While pregnant, most moms-to-be make sure that they have all they need for baby. But what about for mom? Before baby comes, make a postpartum care kit with some postpartum supplies that will make life as a breastfeeding mom a lot easier!
What are you packing in your hospital bag in expectation of your baby’s birth? You’ve probably added all the items that your baby will need to make a comfortable entrance into the world, but don’t forget about your entrance into this next stage of your life. While you’re packing for the baby, pack a care bag for yourself as well.
You will also need a care package waiting at home so that you have everything needed to take good care of yourself throughout postpartum. Taking excellent care of your newborn starts with taking excellent care of your own mental and physical well being.
Packing for the Hospital
- Cold Packs: You’re going to have swollen bits and tender places after giving birth, and cold packs can help bring down the inflammation while numbing some of the tenderness.
- Postpartum Panties: Maybe you’re not ready for your mom jeans, but you give yourself permission to slip into the gigantic mama underpants for comfort and functionality. Disposable mesh pants are extremely popular because they offer maximum protection and you don’t have to wash them.
- Nipple Balm/Cream: Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing, but it comes with sore nipples. Organic Nipple Balm from the Honest Company or a commercial nipple cream will help prevent discomfort as well as skin irritation, swelling, cracking, and infection.
- Pantyliners and Pads: Make sure you buy the thick, long ones that provide maximum protection. Nighttime pads are important for the first night or two, and you may need liners for a week or longer.
- Perineal Irrigation Bottle/Personal Bath Bottle: You fill these lightweight bottles with water and keep it in the bathroom. Even the softest toilet paper can feel rough after a vaginal birth, so it’s best to spray yourself with water and then pat dry. The MomWasher from FridaBaby is a good option, but a simple cleansing bottle is a cheaper alternative.
- Sitz Spray: Take the relaxing afterbirth bath herbs included in your at-home care kit, and condense that experience into a bottle. A sitz spray is designed for direct application to your sore, tender bottom for immediate soothing and relief from itching, pain, and other discomforts. You won’t be able to get in the tub while in the hospital, but your doctor is likely to approve of this gentle mist. New Mama Bottom Spray and Motherlove Organic Sitz Bath Spray are good options.
- Socks and Slippers: The hospital will give you socks, but you’ll feel more comfortable in a cozy set in your favorite color or a silky aloe Vera sock that moisturizes your feet. Slippers will allow you to move around the hospital room or take walks in the hallway without losing your footing.
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Your At-Home Postpartum Care Kit
You will continue using most of the items in your hospital care bag once you return home, but there are some items that you will need to add to the care package for the long-term care of your beautiful mama body:
- Afterbirth Bath Herbs: You may see this referred to as bath “sitz,” but it’s nothing more than a combination of natural herbs that can soothe your tender parts to relieve pain and encourage healing. It also gives you an excuse to let someone else look after the newborn while you enjoy a much-deserved bath. You can make your own by combining dried leaves and flowers like calendula and lavender, or order it from small companies like In His Hands. Wishgarden is another popular option.
- Comfy Pajamas: You will need lots of soft pajama bottoms that allow you to move easily without feeling constricted. Tops that allow for fast and easy breastfeeding are critical as well. You may not be on top of the laundry when you’re sore and the baby wants to eat every two hours, so give yourself a stack of options that you can change into quickly. Oversized sleep shirts, robes, and nightgowns are good options as well.
- Heating Pad: Heat is just soothing when you’re exhausted and everything aches.
- Hemorrhoid Treatment: You can use your sitz spray to ease hemorrhoid discomfort, but pads with witchhazel and other soothing ingredients will work as well. Earth Mama makes a Bottom Balm that contains organic, natural ingredients designed for this type of discomfort.
- Mom Panties: By the time you return home, you may not need your mesh disposables but you also won’t to slip into a thong or tiny brief. Keep a good supply of soft granny panties will get you through the healing phase.
- Nursing Bras: You’re likely to spend much of your time braless, but you do want to have breastfeeding-friendly bras on hand for occasions that require an appearance outside of your home.
- Healthy, Fast Snack Foods: Make a big bag of healthy snack mix and fill the cabinet with crackers, nuts, seeds, granola, dried fruit, and other snack foods that will quench your hunger. You won’t always have time to make a big meal, and breastfeeding is going to make you feel like a ravenous teenager at times. It’s important to drink a lot of water as well.
- Stool Softener: You will likely need this for the first bowel movement after a vaginal birth, but the hospital will probably provide that for you. You may want to pack it in your hospital bag just in case, but you will definitely want it on hand at home. Your food choices and water intake after having the baby are also important to help prevent constipation or hard stools.
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Getting What You Need for Less
If you’re thinking that you need to get everything needed to care for the baby before you start spending money on yourself, remember that your needs are just as important as your baby’s needs. If you’re in pain or are constantly uncomfortable, it will make caring for a demanding infant more difficult. If you don’t have the supplies that you need to care for your tender breasts, then problems with your nipples could interfere with your milk flow and ability to feed your baby properly.
You can get all of the items that you will need for postpartum care at affordable prices if you start shopping in advance. Look for deals online. Sign up for email notification of sales for stores in your local area. Use sites like Ebates to earn cashback on your online purchases.
You may start by stocking what you will need immediately after the birth and then add to your care package as you find items on sale or are able to invest a bit more in this gift to yourself. One item at a time, you will prepare yourself for a comfortable entrance into motherhood.
- How to Breastfeed
- Life with a Breastfeeding Baby
- Benefits of Breastfeeding
- Best Bottles for Breastfeeding Babies