No matter how you brought a human into the world… the point is: you brought a human into the world and now your body is all like, “WHAT-just- happened-and- make-it- stop- and-can- someone-get- me-a- cheeseburger-because- I’m-starving!”
From swelling to stitches, no matter what condition you’re in, gather up these essentials to get on the mend ASAP.
Here’s what you need for a postpartum recovery station:
Use a small bin, basket, or container to fit all the goods – here’s the bamboo caddy we used in the photo above. Keep it on top of the toilet so you can just grab whatever you need from your porcelain throne.
Lots (and lots) of pads:
Whether you had a c-section or gave birth vaginally, you’re going to have postpartum bleeding for weeks. And since tampons are a no-no, you’ll need to stock up on a variety of pads. Extra absorbent, long pads (or Depends) are a good bet in the first couple of days then you can dial it down to the thinner pads.
DIY hack: Turn whatever pads you have on hand into a “padsicle.” Check out our quick step-by-step guide.
Just in Case Undies
No explanation necessary. Just keep an extra pair in there, k?
In the first couple weeks, you may find that taking Ibuprofen or acetaminophen helps minimize your various aches and pains – some caregivers recommend alternating them throughout the day. (PS: If you’re breastfeeding, these medications are safe).
Spritz + Balms:
Your perineal area may need some serious TLC if you’ve had a vaginal birth. Earth mama makes a soothing natural, herbal spray for quick relief. They also make a great Organic Perineal Balm and Skin & Scar Balm depending on your baby’s exit strategy. Dermoplast is another popular suggestion.
If you had a vaginal birth, the hospital probably sent you home with a little plastic bottle you were instructed to fill with water and aim at your nether region every time you go to the bathroom. But if you find the bottle provided hard to use, try Fridet, the MomWasher, which actually works upside down for better maneuvering.
Don’t let the look of these fool you into thinking they’re a vanity thing. Postpartum wraps help your abdominal muscles and c-section incisions heal by keeping the area compressed. You can read more about them and check out the different options in the Postpartum Compression Girdles post.
This post just keeps getting sexier, right?! I’m sure you see the logic in this one. You want your body to have to do as little work as possible while it recovers from getting a person out of it so stool softeners – or prunes in some form – are a good idea to keep everything moving.
As always, you don’t need all of this stuff. Many hospitals will send you home with squirt bottles and pads but it’s nice to know what’s out there to make your postpartum days a little easier.
Is there anything else you would add?
Related: After Birth “Exit” Care