As a prior preggo I know that post baby home care for mommy-to-be can be the last thing on your mind; I know it was for me. I was so focused on getting the baby out that I completely overlooked the care I was going to need post baby!
I had friends tell me so many different things I’d need that I was just overwhelmed and decided to wait until the baby came to see what the hospital would provide me with and what I would actually need. This was not the best idea and resulted in a lot of last minute online shopping because those first few days home you don’t feel up to leaving the house to run to target or the drug store.
I compiled a list of the 20 things you will want to have waiting for you when you get home from the hospital and wish I had. Once I got everything I needed, I put together a little basket of bathroom necessities so I wasn’t running around trying to find stuff every time I went to the bathroom.
This can also be a cute baby shower gift for a first time mom that is clueless like I was. I think I would have really appreciated a thoughtful gift like this.
20 postpartum must-haves:
1. Bamboobies – every new mom that plans on breastfeeding is going to need some breast pads to soak up leaky boob milk. My friends introduced me to Bamboobies, a reusable breast pad that come in circles or cute heart shapes and assorted colors. You just throw them in the wash after each use. I put them in with the baby clothes so there is no harsh detergent being transmitted to my boobs when baby breastfed. You can also purchase the disposable breast pads that many brands make but I find it more cost effective to use reusable ones and I never had to use a nipple cream because my leaky milk on the pads was a nipple cream in itself. I also found that the combo of nipple cream and disposable pads make my nipples soggy like when your skin has been in water too long and my baby didn’t like that.
2. Nursing pillow – Another must have for breast feeding moms is a nursing pillow. With all the trauma you are dealing with on the bottom half of your body you don’t want to deal with sore arms from supporting the weight of a newborn every two hours while they are nursing. I tried several different nursing pillows including the two popular ergo and boppy luxe and I recommend the boppy luxe hands down. I do have a full blog review and YouTube review on these two pillows of you want to check out my thoughts on them further.
3. Water – Breast feeding makes you so thirsty you will want to carry a large water bottle around with you. I would chug water the entire time I was nursing. You also want to keep up with your water intake because nursing can make you very dehydrated and sufficient water intake will help to keep up your milk supply. If you are not a big water drinker try adding some lemon or fruit to infuse your water.
4. Vaginal ice packs – if you are like most moms you will have some sort of vaginal tearing unless of course you had a c-section. At the hospital they gave me frozen gloves filled with water wrapped in a mesh liner to help with pain and inflammation. At home you can make your own ice packs by pouring some witch hazel and Aloe Vera onto a pad and freezing them. There are lots of YouTube tutorials on how to make these.
5. Mesh underwear or granny pannies – After your delivery you will be wanting lots of soothing aids in your underwear as well as large pads for the bleeding. My hospital provided me with comfy disposable mesh boy short underwear. I took plenty home with me so I didn’t end up using the granny panties I bought but those are another option if you are like some people and don’t like the way the mesh undies feel.
6. Pads – At the hospital I was given very large pads to place into my mesh boyshorts. You can purchase extra on Amazon. If you are going to be wearing boyshort underwear avoid winged pads because they will crunch up and not go properly around the underwear. You will be bleeding for 4-6 weeks so stock up.
7. Witch hazel wipes – I was given some containers of these at the hospital and went through them quickly. After vaginal birth you dab and do NOT wipe especially if you have stitches. You can use your peri bottle or dab with the wipes. I would also line my pad with three wipes and leave them on for 15-30 mins to soothe the area and it felt great!
8. Dermablast – This was also provided to me at the hospital and I sprayed it my vaginal area after each bathroom trip. It helped soothe and when the sutures were healing and I started having itch sensations it would take them away instantly.
9. Motrin 600mg – I was given this at the hospital to help with pain and inflammation and it helped a lot. Make sure you have some in hand once you get home, even if your not painful anymore it will reduce the swelling. You can ask your doctor for a prescription for 600mg or get a bottle of 200mg and slowly decrease your daily dosage which is what I did.
10. Stool softener – After vaginal birth your first poop can be a scary thought. I was given nightly stool softeners to help soften the stool so it was night painful to have a bowel movement. Once you leave the hospital I was recommended to take over the counter stool softeners for 10 days. If you are one of the unfortunate ones, like me, and leave the hospital with a hemorrhoid or fissure you will need to stay on them for a bit longer.
11. Multi-vitamins or prenatals – You will want to continue taking your prenatal vitamins or multivitamins while you are breastfeeding to make sure to are still getting all you vitamins especially since nursing depletes so much from you to give to the baby. My favorite are the gummies.
12. Nursing tops one size up – I live in my nursing tips because they are just so convenient to nurse in. My favorite ones are the Jillian O’Malley ones from Target but there are tons of different brands to choose from. Make sure you get them one size up to account for the milk that will be coming in. I got mine to fit me and ended up having to go get them a size up after because I was busting through my top.
13. Coconut oil – Coconut oil is my all purpose product. You can literally use it for everything and I do. I have used it for stretch marks, nipple cream, diaper cream, cradle cap, baby moisturizer. I apply this daily to my stretch marks and have noticed they are starting to fade. When I had sore nipples when baby was first learning to latch I would apply coconut oil to my nipples and still apply to my entire boobs daily to prevent stretch marks from my milk increasing my breast size. I use coconut oil to apply to my baby’s bum after each diaper change to prevent rash and it helps. I also apply this to my baby’s head to help with cradle cap. I applied it all over his skin after baths the first month while his skin was still brand new and slowly introduced unscented baby lotion. I used the coconut oil from Trader Joes.
14. Pre-cooked meals – If you don’t have family and friends to bring you cooked meals after the baby arrives you will want to start pre-cooking meals about a month prior to your due date, just in case baby comes early. You can put them in portions that you and your significant other will eat and freeze it. Once home from the hospital your partner will just have to defrost and heat up, smile enough. Trust me you will not have time to cook even if you are feeling up to it those first few weeks.
15. Belly band – I went back and forth trying to decide if I should get a belly band or not and I’m so glad I did because it helped me so much after delivery not just with weight loss but with support of my back and mid-section.
16. Comfy pants – You are going to want to live in longe pants and for me I didn’t want any restricting yoga pants that we’re going to accentuate my post numb and large pad. Make sure they are also black or a dark color because the first couple days in the hospital I did have a couple leak accidents.
17. Hemorrhoid cream – My hospital provided me with a tube of hemorroid cream that I took home with me and used religiously since I got a hemorroid. They are very common for pregnant women to get because of the weight of the baby putting pressure on your lower region 😉
18. Squeeze bottle / peri bottle – This is another item my hospital provided me with. If yours doesn’t you can order them on Amazon. I ordered extra so I had one at home and didn’t have to take home the used one from the hospital. You will want this to use to wash yourself after using the bathroom to help keep blood and all that fun stuff off you.
19. Detachable shower head – This was super helpful to use to clean down south since you can’t wipe there this was the one thing that made me feel clean.
20. Nursing cover – If you are like me and are modest about being boob out in front of strangers and the males in my family and Scott’s you will want a nursing cover to cover yourself while you are breast feeding. I had tons of friends and family constantly in and out of my hospital room and visit from once we got home and just because you have a visitor doesn’t mean your little one will wait to eat. They want boob when they want it regardless of what your doing so it’s nice to be able to just throw a cover on wherever you are and nurse.
I hope this list hopes you mommy-to-be’s to get an idea of what you will need post delivery for yourself since YOU may be the last thing on your mind right now.
I included a link to an Amazon list of all the items I mentioned above that are available on Amazon. Amazon Prime has become my BFF since becoming a mom because it is not so easy to run out of the house to make a quick errand anymore so I just order the stuff I need online and get it in 1-2 days which is super convenient.