To cope, make sure that you are taking your pain meds before it starts to hurt really badly.

 

I remember myself, after I delivered, denying pain medication because I initially felt fine, but once all of the anesthesia was out of my system, I felt the immensity of everything.

I immediately requested pain meds since I realized I wouldn’t be able to get any rest nor care for my baby while simultaneously dealing with that much pain.

 

The problem is that medications take some time before they start working, so, instead of dealing with a delay (every moment counts postpartum!), just start using your pain medications immediately and avoid the headache.

 

4. Stool Softener

 

It is super important to take stool softeners after having a c-section, since, as you can expect, having your belly cut open will affect your bowels.

 

Your bowels are already out of whack following birth and will be working extra hard to get back into shape, any slight issues can cause excruciating pain. 

One of those being your first poop and the complications that come with it!

The last thing you want to be during this stage is constiptated, straining and putting extra pressure on your healing incision.

 

This is why it is so important to take the stool softeners your nurses will bring to you postpartum, they will help A LOT.

And as recommended in the vag’ recovery section, try to eat more foods high in fiber for this reason as well.

 

The less you’re straining your abs, the less painful your recovery!

 

5. Incision-Sized Ice Pack

 

Ice compresses are soothing on every kind of wound!

C-sections are no different.

Your incision will feel not only feel a lot better with some icing, but the ice will also help to reduce any post-procedure swelling that would occur.

 

It is also very convenient to have an ice pack that is the same shape as your incision, so if you’re expecting to have a c-section birth, these ice packs are the perfect must have postpartum item to buy ahead!

 

Now, even if you didn’t expect your c-section and you prepped for a vaginal birth by making padsicles, you could still those for your c-section cut!

Actually, they’re perfect for the healing of your incision since they’re more than just a frozen frozen pad.

You probably added witch hazel and essential oils to yours which both have the healing and pain soothing medicinal properties.

So, it is good to know that birth prep is never wasted!

 

Other VERY Useful Breastfeeding Necessities:

6. Belly Binder

 

A c-section birth is a birth, which means that postpartum you will still be dealing with the after-effects of pregnancy: a big belly with ‘loose’ organs that needs help being kept together as it heals and shrinks back to normal size.

Using a belly binder will help hold your tummy while also helping your scar heal!

 

On a side note, you might want to opt for belly binders that are velcro and flat for the best comfort and fit for your incision, anything too bulky and tight can end up making things worse.

Your goal with the binding is to help keep everything in place, not to necessarily start shaping your waistline again.

So, be mindful of this, and don’t overwrap.

 

 

7. Loose High-Waist Pants

 

High-waist pants go hand in hand with the high waisted underwear.

You will want to avoid anything that sits on or anywhere near your scar.

 

Frankly, even with vaginal birth, as we’ve already covered, you want to avoid anything that will put pressure on your stomach.

This means that you should probably have a decent stock of loose pants postpartum, regardless of whether you plan on having a c-section or not.

You will want to be comfortable and not thinking about what you are wearing while recovering.

 

8. Gas Relief Medication

 

I came across this recommendation on Instagram, and found it super valuable that I had to add it to this list!

I think it’s an absolute must if you already chronically deal with bad gas.

Regardless, even if you don’t have chronic gas, you can expect to be gassy postpartum, especially if you’re dealing with constipation and attempting to mend it with a fiber-rich diet.

 

Gas pains combined with all of the other abdominal pains you already be dealing with after your c-section can make your life extra miserable in those early days with your baby.

Avoid the pain overload by taking gas meds!

Just make sure that you run them across your health care practitioner before doing so.

 

9. Grabber Tool

 

This is something no one considers about when they think ‘c-section’.

 

Just like you weren’t able to bend over in the last trimester of pregnancy because of your big belly, bending over after your c-section will be painful and almost impossible this time because of your incision.

Any activity that can stretch, pull, or fold at your incision is advised against, and so bending over is on that list.

It’s not like you would want to do it anyway!

 

Having a grabber tool will be huge help if you want to preserve some independence during your healing.

Otherwise, you will be dependent your hubby or partner for help for literally everything that requires any waistline bending.

Good thing you were prepped with my pregnancy hacks list! 😉

 

 

10. Step Stool

 

One to help you get out of bed, of course!

Also something you really don’t think about postpartum!

 

If your bed is on the taller end, having a step stool will be HUGE help when it comes to getting out of it more easily, without assistance, and with as little pain as possible.

You want to avoid stretching the skin around your incision, and you probably didn’t even realize how much you contract your abs and stretch the skin around them when you do get out of your tall bed.

You will after your c-section!

 

Having a Squatty Potty can also help with this issue for the times you will be sitting on the toilet.

I bet you probably haven’t thought too much about that either!

 

Another item recommended on my pregnancy hacks post!

Interesting how c-section recovery, in some ways, can be similar to third trimester belly problems!

 

 

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Breastfeeding

 

Breastfeeding isn’t technically a part of birth recovery but it is a HUGE part of postpartum, in general.

If you haven’t given it too much thought, you should definitely consider it as a part of your birth plan.

 

 

Breastfeeding can speed up your postpartum recovery while also strengthening the bond between you and your newborn.

These are just some of the MANY benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby.

 

 

If you do plan on trying out breastfeeding (totally cheering you on, momma!), having the right tools can make things a lot easier.

 

 

What You’ll Need (for the Breastfeeding Kit)

1. Nipple Cream 

 

One of the most important breastfeeding essentials!

Even if you are a minimalist, I’d say that nipple cream is still a MUST!

Apart from breast milk itself (oh, the long list of healing properties of breast milk), nipple cream is the best way to help repair your nipples from the ramifications of a poor latch and subsequent gumming down of the nipple.

 

First and foremost, it is important that I stress the importance of getting a good nipple butter.

You want to avoid nipple creams that have lanolin in them as those are prone to cause thrush and some babies find them repulsive (you want your baby to want to nurse not reject your boob).

I have used a number of nipple creams and my favorite and the ones that worked best for me were the Earth Mama Natural Nipple Butter and the Bella B Nurturing Nipple Butter.

 

Make sure to use your nipple cream after EVERY nursing session, for the best results.

Oh, and lather it on well, your nipples will thank you, especially in those first few weeks of breastfeeding!

 

Another thing to note is that you might also want to wipe off any nipple cream residue before breastfeeding again on that nipple to avoid any GI discomfort for your little one.

Nipple creams are usually safe if ingested in small amounts, however, leaving on a load of nipple cream for your newborn to suck on can and probably will upset your newborn’s tummy, and, trust me, that is the last thing you want to do in those early weeks (yikes, colic!)!

 

 

2. Nipple Shield (not pictured in the ‘Breastfeeding Kit’) 

 

New to breastfeeding?

Well, this silicone nipple cover can both help protect your nipples from those newborn chompers and help to improve latch if there are notable difficulties.

 

I would recommend this to any first-time mom that is struggling with breastfeeding.

Of course, ideally, you want to be able to breastfeed without the silicone cover, but if your nipples are too sore to handle any more ‘latch trials’, then the nipple cover is a reduced pain option you should definitely consider if you want to breastfeed.

At least until your nipples recover!

 

It is important to emphasize that the nipple shield should be the LAST resort when all options have been exhausted and used ONLY under the supervision of a certified lactation consultant.

If you have been given the clear to try the nipple shield, then it is definitely something to keep close by and in your breastfeeding kit!

 

 

3. Disposable or Washable Nursing Pads 

 

Disposable or washable totally depends on you and whether or not you want to depend on the washing machine to prevent breastmilk from staining all of your clothes.

But I digress…

 

Nursing pads are another minimalist breastfeeding essential.

These absorbable pads are what contain any nipple leakage that will occur postpartum and while you breastfeed.

They are kind of like your other postpartum pads, except these are for your leaky boobs instead of your leaky vag’!

 

You will want to always have these in your nursing bra, entirely covering your nipples.

Any slight stimulation can cause a milk letdown, so you want to be prepared.

 

Replace them as needed!

 

4. Soothies 

 

These and the nipple cream is what helped to soothe and heal my nipples during those first few weeks of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding can be pretty painful in the beginning, not all babies latch like pros, but these gel pads were the cooling relief that soothed my irritated nipples after each nursing session.

 

I would often double these up with the nipple cream when my nipples were in the worst shape.

It was the only way I survived breastfeeding with the double whammy of a tongue and lip tie!

 

Soothies are pretty self-explanatory in the way they are used,

You just remove the plastic cover off of the gel pads and place each pad over each respective nipple.

You could wear these in-between nursing sessions, just make sure to wipe them and your nipple clean in between uses and stick the plastic cover back on them when they’re not being used to keep them clean and extend their lifespan.

 

 

5. Haakaa 

Via Amazon

 

This is both a manual pump AND a milk saver.

A huge gamechanger for breastfeeding and pumping mommas alike!

 

If you haven’t discovered it yet, when your baby feeds (or when you pump) on one breast, the letdown, or the passive flow of milk from the milk ducts out your nipple, occurs on both breasts, so that means that you end up losing precious milk on the other side.

Not so with the Haakaa!

Your Haakaa helps you preserve that precious liquid gold by sealing onto your ‘other’ breast and catching any milk droplets that may fall while you nurse/pump.

Some moms collect up to 2 mL of extra milk each session!

 

Haakaa Instructions:

  1. To use, first fold back the flange.
  2. Then, press the bulb gently and place over the intended nipple and release to create a seal.
  3. Finally, fold back the flange over your breast.

 

When used properly, the Haakaa seal should be comfortable.

 

 

6. Burp Cloths 

 

Not absolutely necessary, but good to have on hand just in case.

 

Babies burp and spit-up after feedings, it’s a given, some do a lot more than others.

Having burp clothes or swaddles (these are literally the BEST swaddles around!) readily available when you’re breastfeeding can help you contain the mess if any milk does ‘come back up’.

 

7. Snacks 

 

Mommy shark needs to NOM NOM NOM too.

The problem is that you will probably not have much downtime to even do this due to the craziness that is the first few weeks postpartum.

 

Having a collection of healthy snacks (I have my own list HERE) readily available while you are breastfeeding will help tame the hunger without taking away from any of your baby’s back to back nursing sessions.

It’s a huge bonus when these snacks are also milk boosters!

It’s  WIN-WIN!

 

 

8. Water Bottle 

 

Staying hydrated is even more important when you are breastfeeding.

I mean think about it, it takes water to produce milk, and if you aren’t staying hydrated, then your milk supply can be affected (not to mention dehydration is super bad for you too!).

 

It can be hard to keep track of how much water you drink postpartum.

Having a filled water bottle in your breastfeeding basket both acts as a reminder and a tracker of how much water you are and should be drinking.

 

For example, to help keep myself on track with daily hydration, I would fill up my 32 oz Hydroflask with water at the start of my day.

A breastfeeding woman should drink about 12 cups of water a day (an extra 3 cups to account for my baby’s needs) (4).

That meant that I would need to empty and refill my Hydroflask 4 times before the end of the day.

If I refilled my Hydroflask twice by mid-day, then I knew I was on track.

 

 

9. Pre-Natal Vitamins (not pictured in the ‘Breastfeeding Kit’)

 

Since I would often forget to take my prenatal vitamins unless they are on my countertop in full view, I never really kept them in my breastfeeding kit.

However, they should technically be a part of it.

 

Despite common misconception, you’re supposed to continue to take your prenatal vitamins, even after your baby is born, if you are breastfeeding or pumping.

The reason for this is that a lot of your body’s nutrients are going directly to your breastmilk to be passed onto your baby, if you don’t have proper supplementation, then your body will experience deficiency.

Depending on what it is lacking, this can affect the health of your hair, nails, skin, teeth, immune system, and even your mind, among others.

So, make sure that you continue taking these as long as your body is in the business of producing breastmilk!

 

For The Rest Of Your Breastfeeding Station

10. Nursing Pillow

 

Breastfeeding in the early stages is all about positioning.

You need to position your newborn’s mouth at your nipple while making sure that the rest of their little body is simultaneously properly supported facing your body.

 

This can be a bit difficult with a newborn.

They’re so tiny and fragile and they’re still learning proper coordination.

Now, although you can support your newborn and you can also help guide them properly to your nipple, doing both at the same time is a lot more challenging than it looks.

Having a nursing pillow really helps!

 

A nursing pillow does the job of supporting your newborn so that you can focus on latch success.

You just lay your baby horizontally, mouth and nose facing nipple, and then use your free hands to do the rest.

One hand to hold the breast with a C-hold and the other hand (and arm, basically) to bring your baby’s face and body towards that breast.

 

Breastfeeding in the early stages, does require two free hands, without a nursing pillow that wouldn’t really be possible.

You would, otherwise, technically need another person always helping you, and sometimes even with a nursing pillow you might still need help latching your baby in the first few weeks.

A breastfeeding pillow, though, is a must.

 

Now when it comes to choosing your pillow, take it from someone who tried multiple pillows out, and by far the My Brestfriend beats the rest by far.

For one, it is firm and so your baby doesn’t sink into it (the problem with almost all other breastfeeding pillows), and this is SUPER important during the newborn phase.

It also straps on securely for a comfortable fit.

It might not have the assortment of beautiful colors all the other pillows have, but it is definitely the most effective.

It’s no wonder lactation consultants prefer it to the rest!

 

11. Bummaa Original Postpartum Pillow

 

I mentioned this earlier, but I think it it worth the extra emphasis in breastfeeding essentials.

 

Remember, you will be nursing for often long sessions, back to back.

That means extra long sitting sessions.

If you have any pain sitting postpartum, which has a very high probability, you won’t be looking forward to this.

In fact, you will be miserable like I was.

 

Having a postpartum siting pillow that not only removes pressure from your perineum when you sit but also supports your lumbar promoting alignment and reducing strain (a big plus when you’re also dealing with postpartum uterine contractions!), will be essential to your overall comfort.

I really can’t emphasize it enough, that’s how important it was for me!

 

 

 

12. Nursing Chair

 

An absolute must if you have the space for it, but, honestly, there are more ‘compact’ alternatives if you are limited on space.

 

The truth is that having a nursing chair is a big plus with breastfeeding a newborn.

I didn’t think so the first time around and I learned my lesson the hard way.

 

I didn’t purchase a nursing chair before my first because I thought any chair would be just fine, and, if anything, my sofa could be my recliner, right?

Wrong!

 

Nursing chairs are a lot more versatile than any old chair.

They rock, some glide, some swivel, they have two armrests for one seat (obviously, but something you’ll overlook if you’re considering just using your sofa), and I made sure that mine (now with the second) could recline!

Needless to say, much more baby appropriate, and I only realized it when I used one at a friend’s house.

 

Now I understand that not everyone has space for a nursing chair, but I wanted to point out that there are more compact alternatives.

This Haotian Rocking Chair is compact, cute, and super affordable compared to other bulkier sofa nursing chairs.

The IKEA Pöang Chair is a little pricier but instead ‘bounces’ and it uses even less space to do its job.

These are just a few of many other simple rockers out there that are more compact than their sofa counterparts.

 

And finally, if you absolutely have no room for any type of chair, then maybe this portable nursing chair might be your solution (it’s only $50!).

It’s like a pop-up nursing chair that can be put away when you are done using it!

 

 

13. Foot Stool/Rest

Via Amazon

 

 Another important breastfeeding essential not talked about much.

Your lactation consultant will emphasize its importance, but I guarantee you it probably wasn’t (or isn’t) on you pre-baby essentials list.

 

As a breastfeeding newbie, we mentioned that posture and positioning is super important.

Well, having your feet slightly elevated is an important part of that.

 

When your feet are flat on the ground, you tend to lean forward when breastfeeding since the nursing pillow sits on your knees and your baby on the pillow, and unless you’re tall or your chair is low enough, then that means that your baby’s mouth still sits significantly lower than your nipple if you weren’t to lean forward.

Having a nursing stool helps to solve this dilemma!

 

The MyBrestFriend Nursing Stool is perfect, and nearly all of my lactation consultants had it.

It’s the perfect height too (and adjustable, if need be!).

You will want to make sure your stool is not too high as this can also mess with your positioning.

 

This nursing stool is a must for first time moms.

I got away with using our stuffed toy ‘bean’ bag with my second (shown in the ‘breastfeeding kit’ image above) since it wasn’t my first time breastfeeding.

I wouldn’t have been able to successfully use it with my first, that’s for sure!

 

Other VERY Useful Breastfeeding Necessities:

14. Nursing Bras

 

A nursing bra is a wireless bra (kind of like a sports bra) that has a way of either unclipping or folding over so as to give access to each nipple without having to take off the entire bra.

There are a lot of different brands to choose from and some can really get pricy, but I’d say it’s so worth it!

You’ll be wearing these for some time postpartum!

 

Just make sure that you are wearing a bra that has no wiring because this makes things very uncomfortable if you’re breastfeeding.

You need a soft bra that could handle the ‘evolution’ of your breasts throughout breastfeeding.

 

As a side note, wiring can also contribute to some breast sagging post-breastfeeding, another reason to steer clear!

 

15. Nursing Clothes

 

Totally optional, as you can make a lot of your own clothes work with breastfeeding, but still very useful.

I don’t think this one really needs an explanation.

 

All I would say is that nursing clothes have unique ways to unbutton or unclip or fold open so as to allow easy access for nursing, and this is a huge bonus of you plan on breastfeeding in public.

There are also ways that you can make your regular clothes nursing friendly like wearing a nursing tank top underneath any shirt so that you can pull up your regular shirt and still have coverage while you nurse.

 

Overall, these are a great resource to have for quick and effort-less nursing without the extra hassle.

 

16. Milk Boosters

 

Galactagogues, or foods/herbs thought to increase the production of breastmilk, include fenugreek, oatmeal, and fennel seeds, among others (5).

There isn’t actual research that proves the effectiveness of galactagogues on milk supply, but many moms swear by them!

If you struggle with a low milk supply, they’re definitely worth trying.

 

I always had a stash of Mother’s Milk tea in my pantry with my first, and although it didn’t taste the best, it helped keep me hydrated and I did end up having an oversupply.

Not sure if there was a direct correlation, but it could have helped!

 

You could also try lactation cookies or brownies.

I mean, why not indulge while you boost your supply?!

 

With my second I ended up also discovering Milk Dust, a protein powder that not only helps to boost your milk supply, but also helps you lose some weight by curbing sugar cravings.

So, if you’d rather not rely on sugary treats, there are waist-conscious alternatives!

 

17. BF-Friendly Bottle Nipples and Pacifiers

 

Last but definitely not least, it is also a good idea to look into breastfeeding friendly bottle Nipples and pacifiers.

Breastfeeding is hard work and not using the correct bottle nipple or pacifier can sabotage all your efforts.

 

Now, there are so many different sources out there that recommend different bottles and nipples.

BabyList has a great breastfeeding-friendly list for both bottle nipples and pacifiers.

 

The ones I used were on these lists: the slow-flow Playtex bottle nipple and the MAMs newborn pacifiers with my first and the Wabanub pacifier with my second (this was literally the only pacifier my little guy took, and only at 3 months!).

Ultimately, it’s the bottle and pacifier nipples that your baby will actually take that with matter most to you, but these are good places to start.

 

For the bottle nipple, just make sure you are feeding your baby correctlyupright and paced, and that you are only using a slow-flow nipple.

When it comes to pacifiers, just be sure to only introduce one once breastfeeding is established.

 

 


Pumping

 

The list of must-haves for pumping is pretty similar to that of breastfeeding since you’re dealing with the same ‘milking’ process, just minus the baby.

 

It would be good to be prepared for both breastfeeding and pumping as you never know how things will end up going postpartum.

You want to be ready for anything.

 

That being said, I still included a full list of pumping essentials, so if you have already prepped your breastfeeding essentials kit, disregard the ‘doubles’.

 

 

What You’ll Need (for the Pumping Kit):

1. Nipple Cream (Optional) 

 

I say optional because unlike with breastfeeding after you pump you will likely having breastmilk dripping off your nipple or around it.

This is important since breast milk is the BEST natural nipple cream out there.

My lactation consultant friend always told me to smear any leftover milk droplets over my nipples after every pumping session and then let it air dry in order to help heal and repair my nipples.

 

Of course, if your nipples are in really bad shape, there’s nothing wrong with using a nipple cream in addition to breastmilk (just wait until the breastmilk dries on your nipples first) to help speed up your recovery.

By all means, lather it on!

 

That is why having some on hand just in case does come in handy!

 

2. Coconut Oil (pumping aid) 

 

My lactation consultant friend also recommended that I use coconut oil when I would pump.

As a pumping aid, of course!

 

Coconut oil helps to moisturize your skin, to limit any damaging stretching of your skin, and to make breast massaging during pumping smoother and easier.

And, if small traces of coconut oil get into your pumped milk, it’s much safer versus if you were to use regular stretch mark cream/oil.

Although, you want to generally avoid getting coconut oil on your nipple/areola.

 

In order to get the most milk out during pumping sessions, you want to massage your breasts.

Without any ‘lubrication’, you can end up doing some real damage to the already super sensitive skin on your breasts.

Avoid lasting damage, and oil up!

 

3. Disposable or Washable Nursing Pads

 

Again, it’s all up to your personal preference whether you go with disposable or reusable nursing pads.

The only thing I would say is that although the disposable pads seem more wasteful, you should expect to be washing your reusable nursing pads pretty often as they get soiled quickly with leaky breasts.

That being said, make sure you have plenty of each!

 

The point is that you will need some sort of nursing pads to keep your clothes free of unnecessary milk spots, no matter if you are breastfeeding or pumping.

I often have referred to breastfeeding/pumping boobies as leaking faucets.

Breastmilk is always being produced, whether you are pumping or not, and any sort of physical stimuli can potentially set them off dripping liquid gold.

 

 

4. Haakaa

 

Anytime I refer to breast milk as liquid gold, I Iimmediately think of the Haakaa: the neat contraption that catches precious milk dripping from the opposite breast that is being nursed or, in this case, pumped.

 

Like with breastfeeding, you want to be using a Haakaa while you pump.

It will help you collect a lot more milk than you would otherwise.

Let me explain.

 

So you might be thinking, why use the Haakaa while pumping when you could pump milk from both breasts simultaneously?

Well, I collected a lot more milk when I focused on pumping one side at a time.

 

 

For example, I would pump one breast while massaging all of the milk ducts toward the nipple, and I would also use the Haakaa on the other side to just catch any milk that would flow with each let-down (again, when you have a let-down or the release of milk from the breast, milk is released from BOTH breasts), then I would switch.

This way I collected a lot more milk than if I were to just let the pump do all of the work.

 

The main point is that the Haakaa is super useful with pumping as well!

 

5. Pumping Bags

 

This one doesn’t need much of an explanation.

You need ‘storage bags‘ in order to safely and properly store that precious breast milk.

 

Make sure that the bags you are using are BPA and BPS free and sterile!

I stuck with the Lansinoh branded bags, but there are other brands that offer the same quality, just be sure to verify.

 

Finally, it’s essential to know how to freeze and store your milk in these storage bags, as well as how long your milk could safely last in different environments (at room temperature, in a fridge, in a freezer, and in a deep freezer).

Most storage bags freeze best laid on their side, and this is intended to minimize the amount of space they take in your freezer.

When it comes to storage times, as a point of reference, I’d stick to the 4-4-6-12 rule.

No more than 4 hours at room temperature, 4 days in the fridge, 6 months in the freezer, and 12 months in a deep freezer (6).

Once thawed, though, your breastmilk cannot sit out for more than 2 hours at room temperature and for no more than 24 hours in the fridge, and it cannot be refrozen (6).

 

For more useful information to know, this post is filled with super helpful infographics for both breastfeeding and pumping.

You can also find useful storage bag hacks, tips, and tricks (like tips for using, freezing, and storing your storage bags) in this post, just scroll down to the ‘pumping’ section.

 

 

6. Extra Pumping Attachments

 

So, your pump comes with pump attachments, but if you are expecting to become an exclusive pumper (something to think about if you are expecting to go back to work) then investing in a a few extra parts is worth the consideration.

 

Washing your pump parts is important if you want to keep your pumped milk to be as germ-free as possible.

It’s recommended that you wash your parts after EVERY pumping session, although some say you could get away with one extra session before washing by placing your parts in the fridge between those sessions.

Regardless, you will be washing those attachments, and all their little parts, A LOT.

Having an extra set (or two!) will help you save some time and your sanity, a little!

 

7. Heat Pads

Via Amazon

 

Heat helps with milk flow.

This is why it is recommended to take a hot shower when you are engorged, the heat helps to stimulate blood flow and milk flow, all that you need to do is massage well and you can unclog those milk ducts and release any trapped milk.

 

Using a breast heating pad before pumping sessions can also help to better stimulate milk flow, helping you pump out more milk.

The more milk you pump out with each session, the more milk will be subsequently produced.

 

Pumping is sounding a lot more like a technique, isn’t it?

Check out my oversupply pumping technique that helped me go from supplementing to a 400 oz stash in a month below!

 

 

 

8. Hands-Free Pumping Bra

 

Although I believe that the most effective pumping is done one side at a time, sometimes you just need to get other things done while pumping simultaneously.

Having a hands-free pumping bra is super useful for those instances!

 

I cannot begin to tell you how useful this neat invention is.

It helped me survive life situations as a stay-at-home ‘pumping’ mom many times.

It’s also great for the working mom as you can literally work and pump at the same time!

 

If you don’t want to purchase this one, there is an easy DIY alternative.

All you have to do is make two circular holes in an old sports/nursing bra, and wuah lah!

Recycle and re-use!

 

9. Water Flask

 

As with breastfeeding, hydration is very important when it comes to pumping and milk production.

Your body uses your water stores to produce breastmilk, and dehydration can potentially have detrimental effects on not only your health and well being but also your milk supply.

 

As I mentioned in the breastfeeding section, in order to combat this and postpartum ‘brain’ I used my Hydro Flask to both remember and track my water consumption throughout the day.

I knew how much water my Hydro Flask was able to hold and so I knew how many full bottles I needed to empty in order to meet my minimum quota by the end of the day (3 with a 32 oz Hydro Flask to be exact!).

 

 

10. Snacks

 

I have an entire list of quick breastfeeding snack ideas in this post, if you need any ideas.

Like with breastfeeding, you will not have much time to prep food when you will be pumping every three to four hours, morning and night, so having a healthy stash of snacks readily available will be essential to your nutrition.

 

I will also add that you should also still be taking your prenatal vitamins (I won’t add this as a separate point as in the breastfeeding kit, but it is still just as important here), for as long as you will be nursing/pumping.

A lot of your valuable nutrients are being sucked out of you to produce that nutritiously rich breast milk, so you need to make sure that you are at least meeting your daily vitamin quotas.

You definitely won’t be meeting them from the food you consume, because you will be struggling to even eat those first few weeks to months, so you want to make sure that you are taking your vitamins!

 

 

11. Breast Pump

 

The most important part of pumping is the pump.

The only problem is that good pumps can cost a pretty penny.

The good news is that if you have health insurance you might not even have to buy one at all!

 

In order to see if you qualify for a FREE pump you will need to contact your insurance provider directly.

I have a small section on this -> HERE.

 

My Short Pump Story

With my first, I received both a FREE pump to keep and a FREE pump to lease for six months.

The pump I got through insurance to keep was the Ameda Purely Yours Breastpump which had a retail value of about $300 (they are discontinued because of functioning issues) when new, which is a pretty incredible freebie postpartum (considering how much you have to give out of pocket for all the birth charges).

The problem was that this pump wasn’t all that great, the obvious reason it was discontinued, however, usually insurance companies have decent breastpumps that do the job.

 

Now I was able to get the BEST (the opinion of me and many lactation consultants I know) pump on the market, the Medela Hospital-Grade Symphony Breast Pump, also free through insurance but for lease for 6 months.

This was only possible through my daughter’s pediatrician who ‘prescribed’ us the hospital-grade pump because we were struggling with breastfeeding and baby girl needed to gain weight, hence the encouragement to pump.

That’s a VERY expensive pump ($2000 on Amazon!) and it really did work amazing!

 

So what was the point of me telling you my story of how I got my breast pumps?

I want to show you how you can get your own FREE pumps and avoid having to spend extra money on a pricy baby item.

It’s worth the phone call to your insurance company and the conversation with your doctor if a FREE and/or leasing option is available through your insurance plan, just find out before you deliver!

 

Other VERY Useful Pumping Necessities:

12. Bummaa Original Postpartum Pillow

 

Just like with breastfeeding, you will be sitting a lot postpartum if you expect to pump.

Pumping sessions can last up to thirty minutes at a time, and they usually happen every three to four hours.

That’s about three hours of sitting a day just when you pump!

 

Having a postpartum pillow that you can comfortably sit on during all that time is seriously something worth considering, if you haven’t already.

 

13. Milk Boosters

 

Another repeat!

 

Milk production is most noticed when you pump breastmilk, since you know exactly how much milk you are producing from each breast.

It is also something you worry about a lot more when you are pumping, since you always compare how much you produce versus how much your baby needs.

 

As a side note, I wouldn’t focus on this all that much since those values are relative and every baby is different.

The most important thing is that your baby is happy, healthy, and gaining weight!

But I digress..

 

My point is that you care a lot more about consuming galactagogues (foods that promote milk production) when you are pumping (as opposed to breastfeeding), so having them readily available postpartum is essential!

Also, you might want to buy a little bit of everything (cookies, proteins, teas, supplements, etc.) as you won’t really know which foods or herbs your milk production will react positively to best.

 

14. Freezer (not pictured in the ‘Pumping Kit’)

 

Last but not least, a pumping essential that I can guarantee you haven’t thought of is a deep freezer.

If not a separate freezer, then adequate amount of freezer space readily available.

 

Before I continue, I want to emphasize that this is for the exclusive pumping mommas who expect to return to work AND pumping mommas hoping to build up a supply.

You’ll need A LOT of space for all that milk!

 

We ended up purchasing an extra freezer with my first as I ended up having an oversupply (because I pumped after breastfeeding) and there wasn’t that much extra room in the freezer we had.

In order to be stored safely, breast milk needs to be stored at deep freezer temperatures, so considering a freezer as part of your pumping necessities isn’t all that crazy after all!

 

 


Self Care

 

I decided to add this in as self-care is generally minimized during postpartum recovery.

We think that recovery after delivering a baby is solely physical healing, but there’s a whole lot of mental processing and healing that happens behind the scenes, and it’s oftentimes much more significant than the tears or incisions.

 

Having a decent supply of things that can help you feel good about you and give you some alone time can boost your morale.

Of course, everyone’s self-care is different and so my list might not even resonate with you.

But my point is to help you prepare for your own self-care as you get some idea of what is important for you to feel more human and like the woman that you are.

 

Without further ado, here’s my list of postpartum self-care essentials!

 

What I Needed:

1. Dry Shampoo

 

Taking a shower in the first weeks to days can be challenging.

Your life revolves primarily around your new baby, and when you aren’t taking care of your newborn, you’re trying to catch up on sleep!

That means that that greasy head will not get as much attention as it needs!

 

Having a good stock of dry shampoo really comes in handy!

It isn’t something you really think about until you’re in the thick of it!

 

2. Bath Bombs

 

Ok, I’ll admit that this is one of my personal self care musts.

When I did have a chance to take a bath, this set was my go-to.

 

Oftentimes those bath sessions were very late in the night, too, but still oh so worth it!

I felt so pampered!

 

Of course, you want to make sure you’re all healed up down there before you give these a go.

That means at least 6 weeks postpartum.

 

3. Diffuse Essential Oils

 

Where are my EO mommas?

Essential oils can help so much with postpartum recovery!

Just check out this neat blog post of the many blends you can concoct for your many postpartum needs!

 

In addition to these, diffusing oils can also help with setting a mood.

For example, it wouldn’t hurt to let a little of the ‘Joy’ essential oil blend be aromatically diffused in your home, preferably in a room where your newborn isn’t sleeping.

A little upliftment in your mood can help with some of the hormonal imbalances you’ll be experiencing postpartum.

 

4. Healthy Snacks

 

This is one of the best ways you could take care of yourself!

You rarely will have a spare moment to cook, so you’ll be snacking a lot (especially if you’ll be breastfeeding).

Having healthy snacks on hand will not only help to keep you full the longest, but they’ll also prevent you from gaining unnecessary weight!

 

Postpartum weight-loss can actually be inhibited by excess or high calories eating postpartum.

You definitely don’t want to eat food that will only raise up you daily calories intake and not keep you full!

 

 

Some healthy and filling snacks you could opt for are nuts or trail mix bars, avocado on toast, or even a protein shake (here’s an amazing one that helps you curbs sugar cravings!).

I have a whole list of snack ideas in this post, and if you’re looking for tips on how to eat to lose weight while breastfeeding or postpartum in general, this is a great post I wrote as well!

 

 


Other Tips For Making Postpartum Easier

1. Make Your Kits Easily Accessible

 

 

Make sure that you put each of your kits in readily accessible areas!

You don’t want to be looking for your peri bottle when you’re already on the toilet, and same thing goes for your breastfeeding or pumping gear.

You want everything you need within reach and ready to go!

 

The same goes for all your baby kits as well.

Portable diaper changing stations should be conveniently placed in areas of high presence, preferably one upstairs and one downstairs if your have a multistory home.

Having a diaper caddy is super helpful whether you have a multistory or a one story home.

 

 

Overall, keep your kits where they’ll be needed most!

 

 

2. Stock Up!

 

Make sure that you stock up on necessities you will need during postpartum prior to your delivery day.

Now, I’m not talking just about diaper, wipes, and onesies (for all those blowouts!), although those are equally as important.

I’m also talking about non-baby essentials like toilet paper, cooking staples, hand and dish soap, laundry detergent, water, and batteries (for all that baby gear!).

 

You definitely want to be ready for anything.

The last thing you seriously want to be doing is having your hubby go on a 3 AM grocery run to the only pharmacy open in your city because you don’t have Infants’ Tylenol on hand (true story!).

 

And while I’m at it, make sure you have you baby medicine kit ready to go for baby because it will come in handy!

 

 

 

 

3. Opt For Delivery

 

You can’t always prep for everything, and sometimes you just run out!

Having delivery options available is the next life saver!

 

Let’s face it, technology has given us a lot of short cuts in life, why not use them to your full advantage during postpartum?!

I cannot begin to say how much we used Amazon Prime with our first and second newborn phases.

HUGE lifesavers when we needed something and we couldn’t go physically to the store!

 

Make sure you take into account the shipping, of course.

Order in advance if using Prime!

For same day delivery, InstaCart is another lifesaver!

 

 

4. Ask For Help

 

Don’t. Be. Afraid. Or. Ashamed. To. Ask. For. Help.

Get used to asking for it, especially if you avoided asking for it up until that point.

 

I was one that did.

I hated asking for help!

Postpartum taught me the importance of community.

 

It’s no wonder the phrase goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

You will need help!

We all do!

So, don’t be ashamed of asking, know that everyone that cares expects to help you.

 

 

5. Get Plenty Of Rest

 

And I want to add, “.. when you can.”

 

I understand that sleeping normally is almost impossible with a newborn, but you will need to prioritize rest whenever possible.

 

Put the cooking, cleaning, and working aside.

Nap as much as you can when your baby sleeps.

 

If you aren’t getting your rest you will not be able to give your baby the full attention they need.

Nor will you have much patience for all that crying!

You need a leveled head momma.

 

Forget about everything else until things settle down a bit.

 

My biggest tip for postpartum is to sleep as much as you can the first night after you deliver your baby.

At the hospital, you will have plenty of hands to help you with your newborn.

Take advantage of it to get the sleep you need because this will be the last time you get normal sleep in a long while.

 

Now I’m not a huge fan of sending your baby to the nursery, while you sleep in your own room, but I am a proponent of someone watching and carrying for baby (be it dad or grandma) in the same room, while you try to nap.

So even though you’re resting, your baby is still within reach when need be.

 

 


Re-Cap

 

I really hope that this post conveyed the main point, that postpartum is an important period that needs to be prepared for.

 

Yes, it’s important to know what to expect, so that you mentally prepared and aren’t shocked about it when it comes.

But it’s also important to physically be ready, all kits on deck!

 

As a first time pregnant momma, I remember when I first realized that I would need gear for postpartum healing and postpartum feeding.

I frantically googled what to get, and honestly had no idea why I would need what I was purchasing until the labor and delivery nurse explained everything to me while she was helping me set up my ‘mesh-padwich’.

At that point, some of the things I purchased via Amazon I realized were already included in my hospital bill (tucks, dermoplast, mesh underwear, maternity pads, ice pads, peri bottle), but that’s a story for another article (this one –> Clever Ways to Start Saving Money on Baby During Pregnancy)

 

Seriously, I wish I ran across an article like this.

One that not only told me what I needed but why I needed it and how I would use it!

 

That’s why I do what I do.

For moms like myself.

Who, I believe, deserve to know the truth about what to expect, ahead!

 

I hope you feel more prepared for postpartum!

Just don’t wait too long to assemble those kits!

The earlier the better.

Not all babies wait for due dates!

 


Sharing Is Caring

Share this with other mommas you know and care about.

We need to help and empower each other to make mom life as easy as possible so we can continue to be supermoms in all the important areas!

 

Stay smart momma and be on the lookout for more helpful posts!

You can find more helpful information like this on my website.

 

Subscribe to my email list to get updates on new posts.

Better yet, follow me on Pinterest and you won’t ever miss a thing!

 

Until next time mommas!


 

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