When I first found out I was pregnant with Emma, I immediately started researching all the “essentials” that my baby would need when I brought her home. Soft, muslin swaddle blankets. Vibrating rockers. Adorable onesies. But amongst the lists of baby essentials, there are some essentials that don’t get talked about as much. They’re for the more unglamorous side of bringing home baby. The postpartum period. I was prepared for life with a newborn (well, as prepared as any first-time mom can be), but I had no idea about the things my body was going to be doing after welcoming Emma into the world.
Despite what those supermodels and celebs show us, your body doesn’t just snap back into place. Things are squishy and leaky and kinda gross. Not knowing what to expect or what can help, can definitely make those first weeks at home harder and more uncomfortable than they need to be. So I’ve compiled a list of postpartum essentials to help ease you into your journey of motherhood.
- Maxi Pads – I’m not talking about regular ol’ pads either. You’re going to want the super-duper, ultra-absorbent overnight pads, because after baby, there will be blood. Lots of blood. After all, you haven’t had a period for nine-months, so now your body is going to try and make up for that. Thanks, Mother Nature.
- Comfortable Underwear – Forget the skimpy, sexy panties from your pre-baby days . . . at least, for a while. With all the blood and swollen bits that come with birth, you’re going to want something that covers everything up and keeps it all in place. And black. You’re probably going to want to get them in black. Because Mother Nature.
- Tucks – You’ve just pushed a human the size of a small watermelon out of a hole the size of a bagel. Things, understandably, are going to be sore after that. The witch hazel in these pads helps cool your swollen lady bits and take some of the sting out of the healing process.
- Dermoplast – The hospital gave me some of this after the birth of my first and it was a life-saver! Dermoplast is a pain-relieving spray that’s safe for use on your more delicate areas and can definitely help soothe your tender bits, especially if you’ve had stitches.
- Peribottle – The hospital will probably send you home with one of these little squirt bottles to use for hosing yourself off after using the bathroom (because nobody wants to drag toilet paper over a sore bottom). But if you have more than one bathroom in the home, I’d recommend getting one for each. They’re inexpensive and it’ll save you time trekking around the house to locate one whenever you have to answer Nature’s call.
- Stool Softener – There’s not much in this world more terrifying than those first few poops after baby, especially if you tore during delivery. They’ll give you some stool softener in the hospital, but you should probably have some on hand at home and take them regularly for a while until you’ve healed a bit. Trust me.
- Postpartum Girdle – Your body has spent nine-months with a tiny human stretching your skin and pushing all of your organs out of place. Your after-birth stomach is going to be . . . squishy. It’s going to take a while for everything to return to normal. A postpartum support belt provides support for your tired core as well as holding everything in place while it heals. This can help shrink and tighten your hips, waist, and belly, which is a plus in my book!
- Breast Pads – Even if you’re not planning to breastfeed, when your milk comes in, your boobs are going to be engorged and leaky for a while. Unless you want to constantly be changing your top, invest in some breast pads to sop up the mess and prevent embarrassing wet spots from appearing on your clothes (at the worst time, of course).
Bringing home your baby is such a special thing. Enjoy that little bundle of joy! Soak up every tiny moment. And don’t forget to take care of your postpartum body!