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The Best Postpartum Recovery Essentials of 2020
Giving birth is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. The empowerment behind growing a human and bringing life into the world is remarkable. However, what we don’t talk about enough is the postpartum recovery that comes after.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I remember researching, reading, and hearing all about the pregnancy part of things and what the baby would need. Never did I think to ask what I would need or what I would feel as I embarked on recovering from childbirth.
Thankfully, now after having my second child, I’ve learned a thing or two about postpartum recovery. Here are some products that have helped me on my postpartum journey and I hope they help others as well!
Postpartum Recovery Essentials for Vaginal Care
Regardless if you birthed via vaginal or c-section, there are still some things happening down there that you should prepare for. Depending on the method of delivery, you may or may not need all the items on this list.
Speaking from experience having two vaginal deliveries, here are some helpful postpartum tips that will make a difference.
Depends and Pads
For the first few days, there will be quite a bit of bleeding from down under. Postpartum bleeding is normal and can last anywhere from three to six weeks.
Each day following, your bleeding will change color and won’t be so heavy.
In those first days however, it is easiest to sport some Depends. Yes, Depends are adult diapers. While they are not very flattering, they are definitely helpful in the healing process. FridaMom has some cute designed disposable underwear.
After those heavy days are over, you can comfortably switch to using large pads. It is not recommended to use tampons for the first six weeks after birth while your body is healing.
A peri bottle (also known as a perineal irrigation bottle) is essential in postpartum recovery. It’s a squirt bottle that you fill with warm water and squirt on your undercarriage. It washes and cleans to prevent your perineal area from infection after birth.
Some hospitals will give you a standard bottle. However, it is kind of awkward to use when sitting on the toilet. You have to hold it upside down, do a one-cheek-lift type of sit, and stick your hand below to get a good aim.
I recommend using a peri bottle that does the work for you. The Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle is angled to help you with that awkward squirting position.
Sweats are the perfect postpartum care outfit. Your body will be adjusting for months to shrink back down. Pressuring yourself to fit into those pre-pregnancy jeans immediately after birth is unnecessary.
Lounge around in sweats after birth for maximum comfort. Especially if you’ve had a c-section, sweats do a great job of keeping everything together loosely and comfortably.
Witch Hazel Pads
Witch hazel has several uses; one of which being to use for burning. After a vaginal birth, the area between your vagina and perineum can be a bit swollen. Oftentimes, you might even feel a burning sensation.
Using witch hazel can help reduce the swelling. You can either buy witch hazel pads or put witch hazel on pads yourself and freeze them. This will help with the discomfort and prevent infection.
Another way to reduce that perineal pain postpartum is by taking a sitz bath. Soak in a bathtub with warm water for about 20 minutes per day.
If you end up needing stitches from tearing, be careful not to over soak as the water can cause the stitches to break down too soon.
In your sitz bath, add some Epsom salt, lavender oil, or even chamomile oil. Try your best to relax and take this time for yourself.
Nyssa Postpartum Underwear
The newest addition to postpartum healing is the Nyssa postpartum underwear. It is underwear that has a pocket below to place an ice pack or heating pad.
The underwear keeps the pad in place so you don’t have to worry about it moving around or becoming misplaced. This underwear is especially good to use for perineal and/or incision relief.
After the heavy bleeding days have passed, there really isn’t a use for the Depends any more. Once you start using pads instead, you can use granny panties.
Granny panties are great for those over sized pads that you will most likely need. They are also comfortable and help you with your healing.
The Elvie Trainer is great for recovery! It is an award-winning Kegel trainer that coaches you through pelvic floor exercises. Pelvic floor problems occur in approximately 80% of expectant moms.
Pelvic floor recovery is essential for better bladder control, core stability, and intimacy comfort. It is recommended by medical professionals and women who use it see results in as little as four weeks.
You can start using the Elvie Trainer during pregnancy as long as you don’t have any complications related to your pregnancy. After giving birth, it is safe to resume use of the trainer once you get the all-clear sign at your six week postpartum visit.
Postpartum Recovery Essentials for Breast Care
If you choose to breastfeed, there are some surprises that come along with the early days of breastfeeding. Even if you do not breastfeed, the first few days after birth, you will still experience engorgement and discomfort as you work to dry up your milk. These postpartum recovery tips for the breasts will benefit all moms.
Until your nipples become tenderized, calloused, or just used to the constant sucking, you will need some nipple cream.
Cracks and bleeding happen in the nipples for about the first two weeks postpartum. If you are having pain while breastfeeding, it is recommended to contact a lactation consultant to ensure a proper latch.
Using a nipple cream or nipple butter will give you some much needed relief.
Try Earth Mama Nipple Butter for healing and protecting your nipples. It is organic, lanolin free (aka not sticky), and moisturizing. Best of all, you don’t have to wipe it off before nursing.
Even if you choose not to breastfeed, this nipple butter is great for other dry skin rashes like eczema and even works on stretch marks.
Cooling Gel Breast Pads
These incredible pads for breasts help with the soreness that follows after your milk comes in.
Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, your body is still going to respond to the birth of your baby and begin producing milk. This can make you feel engorged and can be painful, especially around the nipples.
The cooling pads are a perfect solution to the discomfort that comes. They provide instant relief once placed on the nipple area. The pads also act as a barrier to protect your sensitive nipples from rubbing against your shirt.
If you are breastfeeding, the rawness of your nipples from baby suckling will be comforted by these gel pads. Simply stick them against your nipples. It is recommended to wash off your nipples with lukewarm water before baby breastfeeds again.
While your body works to regulate your milk supply, there most likely will be leakage from your breasts. Using breast pads can save you from having to change your shirt several times per day.
Breast pads are designed to absorb milk that leaks out. You don’t have control over when your breasts will leak so having these on hand will benefit you.
Kindred Bravely offers organic bamboo breast pads that are washable. These pads are soft, more absorbent than cotton, and are contoured to fit the shape of a breast for maximum comfort. With the purchase of the breast pads, you also receive a waterproof bag.
If you do not want to breastfeed, but still need help with absorbing breast leakage until your milk dries up, consider purchasing disposable breast pads to help get you through.
For the comfort of your breasts and body, use a nursing bra after birth. A nursing bra is comfortable and doesn’t have any underwire. Therefore, you can lounge in them and can breathe comfortably.
Nursing bras are great to use while pregnant as well. As your body expands and grows that precious human, your breasts also will grow.
Additionally, the space between the underside of your breasts and the top of your belly bump becomes more constricting. A nursing bra takes away that discomfort and provides support as well as relief.
Kindred Bravely offers a variety of comfortable, supportive, and convenient nursing bras. From lounging to t-shirt bras to sports bras and more, you can find the best option that makes you feel like you again.
Whether you want to exclusively pump or just pump for a rainy day, having a reliable, comfortable, and convenient breast pump can make all the difference.
With my first child, I pumped to help store up milk for when I returned to work. The additional ounces I saved were enough to get us through my son’s first year. Pumping really helped me make it to my goal of one year breastfeeding.
Now that I’m on my second baby, I still choose to pump so that hubby and I can sneak away for a date night here and there. With a toddler around however, pumping isn’t always easy.
Thankfully I was able to purchase the Elvie hands-free breast pump. It really has made a difference in my pumping journey. Simply insert the hubs into your nursing bra and pump away. You can control the hubs from an app on your phone if you desire.
This pump has even made it out with me for lunch dates, bachelorette parties, and weddings. It is discreet, quiet, and worth all the convenience.
Prenatal vitamins are crucial in the development of the baby during your pregnancy. If you are a breastfeeding mom, it is recommended to continue with prenatal vitamins to help replenish your nutrients.
Baby will be relying on the nutrients from your breast milk while your body is in overdrive trying to recover. Help yourself by keeping up with your vitamins.
During those first couple of months as your body changes and your breasts regulate your supply, use a Haaka manual pump. The Haaka is designed to latch on with suction to your breast. It is the perfect solution for when baby is nursing on one side and your other breast begins to leak.
The Haaka catches your let-down (a reflex meaning your milk is ready to flow). You can save quite a bit of milk just by attaching this handy product during your nursing session. Trust me, breast milk is liquid gold! It is so painful to watch any of it go to waste.
Postpartum Recovery Essentials for Mental Health
No one knows more than a mom who has been through it; a postpartum mind is tricky. Progesterone (a natural anti-anxiety hormone) drops off almost immediately after the birth of your placenta, which can cause postpartum anxiety, stress, and even depression.
Aside from the miraculous event that just occurred in your body, having a baby is life-changing. There are so many emotions, feelings, and thoughts running through your mind in addition to sleep deprivation.
Make sure to keep these mental health products in your postpartum recovery kit! Knowledge is power and these guides will help you discover your new self in your postpartum journey.
The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Depression Guide
Together with a mama friend of mine, we wrote a book on postpartum depression. Because I suffered from postpartum depression after having my first child, I wanted to create a guide that would assist other moms during this challenging time.
The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Depression Guide establishes the signs and symptoms to look out for. There are also testimonials from other moms who suffered which shows how differently postpartum depression can impact women.
Additionally, my book offers advice on how to prepare for the possibility of having postpartum depression with actionable steps. These steps include how to get your partner involved, what you can do to help yourself, and who you can turn to for support. (More information at the end of this post.)
Life after baby doesn’t come with an instruction manual… or does it? Meet the New Mom New Baby Ultimate Postpartum Guide.
The postpartum life isn’t talked about enough. Therefore, new moms often don’t understand what to expect after birth and the weeks following.
In this guide, there is information about understanding the physical changes that happen after birth, the hormone shifts, new dad support, postpartum care checklist and so much more.
This is truly an ultimate guide to recovery. Instead of trying to figure things out on your own and with minimal support from hospitals, this guide walks you through it all because it is designed by a mama for mamas.
Our bodies go through so much change during pregnancy. We shift everything for our little humans. What happens after they are born?
Oftentimes, women are left with separated abs and a weakened core. This not only hinders our stability, but many women find an impact on their mental health as well because of it. As much as we try to appreciate what our bodies have done for us, what we see in the mirror after birth doesn’t always excite us.
Thankfully, you can get your abs back and on the road to recovery with Postpartum Ab Rehab. This program is developed by a physical therapist who designed it to help you safely restore your core.
The program offers an ebook, access to a private group, printables to keep you on track, and video tutorials. All of these resources not only help you with physical recovery, but also help with the mental aspect as well.
A postpartum resource that covers unique postpartum changes (such as hair loss, the first poo, etc.) is The Postpartum Handbook for Moms by Moms.
This handbook covers it all and even includes light exercise guides, bleeding changes, and postpartum sex expectations. It was created by two moms who have experienced it all and want to prepare others for what is to come.
Additionally, there are pain management tips within for breast pain, cramping, and uterine contractions that occur after birth.
Recovery Kit Must Haves for Postpartum
In your postpartum recovery kit, don’t forget to take care of your basic needs. While all eyes are mainly on the new precious life you just brought into the world, your health and recovery is also important. These postpartum essentials will help you heal faster and feel better.
Water can get bland quickly. However, hydration is essential in your recovery. You need to stay hydrated for your body to recover as well as to maintain your milk supply. Your baby and you depend on water to assist in all things postpartum.
To help boost your hydration, stick some electrolyte hydration packs in your recovery kit. These Liquid IV packs work wonders in hydrating you quickly as one pack is equivalent to three bottles of water.
Not only is it great for you, but the various flavors it comes in is also refreshing. Having one or two of these per day will help clear the fog on those sleep deprived days and give you a little boost of energy.
Once the baby is born, your body takes time to shrink back into place. To help with the shrinking, use a belly band for a couple of hours each day.
The band is essential in allowing you to regain proper posture and gives your core the stability it needs. It also is beneficial for abdominal recovery as well.
Wear the band during pregnancy also for additional support for that growing baby belly.
Same as with hydration, protein boosts benefit your body in various ways. As a breastfeeding mom, I am always hungry. It is very easy to go for sugary snacks. Therefore, having snacks available that are packed with protein is better for you and for baby.
Postpartum Recovery Tips
After my second birth, I had a bit of a setback in my postpartum recovery. I had a toddler at home who needed me and I desperately wanted to get him back to a sense of normal.
Needless to say, I overdid it and hurt myself in the process. Therefore, I am speaking from experience when I share these postpartum recovery tips.
If you don’t take anything else away from this post, hear me out when I say REST! Your body just went through a marathon and then some. Be gentle with yourself and give it the rest needed.
Those dishes can wait, the laundry will still be there, and the world will keep going. Don’t worry about any of it. Rest with your baby and let everything else fall to the wayside. There is nothing more important right now than your recovery and baby’s health.
Meal Prep Ahead of Time
Help yourself ahead of time and do some meal prep before your due date. Start about four weeks ahead and make freezer meals. The last thing you will be thinking about after having a baby is what to cook for dinner.
It is much easier and less stressful for you if there is something you can pop in the oven.
This will save you money as well from constantly ordering out. And trust me, I love pizza almost as much as I love my kids. But pizza gets old pretty fast!
Which Postpartum Products Will Be Part of Your Postpartum Recovery Kit?
With over 20 postpartum recovery products listed here, you should have an idea of what to expect after birth. Growing and birthing a baby is not an easy thing to do. Additionally, the recovery is challenging to get through.
With all the resources listed in this guide, it can become overwhelming. There is the baby registry you’re so excited to put together and now you’re having to think about your own needs postpartum.
Just don’t lose yourself in the process. You are just as important as the new life you bring into this world!
When is your due date? Do you have your postpartum necessities ready?
More About My Postpartum Depression Guide
Postpartum depression is a very real obstacle many mothers face. I wrote this book based on my battle with postpartum depression. No mother should have to face this alone. Let this book speak to you and guide you through the challenges.
With my postpartum depression book, you will get:
- 30+ pages of valid, factual information;
- Signs and symptoms of PPD;
- Baby blues vs. PPD;
- Advice on how to prepare for PPD/PPA while pregnant;
- Testimonials from others who have experienced it;
- How to battle depression during pregnancy;
- What you can do to help yourself through PPD;
- Resources for help;
- Voices from moms letting you know you are not alone!
Don’t go through postpartum depression alone! Get your copy now and be ahead of the challenge.