If you are a new or seasoned parent, I think we can all agree that we have felt or feel ill prepared for postpartum life and recovery because it really is so different each time. Luckily, companies have made an effort to recognize the lack of postpartum products and have made some awesome postpartum products to help us in recovery:
Frida Mom is a big name in postpartum recovery products and I came across an amazing company on Instagram called Coddle (products are plant based and organic). If you want to support a local Minnesota company, then checkout Baby Bonito.
Finally, If you are super into doing it yourself then start your DIY postpartum recovery products Pinterest board now!
For Vaginal Bleeding (yup, even if you had a C-section!):
Mesh underwear or Depends: the hospital will give you a few, but you'll want to have more at home. You'll bleed a lot in the first few days (much more than a period bleed) and will want to have easy clean-up.
Pads, Pads, Pads (preferably chlorine free). Have a variety on hand from thin and small, to thick and long. Your bleeding will last for a few days to a few weeks, and you'll want to be prepared. Bria likes to switch to cloth pads once bleeding has slowed to a period level. Check out this local Wisconsin company: Party in My Pants
Padsicles: = Pad + Popsicle and they provide great relief for your nether regions! Check out this blog post for a DIY recipe (try using essential oils like lavender!).
Peri Bottle: you'll get a basic peri bottle from the hospital, but we're a big fan of this upgraded Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle. Use it every time you pee to dilute your urine and make for a more pleasant experience for your healing parts.
Sitz Bath: you can buy a special sitz bath attachment for your toilet, to soak your perineum if you're rocking a C-section incision. But if you had a vaginal birth, go ahead and soak in the tub! Try some of these recipes.
For Leaking Milk (yup, even if you're not breast/chest feeding!):
Chucks pads/puppy pads: we literally mean the ones dogs use. These are for your bed, and are also great for vaginal bleeding if you want to air out for a bit. Your milk will often leak in the beginning while you're sleeping. Protect your sheets with a puppy pad (or have lots of old towels on hand!).
Nipple Cream: your nipples are likely going to be sore after the first few days/weeks of feeding. This isn't something they're used to, and they need to callus up! Try rubbing on a cream, coconut oil, or your own milk, for soothing relief. For extra relief, try cold Soothies.
Manual Breast Pump: for quick relief when you're full of milk, be sure to have a manual pump on hand so you don't need to wake a baby, or hook up your huge electric pump.
Hands-free Pumping Bra: use one of these when you're pumping with your electric breast pump (grab a pump free through your health insurance company!). It's no fun to sit for a 20 minute pump sesh and have to hold the flanges to your nipples!
3-5 Frozen Meals: if you don't do anything else, do this! Check out The Family Freezer for recipes and inspiration, or set up a Meal Train for friends and family to drop off food!
Easy snack options: did you know you need 300-500 extra calories/day if you are breast/chest feeding? Keep lots of nutritious options nearby like: nuts, dried fruit, hummus, crackers and nut butter, bone broth, almond milk, etc.
A HUGE water bottle: you'll never be thirstier in your life. Get the biggest one on the market.
If you are birthing your baby in the hospital, TAKE ALL OF THE EXTRAS. Take the extra mesh underwear, padsicles, pads, peri bottle, the diapers they provide for your newborn, and then ask for more of the extras to stock your recovery cabinet. Trust me, they have plenty and they are charging your insurance plenty for you to enjoy this very basic perk.
If you are birthing in a birth center, you will have to have a few of these things prepared and on hand already. You might get a sitz bath to enjoy both at the birth center and at home. There are not likely as many extras you can snag in your doggy bag though, so be prepared!
If you are birthing at home, you will definitely need to have things stashed for your recovery journey. Be sure to check with your midwife to see if they supply a few things or not.
What is your favorite postpartum recovery must have?