During the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I remember going on Pinterest A LOT to try and figure out what life with a newborn might entail. As my due date got closer, I started worrying about what I would need in terms of survival — both for taking care of the baby and taking care of myself. With so much about to change, I wanted to have everything I possibly could ahead of time so I, or more likely Sam, wouldn’t be scrambling to the store once baby arrived. I felt pretty prepared in terms of newborn necessities, but I was completely lost on what I would need for post-delivery recovery.
I’ve come across many different versions of postpartum must-have lists, but I wanted to put together one of my own. It’s not a glamorous list by any means, but having these not-so-sexy items at home before baby arrives will make your life a whole lot easier and your recovery a lot less painful. Some of these items will be given to you at the hospital (maxi pads, witch hazel pads, and Dermoplast), but trust me, you’ll run out. Not even one-day delivery from Amazon Prime will save you when your lady parts are in need and you realize you just used your last maxi pad. I ended up taking all of the items I was given at the hospital home with me and even begged the nurses for extra mesh underwear. You’d think I had asked to take the bed and an extra baby home with me, because they did NOT want to hand any over. Who knew those were such a hot commodity? Anyway, the point is, no matter what the hospital provides, you’ll still want your own stockpile at home. So, here are the deets in all of their unsexy glory.
1. Comfy undies – You’ll be rockin’ those super cute mesh underwear in the hospital, but you’ll want something to transition into once you run out of those at home. I’ve never been a fan of “granny panties,” but these are seriously necessary. You won’t be wearing thongs anytime soon, so it’s only fair to embrace these bad boys. You may never go back to the butt floss again after you experience the serious comfort of GP’s. Oh, and if you’re like me, you might be wondering what to do about your VPL (visible panty line, anyone?). When I’m not wearing something that covers my butt completely, I just tie a chambray or flannel around my waist, and voila — no VPL. Or I’ll use my BeBand and wear it super low over my butt to get some extra coverage.
2. Motrin® – I was given Motrin regularly during my recovery in the hospital and it was definitely worth having on-hand at home, too. You’ll be sore in places you never thought were possible, so having something for the pain and inflammation is key.
3. Witch Hazel Pads – Typically used for hemorrhoids (fun!), these pads are also amazing for postpartum relief in your nether regions. Layering a couple of these on your maxi pads will help promote healing and provide some much-needed cooling relief.
4. Dermoplast – This magical pain-relieving spray will be your new best friend. Use this after you’ve rinsed with the peri bottle given to you by the hospital, and you’ll feel like a new woman after every bathroom trip.
5. Water Bottle with Straw – Water bottles with wide mouths are so last year. As in when you didn’t have a baby. Get a straw lid and life with a newborn will just be easier. How many times have you spilled on yourself while taking a gulp out of the wide-mouthed bottle? A million? Yeah, same here. Now picture holding your baby or breastfeeding in the middle of the night. Your baby will thank you when he or she doesn’t wind up in the splash zone.
6. My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow – There are a few different nursing pillow options out there, but this has proven to be the best for me. It’s flat on top, clips to your waist, and provides lumbar support. Another popular option is the Boppy. I like this one for traveling because it’s a little smaller than My Brest Friend and easier for on-the-go nursing. It’s also great for tummy time and eventually will be great back support once your baby starts to sit up.
7. Maxi Pads – When you get home from the hospital, you’ll need the heavy duty stuff. You’ll be changing these often, so don’t be shy on stocking up! You’ll eventually be able to transition to some lighter liners, but you’ll definitely want to start with these. I also prefer and recommend the wingless options. Like I said, you’ll be going through a lot of these and the wings are just one more thing to worry about every time.
8. Nursing Pads – I had no idea how necessary these were until I got home from the hospital. Braless days and nights will quickly become a thing of the past because you’ll literally leak 24/7. Besides when I’m showering (duh), I wear a bra 100% of the time now, and sticking these pads in will save you a laundry trip after each use. Since I don’t hate the planet, I ordered some reusable pads and am hoping these will be equally as effective.
9. Night Light – This started out as an essential oil diffuser but quickly became the perfect breastfeeding night light. If I could, I’d breastfeed in the dark, but newborns need a surprising amount of help to find the nipple and latch appropriately. My normal bedside lamp is crazy bright, so this is the slightly less annoying option that helps me breastfeed and helps my husband catch a few more z’s.
10. Button-Up Pajama Set – This recommendation is based off of pure laziness. I used to sleep in a t-shirt, but holding it up or taking it off to breastfeed every night was just not going to happen. The button-up option is way easier for all of the late-night feedings you’ll be doing and, bonus, you’ll look chic AF.
11. Stretchy Nursing Bra – These are the perfect sleeping bras for nursing. Buy a couple so you’ll always have one clean while the others are in the laundry thanks to spit up or leaky boobs. Motherhood!
12. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin – This stuff will save you! I use this after nearly every feeding and it seriously helps with nipple soreness. It’s also safe for baby, so you don’t have to wipe it off before your next feeding.
So that’s the not-so-short list of my postpartum recommendations! Did I miss anything you had to have after your baby came along? I’d love to know.
And FYI! I’m a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.