One of the most common questions I have been asked is what a family needs for baby after s/he is born. But in all the planning we do as expecting moms we rarely focus on ourselves. Yes, it’s true, we need diapers and onesies and blankets and bassinets for baby. How about you? Have you asked yourself, “what will I need after giving birth?” Here’s our list of “must have” items for your postpartum care kit.
What will I need after giving birth?
If you’ve read any of our other blog posts on “what to get” you’ll know that I tend to take a very minimalist approach. Why? While there are so many great products out there, I think it is better to start off small and buy things as needed. Especially given the fact that we live in the days of 1 or 2 day Prime shipping and Instacart. So here is the list my team and I have put together (with some additional suggestions from clients and friends). Please remember: you DO NOT need to buy all of these things. For convenience, we have provided links where appropriate.
Yes, you read that right. Depends. Adult diapers. While some new moms prefer using disposable postpartum pads, others like not having to worry about leaking off their pad onto underwear (creating more laundry). Some women will experience bleeding that requires them to use a disposable pad in conjunction with an adult diaper. It is normal to feel a gush of blood when you stand up from sitting. However, IF you are:
- soaking through more than one disposable pad per hour (with no signs of slowing down)
- passing clots that are the size of a golf ball (or larger)
- dizzy or weak
call your doctor IMMEDIATELY! This could be a sign of postpartum hemorrhage and needs to be addressed. It is always better to err on the side of safety and call – that is what your doctor or midwife is there for.
No, not the food (though those are never a bad decision!). I’m talking about the donut you sit on. This is especially helpful for women who have had a repair after delivery. I really like this one because it is memory foam and you don’t need to worry about it loosing air, but the inflatable options are fine, too.
While black does show spit up more than other colors, it is really good at disguising other stains. High waisted, tummy control yoga pants are an investment you will not regret. These will help support your abdomen (and c section scar, if you have one). Whether you want them with pockets or without, you’re sure to find them on Amazon.
We aren’t recommending Spanx so you can appear to have your pre-baby body back sooner (though they’re good for that, too!). Control underwear can be a lifesaver if you’ve had a cesarean delivery. No matter which way you slice it, Spanx are an investment. But, from my experience there is a significant difference between the Spanx brand and the off-brands. Of the various styles, I like this one. Because of the cost it is unlikely you will be buying multiple pairs, so I would recommend wearing your Depends or regular underwear with a pad in conjunction with the Spanx so you can get more than one day’s wear out of them.
Whether you plan to breastfeed or not, you will likely have some leakage of breast milk, at least in the early days. The hospital where you deliver will have disposable breast pads. You can continue using disposables at home or you can opt for reusable. This is a personal decision and both sides have pros and cons.
You may want to have either single-use or reusable ice packs on hand for your c section scar or your perineum (or both) post-delivery. Check with your doctor or midwife for their protocol regarding hot and cold therapies during recovery.
Large Water Bottle (with a straw)
Have you noticed that you drink more fluid more quickly if you are using a straw? I don’t know what it is about them, but they do make a difference. And, as an added bonus, I find it’s easier to take a sip when you’re holding a baby if you have a straw. Staying hydrated after delivery is important for healing and to help develop a good milk supply. There are SO many options on Amazon! This is one of my personal favorites. I recommend having at least two water bottles so you can have one chilled and waiting in the refrigerator when you finish off the other.
I hope you found this list to be helpful, and not overwhelming! Let me know if you have suggestions that you think I should add to this list to help other new moms.