13 Postpartum Care Must-haves
After nine months of waiting and preparing your baby is finally here. And after all the adrenaline has worn off and you have successfully completed your delivery, you are going to have to do a lot of healing. In this article we put together 13 postpartum care must-haves for a successful, fast, and easy postpartum recovery.
What to expect after delivery
During your pregnancy you probably researched and read up on every possible thing relating to your new baby. And those of you who are brave, have probably even looked into what to expect during delivery. However, many women do not prepare for their postpartum journey. Everyone loves to talk about the pregnancy, the labor, the delivery - because those are the exciting parts of having a baby, but nobody wants to talk about the unexciting part - recovering.
Your body just went through nine months of growing, changing, fluctuating hormones, and finally through hours of intense labor. If you had a vaginal delivery your vagina is going to be sore, itchy, and raw for the better part of six weeks after your delivery. And for some women the recovery period might even be longer if they tore and had to get stitches. If you have a C-section delivery, you will probably be looking at a similar recovery period and have your stitches or staples or glue to take care of too.
You will be cramping, your hair will be falling out, your nipples will be leaking and sore - even if you aren’t breastfeeding, and your vagina will be bleeding - getting out all the lochia (uterine lining). Postpartum recovery is no joke, and it can be overwhelming if you aren’t prepared for it. So what can you do to prepare? Get together a postpartum recovery kit.
Postpartum Recovery Kit
A postpartum recovery kit is a bag/stash with all of the things you will need to be successful in your postpartum journey. This postpartum recovery kit should be filled with all the postpartum care must-haves so that you can have a smooth and fast recovery.
Postpartum Care Must-haves (For Down Under)
To ensure that you are prepared for the postpartum journey, we have put together a list of our top postpartum care must-haves.
After giving birth your body will begin to shed the uterine lining called lochia. This process looks and feels similar to a normal period and typically is heaviest the first 10 days after giving birth. After those 10 days, you may continue to spot for the next four to six weeks.
Your vagina is still recovering from giving birth so you will not be able to use tampons, therefore you will need to stock up on pads.
Due to the postpartum vaginal bleeding that you will experience most women choose to purchase new/comfortable underwear. You don’t want to get your blood all over your nice underwear, so investing in a few pairs of postpartum underwear will help you avoid ruining other pairs. Try out these full-coverage cotton panties from Bellefit. They are comfortable and provide all the coverage you need.
3. Perineal Cooling Pads
Unfortunately your vagina is going to itch and burn after giving birth. And you will need some much needed relief - that is where perineal cooling pads come in. These cooling pads are absorbent and lie on top of your pad. They provide cooling and medicinal relief to your aching vagina. A popular brand, TUCKS, uses witch hazel to soothe, cool, and moisturize your nether regions.
4. Peri bottle
Due to the traumatized skin and tissue, you will want to avoid wiping and using toilet paper for the first week or two after delivery. A peri bottle is used to clean your vaginal area and ensure that you stay clean.
Typically hospitals will give you one to take home, but these ones are not always the easiest to use. Try finding an upside-down peri bottle that has an easy-squeeze container, such as this one by Frida Mom.
5. Perineal Spray
Your vaginal area will need a medicated spray to ease the healing process. After using your peri bottle, spray a little bit of Dermoplast to soothe stinging and itching.
Postpartum Care Must-Have (For Breasts)
Not only will your vagina be hurting, your breasts will also hurt too. Even if you are not planning on breastfeeding, your breasts will leak milk until the milk dries up. These are the must-haves for your breast needs.
1. Nursing Bra
If you are planning on breastfeeding, you will need a good nursing bra. This bra will support your breasts and has a quick clip so you can easily breastfeed without taking your whole bra off. Try out this one by Bellefit.
2. Nipple Cream
As you breastfeed your nipples can become dry and cracked. This can cause pain. In order to combat that, many women use a nipple cream or a lotion. This will help keep your nipples moisturized and reduce pain.
3. Nipple Pads
For those of you who do not breastfeed, nipple pads are something you would only have to use for a little bit. These pads are placed in your bra, over your nipple, and absorb any leaking milk. For breastfeeding moms these will be necessary until you stop breastfeeding. Make sure you have a stack of them readily available.
Postpartum Care Must-Have (In General)
Besides your breasts and your vagina, you will most likely be in pain. Here are a few products that help combat your general life issues during your postpartum recovery period.
1. Stool Softener
Not exactly glamorous, but helpful, will be stool softener. Truth is you will have to have a bowel movement at some point after giving birth, but all the pain can make it scary. It sounds ridiculous, but it is true. Straining to go to the bathroom can cause unneeded pain and discomfort. Using a stool softener can help to ensure that you remain comfortable during all bathroom voyages.
2. Prenatal Vitamins
You read that right - prenatal vitamins. Sounds counterintuitive but it can actually help your body adjust to the hormonal changes easier. Taking a prenatal vitamin can even help reduce your postpartum hair loss by maintaining a steady level of hormones in your body. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before continuing their use.
3. Pain Medication
During the postpartum recovery period you will experience cramping that is similar to period pain. This can make you feel run-down and tired. According to physicians, ibuprofen (advil/motrin), is safe to take after giving birth and while breastfeeding. Just be sure to ask your doctor before self-medicating.
4. Compression Leggings
You are going to need a nice and comfortable pair of leggings to lounge around the house in after giving birth. Try out Bellefit’s compression leggings. They are comfortable and provide compression to your abdominal region which can relieve pain in the abdomen.
5. Postpartum Girdle
Finally, the pièce de résistance, a postpartum girdle. Postpartum girdles are our number one postpartum care must-have. They provide much-needed support for your abdominal region, medical grade compression, and can even help with diastasis recti. Bellefit has a postpartum girdle for everyone. They are perfect for vaginal or c-section deliveries and will help you get better faster.
We hope that this list of postpartum care must-haves has been helpful, and that you have found everything you will need for your postpartum recovery kit. Is there anything else you would add to the kit? Let us know in the comments!