Today we’re talking all about post partum care and the products every mom needs to have on hand for recovery from a vaginal birth.
Is your little one arriving soon? Are you anxiously awaiting meeting your baby? Maybe you’re packing your hospital bag and reviewing your birth plan. Or maybe you’re just trying to fit in one more nap before baby arrives (highly recommend this).
Or you’ve already had your little one and realized that post partum care for mom is NO JOKE.
I feel so grateful to have friends who prepped me mentally and physically (gift baskets) for the post partum period and it was still overwhelming.
Is all of this blood normal? Maybe
When will this get better? Sometime
Can I wipe yet? Better not.
After three babies and three post partum recoveries, here are my non-negotiables for my own recovery after a vaginal birth.
Please note: This post does not constitute medical advice. Please always consult with your doctor.
When you come home from the hospital you still have another 2-5 weeks of bleeding ahead of you. Eventually pads will be plenty but initially adult diapers (lined with pads if needed) keep everything…contained.
I’ve tried a few different brands and Depends are a step up from the generic brands in comfort and function.
Also, my three year old came in while I was getting dressed one morning after baby boy was born and she noticed, “Hey, Mom, we are both wearing diapers!” I just had to laugh.
The last thing you want is to run out of these in the middle of the night with a newborn. Have a stack on hand.
You’ll likely use Tucks in the hospital and if you’re lucky they’ll send you home with some. The pads provide immediate relief from burning, itching, and discomfort caused by hemorrhoids (which you might get during labor and delivery if you don’t have some from pregnancy already). Even without hemorrhoids, Tucks provide soothing relief to your swollen vaginal area. You can use them as wipes (for you) as well a little later on.
Almost 50% percent of women complain of hemorrhoids a few weeks after giving birth so be prepared for the possibility if you aren’t already struggling with them during pregnancy. Just have this on hand, k?
A sitz bath lowers your risk of infection while cleaning and soothing your nether regions after birth. Whether its from an episiotomy, perineotomy, perineal tearing, hemorrhoids, vaginal trauma, or general swelling and discomfort, a sitz bath helps.
Basically this small tub for your toilet sits on top of the toilet bowl. You fill it up with water, add in some soothing sitz soaks, and then sit in it for a few minutes before dumping it into the toilet and flushing it down. The one I’ve linked comes with soothing anti-inflammatory compounds and area ideal of post partum care.
After my third delivery my nurse set one up for me a few times and then sent it home with me and I wish I’d taken the time to use one with my earlier births.
This might be the time to put away the plush white towels and go with something you don’t mind getting a little blood on. You’re worried about a lot of things when you get home from the hospital, you don’t need your linens to be one of them.
You can get out a brightly colored beach towel or splurge on a bit of luxury in these red cotton towels.
You’ll almost certainly be given a squeeze bottle at the hospital to clean yourself after giving birth. You’ll use this each time you pee for the first week or two until it is safe to wipe.
If you’re looking for a big upgrade, try Frida’s upside down ergonomic design which is made to be held upside down so you aren’t trying to find the proper angle and navigating a tricky bottle down there. It also comes with a a waterproof storage bag for on-the-go.
You don’t want to think about this now but pooping after child birth can be…hard. Keep this on hand and take it your first few days home from the hospital.
The swelling down there takes awhile to go down and this numbing spray is cool relief. Use it after going to the bathroom or just because.
It is common to be on motrin around the clock at the hospital after delivery to manage pain from labor and delivery. You might not be ready to give this up when you come home. With each of my three deliveries the nurses instructed me to continue taking motrin for pain as needed in the next couple of days. As with all medications, check with your health care provider.
Your hormones are crazy the first few weeks after having a baby which results in more sweating than usual. Have a great deodorant on hand (also pack it for the hospital). This Donna Karen one is pricey ($30) and the very best.
If you’re nursing or pumping the first few weeks are tough on your nipples, even if baby has a great latch.
This mom founded brand creates the #1 recommended nipple cream. It is specifically designed for nursing (100% natural and hypoallergenic – free from preservatives, parabens, fragrance, or taste) so there is no need to remove it before breastfeeding. The thick, rich cream soothes and protects sore nipples. Whether you are nursing or pumping, this is a must.
Want more post partum tips? We asked over 100 moms what they wish they had known before their baby arrived and put together an 8 page guide full of all their best advice!