The first few weeks at home after delivery can be difficult on any new mom. I’ve put together a list of some of the most important items to have on hand. Most of these should go into a basket or bin next to your toilet. You might even want to make one of these kits for every bathroom in your house, just in case.
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The hospital will provide you with ridiculously huge pads that are very uncomfortable and are about the length of a football. However, you need those pads for the first few days while your body sheds all of the excess fluids. Once your flow dies down, you can switch to overnight pads like THESE ones, just make sure they are super absorbent or designed for overnight use. You are not allowed to use tampons until at least 6 weeks after delivery so make sure to stock up. (PS: Pads are necessary whether you have a vaginal or cesarean delivery).
Witch-hazel is a soothing solution to help out after birth. You can buy a bottle of it, use in a padsicle (check out my how-to guide HERE), or buy Tucks pads. I personally used the Tucks pads and just used 1-2 each time I used the restroom along with the dermoplast spray.
The padsicles I mentioned above will double as an ice pack, but you can also purchase specific ice packs like THESE ones by frida mom. The frida mom ice packs double as a maxi pad but they are a bit expensive for how many you get in a box. If you have time before birth, I would definitely suggest making your own for the best value.
Dermoplast is a numbing spray that you can spray right onto your perineal area after birth. This stuff is priceless and you should have a bottle for every toilet you will be using. It has an initial cold and soothing feeling and then numbs the area.
It’s a good idea to keep a pack of unscented wet wipes in the postpartum basket to use instead of toilet paper.
After birth, my lips were also so incredible dry and chapped. I kept chapstick in all of my postpartum bathroom baskets along with all of my nursing stations.
This is a must-have after birth. In the early days after delivery, you will not want to use toilet paper to clean after using the restroom. A peri bottle can be filled with warm water and is used to help clean and dilute the urine while you pee. You will want one for every bathroom in use and maybe an extra one for the diaper bag if you are out of the house. The hospital will usually provide one of THESE simple ones which I got along with just fine, or you can opt for a nicer one by frida mom that makes it slightly easier to use.
A sitz bath helps reduce pain, promotes healing, and helps you clean your perineal area after birth. It is especially helpful if you had an episiotomy, tearing, or are experiencing hemorrhoids before or after birth.
Your doctor may prescribe a specific stool softener, but if not, any standard one will do. Going number 2 after birth can be really intimidating, but using a stool softener can help ease your fears.
Over the Toilet Bath
You can take a sitz bath in a regular bathtub, or you can get an over-the-toilet insert if you want a simpler solution. Taking a bath after birth was pretty gross to me since you are bleeding quite a bit and I did not want to sit in a bath filled with my own blood. The toilet insert is a perfect way to get that sitz relief without having to fill the whole tub.
Puppy Pads/ Underpads
These are great lay on top of in bed, so if you end up leaking it doesn’t stain your sheets or mattress. The official term is an underpad, but I only knew them as puppy pads before birth. You can also buy a large reusable quilted underpad (like THIS one) if you prefer to have something a little nicer.
Some women love the mesh underwear that the hospital provides which resembles a pair of boy shorts while other women like having large full-cover underwear instead. I used the mesh underwear in the hospital but switched to THESE black cotton underwear when I ran out of the mesh. They are anything but sexy, but they were cheap and did the job and I didn’t care if they got ruined.
A basket to store all of the above items in.
You can get an inexpensive bin at the dollar store, or buy a nicer wicker basket to store all of the above items in for your bathroom. Having everything easily accessible will make your life so much better than if you have to dig through cabinets every time you use the restroom.
Additional postpartum items (not bathroom related):
Staying hydrated after birth is really important, especially if you are planning on breastfeeding. Getting a large tumbler to keep with you all day can help prevent you from getting up multiple times to refill. I love having my 30 oz Yeti tumbler and it keeps my water super cold.
I would wait until after delivery to order a donut, as not everyone will need one. I didn’t end up needing one but I know some women wouldn’t survive without one.
Your breasts will leak after delivery whether you are breastfeeding or not. It is good to have some breast pads on hand to absorb the milk and keep it off your skin. I love the Lansinoh disposable pads as well as the bamboobies reusable pads.
You will want some stretchy leggings, flowy shirts, and a cozy robe for lounging around the house. It will take some time for your body to go back to its pre pregnancy size, so finding clothes that fit can be comforting.
I kept healthy snacks like fruit cups, protein bars, and trail mix nearby so I always had something to eat while holding a sleeping newborn. It can be hard to remember to eat sometimes, so having premade meals and snacks at hand are very helpful.
What were some of the items you couldn’t live without postpartum??
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