The postpartum period is notorious for being painful and exhausting. You’re cramping, bleeding, leaking, swollen and possibly stitched up. Oh yeah, and you’re running on little to no sleep because…baby.
My recovery after my first was brutal. I had a second degree tear and sitting down was absolutely painful. I had intense baby blues just thinking back about my pregnancy and all the events that occurred, such as finding out the sex and those first real kicks.
Fast forward 7 1/2 years, and my recovery with my second was the COMPLETE opposite. I was able to go up and down stairs with ease the day after I gave birth. I didn’t tear! I wasn’t sore! My newborn slept like…99.9% of the day. I was in complete baby bliss, and it was wonderful!
That’s the thing with postpartum recovery. You never know how your body is going to handle it. Even though the recovery after my second baby was easier, I still wanted to be prepared. If you’re on this post, you’re probably wanting the deets on all the things I consider to be the ESSENTIALS for postpartum recovery. Let’s get to it!
1. Hemorrhoidal Wipes: One item in particular saved me during my first postpartum recovery, and that was medicated wipes with witch hazel infused into them. Ahh, it was such a relief to my sensitive areas! My entire pelvic region was swollen from pushing for 3 hours and having a second-degree tear. Everything from sitting down to using the restroom made me cringe in agony. I found that using witch hazel wipes, in combination with the products below, helped me heal quicker and experience less pain.
I made sure to snag a pack of wipes for my second postpartum recovery, but luckily, I didn’t need it. Praise the Lord!
2. Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray: Another product that I had on hand in my hospital bag and in my bathroom was Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray. This is a must have for postpartum care! It relieves the burning and itching pain that often accompanies the healing process. Dermoplast cools and numbs your vagina and perineum so you can sit down and enjoy what matters the most – the new addition to your family!
3. Perineal Bottles: The last thing you want touching you down below is toilet paper. Toilet paper is too rough for those uber sensitive areas. Most hospitals and moms swear by perineal bottles to cleanse your vagina and rear-end without causing pain and irritation. You’re going to want the water inside to be warm!
4. Maximum Absorbency Pads: Oh yeah, you’re gonna need these big boys. You’ll be bleeding pretty heavily for the first week or two, and you need something more absorbent than your regular period pads. I’ll share instructions on how to make your own “padsicles”on the blog soon!
5. Water Bottles: New motherhood leaves you exhausted and dehydrated. If you’re breastfeeding, you especially need to up your h2o intake. These water bottles from Amazon are so sleek and stylish. I’d use them every day!
6. Mesh Panties: After I had my first baby, putting on my regular panties was a real chore. Not only are they too tight to comfortably wear postpartum, but they were hard to put on since they didn’t stretch very well. With mesh panties, I was able to easily slide and stretch them on me, and put a mattress sized pad inside.
7. Epsom Salt: Another issue I had after my first baby was severely swollen feet and lower legs due to too much fluid. My lower legs were so swollen that it felt like they were going to burst at any moment. Forget putting on socks and shoes! Now, I don’t know if this is a common postpartum problem, as it didn’t happen after my second baby, but it’s definitely something to be aware of if you’re going to be on IV fluids. Epsom salt is a great way to relieve swollen and achy feet.
8. Easy to Grab Snacks: Breastfeeding not only leaves you thirsty, but hungry as well. It’s crucial to have easy to grab snacks nearby for when you’re needing an extra boost. If you’re anything like me, you likely won’t be up for making full-blown meals for a few weeks, but it’s still necessary to make sure that you eat!
9. Breastfeeding Pillow: I didn’t want to include baby products in this list since I wanted to focus on new mamas, but I find breastfeeding pillows to be more beneficial for mama than baby, so on the list it goes! When you’re first cradling your bundle of love, you swear you’ll never get tired of holding them, but YOU DO! Who knew that a 7lb baby will eventually feel like a ton of bricks?! I can’t count how many times my arm has gone numb from holding my second. Breastfeeding pillows take the weight of baby off of you and onto the pillow. While these pillows are designed with breastfeeding mamas in mind, they’re still incredibly useful for bottle feeding moms, as well.
10. Stool Softeners: A problem that I had after both babies was constipation. Everything is swollen and tender down there, and the thought of pushing out something else is unbearable. Most hospitals will provide stool softeners during your stay, but I suggest purchasing your own for when you’re recovering at home. Stool softeners help with constipation, and they also keep you from straining too much.
11. Freezer Meals: If you’re feeling up to it in the last few weeks of your pregnancy, I totally recommend preparing and stocking up on freezer meals. That way, your hubby (or mom or whoever is tending to your needs after baby is born) can just pop it in the oven, and voila…the whole family is fed a delicious, wholesome meal. Swaddles N Bottles has 21 yummy freezer meal ideas on her blog, so definitely head over there for more information!
I hope these items bring you relief and comfort during that tender postpartum period. Stay on top of your pain medications, get plenty of rest (as much as a new mom can possibly get), love on that sweet babe you waited 9 months for and be sure to snap plenty of photos. New motherhood is scary and overwhelming, but it’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever experienced.
What did you find essential for your postpartum recovery?