Wow if being pregnant wasn’t a crazy ride now you are ready to think about labor and birth. Then comes the fourth trimester – postpartum. I like to call that the final trimester since people focus on the three trimesters of pregnancy, but postpartum is unfortunately usually unmentioned. And it is the most important to prepare for!
I took a few classes at my hospital when we were preparing for our baby. I took a labor and delivery class, a breastfeeding class, and a baby CPR class. There wasn’t much of a new mommy care class, unfortunately. I made a birth plan, but had no plan for how to take care of myself and get back on my feet.
Postpartum depression was mentioned in a handwave as “baby blues” and that was that. But what I didn’t know was how common postpartum depression is, and what I had was postpartum rage. So here’s your reminder to please, please talk to your doctors and don’t let them gaslight you if you’re feeling more severe symptoms of postpartum depression or rage than the “baby blues” stress they wave everything off as or symptoms last longer than two weeks.
Making your Postpartum Care Kit for New Mom and Baby
Taking care of our physical self is a huge part of taking care of our mental health during the postpartum period. So let’s dive into the best ways to take care of yourself, and how to prepare your postpartum care kit.
You can also put these products together as a gift for a new mom – these make an amazing postpartum care gift basket!
Postpartum Care Plan
First it is so important to have your Postpartum Care Plan ready before you go to deliver! I’m sharing this wonderful e-course that can help you plan and prepare! Making Your Postpartum Plan – Prepare for life after baby and how you will care for yourself. Conversations to have with your partner/support team before baby arrives, tangible ways to set yourself up for success after baby.
Another great way to focus on the new mom’s health is to get a postnatal massage. Here’s a list of postpartum or postnatal massage benefits!
Loccia is the postpartum bleeding that happens for about the first month post-delivery. It happens regardless of delivery type (Vaginal or C-section) because it is the shedding of uterine tissue that was built up to contain your placenta and other baby goodies.
Do not wear tampons during this time as there is a risk of infection. Instead, use large maxi pads (and wear large, comfortable underwear – such as those mesh panties the hospital likes to use).
Many women find they have some level of tearing in the perineum (the piece of skin between your vagina and anus). I tore with my giant baby’s head, and was thankful the doctor didn’t grab the scissors. Of course, I didn’t even know until he pulls out this giant curved needle to sew me back up. But we’ll not talk about that. Tearing means another layer of recovery and healing time.
One of the best tools the hospital gave me was telling me about the Herbal Sitz bath (a shallow tub for the perineum). A postpartum sitz bath soak contains ingredients to reduce swelling and discomfort from delivery, which improves hygiene, allows for faster healing, and relieves pain, itching, or irritation caused by stitches. I set up a sitz bathtub on my toilet which made using it fairly easy. I just had to set up the drip higher than my toilet and let the water wash over my nether region.
Perineum Cooling Spray/Balm
Other great products for your sore bottom are as follows. The Cooling Spray/ Numbing Spray is an herbal perineal spray by Earth Mama. You apply a quick cooling spritz to relieve the itching and soreness.
This Perineal Balm is a creamy soothing balm for down there. The application method is different than the spray but provides similar relief.
Perineal Cold Pack
You might make Perineal Cold Pack/Padsciles by taking giant menstrual pads and putting them in the freezer. You can pour some witch hazel on them before you freeze them, and they will provide instant relief. Also super helpful are Wipes with witch hazel such as Tucks Pads which are cooling pads that also provide hemorrhoid relief.
You might get a Peri bottle (perineal irrigation bottle) and iodine to spray in the area multiple times a day. In fact, I sprayed with iodine every time I went pee until I was able to wipe without pain.
One more tip – dab (don’t wipe) yourself with toilet paper. Or use a bidet to rinse and dab dry for a better postpartum clean. They’re easy to install onto your existing toilet. Check out Whisper Bidet – a premium bidet toilet attachment to keep your hiney clean. Use code FABMOM10 for 10% off!
Other Postpartum Comforts
Constipation, Good Nutrition, and Water
Giving birth does a number on all our organs, and since you’re using your “poo” muscles to deliver baby, those get super worn out. Also, due to hormone levels, that first poop postpartum can be scary. In fact, everything relating to getting your digestion back on track is a big deal. I remember the nurse asking me if I have tried to pass gas yet, and I did it in front of her very carefully and she celebrated that milestone. For real! So ask your doctor about getting some Stool Softener to help that whole situation go smoother. Drink plenty of water, for real, a lot of water. Eat high-fiber foods to get things moving and be mindful about a healthy diet. Your body needs good nutrition right now.
I have mixed feelings about this next one but I do think it’s something to consider. I wore a Postpartum Girdle to help pull my skin back tighter , squeeze out the extra that was put on during pregnancy, and help my back by keeping everything tight. There are so many options of styles and comfort levels of girdles. I know the last thing you want after going through labor is something super tight around your middle, so feel free to ignore this recommendation if you want.3 in 1 Postpartum Support – Recovery Belly/waist/pelvis Belt Shapewear Slimming Girdle, Beige, One Size
You might also consider getting some of these bed pads. If you are bleeding heavily they can help protect your sheets. You might also notice you are sweating a lot, also due to hormones. They’re also great for lining the baby changing area.Medline Heavy Absorbency 36″ x 36″ Quilted Bed Pads, Large Disposable Underpads, 50 Per Case, Fluff and Polymer Core, Great Protection for Beds, Furniture, Surfaces
Further, if your legs were very swollen during pregnancy, you might want to wear compression socks to help during postpartum recovery as well. And you can make them fun, too!
If your entire bottom and back are uncomfortable during sitting, get a cushion for your back and seat!
If you’re breastfeeding, your nipples can get sore so fast! Mine were in agony the first month or so. You might also get swollen or engorged. A warm compress can help relieve that but keep an eye out for a fever and severe pain – this could be mastitis and you will need to call your doctor. Do a self-massage to ease tight spots or blocked milk ducts. Get some of this amazing Nipple Butter for initial breastfeeding relief.
Ready-Made Postpartum Care Items
Here are some ideas for ready-to-purchase birth or postpartum kits with many of the goodies mentioned already included.
Frida Mom Hospital Packing Kit for Labor, Delivery, & Postpartum | Nursing Gown, Socks, Peri Bottle, Disposable Underwear, Ice Maxi Pads, Pad Liners, Perineal Foam, Toiletry Bag (15 Piece Gift Set)
Mama & Wish Postpartum Essentials Kit for Mom – Postpartum Care Kit for Labor and Delivery with Hospital Essentials for Women After Birth – Includes Peri Bottle, Witch Hazel, Comfy Garments and More!
Postpartum Kit After Birth Essentials For Mom — Perineal Cold Packs, Postpartum Underwear for Women After Birth, Pain Relief Spray, Witch Hazel Pads, Nursing Pads, Peri Bottles, Maxi Pads — Gladness!
Did I miss anything? Let me know what else you found helpful during postpartum recovery!
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