Postpartum Kit Checklist

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Using a postpartum kit checklist is just as important as prepping for labor. If you ask moms about their birth experiences, you’ll quickly realize that having a baby is no picnic.

Giving birth can be painful and the postpartum period of pregnancy is messy. Fortunately, every mother will tell you having a child is worth the toll it takes on their bodies.

When you’re planning for your baby’s birth, don’t forget to consider your own recovery.

After the baby comes, there are several things you can buy to speed healing and reduce discomfort. Read on to learn about the 13 top postpartum kit essentials for new moms.

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What Happens Postpartum That Requires a Care Kit Checklist?

Every person has a different pregnancy experience and no two births are the same. Many
moms find their first delivery difficult because their body is learning how to be pregnant, make milk, and recover. There’s also the emotional strain of doing something new and challenging for the first time.

After you give birth, there will likely be a lot of swelling, pain, and potential scar tissue in your perineum and vaginal area. (Learn how to use essential oils and perineal massage to avoid tearing during childbirth. )

It’s normal to have a bloody discharge for several weeks after giving birth.

Breastfeeding can be painful and also triggers postpartum cramps as your uterus shrinks back to its usual size.

After birth, hormonal changes in your body can also cause “baby blues” or postpartum
depression, but you can learn tricks to help avoid it. Many new moms are physically exhausted from delivery and newborn care, which can make baby blues seem more severe.

Concern over being a good parent can put additional pressure on new moms.

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DIY Postpartum Essentials Kit Checklist

After birth, it’s vital to eliminate external pressures and allow yourself time to heal and learn as you fall into a new role in life. Whether you have a C-section or vaginal delivery, your body and mind will need time to recover.

Here are some of the top postpartum essentials that could significantly reduce discomfort and help you heal faster with minimal complications.

1. Maxi Pads

You won’t have a period for about nine months while pregnant. However, bleeding is part of the postpartum process.

Most new moms have a discharge of blood, mucus, and uterine lining for several weeks. This discharge is called lochia and can initially have a very heavy flow. Invest in large maxi pads and expect to wear them for a few weeks after giving birth.

2. Underwear

You should also invest in large, stretchy dark-colored underwear. It’s nice to have underwear you can just throw away if you bleed through any of your pads.

Some new moms swear by adult diapers — they’re stretchy, disposable, and have a comfy pad that’s already built-in.

3. Ice Pack

Another of the top postpartum essentials is an ice pack. If you give birth at the hospital, they’ll probably give you one to sit on during the first 24 hours after your baby comes. This helps to reduce swelling and numb any pain in the area.

Some moms make their own ice packs — called “padsicles” — at home. (They are the most life-changing DIY postpartum recovery tool!) Or you can also order them in batches to save yourself time and hassle.

4. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a natural product that soothes inflammation and slows bleeding. After birth, it can give you relief from hemorrhoids and just generally help everything in your vaginal area to calm down.

You can layer witch hazel pads inside your underwear or try out that DIY padsicle recipe saturated with witch hazel to help you heal and reduce discomfort during your postpartum recovery.

5. Peri Bottle

After you give birth — and especially if you have stitches — you shouldn’t wipe after going to the bathroom for a while. Instead, you can use a peri bottle to squirt warm water over your bottom and clean yourself.

The best peri bottles have an angled nozzle so you don’t have to strain to reach underneath your body.

6. Epsom Salts

Epsom salts are another helpful tool for healing postpartum. When you dissolve them in water, the salts can help relax your muscles, reduce soreness and improve mineral levels like magnesium.

Although most postpartum women use Epsom salts in a sitz bath, you can also use them to treat soreness in your breasts. Be sure to use pure epsom salts for postpartum.

7. Pain Meds

Many new moms alternate pain medications for the first few weeks after birth while their body heals. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s crucial to consider whether you will pass on any medication you take to your baby.

Before choosing pain meds, talk to your doctor to make sure they’re safe. You can also invest in a numbing spray like some hospitals give you for your vaginal area — this helps to reduce stinging and pain when going to the bathroom.

Or try a more natural perineum spray that is still very helpful, though not quite as powerful.

postnatal diet and exercise for breastfeeding moms

8. Nursing Bra

Any DIY postpartum care kit needs a nursing bra. After giving birth, your breasts will fill with milk so your body is ready for breastfeeding. They may become sore at this time, so it’s important to have a comfy nursing bra available.

These bras offer support and make breastfeeding easy without changing clothes. Some
designers also made nursing bras that work with breast pumps. Sports bras make pretty good back-up nursing bras too.

RELATED: Majka, Milk Dust, Boobie Body Lactation Protein Powder Comparison

9. Cotton Pads

While breastfeeding, you won’t be able to control your milk flow. Most women experience
leakage throughout the day, even when they’re not actively feeding their baby.

You can order cotton or bamboo breast pads to catch this extra milk and stop it from soaking through your clothes. Cotton breast pads can be tucked into your clothes, washed, and reused for as long as needed. Of course, there are disposable options as well.

10. Milk Saver

You might also want to invest in a milk saver. This flattened milk-collection cup fits around your nipple inside your bra.

While you nurse on one side, the milk saver catches leaks on the other side. It’s hands-free and can help you store milk for later without using a pump. Milk savers are easy to clean and can save you multiple washes on your cotton pads.

RELATED: How to Increase Milk Supply for Going Back to Work

11. Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump

This is such a great newer device. This manual breast pump works with suction to help collect breast milk either for storage in breastmilk freezer bags or to use so someone else can help alleviate you from the constant feedings.

A haakaa also works as a great milk saver for when you are at home.

You can also use your haakaa to increase your breastmilk supply by pumping between feedings or help relieve new mom engorgement.

If you plan to pump long-term (like for going back to work) you might want to also invest in an electric breast pump.

RELATED: How to Increase Milk Supply for Going Back to Work and Pumping

12. Comfy Clothes

It will take time for you to heal and feel at the top of your game again. In the meanwhile, opt to wear loungewear and loose, comfy clothes.

You won’t be back to your pre-pregnancy size for a while, so find some cute and comfy clothes that make you feel good to wear while you recover. Sweats and leggings are great choices. Think stretchy as your size will be changing almost daily for a while.

RELATED: Tricks I use to lose the baby weight by 6 weeks every time

13. Counseling

Although not every mom struggles with postpartum depression, it’s a good idea to sign up for counseling anyway. A licensed counselor can help you work through emotions and keep a healthy perspective during the first few months after giving birth because they are really hard.

You can also start a journaling practice (My 21 Days to Calm Your Mind Journal is a perfect place to start.) or talk through your feelings with a trusted family

Be Kind to Yourself With a Postpartum Care Kit

Use this list to prepare all the top postpartum essentials you could need to recover after giving birth. Although childbirth is physically and emotionally challenging, every discomfort is worth the joy of finally holding your baby in your arms. Remember to be kind to yourself postpartum and allow time for healing.

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Beth is the Managing Editor and content manager at Body+Mind. She is a well-respected writer in the personal wellness space and shares knowledge on a variety of topics related to nutrition, mental health, disease prevention and holistic health. In her spare time, Beth enjoys cooking healthy recipes and trying out new fitness trends.

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