10 Must-Have Supplies For Your Postpartum Care Kit

If you’ve ever experienced the wonder of childbirth, you are also familiar with the importance of postpartum care. Having a baby means your family will be going through a lot of changes, and your body will be adjusting as well! From breastfeeding to that first bowel movement, recovering from giving birth will almost guarantee that your body will feel fatigued, sore, swollen, and in need of a lot of love and care.

Preparing for your new little one can be exciting and overwhelming, from setting up the nursery to baby proofing the house, but it’s also important to make sure you’ve prepared a postpartum care kit that has all the supplies you’ll need to be comfortable and ready to heal. If you give birth in a hospital, your medical team may put together a small kit for you to take home, but it will likely only get you through the first day or so. You also may want to stock up on a few supplies of your choice.

The following postpartum care kit must-haves can help ensure that your post-birth experience is as stress-free as possible.

1. Maternity underwear

If you’re a first-time mom, you may have never worn maternity underwear before. These undergarments are designed to keep everything in place, from pads and ice packs to C-section stitches. They’re made of soft mesh that won’t irritate your skin. If you don’t have any on hand, just be sure you have some large underwear with a stretchy waistband at the ready for the first few weeks after giving birth.

2. Postpartum pads

You’ll also want to have some maternity pads in your postpartum care kit. During the first week or two, it’s normal to experience heavy bleeding (called lochia). These large, heavy-duty pads are designed with extra leak protection while your body heals. It’s also important to avoid using tampons or a menstrual cup until after your six-week checkup to avoid infections. If you aren’t accustomed to using such thick pads, your nursing team or midwife can show you how to arrange everything comfortably.

3. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is an absolute must when you’re recovering from childbirth. This magic solution is great for reducing swelling and hemorrhoids, which are common for new mothers. You can even make your own witch hazel-soaked pads or buy witch hazel wipes to keep with you. Some moms opt to freeze witch hazel and aloe vera pads to create ice packs as well.

4. Sitz bath salts

If you’re still feeling sore or have hemorrhoids, soaking in a sitz bath can help. It can also help minimize any pain or itchiness you may feel in those sensitive areas. To make a sitz salt bath, fill the tub with a few inches of warm water and simply add the sitz salts. Soak for about 15-20 minutes with your knees bent or your legs draped over the side of the tub to keep them out of the solution. Once you’re finished, pat yourself dry and try not to rub the salts into your skin.

4. Perineal irrigation bottle

After you have a baby, even normal activities like using the restroom can hurt. Make sure you have a peri-bottle on hand to help ease pain while still getting clean. They’re inexpensive and portable, so you can stash one in your bag once you’re ready to get out of the house. You can also keep a few around at home so you don’t have to carry the same one around to each bathroom. Some companies even create peri bottles that are designed specifically for new moms.

6. Perineal healing foam or numbing spray

While these products haven’t always been available, they’re certainly a must-have for postpartum care kits today! Perineal healing foam provides instant relief and is made with witch hazel, but unlike some solutions on the market, it only absorbs into sore spots, rather than your maternity pads. Healing foam and numbing spray provide pain relief and cooling, reduce swelling and promote long-term healing.

7. Boppy pillow

Sitting down can be uncomfortable when you’re recovering from labor, and you’ll definitely need to rest often after having a baby! If you’re having trouble taking pressure off sensitive areas, try sitting on a boppy pillow or donut pillow. These are helpful for supporting your arms while nursing as well.

8. Breast pads

Speaking of nursing, if it’s a new experience for you, you’ll also want to have some breast pads handy. No matter how experienced you are, there is always a chance of leaking when breastfeeding, and breast pads can help save you a few changes of clothes throughout the day. There are cloth breast pads or store brand nursing pads made of other materials, depending on your preference. It takes a few tries to find the right kind for you, but breast pads are definitely a must if you want to get back to your normal routine without interruption.

9. Nipple cream

No one really lets you know how much adjustment it takes to get the hang of breastfeeding. You may experience some pain or soreness at first, or irritated skin. Nipple cream can help soothe the discomforts that come along with learning to find your rhythm with baby.

10. Medication

The last thing to include in your postpartum care kit is medication – either prescription or over-the-counter painkillers. Your body will be going through a lot of healing from labor and your uterus readjusting in size, which can be painful. Talk to your doctor about the right options for you to have on hand. With a newborn in the house, you definitely don’t want to be caught without pain management.

In addition to ibuprofen or Tylenol, also include stool softeners in your list of medications to keep on hand. These will help ease you back into regular bowel movements and prevent hemorrhoids.

Postpartum care should be at the top of your priority list, alongside caring for your new bundle of joy. Be honest about your needs, splurge on the good supplies, and you’ll have a safe and comfortable healing period.

Author Bio: 
Jenny Hart is a health and wellness writer with a passion for travel, cycling and books. When she isn't writing or travelling, she's traversing NYC with her two dogs Poochie and Ramone.

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