Hey Mama – if you’re here, you’re probably in the final stages of getting ready for your new baby to arrive. The nursery is done (or you’re just going to wing it), you’ve packed your hospital bag and installed your car seat. Now you’re just getting ready for the big day. But, you might be forgetting to do one crucial thing, which is making a postpartum recovery kit.
After getting your entire house ready and basically transforming your life to welcome a new baby, there are still a few things you need to do to prepare yourself for the postpartum period. One of the easiest ways to do this is to create a postpartum recovery toolkit that will help you with everything you need for physical healing.
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What is a postpartum recovery toolkit?
It’s basically a basket filled with all the postpartum necessities you’ll need to heal as a new mom.
Think – bathroom help, boob leakage, and pain relief.
You can pull together this kit and keep it in your bathroom for easy access. It will be your best friend for at least two weeks after delivery. A lot of the items in this post refer to healing specifically from a vaginal delivery. If you have a C-section you’ll still need the items for breastfeeding and bleeding, but you’ll need additional items to care for your incision. You can skip the witch hazel pads and Dermoplast spray since you’ll skip the tearing and inflammation downstairs.
So much of the time we prepare and put all our focus on the baby. Ensuring that you also prepare to take care of yourself during postpartum is one of the best ways you can actually take care of your baby. Healing your body is absolutely critical for a good postpartum experience.
What to put in your postpartum recovery toolkit
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Pads of varying absorbency (heavy and extra heavy to start with)
- A perineal wash bottle (they’ll probably give you one in the hospital but it’s good to have an extra for a second bathroom)
- Witch hazel pads (one pack)
- Dermoplast (one can)
- Ibuprofen (at least 50)
- Stool softener (smallest bottle)
- Breast pads for leaking (100+)
- Lanolin nipple cream (one tube)
- Perineal cold pack (optional)
- Sitz bath (optional)
Putting a kit together with all of these essentials will make your postpartum recovery so much easier. Putting in a few minutes today will make for a much smoother ride when you’re back home from the hospital.
How to use the items in your kit
You’ll bleed for up to eight weeks after delivery. It will be heavy at first then taper off to spotting after the first couple of weeks. This is totally normal, but those first few days are a heavier flow. You can’t use tampons so you’ll want to be prepared with some heavy absorbency pads.
The peri bottle will allow you to use a warm water wash instead of wiping after you use the bathroom. Trust me, you won’t want to wipe right after delivery.
The witch hazel pads and Dermoplast spray will help soothe any inflammation and tears from delivery, and will be a lifesaver for the first week postpartum. Use the Dermoplast spray after you go to the bathroom, and put witch hazel pads on top of your maxi pad for additional cooling.
The breast pads and nipple cream are for moms who plan to breastfeed, and are an absolute must-have. I added the perineal cold pack and sitz bath as optional, because you’ll get these in the hospital if needed. I didn’t need the cold packs once I got home and also never used a sitz bath with my second.
Some people even go ahead and put together DIY padsicles before delivery. I didn’t go this route, but if you have a bad tear, it’s probably a good idea to make a few once you get home.
How to make a DIY Padsicle for postpartum healing
Padsicles are pre-made pads dressed with witch hazel and frozen for cooling relief after delivery. If you choose to make padsicles, you’ll need to buy pads without wings. You open the pad, dress with witch hazel, then wrap the pad back up and put it in the freezer. You’ll need the pads without wings so that you’re able to refold and freeze. Here’s a great tutorial on how to make padsicles if you want more information!
Why you shouldn’t put off making a postpartum recovery kit
Making a postpartum recovery kit may be one of the nicest things you do for your future self. It ensures that you’re going to be taken care of in the postpartum period.
Even though you might not be thinking about yourself now, you’ll need to heal after delivery. Grab your supplies and make your postpartum recovery kit today. So much of your focus during pregnancy has been on preparing for your new arrival, which is great.
However, as you come into the final weeks, you need to begin to focus on healing yourself as well. This is the only way to ensure you’re the happiest and healthiest mamma for your new baby.
Ideally, you’ll have this done by 36 weeks just in case your baby decides to come early.
You’re getting so close to meeting that new little one, good luck mamma! If you’re not quite ready to make your postpartum prep kit, don’t forget to pin this post so you can come back to it later!