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You’re all set with all the gear + baby products you need as you patiently await the arrival of your new baby – but do you have everything you need to take care of you, mama?
Check out my complete list of 27 essentials for your vaginal delivery recovery, so you can make sure to be stocked up on everything you need for your postpartum survival kit.
Why Do You Need A Postpartum Survival Kit?
People don’t always talk about the 4th trimester. Maybe it’s overshadowed by the excitement of the newborn baby, because it’s not the prettiest experience, + it may be uncomfortable for your mama friends to mention some of the products on this list.
Taking care of yourself postpartum is just as important as taking care of your new bundle of joy and these products are here to help you do that. Plus, the more at ease and taken care of you are the easier it is to focus on your little babe.
The products I have listed to include in your postpartum survival kit are meant for mamas who deliver vaginally. I know labor + delivery don’t always go to plan, but even if you have a C-section you can use a lot of these products for your recovery.
Maybe consider donating or gifting things you don’t use to another expecting mama. This is how I found out there were even things I needed to get to take care of myself postpartum. My best friend’s sister gifted me a few products that saved my lady bits after delivery!
Pro Tips: Keep a basket, bin, or cart near your toilet. Store all these goodies in there – or at least the ones you need while using the restroom. Pack some of these goodies in your hospital bag to use the first few days of recovery if your hospital doesn’t supply you with them.
Postpartum Recovery Products For Your Lady Bits
Here are some postpartum essentials that you’ll want to include in your postpartum survival kit to help soothe and recover down there after a vaginal delivery. Most of these products will be provided to you by the hospital, but they are good things to have extra of at home, as well.
#1: Peri Bottle
A peri bottle is a water bottle with a nozzle – similar to a squirt bottle – that allows you to spray water on your lady bits during and/or after you use the restroom. You will not want to use toilet paper for a while after birth while everything heals – so this helps keep you clean.
You can also fill it with warm water and spray down there while you pee to help soothe any pain or discomfort you have while urinating.
You’ll likely get one of these from the hospital that you can bring home. The one I got from the hospital was super generic and I preferred the Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle I had at home. The nozzle is tilted making it easier to used and a total LIFESAVER!
#2: Witch Hazel Pads
Witch hazel is a great way to soothe your vaginal area + hemorrhoids after birth. You can place witch hazel pads on top of your maxi pad to help promote healing, lower the risk of infection, and soothe your pain.
Place some farther back on your maxi pad to help soothe any hemorrhoids you may have after birth – super common!
#3: Dermoplast Spray
Dermoplast spray is a generic first aid spray, but it works great for relief postpartum. I would have never realized this if the hospital I delivered at didn’t provide it to me!
You can spray the Dermoplast spray directly on your lady bits or on your maxi pad for a cool + numbing relief.
Bonus 👉🏻 you can use it later on for things like bug bites or a sunburn, too!
Ice packs are just another way for you to soothe your pain down their postpartum. You can buy reusable ones or make your own.
The hospital will likely send you home with some disposable ones, but only a few. I found them super uncomfortable, but a lot of moms said they really help! I would just maybe suggest something that is thinner and less clunky.
#5: Sitz Bath
Wondering what the heck a sitz bath is? So did I. I had never heard of a sitz bath until after I had my first baby. I’m so excited to try this out after I deliver baby #2.
A sitz bath is a toilet attachment that sprays a soothing fountain of water to relieve your lady parts from pain + inflammation. I recommend using warm water, sitz bath salts, and/or lavender essential oil for added soothing qualities.
Make sure you ask your doctor before you use a sitz bath – especially if you have any tearing!
#6: Adult Diapers
You will experience postpartum bleeding for a few weeks or more – called lochia.
Adult diapers, like Depends, are one option for keeping yourself clean down there. Some moms like the diapers better than maxi pads because you:
- Can easily toss them when done
- Don’t have to worry about removing pads from your underwear
- Won’t ruin your underwear
- More absorbent than pads
I know it’s not glamorous, but I recommend adult diapers for the first week or so while you have a heavy flow + for overnight.
#7: Maxi Pads
Maxi pads are the other option for taking care of your postpartum vaginal bleeding. The hospital will send you home with pads, but you will definitely need more than they give you. So make sure to stock up before you go into labor.
Some tips for choosing the best maxi pad for postpartum recovery:
- Buy super-absorbent maxi pads
- Overnight pads are also great because they tend to be longer
- Chose an unscented pad to avoid any irritation down there from the added fragrances
- Also, pick up a pack of cheap underwear since leaks and overflow are common and your underwear may become stained
Pro Tip: These are great to have at home if your water breaks because you will continue to leak as you make your way to the hospital. Plus to use for your first postpartum period – they are usually on the heavier side.
Like I mentioned above, you’ll want to grab some postpartum underwear to use with your maxi pads, so you don’t ruin your cute + nice underwear you already have.
You can buy disposable postpartum underwear, like these ones from Frida Mom, but that can add up and be a bit expensive once you realize how many – and how fast – you’ll go through them.
I just picked up a pack of cheap Fruit of Loom underwear from Walmart and they worked great. They were actually super comfy and soft + I didn’t feel bad throwing them away when they became stained.
Once you no longer need your peri bottle and can transition back to using toilet paper you are going to want to splurge on the good stuff here!
I’d recommend picking up a pack of good toilet paper that is soft and has a lot of cushion to it.
Postpartum Recovery Items for Nursing Moms
Breastfeeding provides so many benefits to both mamas + babies. I can promise you any pain + discomfort you may experience along your breastfeeding journey will be 10000% worth it.
Luckily there are lots of breastfeeding products out there that will help you through this journey. Here are some of my personal favorites, products I used throughout my breastfeeding journey, and absolute must-haves if you plan on nursing.
#10: Nursing Bras
Nursing bras are purely for your own comfort + ease while feeding your baby. Even if you aren’t sure you are going to breastfeed I would still buy a few because you will likely be sore + engorged when your milk comes in.
Invest in good nursing bras! The investment is worth it. I found most moms spend just as much money running through inexpensive nursing bra after nursing bra as if they would have just invested in a few high-quality ones from the beginning.
I swear by + always recommend Kindred Bravely for nursing bras. I used a few different brands – like Target – before splurging on a nursing bra bundle from KB and it was the best decision I ever made.
I have 3 nursing bras from Kindred Bravely that I have worn through two pregnancies + one year of nursing. They still look + feel as great as the day I bought them. Plus, I never wanted to wear any other nursing bra or sports bra I owned again – they are that good lol!
They often run discounted nursing bra bundles on their website where you can save 30-35% off when you buy a pack of 3. They also have a few different styles you can choose from and I’d recommend buying more than one style.
#11: Pumping Bras
A pumping bra is super similar to a nursing bra, but specifically designed to hold your pump parts in place while you pump. I’d highly recommend investing in these if you plan on pumping often or exclusively pumping.
Kindred Bravely has a bundle deal right now when you buy 3 pumping bras.
I ended up purchasing a Haakaa about 3 months after my son was born because there was so much hype around them and I wanted to check out what it was all about. Boy, do I wish I had one from the get-go. By far one of my breastfeeding essential products.
I recommend getting one of these even if you have another breast pump. I used mine to larch onto my other breast that my little guy wasn’t nursing on and it caught all the breast milk that leak out + it’s super easy to pour into a bottle or breastmilk storage bag when finished.
#13: Nipple Cream
Dry + cracked nipples are extremely common in the first days or weeks of nursing as your nipples adjust to your suckling LO or breast pump.
The hospital will likely give you Lanolin Nipple Cream, but I preferred something more natural. Using a natural, baby-safe nipple cream makes it convenient because you don’t have to worry about your baby coming into contact with it or wiping it off before each nursing session.
I used coconut oil and Kindred Bravely’s Nipple Balm. The nipple balm was a great natural product for days my nipples were really sensitive + cracked. I applied coconut to my nipples pretty much every day, all day for the first week or so.
Cooling gel breast pads are another way that some mamas will soothe sore nipples. You can store them in your fridge or freezer and then place them on your breast for a cooling + soothing relief.
I personally never used these, but I know a lot of mamas who swear by them!
#15: Nursing Pads
You will want to wear nursing pads during your early days while your milk comes in + your body is learning to regulate your milk production. You will likely leak throughout the day, so this can keep your clothes dry + keep you comfortable when out in public.
You can choose between reusable or disposable nursing pads. I used both and 100% recommend reusable nursing pads. They are way more comfortable + you go through the disposable ones pretty quickly saving you money by being able to just wash the reusable ones.
My MIL actually bought me these bamboo reusable nursing pads from Kindred Bravely – which I how I found out about their company – and I have been in love with them since. They just added the option to purchase a 10-pack of these guys, instead of just 4 which is super exciting!
#16: Lactation Massager
Another product I wish I knew about with my first – a lactation massager! A lactation massager can help with:
- Relieving clogged milk ducts
- Maximizing your flow and output when nursing or pumping
LaVie Mom has two lactation massagers I recommend. The warming lactation massager costs about $75 and the standard lactation massager that costs $30. You can also use my code, RAISINGTINYFOODIES10, to receive 10% off your order!
A healthy diet + hydration will go a long way in helping you heal postpartum + produce breastmilk. Not to mention nursing mamas often experience unquenchable thirst – I know I did 🙋🏻♀️. Staying hydrated is the number way – and easiest way – to ensure you maintain a healthy milk supply.
That being said you will want to invest in a reusable + insulated water bottle to help keep you super hydrated throughout the day. I’d recommend one that has some type of lid so it won’t spill + you can drink with one hand while you’re nursing.
#18: Healthy Snacks
Just like the unquenchable thirst you may experience postpartum, you may also notice you have a huge increase in your appetite. You burn 300-500 calories a day just from nursing alone + your body needs fuel to produce breastmilk.
You want to make sure you have snacks handy – especially while you nurse – but also want to make sure they are healthy + nutritious. You want to fuel your body with the good stuff! Plus, healthy snacks will help fuel you when you are suffering from sleep deprivation.
Some great snacks to include in your postpartum survival kit are:
- KIND Bars
- Trail Mix
- Granola Bars
- Protein Bars
- Lactation Cookies + Bars
Aim for snacks that are high in protein + fiber. Snacks that are easy to eat with one hand are also super handy!
Postpartum clothing designed especially for nursing mamas isn’t an absolute must-have, but it is a comfort item I would definitely include in my postpartum survival kit.
Nursing PJs and loungewear make it super convenient to nurse your babe throughout the day. If you have any event or outing you need to attend postpartum, grab a cute nursing dress where you can easily pump or nurse in public.
I’d also suggest picking up some comfy pairs of leggings + soft tanks and tees. In the first few weeks after delivery you will likely be at home, so dress for comfort.
You may be thinking hair ties or scrunchies may be a random thing to include in a postpartum survival kit – and what the heck do they have to do with nursing?
Not only is it handy to have these laying around to keep your hair up while nursing, but I kept one on my wrist to help me keep track of which boob I needed to start my next feed with.
Here’s how it works…
Switch the hair tie on your wrist each time you nurse your baby – if you start on your left breast move to your left wrist. Then next feed you can look down – because you will forget 😂 – to see which breast you started with last time.
Per my example, you’d start on the right breast + move your scrunchie again.
Other Things to Include In Your Postpartum Survival Kit
Here are some other general products you may want to include in your postpartum survival kit. These aren’t less important than anything I have listed above, they just tend to be more general and used for a variety of reasons!
#21: Stool Softener
In case no one has told you…your first bowel movement + ones thereafter are not the most pleasant – especially if you experience any tearing or have an episiotomy – stool softener will help.
Your doctor is likely to start you on a stool softener after you deliver and send you home with some. If your doctor does not, I recommend using Colace – always ask your doctor before you start taking any OTC medications postpartum.
Take this for the first few days postpartum even if you feel like you don’t need it. Trust me you will and once you realize it will be too late!
#22: Hemorrhoid Cream
Hemorrhoids are super common after vaginal birth, so don’t be embarrassed to pick some hemorrhoid cream up at the store – or discreetly order off Amazon 😉
Preparation H is the most common hemorrhoid cream to help soothe pain + helps shrink the tissue. You can also use witch hazel pads if you are looking to use something more natural. This will definitely come in handy in your first weeks postpartum.
Your doctor is likely to start you on pain medications – nothing too serious – after you deliver and send some home with you too. If for some reason they don’t make sure to ask what OTC pain relief medication you should take.
To be safe I’d recommend making sure you have Tylenol in your medicine cabinet at home and if not make sure to pick some up to include in your postpartum survival kit!
#24: Natural Body Wash
You will likely have constant or frequent skin-to-skin contact with your baby at the beginning. You want to keep in mind the products you are using on your body because they are going to come into contact with your newborn’s sensitive, fresh skin.
You will want to use a gentle + moisturizing body wash on yourself + your spouse if he is also going to be holding your baby for skin-to-skin contact. If you don’t want to buy a separate body wash, then you can always just use your baby’s body wash for yourself too!
#25: Natural Deodorant
Deodorant can often be full of chemicals + aluminum that you want to avoid exposing to your baby – especially if you are nursing since your baby is likely to hang out by your pits often.
Some moms chose to go deo free, but with all the fluctuating hormones I NEEDED something to help with the sweat + odor. Lume deodorant is the best natural deodorant that I could find that actually works!
Lavender oil is one of my absolute favorite essential oils because there are SO many benefits + uses. With your hormones fluctuating drastically after birth, I find it super helpful to diffuse lavender throughout your house or the rooms you most frequent.
This can help calm you + relieve any stress or anxiety you may be feeling postpartum. You can also add lavender essential oil to your sitz bath.
I’m not sure why postpartum Spanx and belly bands are so controversial in the mom community. I personally feel that if it helps you feel better about yourself + your postpartum body then go for it.
Postpartum Spanx can help you revert back to your pre-pregnancy shape as everything starts to shrink and shift back into its place. I also highly recommend a belly band for diastasis recti! C-section mamas make sure you talk to your doctor before using a postpartum Spanx or belly band.
Let’s Wrap It Up – Postpartum Survival Kit
Remember your postpartum recovery is just as important as taking care of your little one. The more comfortable + taken care of you are the better you will be able to take care of your newborn – and enjoy your postpartum experience!
Add the above to your baby registry to build your postpartum care kit. To create your own DIY postpartum recovery kit add the products to the bin, basket, or cart you can keep handy in your bathroom or bedroom the first couple of weeks while you heal!