You’re likely going to have a lot going on during your postpartum period. Obviously, you have a new little one to care for, but you’ll also need some TLC for yourself. No matter how easy your birth was, you’re bound to be left feeling sore and uncomfortable, and your recovery can be a bit messy. That being said, it’s wise to stock up on the postpartum recovery essentials to help ease your postpartum pains, as well as making your transition into motherhood as seamless as it can be.
Durable Maxi Pads
Lochia is something normal for women who have a vaginal birth. Lochia is the bleeding and discharge that occurs for a few weeks after you give birth. Maxi pads are the best option, as you won’t want to use tampons during this time. This is because the lochia draining out contains bacteria that you want out of your body. Blocking the lochia can cause it to flow back into the uterus causing an infection. You’ll want everything to be released as it should be, as well as giving your vagina and uterus the proper time it needs to heal.
Having disposable underwear is a blessing after childbirth. Aside from the lochia draining, the bleeding during the days and weeks afterwards can be rather heavy, at times You will likely bleed through your underwear and the maxi pads as well. Some women will get some extra disposable mesh undies from the hospital, but they can be a little flimsy at times. You’ll want something more durable. The less mess you have to deal with, the easier postpartum recovery can be. If you’re not into the idea of disposable underwear, you can invest in some period panties that can be washed and reused.
It is fairly common that our vagina swells after we’ve given birth. I mean,… that area experienced a massive increase in fluid and blood flow. Using ice packs to the area is an effective and easy way to find relief, especially within the first 24-hours after childbirth. You can use reusable ice packs inside a plastic zip sealed bag. Some women have gotten creative by tossing ice chips into an adult diaper or period panties. Regardless of the method, icing will be extremely beneficial during your postpartum recovery. Frida Mom has 2-in-1 absorbent maxi pads with an ice pack shaped to cover your entire perineal region.
Witch Hazel Pads
Witch hazel is known to cause blood vessels to shrink. If you’re struggling with hemorrhoids (very common) during postpartum, using witch hazel pads will provide some much-needed relief. Not only are these pads great for hemorrhoids, but they can be used if you are dealing with a tear and stitches in the perineal region. If you have a peri bottle, you can add liquid witch hazel in that as well. It’s all about relief from any discomfort.
Peri Rinse Bottle
Speaking of peri rinse bottles, having one is definitely a postpartum essential for the bathroom. It brings an immense amount of comfort, especially after a vaginal delivery. A peri rinse bottle helps keep everything clean while decreasing the risk of developing an infection. Using standard toilet paper doesn’t feel so great after all the pushing, possible tearing, and the swelling experienced. Which is why having a rinse bottle is an essential postpartum recovery item! Using one is easy, simply fill with warm water and while aiming at your vagina, squirt the warm water from the front to the back while you urinate. It will help eliminate any burning or stinging from the urine, as it is diluted by the warm water. Once you’re done, use it to clean the area rather than wiping with tough toilet tissue.
Epsom salt is prized for soothing aches and pains in the body. It’s a popular postpartum essential that can be used in a sitz bath to help relieve pain and discomfort around the perineum and rectum. A sitz bath is a basin that sits over a toilet, allowing you to soak the essential parts. If you don’t have a sitz bath basin, you can add a few tablespoons of epsom salt into 4 to 6 inches of water in a bathtub and soak for about 15 minutes.
Having stitches in your perineum can become uncomfortable and itchy. A perineal spray acts as a local anesthetic, which relieves discomfort and pain. It basically numbs your bottom region. It also provides a cooling comfort for itchy and painful bottoms. You can even find a natural herbal perineal spray that is butane and benzocaine-free.
If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll want to talk about safe pain relievers with your doctor before you begin using them. After a c-section, prescription-strength painkillers are typically given to help relieve the pain. For an uncomplicated, vaginal birth, you can use over-the-counter pain relievers. It’s often recommended alternating acetaminophen every six hours with ibuprofen. Again, if you’re breastfeeding you’ll want to speak with your doctor before taking any medication even if it is over the counter.
The last thing any mother wants to be doing when you get home with your newborn baby is scrambling around for the postpartum essentials you’ll need. It can be difficult to know exactly what will provide the much-needed comfort, but the above list are the basics. Have them on hand and easy to access when you arrive home. A basket of goodies is always a plus. Postpartum recovery can be a trying time, so the more prepared you are, the easier life can be.