Congrats on your baby! You NEED a postpartum care kit.
After giving birth your body is going to be sore, exhausted, and raging with hormones.
You’re probably at the point in your pregnancy by now where that is already the current state of your body, but times what you’re feeling by a thousand and that’s about how good you’ll be feeling those first few days (weeks) postpartum.
If you’re wondering what you need for postpartum care, here is the ultimate postpartum care kit for new moms that is filled with everything to help you feel better, rest easier, and get your body back to feeling more like yourself as quickly as possible.
(THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE. YOU CAN READ OUR DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE.)
After having our son my body went through a whole whirlwind of, well, everything.
Hormones. Tears. Exhaustion. Adrenaline.
And I can’t even say my body is fully back to its normal self yet since it’s only been a few weeks – but I am well on my way and I’m feeling better and better – and more exhausted – every day.
✅ Not sure what to expect postpartum? This Fourth Trimester guide will walk you through everything you need to heal your body, balance your emotions, and restore your vitality after having your baby. Grab it here!
If you’ve been researching postpartum recovery tips, by now you’ve probably heard plenty about witch hazel, granny panties, and nipple cream – but there’s a lot more to postpartum recovery than sore nipples and lady bits (but we’ll get to that).
If your due date is fast approaching and you’re getting everything ready for your birth and getting your postpartum survival kit prepared you’re well on your way to a smooth transition to motherhood.
But, if you’re like me and you like to leave things until last minute (do we like to do it, or are we just wired this way?), your due date may be well passed already and you’re just now getting your postpartum essentials together.
I want to advise you to NOT be like me – I did all the research to prepare myself for my birth (which went incredibly well, you can read how I managed labor pain in my natural childbirth, here) and the postpartum recovery period – but I didn’t follow through. I knew what I should have on hand at home for postpartum recovery, but I didn’t go out and buy it until AFTER I had my baby.
The last thing you want to be doing with a 2-day-old-baby and a downstairs that feels like it’s going to fall out anytime you stand up is going to the store to buy all your postpartum must haves when you could have had it all prepared and ready for you at home by the time your baby came.
(I did it this way. Take it from me – don’t be like me.)
Life would have been a LOT easier if, instead of just wondering “what should I buy for postpartum care?”, I would have actually gone out and bought it before our baby was born.
But, you live and you learn.
(And now I know for next time. Because next time I do NOT want to be hobbling around a drug store in desperate search for nipple cream and maxi pads with a 2-day-old. It’s just not fun.)
Get ready to have an awesome (or as awesome as it can get) postpartum recovery period with these postpartum must haves for mommy.
THE ULTIMATE POSTPARTUM CARE KIT FOR NEW MOMS FOR A SPEEDY RECOVERY
After giving birth your body is going to feel like it got hit by a bus. And then 5 more.
You’re going to want to have some good pain killers in your postpartum recovery kit, and now that you’re not pregnant you should be allowed to have Advil again which will help tremendously with your after birth recovery since it is not only pain medication, but it is also anti-inflammatory.
I rotated between Advil and Tylenol for the first few days after giving birth to keep the pain manageable and it worked incredibly well.
Your doctor will be able to tell you more ways to manage the pain, but they will likely suggest Advil and Tylenol.
If you were excited that after 9 long months of wearing not-so-flattering underwear you would finally be able to jump back into those cute ones you love so much, you’re still going to want to wait a bit longer.
There’s going to be a lot of bleeding happening for up to 10 days postpartum, and some light bleeding for up to 6 weeks – so you’re going to want to have a good stock of granny panties that you don’t care about in your closet (because blood. Everywhere).
I got a couple pairs of these mesh panties in the hospital and I wore them for the first week since they were so easy to get on and they accommodated the massive maxi pads I wore.
Plus, I wasn’t heartbroken when they got blood on them. I could just throw them away.
3. BIG PADS
You’re going to want big – and I mean BIG – pads for the first few days postpartum.
The hospital provided some of these pads and they were amazing.
Everyone’s bleeding will be different, but you could potentially have very heavy bleeding for the first 10 days to two weeks, and light bleeding for up to 6 weeks after having your baby, so having big pads on hand for those first 10 days, then smaller pads for the following weeks, is vital.
I had to wear these big pads for two weeks postpartum with my little guy and was then able to move to the smaller pads, but everyone’s bleeding situation will be different.
The thing to remember is that there will be at least a couple days of heavy bleeding, and you don’t want to be unprepared.
4. FOAM PADS
If you get stitches after pushing your baby out, the last thing you would want is for those stitches to stick to your pad.
Since most pads are a mesh material, the stitches could easily get caught up in them, and that’s why you’ll want to have at least one small box of these foam pads on hand – because the stitches can’t get caught up in them.
On the topic of stitches…
The thought of peeing postpartum was enough of a terrifying thought, nevermind peeing postpartum if I had to get stitches.
I had made up my mind that I just wasn’t going to use the bathroom for the first few days. Let things heal a bit first, then go.
But that didn’t happen.
Thankfully, I didn’t need to get stitches, but I had a big jug of vaseline waiting for me at home had I needed to.
If you get stitches, put the vaseline on your stitches before going pee, that way the pee will run over the vaseline and won’t come in contact with your open wound.
6. TUCKS PADS
Hemorrhoids are often a part of welcoming that precious baby of yours to the world. And they are not very comfortable.
They itch, they bleed, and they hurt.
Tucks pads are medicated cooling pads that provide relief from the burning and itching that hemorrhoids cause and they act as an anti-inflammatory as well.
These are the Tucks pads I recommend, and once you have them you can store them in your refrigerator for even more cooling relief.
The first time going to the bathroom, number one OR number two, postpartum can be terrifying. I remember the first time I went to the bathroom after having my son and I was absolutely terrified. I didn’t know what to expect other than the burn.
Stool softeners were high on my postpartum must haves checklist, and even though I didn’t end up having to use it, it wasn’t something I wanted to need and not have.
(Because straining to poop right after pushing a baby out did not sound very appealing to me.)
Taking a postpartum sitz bath in your early postpartum days is a fantastic way to get some pain relief and promote healing to the perineal area (plus you get to relax and have just a couple minutes of alone time).
There are two ways you can go about your postpartum sitz bath:
The first way is using this Sitz Bath Soak along with this over the toilet Sitz Bath seat. This is probably the least complicated, easy-to-do way since all you have to do is throw some of the Sitz Bath solution into the bath seat and sit down.
(It’s also a good idea to use some Epsom salts, which you can buy in bulk here.)
If you’re looking for more of a do-it-yourself type of postpartum sitz bath, this at-home postpartum sitz bath guide will walk you through how to do your own sitz bath at home.
9. PERI BOTTLES
As you can imagine, after delivering a baby, the last thing you’re going to want to do is rub tough toilet paper along your tender lady-bits after going to the washroom.
Cue: The peri bottle.
Peri bottles will make going to the bathroom postpartum a thousand times easier and less painful. All you do is fill the bottle up with some warm water before you get onto the toilet, then when you’re done you spray the entire bottle onto your downstairs to clean everything off.
You can then take some toilet paper and dab the area dry, but this way you won’t have to be wiping toilet paper along your tender areas.
I would recommend having a couple peri bottles at home, one for each bathroom in your house – this way you never have to worry about being in a bathroom and forgetting to bring your peri bottle in with you.
10. LANOLIN CREAM
If you’re planning on doing any amount of breastfeeding or pumping, having sore nipples is something to look forward to.
Now, not everyone gets dry, cracked, or blistered nipples from breastfeeding, but most people do get sore nipples for at least the first couple of weeks of breastfeeding.
After having our son before we even left the hospital I already had blistered nipples from trying to get breastfeeding figured out.
And, because I didn’t have my postpartum recovery kit prepared and ready for me at home, we had to stop at a drug store on our way home from the hospital and I got to limp around searching for the nipple cream (not fun).
I use this nipple cream by Medela and within just a couple of days of using it the blisters and bleeding were completely gone and haven’t come back, so I would definitely suggest this specific lanolin cream for any new mama’s postpartum care kit.
11. NIPPLE SHIELD
Nipple shields are often used if you have a small, premature baby, you have flat your inverted nipples, your baby is tongue tied, or if you have a forceful let-down that causes your baby to choke while feeding.
It can also help with sore nipples as the baby’s mouth doesn’t come in direct contact with your nipples.
Nipple shields aren’t a must, but if you’re having troubles with breastfeeding they would be worth trying out. You will want to get these silicone nipple shields, not the rubber ones. Silicone nipple shields feel more natural and are less-invasive than rubber ones. They allow for more of a skin-to-skin feeling for you and baby.
12. BREAST PADS
While we’re on the topic of nipples and breasts, whether you’re planning on breastfeeding or not, your boobs are most likely going to leak.
Some women are lucky enough to not leak at all – but a vast majority of new moms will leak. And leak, and leak.
I have heard of some ladies that haven’t had to wear breast pads since they don’t leak at all, but until you know for sure whether your boobs are going to leak or not, I wouldn’t want to risk not being prepared (and leaking through your bra and shirt in public…).
After leaking through several breast pads I’ve finally found the pad that works the best for me – it holds a lot of milk so I don’t have to worry about leaking through them, and the bonus is they feel dry against my skin (and you can’t see them through your bra).
While we’re on the topic of leaking, there’s going to be a lot of fluids leaking out of your body those first few weeks postpartum.
Blood. Milk. Sweat.
Yup. You get the whole shebang!
With all these fluids leaking out of your body, your mattress could get pretty nasty. Even if you wear these big maxi pads and your breast pads, you’ll find that some nights you’ll leak through them, and some nights you’ll get a bad case of night sweats – which only a protective bed pad can help save your mattress from.
This is a cooling spray that was made especially for new moms to use on hemorrhoids and postpartum soreness.
This is a spray so you don’t have to touch the tender areas, you simply spritz some of this spray on and it starts cooling the area immediately to help with pain.
15. WITCH HAZEL
Witch hazel has a lot of different uses, but for postpartum it can be used for stopping minor bleeding, relieving hemorrhoids and reducing inflammation. Witch hazel is also an antiseptic, so it helps fight bacteria and infections.
(It can also be used to get rid of acne… and let’s be honest here, postpartum acne can be a very real thing.)
For pain relief with witch hazel, you can pour a small amount on a pad and stick the pad in the fridge until you need it. Then, place the pad in your granny panties and change it out next time you go to the washroom. (It will seriously feel amazing!)
16. DONUT PILLOW
If you have a vaginal birth, your lady bits are going to be
pretty very sore. And, while you should be taking it easy and resting for the weeks following your birth, sitting definitely isn’t going to be the most comfortable thing you can do.
That’s why these postpartum donut pillows are so amazing – they allow you to sit, without having pressure on your bottom. And no pressure = less pain.
(PS – you can also use your boppy pillow to sit on if you don’t want to go out and buy a donut pillow.)
If you’re planning on breastfeeding, you’re most definitely going to want some nursing bras and nursing tops.
I’ve made it this far without using nursing tops yet, but I’ll admit that while it is doable to breastfeed without the nursing tops, it would be a lot easier with them.
Nursing bras, on the other hand, are something I wouldn’t be able to do without.
These nursing bras are incredibly comfortable and discreet. Be sure to add them to your postpartum checklist.
You’re also going to want some nursing bras to wear at night. (And you’re probably not going to want to wear your regular nursing bras at night… I tried it and I leaked all over our bed.)
These are the kinds of nursing bras that are perfect for nighttime. They’re super comfortable and provide more leak-protection and are easy for nighttime feedings.
18. WATER BOTTLE
After having my son the nurses at the hospital told me to drink 12 cups of water A DAY. Which has been a struggle because I’ve never been much of a water drinker.
But, since I want to stay healthy and keep up my milk supply, I’m giving it a shot.
(Although I will admit I was able to stay disciplined enough to drink 12 cups for one day, then it was all downhill from there. BUT I’m still drinking far more water than I usually do, so it’s a small win.)
The one thing that has helped me stay on track of drinking my water every day is my reusable water bottle.
I carry it around with me everywhere, and as soon as it’s empty I fill it right back up again. I find when I have water beside me I’m way more likely to drink it than if I have to get up and get myself a glass of water, and using a water bottle with measurements on the side helps motivate me to drink more water.
You’re going to want to drink lots of water after having your baby, so I suggest adding a reusable water bottle to your list of postpartum supplies.
19. BABY CARRIER
This is less of a postpartum care item and more of a postpartum must have. Because there are going to be some days when your precious little baby just wants to be held, and they’ll have it no other way.
Which can really throw a wrench in your day if you had plans to do anything other than sit on the couch all. day. long.
It’s days like that where a baby carrier comes in extremely handy.
Just a couple days ago my son was having one of those days and I thought all my plans for the day were out the window. Until I remembered we had a baby carrier. So I got him into it and put it on, and just like that I was able to hold him and go for a walk, work, make dinner, and get everything I had to do for the day done.
The only issue I had was finding a baby carrier that worked for my son since he is so tiny, and this is similar to the one I ended up using that worked perfectly for him (plus it will grow with him).
Before having my son I didn’t bother getting a nursing pillow, and after having him I realized how big of a mistake that was.
The first few feedings were miserable – on top of trying to get us both used to breastfeeding, my back was becoming so sore from leaning over and bringing my boob to his mouth.
(Which was a big breastfeeding mistake – you should always bring baby to boob, not boob to baby.)
Thankfully, my sister-in-law gave me one of her nursing pillows, and it made all the difference. It took pressure off of my back and gave my arms a break.
These Boppy’s are the most sought-after breastfeeding pillows, and if you have plans of breastfeeding I would strongly suggest you grab your breastfeeding pillow before having your baby.
21. FREEZER MEALS
Unless you want to be on your feet and making dinner the day you get back from the hospital (which you don’t – trust me), having some premade meals in the freezer will be your life – and sanity – saver.
Before our son was born I spent an evening making 20 freezer meals from scratch (and by doing them from scratch I was able to make all 20 meals for less than $100) and stuck them in our freezer to use after he was born.
When it came to freezer cooking I didn’t really know where to start. I had tried it before on my own but the meals I made came out of the freezer either mushy and soggy or not tasting right, so this time I bought this freezer meal membership and all the freezer meals we’ve had so far have been amazing.
(And there’s really not much better than having a delicious homemade meal for dinner when you don’t have to worry about making it – just pulling it out of the freezer and cooking it.)
Sign up for your freezer meal membership here and use the code deliberatelyhere20 to get 20% off your membership.
There is your complete postpartum care kit checklist, don’t forget to get your kit prepared before your precious baby arrives.
What did you include in your postpartum recovery kit? I’d love to hear from you!
Top 20 Pregnancy Must Haves
13 Ways to Manage Labour Pain Naturally in Childbirth
The Best Postpartum Stretch Mark Creams to get rid of Pregnancy Stretch Marks
17 Things to do Before Baby Arrives
How to Finally get Some Sleep During Pregnancy When You’re Exhausted