The postpartum period, also known as the 4th trimester, is the 3-month period immediately following the birth of your child. It’s a time of recovery and discovery for both mother and baby as you heal from delivery and adjust to your new life together. These postpartum essentials will help both of you ease into a new ‘normal’.
1. Hot & Cold Packs
Hot & Cold Postpartum Therapy Packs can be used hot or cold for soothing comfort and pain relief after childbirth. These postpartum pads can be used cold for pain relief from perineal, hemorrhoidal, & c-section discomfort or hot for soothing relief from postpartum uterine cramping.
2. Tushy Bidet
After delivering your new bundle of joy, your lady parts are going to be swollen and tender for some time. This will make using the bathroom a rather uncomfortable experience. The hospital may send you home with a Peri Bottle and instruct you to squirt warm water on yourself for the next few days/weeks rather than wiping with toilet paper.
Knowing this, and after experiencing the toilet paper shortage from Covid19, we decided it would be best to skip the peri bottle and just install a Tushy Bidet. With a simple twist of the knob, we are able to squirt those nether regions clean, prevent/heal hemorrhoids, and save on toilet paper. It took less than 10 minutes to install, and really comes in handy in the third trimester as it will become nearly impossible to reach down there.
3. Portable Breast Pump
There are plenty of situations where a mother may opt to formula feed, and ultimately, a fed baby is what’s most important, but if you can provide your milk in the first few months of your baby’s life it will boost immunity and brain development. If breastfeeding/pumping is part of your pan, there will be several tricks to help make the endeavor less challenging, and one of them is to get yourself a wearable breast pump.
Considering the amount of time you’ll be dedicating to this venture each day, over the course of several months, it is worthwhile investment to ensure that you’ll be able to pump on the go. Being able to wash dishes, catch up on emails, and move around the house while pumping is a total game changer!
In many cases, you will be able to get a plug-in breast pump free from your insurance company. Be sure to give them a call to ask about this program, and any others they have to offer you during and beyond your pregnancy.
4. Warming Lactation Massagers
Warming lactation massagers are another worthwhile investment to help ease breastfeeding/pumping discomforts like clogged milk ducts. A clogged milk duct is essentially an obstruction of milk flow in a portion of the breast. Aside from the obvious issue of slowing and decreasing milk flow, it can also be quite painful.
Warming lactation massagers help to relieve clogged milk ducts and improve milk flow. Check out our favorite hand-free picks below.
5. Nursing Pads
Another MUST for a breastfeeding/pumping momma is nursing pads. You’ll find that your breasts will often leak milk as you get closer to feeding/pumping times. In fact, just hearing a baby cry could cause your breasts to leak. While most people are understanding, it can be quite embarrassing to be caught in public with wet nipple marks on your shirt. Trust us, we’ve been there.
Many people opt to use disposable nursing pads, but we like to reduce waste when we can. Not to mention the feeling of a fabric pad is much more comfortable. We recommend buying a pack of fabric nursing pads that can be washed and reused.
6. Leggings & Nursing Tops
Bringing life into this world certainly takes its toll on our bodies. After giving birth we lose some of the excess weight we’ve gained, but it will take some time to get back to feeling like our old selves again. We’ve got enough on our plates in the postpartum journey, the last thing we need is to feel even more self-conscious as we try fitting back into or pre-pregnancy clothes. In fact, we feel that having comfortable, non-restrictive clothing to wear is essential to our mental well-being during this time of healing. This is why we recommend stocking up on a few pairs of leggings with lots of give in them.
You will also want to stock up on a few nursing tops. Even if exclusively pumping, you’ll want tops that allow for easy breast access. Nothing should go to waste though, so be sure to select articles of clothing that are cost-effective and can be worn beyond the postpartum period. Here’s a few of our favorites…
It can be difficult to get things done around the house when your arms are occupied with cradling your baby. Especially when your baby is fussy about being put down, or being alone in general. This is why baby carriers make our list of postpartum essentials, because they help free up your hands without sacrificing bonding time with your little mini.
There are many different types of carriers so be sure to do your research to find what best suits you and your baby. We recommend having 2 different types on-hand for different occasions. For example, a wrap-stype carrier is great for infants of any size, and quite versatile for supporting your baby in different ways. We like the Konny Wrap for its stylish look, and light, breathable fabric.
Our second choice is a soft, buckle carrier. These baby carriers have padded shoulder straps and waist band, and allow you to comfortably carry your baby in the front or on your back. The buckle carriers are typically used for infants over 12lbs.
8. Bandana Bibs
At around 2 months your baby will start to drool quite a bit. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are teething. In most cases, it is just a sign that their salivary glands are beginning to work. At this age though, babies are not yet able to swallow and so the drool will leak down their chins and onto their clothing. Bibs are a great way to prevent more outfit changes throughout the day, but they’re not all made equally.
These bandana bibs have been our favorite in the early months because they are soft and make an excellent accessory to any outfit. They come in a variety of colors and patterns too!
9. Penguin Sucker Set
In the first few months you’ll notice your baby putting their hands in their mouth a lot. In most cases, especially early on (and if baby has already been fed) this will be a self-soothing thing. In our home, we were reluctant to introduce a pacifier for fear of nipple confusion. We also didn’t want our son to develop the thumb-sucking habit that plagued his mother longer than she’d like to admit. Knowing that thumb sucking is harder to break than a pacifier habit, we decided to introduce a pacifier to help keep our guy calm and promote longer sleep sessions.
It worked like a charm, but we quickly found that the baby’s inability to keep the pacifier in his mouth for more than a few minutes at a time, was perhaps more frustrating than him not having the soothing tool at all. Imagine our excitement to find a product specifically designed to stay attached to our baby’s hand so that he could learn to soothe himself without sucking on his thumb!
This penguin buddy set is a total game changer! It’s great for motor skill development because it stays attached to your baby’s hand without any discomfort or need for a tether clip. It comes in a set of two, one for soothing and one for teething, and it’s an absolute MUST for your baby arsenal.
10. Sleep Soother
Ah, sleep. Wonderful, rejuvenating sleep. How we miss you so!
When finally coming home with your little mini, you can expect to lose some sleep for the next several months. It’s important that you be patient with yourself and with your baby. After all, the birth process was just as traumatic, and exhausting an event for them as it was for you. They’ve gone from a warm, moist, dark, zero gravity environment, to a bright, dry, heavy world where literally everything is new. Their biggest comfort is being close to you. Your smell, the sound of your heartbeat, feels like home to them.
Late at night when you’re half asleep and feeding/burping your babe, they’ll get comfortable and likely fall peacefully asleep on top of you. As much as we’d like to just lay there with them for the rest of the night, this can be dangerous and also conditioning into sleep dependency. One of the best things we did for our little guy was get a sleep soothing animal for his crib. They usually include a soft light, and soothing sounds like heartbeats and womb noises that all activate when lightly pressed or hugged. Having this in the crib, will help your baby sleep longer and learn to self soothe.
There you have it. 10 Postpartum Essentials that will help make this time a bit easier for both you and your new bundle of joy!
If breastfeeding/pumping you will want to take special care with your diet. Just like during pregnancy, you’ll want to focus on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. If this is something you struggle with check out our hack for getting more fruits and vegetables into our diet each day.
Congratulations on becoming a parent. You’re doing great already!