When you are expecting your first child there are a few things you do. You prepare a baby registry, pack a hospital bag, and generally get everything ready for the baby. One thing I think is common for new moms to forget is the items they will need once they get home. When I was getting ready to have my first baby I consulted all kinds of lists for the baby registry and hospital bag. I did not have any idea of what I would want or need when we got home from the hospital. Here is my list of must-haves for the postpartum mama.
- Haakaa Manual Breast Pump. If you plan to breastfeed I definitely recommend the Haakaa! While feeding you suction the Haakaa to the opposite breast. It catches any letdown and then you have milk you can refrigerate or freeze for later.
- Padsicles. Padsicles are basically a pad and an ice pack in one. These are a definite must for after a vaginal birth! You can make your own or buy them (Frida Mom is one brand). I recommend preparing/buying the padsicles prior to going to the hospital.
- Stool softener. I had no idea how hard it would be to poop after I had my daughter. It is definitely one of those things no one tells you. Stool softener will make you much more comfortable navigating going to the bathroom postpartum.
- Nursing pads. If you are breastfeeding you will want to have nursing pads on hand. This will help ensure that you don’t leak through your clothes. I highly recommend buying the reusable pads. They are more cost-effective and most can be washed in the washer. My favorite pads are from Bamboobies.
- Belly wrap/binder. I’ve been told that this is especially helpful for c-section mamas! This will help your body get back to its pre-pregnancy state. It also offers lower back support and helps you move around with ease.
- Compression underwear/leggings. This is another item I’ve been told is a must-have for c-section moms. A few of the Toledo Moms contributors have said these felt like they held them together!
- Adult diapers. These are a definite must-have in my eyes! These were so much easier than using disposable underwear and maxi pads. Always Discreet and Depends are both good options!
- Healthy snacks. The first few weeks at home were an absolute blur. Having healthy snacks readily available was a huge help. Some of my recommendations are Lara bars, separating nuts into individual portions, deli meat, and cheese and crackers. None of these were sophisticated but they were all easy!
- Loungewear. I lived in loungewear while I was on maternity leave. Since I didn’t want to be in my pajamas all day I made sure to purchase comfy clothes. I loved nursing dresses, loose tank tops, and comfy and loose shorts and pants. My favorite items came from Gap, Old Navy, and Kindred Bravely.
- Tucks pads. Tucks pads offered so much relief during the first couple postpartum weeks. They offer relief from both vaginal pain/discomfort as well as if you have hemorrhoids. If you want extra relief, try putting the pads in the refrigerator.
- Peri bottle. This is an absolute must! I used this instead of toilet paper for the first couple weeks after birth. They are pretty cheap on Amazon and my hospital actually gave me a couple as well.
- Nipple butter or cream. If you are breastfeeding or pumping you will definitely want some nipple butter or nipple cream. It helps soothe cracked and sore nipples. It also helps “lube” you flange when you are pumping to make it more comfortable!
- A good water bottle. It is so easy to forget to drink water but it is so important to stay hydrated. I recommend having a good water bottle on hand to make sure you are getting enough H2O. I have found that using a clear water bottle helps me drink more!
- Sitz baths or spray. Baths can increase circulation, reduce cramping, soothe discomfort, and help relax you. If you don’t have time for a bath, I recommend Motherlove Sitz Spray – it was great for easing discomfort!
- . These are comfortable and supportive with easy access for breastfeeding. My favorite are from Bamboobies and Kindred Bravely. They are so comfortable and honestly, I love wearing them even when I’m not nursing!
These were the items I found to be essential for my postpartum experience. Think of anything I am missing? Let me know your postpartum must haves in the comments!