15 Postpartum Must Haves That New Moms Need

Postpartum Must Haves

A couple weeks ago, I posted about what happens after you have a baby. It was one of my most popular posts and if you haven’t read it yet, I suggest starting there. This time, I want to talk about the items that probably aren’t on your registry, but should be. These postpartum must haves are important for your own self-care. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the baby stuff you’ll need and completely forget about the things you need for yourself.

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1. Everything from the hostpital

From what I gather from my own experiences and talking to moms from all over the US, most hospitals will load you down with goodies. Well, you might not think of them as goodies, but you sure will when you need those gigantic sanitary pads and mesh underwear. Most hospitals will give you baby blankets, diapers, wipes and all kinds of stuff. Might as well take it, they’ll charge your insurance for it anyway. Also, take whatever pain relief your doctor prescribes. You might feel ok at first, but you’ll be surprised how long the aches and pains last.

2. Dermoplast Spray

After my first baby, my doctor prescribed this and it is magical! Spray it on your lady parts for instant relief. I had to fight for it after the second baby for some reason, but by the third time, I realized I could just buy it myself and had it ready to go.

3. Tucks Cooling Pads

OK, let me clarify because this confused me after baby #1: these are NOT menstrual pads. They are more like a wipe with a healing and cooling mixture on them. After spraying myself off with my squirt bottle (no wiping for about a week postpartum), I would blot with one of these for some awesome cooling relief and then put one on top of the pad I was using.

4. Depends and/or Sanitary Pads

The postpartum bleeding can be very heavy and can go on for awhile. I know a lot of moms that were happiest using Depends. I never did, I ended up taking a bunch of the giant pads from the hospital and then when those ran out, I used regular pads. Just make sure whatever you get can handle a pretty heavy flow. I know, gross.

5. High Cut Underwear

Buy a pack of high waist cotten underwear that you don’t care about at all. You want a breathable material and you want it to go over a possible csection incision. Even if you don’t have a csection, you’ll want something big enough to wear with pads and better to be prepared. These are perfect and cheap.

6. A Laxative or Stool Softener

The scariest moment after you have a baby is the first postpartum poop. You’ll probably think there was a twin they missed. Do yourself a favor and make it easier on your body. After baby #2, I started taking ducolax right away.

7. Cooling Nipple Pads

Yes, more cooling relief for another sore area. Get used to the idea that your entire body might feel like it’s on fire. I keep hearing that a good latch will never be painful, but that was not my experience. Even after having a lactation consultant check each baby’s latch, my nipples were still raw and bleeding. The gel cooling pads from Lansinoh were a life saver!

8. Regular Nipple Pads

Speaking of nipple pads, you’ll need regular ones too, even if you don’t breastfeed. You will end up leaking milk all over the place and that’s super embarrassing. Don’t leave home without them!

9. Lansinoh Therapearl Breast Therapy

These are great. Freeze them for cooling relief from pain and engorgement. Heat them up in the microwave to help with letdown and faster pumping. I only used them for a couple of weeks each time, but they were great!

10. Nipple Butter

When I had my first, everyone recommended using lanolin on your nips. Now, a lot of people are suggesting that it isn’t effective (it wasn’t for me!) and may include pesticides used around the sheep it comes from. It’s also an animal product (albeit a byproduct of the wool), if that matters to you. If you’re needing a good nipple cream, you can’t go wrong with Earth Mama Natural Nipple Butter. It’s nice and creamy and absorbs nicely without a greasy residue.

11. An Abdominal Binder/Belt/Support

Do they actually shrink your stomach back. I don’t know, I feel like it helped. But more than that they help you regain your posture and provide much needed support. I’ve never had a csection, but I hear they are a must if you do. I really recommend getting a high quality csection support band even if you plan on a vaginal birth. They tend to be a little more supportive, hit in the right spots, and better to be prepared than have to get something else if you do end up with the csection.

12. A Good Water Bottle

I define a good water bottle this way: 1) At least 32 oz. 2) A straw. 3) Doesn’t leave a weird plasticy or metallic taste. My hospital actually gives us the most amazing water bottles. I love them! This one is very similar. But if you plan on breastfeeding, you’re going to be really, really thirsty, so find a great water bottle and fill it up frequently.

13. Premade Meals

If you have a great network of friends and family, they may take care of this need for you. I had a few family members bring meals after my oldest was born. After that, not so much. The week before I was due, my husband ordered us some really good premade meals from Freshly.

30% Off Your First Week

They are made by a chef, healthy meals that are never frozen. You can store them in the fridge and they only take 2 minutes to microwave. They are on the pricey side, but it may be worth it. You can also do this yourself and freeze,  but I am the worst at meal planning and don’t have enough freezer space to make this happen. Click through to receive 30% off your first week!

14. Comfortable Clothing

You’ll need some soft, comfy clothing that can adapt to your changing body. Also think about easy access on top if you plan on breastfeeding. Nursing bras and nursing tanks are useful, but you can also do with stretchy tops. I know a lot of moms that perfect the layered top method for nursing in public and it’s a method best practiced at home before venturing out. It goes like this: nursing tank with a tshirt or stretchy top over so that you pull one up and one down for minimal exposure.

Myself? I was more of a nursing scarf kind of mom. Cute scarf that made me feel pulled together – instant nursing cover. Don’t forget pants. It will probably be awhile before you get back into your pre-pregnancy jeans, but maternity pants just aren’t going to stay up anymore (Did they ever? I felt like I was constantly pulling them up!). Sweatpants, yoga pants and leggings are your friend!

15. Washcloths

Ok, so I’m sure you already have this item. But you need to know that you will need them. First, I liked to keep a cool washcloth near my bed in case I woke up with night sweats. You retain so much water and drink so much water, it isn’t uncommon to wake up drenched. Second, if your boobs or nipples are extra sore, it helps to put a washcloth over them in the shower. Trust me. Finally, warm wash cloths can help with engorgement.

In all the excitement of planning for that beautiful new baby, don’t forget that you will be undergoing a serious physical procedure as well. A happy mama makes for a happy baby, so don’t forget how important it is to take care of yourself.

26 thoughts on “15 Postpartum Must Haves That New Moms Need”

  • These are all awesome recommendations! I really liked the FridaBaby Mom Washer thing, too. It was a lifesaver and much better than the bottles they give you in the hospital!

  • Yeesssss to the laxative!! I’ve had two c-sections, I was miserable the first time! The second time I started taking a stool softener a few days before I went in. It made all the difference!

    • Same (minus the c-section)! Second and third babies – I was prepared and started taking it right away. Still scary, but not as bad!

  • Girl! I second every single thing on this list. Great products!! My sis is having her first baby soon and ill definitely be sharing this list with her. As well as bringing some premade meals (call out to #13!!)

  • All of your recommendations are ON POINT! Especially the pre-made meals! Those were definitely a life saver the first few weeks after giving birth! I think it’s the best gift to give a new mom, too!

    • Right? Don’t bring me another baby blanket, I just want a hot meal that I don’t have to cook. Oh and hold the baby while I eat!

  • This is a great list! After having one baby on the side of the road, two at home, and one in a hospital, nearly all of these came into use more than once (except the spray! I wish I had known about that!!!!) and I completely agree with you about pain even with a good latch! It happens, and those cooling pads are divine 😍

  • You nailed it!! Every single one of these items saved me during those first few weeks postpartum. With baby #2 (eventually) I will definitely take more stool softeners and starting sooner. I had no idea what a horror that would be! And of course, a big yes to comfy clothes and pre-made meals.

    • Thank you for sharing Melissa! It does catch you off guard a bit the first time. I barely gave a thought to recovery when I was pregnant with my first.

  • You hit the nail on the head with this! The belly binder was a lifesaver with my last c-section. I didn’t have one with my first c-section and it made a HUGE difference.

  • this list is so true! Moms, push for the premade meals. No baby unless you come with food!
    Also, most hospitals have a policy where if things are in your room they are deemed unusable. So the diapers, wipes, even unopened chapstick that is there they will just throw out. Pack it u and ask for extras!

  • This is a great list! Yarlap is really good for helping your pelvic floor after baby and helping to keep away bladder leaks. It automatically does the kegel exercises for you.

  • Thank you! An honest-to-goodness, real, honest, and practical checklist for new moms. There are a few things on your list i hadn’t heard of before, that I’ll have to look for next time (next time!), and a couple of additions I’d suggest based on my recent personal experience: 1.) compression socks/stockings (in case you get sudden-onset acute edema in your feet right after giving birth). I had horrible swelling in my for just a couple of days right after icing birth, and right around Christmas / New Year. It was so not fun to try and search for such garments during holiday hours, but it was agony to try and stand on my feet or do anything – the socks really made a difference. 2.) cloth tape measure (compression garments come sized based on calf circumference if it’s socks, for example, otherwise I never would have thought I’d need to buy size XL) 3.) If the hospital doesn’t give you one, either a sitz bath or a soft plastic bottle with a squeeze-spray top to wash yourself ‘down there.’

  • Most of these aren’t natural options sndnhighly was to see so much downers on birthing. Suggestions *if* you end up with a c/section. Insanity on so many levels. Know your rights and don’t be bullied into a doctors tike frame!
    How about reusable nursing pads, padsickles , cloth diapers,
    coconut oil instead of lanolin cream as its made of sheep’s wool and you’re suppose to wipe off before nursing. There’s so much more =/

    • Hi Sherry, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. You’re right, I didn’t include a lot of natural products in this particular post, but that’s a great idea for a future post since I did use mostly natural products with my first. Actually, I specifically did NOT recommend lanolin and explained why. My recommendation is a natural product. I had three vaginal births and no c-sections, but if there is a product that will help you either way, I would prefer to be prepared rather than to scramble around or wait a few days for something to arrive. I personally don’t recommend reusable nursing pads because I tried several brands with my first (I was cloth diapering then as well) and leaked through all of them, so I ended up going with the disposable one and had no more problems. I am in no way down on birthing, I have three beautiful babies, but I write to moms that want practical everyday solutions that worked for me for problems that don’t know they will have yet.

  •  I came across your website by chance and you have inspired me in so many ways! You have made me taught a bunch of stuff in the process. Thanks for taking the time to share these ideas. Keep sharing!

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