Pregnancy and birth can be a wild and unpredictable ride. But one area you can definitely prepare for is making sure your postpartum kit is ready at home. Our guide to the best postpartum recovery essentials is perfect for supporting mamas with vaginal or c-section deliveries.
Medically reviewed and co-written by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).
Best Postpartum Recovery Essentials
During pregnancy, it’s not uncommon to get so focused on what you need for your baby that you might forget to prepare for yourself!
The postpartum period is no joke – you’re getting to know your precious baby while simultaneously recovering from one of the most high-intensity workouts/marathons you’ve ever completed.
In this guide, we’ll go over our list of favorite essentials for the postpartum period so that you can heal, rest, and recover as smoothly as possible during this important transition.
Small Steps for Self Care
Even though you will be consumed with caring for your new baby, it’s important not to forget about yourself. After all, you can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself first. You likely won’t be doing all that you normally do to take care of yourself in the first few weeks, but you need to at least do the essentials. With all sorts of hormones flowing, do what you need to do to make yourself feel good, whether that’s putting on makeup or going for a walk. Here are some tips:
- Don’t forget to eat! Keeps snacks handy, and if possible, stock up on healthy freezer meals before birth. Here a
- Get dressed every day. As tempting as it is to stay in PJ’s and snuggle baby all day, getting dressed (even just changing into sweats) does wonders to lift your mood.
- Bathe. Whether you had a vaginal birth or C-section, you need to keep wounds clean to avoid infection. And your flowing hormones can make you more odorous, so showering can help keep that at bay.
- Sleep (when you can). They say to sleep when the baby sleeps but this is easier said than done. Regardless, try to get some z’s in during the day if you aren’t getting them at night. Remember, this is a phase, and it will pass. You will sleep again!
Items to Take Home From the Hospital
Don’t overlook those items that were so helpful in the hospital! Many of them will also come in handy once you’re back home.
- Hemorrhoid Pads
- Perineal Cold Pack Pads
- Mesh Underwear
- Witch hazel astringent
- Bed Liners
- Peri Bottle
- Water Bottle
- Any informational pamphlets or contact information for postpartum support groups
Top Postpartum Recovery Items for Every Home Kit
It’s a great idea to put together a care basket of items in any bathrooms you regularly use, whether you’re recovering from a vaginal delivery or c-section.
Vaginal Birth Essentials
Postpartum Essential Items
These ultra-premium, pillowy pads provide ultimate comfort and protection. Made with hypoallergenic, soft, and breathable sheets that alleviate unpleasant odors and irritation, these absorbent pads prevent leaks and keep you feeling drier, longer. – Rael Organic Cotton Underwear
Packed with ingredients known to help keep your stools soft and regular, these easy to chew gummies are vegetarian, as well as free of gluten, dairy and soy. These gummies are made with prebiotic fiber and have a yummy berry flavor.
A must-have for new moms, a peri bottle is perfect for cleansing sore, tender areas postpartum. This one has a collapsible, angled spout to help cleanse hard-to-reach areas.
Postpartum Recovery Tea
This postpartum tea is specifically formulated to support both the postpartum period and monthly cycles. It’s made of a comforting blend of organic lady’s mantle, cinnamon, lemon balm and red raspberry. Plus, it tastes equally great hot or as an iced tea!
You’ve seen them everywhere – and for good reason. This water bottle’s exceptionally large volume is just what you need for postpartum hydration and recovery. Its double-wall vacuum insulation keeps drinks hot for up to 7 hours or cold for up to 11 hours. Made of high quality 18/8 stainless steel and BPA-free.
Vaginal Birth Essential Items
After a vaginal birth, you’ll likely experience various symptoms during the first six weeks of postpartum recovery. These items will help with anything and everything from postpartum bleeding to perineal pain.
Witch Hazel Pads
These medicated pads help provide immediate relief from burning and itching caused by hemorrhoids and are helpful in relieving discomfort following vaginal birth. The ultra-soft pads can be used to cleanse outer rectal or vaginal areas as well as be used as a moist compress on inflamed areas.
These are the ultimate high-waisted panty that will keep your body feeling comfortable and supported from maternity through postpartum and well beyond. They’re made from the softest, stretchiest micro-modal fabric that feels smooth on the skin.
Heat Pads and Ice Packs
Lasinoh Hot and Cold pads are a lifesaver for pain relief from discomfort caused by labor, birth, hemorrhoids, and c-sections. They’re slim, flexible, and easily conform to your body. And unlike other perineal ice packs, these pads are reusable to provide hot and cold relief again and again.
Earth Mama Herbal Perineal spray is made with cooling witch hazel and cucumber along with organic essential oils for refreshing postpartum relief both before and after vaginal delivery. Made without any artificial preservatives, fragrances, butane, or benzocaine because no one wants those chemicals near their tender bits. For maximum relief, you can store this spray in the fridge for extra cooling benefits.
This sitz bath is portable, quick, and convenient – all essentials when you’re dealing with an adorable but oh-so-demanding newborn. The Soothic Sitz bath works great for hemorrhoids and post-episiotomy discomfort, with a new wider seat design and contoured edges to mold the back of your legs.
Sitz Bath Salts
Use these Pure Body Naturals Sitz Bath Salt for a soothing soak that aids in postpartum recovery and hemorrhoid treatment. It’s made with mood-boosting botanicals and energizing aromatics help fight baby blues and promote a balanced mind. You can add it to your bath or sitz bath for a daily soak.
sitz bath pad-sicles
Many essential items for vaginal birth will also be useful for a c-section recovery, with an added focus after c-section on taking care of your incision and any related pain or discomfort.
Postpartum C-Section Panties
This comfortable, high-waisted panty features a forgiving low-cut thigh and slightly cheeky back view so you can feel covered up but still feel like yourself. The Bodily All-in Panty is made from the softest, stretchiest micromodal fabric that feels smooth on skin with a high-waist that is especially important in postpartum if you had a c-section.
C-Section Scar Cream
An ultimate essential for c-section delivery, Motherlove C-Section cream is USDA Certified Organic and contains clean ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, shea butter and calendula flower to nourish the skin around your scar. This cream can be applied prior to putting on a belly band, silicone scar sheet, or c-section underwear.
A compression belt or belly wrap provides support to your stomach and incision site, which research has shown can decrease pain and discomfort post c-section. The added stability from a belly band can also help you feel more comfortable as you move around after delivery. The Belly Bandit Postpartum Belly wrap provides stretchy compression around your belly to encourage muscles back together, making it helpful for treating diastasis recti.
The PureRelief XL heating pad provides targeted heat therapy to help temporarily relieve incision scar pain after a c-section. We love that this heating pad is oversized to help cover your entire pelvis, soothing all your sore areas. Its fast, InstaHeat technology warms up in seconds and features 6 different heat settings.