I had a c-section with my oldest and was just so grossly unprepared for the whole life-after-baby period. I actually thought everything just went back to normal after the baby was born; like a light switch.
Well, I was wrong.
But thankfully I was in the hospital for 5 days (you’ll never hear me say THAT again) postpartum, so I had tons of nurses and doctors taking care of me. So I never really needed to stock my house with things for my postpartum time. I just had some big pads and a tiny sample sized tube of lanolin for sore nipples.
When I had my second and third sons at home, I was much more prepared for life postpartum.
Here’s everything that I had on-hand during my life in the first few days postpartum.
Padsicles: Take some of those big overnight pads, spread aloe vera gel all over the inside, put a teaspoon of witch hazel and lavender essential oil put in the freezer. Take one at a time out as you need them and let sit for a few minutes before you use them. These things sound so weird, but oh my word are they amazing! Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!
A pillow to sit on: Things they don’t tell you: your, ahem, backside WILL hurt. Like WOAH. Even sitting on the couch hurts. Get a super soft pillow with a waterproof cover. It’s a sound investment.
A peri bottle: Peri bottles will be your best friend in the first week or so! Every time you go to the bathroom (every. time.), fill it with warm water and a drop of lavender essential oil to help you go to the bathroom. It really helps.
Sitz bath spray: My midwife left this for me after I had my first homebirth and I absolutely loved it! Motherlove makes some incredible sitz bath spray. Spray it on pads if you don’t have time for a sitz bath. It really helps soothe everything down there.
Gel cooling nipple pads: Nursing for the first time HURTS. This helps. Super cheap, hippie alternative: cool cabbage leaves. No kidding. Stuff one of those bad boys in your bra cup.
Coconut oil: Cracked nipples. Ow. This is the perfect solution for sore nipples without the chemicals!
Chux pads: For bed, for the couch, for the rocking chair, car… everywhere you will sit, or sleep, you WILL need these a lot for the first few days! Just get the 50 pack and keep them around. You’l never know when you might need them (like when you’re potty training)!
Guinness or any other milk stout beer: I know there’s someone out there screaming “NO! No alcohol EVER!” Guinness is like 2% alcohol. It’s delicious, it helps a new mom calm her nerves, and (old Irish wives’ tale from my great-great-grandmother) helps bring in the milk. Do NOT slam a 6 pack and think it’ll help bring in your milk. It doesn’t work like that. Have one, relax, and enjoy it.
A big water bottle: You need to drink a lot of water for breastfeeding! Not to mention it’s jut good for you in general. I got a 32 ounce Camelbak water bottle; BPA free, and super big (means you don’t need to get up and refill it every 5 minutes.
Invest in a good water filter, too. You’ll be going through a lot of water, like a gallon or more a day, make sure you’re drinking good water!
Fenugreek Seed: This stuff is great. It really helps bring the milk in and increase milk supply.
Boppy Pillow: Life saver for those super tiring first days! And every day after. It helps so much! I’m typing this NOW while nursing my son using my Boppy with my computer on the table. I couldn’t’ live without this thing. I absolutely love it.
Arnica cream: I had back labor with my kids and the only thing that helped was my steel-worker husband squeezing my hips together like he was trying to smash a watermelon. The next day felt like I fell down a flight of stairs. Arnica was incredible. Any muscle aches or soreness and this is my go-to. It also doesn’t get into your milk for the little one.
The best, and most important thing you will need is time.
Recovering from having a baby is not easy or glamorous. But with a lot of love and time to heal, you can survive your postpartum period.
What couldn’t you live without postpartum?