Before having Avary, I did everything I could to prepare for labor, delivery, and postpartum. I am definitely a planner–I feel more at ease when things are prepared and planned out for me. (Yes, I’m that girl with 20 different planners, to-do lists, checklists and journals all around the house). I did so much research, read so many blogs, and surfed Pinterest like crazy to make sure I was ready for this baby! In my mind, I felt that the postpartum recovery was going to be the worst part of the whole process. It is so overlooked and under-talked about for us women! To make it a little better, I decided I wanted to make a postpartum care kit. I made my care kit based on things I had read online about what I would need for postpartum, as well as recommendations from friends and family.
I had a vaginal delivery, so care items may be different for those who had a c-section.
The following are just some items that might help you not dread postpartum so much, so you can relax and enjoy your baby! I just placed them all in a basket I found at Home Goods and kept it in the bathroom so it was close by when I needed it.
- Mesh panties. These are great for the first couple of days after delivery! The hospital supplies you with these, and though they are by no means attractive, they do the job and prevent you from ruining your own panties! After my 2-day hospital stay, I used my own panties.
- Sanitary Pads. This is kind of a no-brainer. You’re going to need pads. I stocked up on an assortment of different sizes to accommodate the various postpartum bleeding. The hospital of course gave me the humongous ones, but I only needed them the 2 days I was there and then moved on to smaller pads. I personally did not bleed much at all, so my favorite pad for the first couple of weeks was the Always Infinity flexfoam. It provided me just the right amount of coverage and was thin and comfortable. After my bleeding stopped completely–around week 3–I used the U by Kotex Curves Liners and the U by Kotex Barely There Liners. I seriously love the packaging of these and they are great, thin panty liners that make you feel secure for any postpartum leaks.
- “Padscicles.” If you are on Pinterest at all, you have probably seen this postpartum hack! Padsicles are only the most cool, pain-relieving little invention! At the hospital they give you big ice packs to help relieve pain and swelling in your lady-area, but usually you go home and have no more cool relief! But you can make your own ice packs that are just as great, if not better. All you need is a large, overnight pad–I used the Always Overnight Maxi Pads with flex-wings, aloe vera gel, and some all-natural, alcohol-free witch hazel. It is very important to buy alcohol-free witch hazel or you are going to burn your lady-area that is trying to heal (ouch!)! I purchased Thayers lavendar witch hazel. It was the only alcohol-free one I could find at my local health foods store. You can also find it on Amazon. I loved these padscicles because they are obviously much thinner than the ice packs the hospital gives you and it couples your period protection with cool relief!
- Peri bottle. A peri bottle is going to be your best friend postpartum. After a vaginal delivery–especially if you tore or received stitches, you are not supposed to use toilet paper and wipe the area. Instead, the hospital will give you a peri bottle and you spray the area after using the restroom. Spraying with warm water really helps relieve the sore area when using the restroom, and it especially helps with those dreaded bowel movements!
- Tucks wipes & hemorrhoid cream. Another must-have for postpartum! Most hospitals will also supply you with Tucks wipes and hermorrhoid cream and girl, take it!! I didn’t end up getting hemorrhoids, but the cooling witch hazel in the tucks wipes and the cream really help relieve soreness. Just rub the cream on one of the tucks wipes, put it in your pad and you’re good to go!
- Soothie gel breasts pads, lanolin/APNO cream & breast pads. My last recommendation for your postpartum care kit is for any of you mamas planning on breastfeeding. Listen, people do not tell you the pain that can come from breastfeeding–cracked nipples, bleeding nipples, sore boobs, leaky boobs, engorgement, clogged ducts. . . If you’re breastfeeding, you are definitely going to need some breastpads. I personally used the Medela breast pads. You just peel the backing off, stick them in your bra, and you don’t have to worry about milk leaking all over your shirt; because, trust me, it will happen! Many women struggle with their breasts being engorged those first couple of weeks as your milk supply tries to regulate and this can leave your breasts feeling rock hard and sore! I found the most amazing soothie gel breast therapy pads by Lansinoh that help with so many things. You can heat them up to help relieve mastitis or clogged ducts and heat also helps increase let-down while pumping, or you can make them cold to relieve swelling, pain and engorgement. I used these things all the time! Lastly, you are going to want some kind of nipple cream. One nipple cream that helps relieve dry cracked nipples and is certified non-GMO is the Earth Mama Angel Baby natural nipple butter. This one is actually lanolin-free for any of you mamas that don’t like the idea of baby ingesting that. For me, I had really bad damage on what nipple and my lactation consultant wrote me a prescription for APNO cream (all-purpose nipple ointment). Ladies, if you have a deep cut in your nipple or abrasions from incorrect latch that are preventing you from continuing to feed, GET THIS CREAM! It seriously healed me up in 2 days, and I was back to feeding my baby. Take care of those breasts!
Those are all my tips and recommendations for what to include in your postpartum care kit! I loved having a basket of everything I needed ready when I got home from the hospital so we didn’t have to run to the store picking up things. Did you make a postpartum kit? What did you absolutely love for postpartum? What were your must-haves? Leave them in the comments below, I’d love to hear!