While this time around my labor and birth experience was much different with Viggo than it was with Sidney, I’m finding that all of the postpartum recovery essentials are just as essential for helping me heal.
With Sidney’s birth, I felt as though going into the postpartum period after birth was shocking. No one mentioned there would be excessive bleeding, vaginal tearing so bad you can’t even pee, stinging, sweats, chills, leaking boobs, crying — and yes, even those glorious hemorrhoids. Oh my.
Last year, Frida Mom shared a beautiful ad that was rejected from airing during the Oscars. It depicts a tired new mom recovering from birth with a baby crying in the middle of the night. She waddles over to the bathroom, with mesh underwear and giant pads stuck in. You can sense her pain when she pees and squirts a bottle of water onto her vaginal area to soothe the burn.
The commercial is really all too real and gives a sense of what life is really like for most mothers the first week or two postpartum. Not only are you caring for yourself, but also figuring out life with a brand new baby who needs you more than anything. Top it all off with exhaustion and changing hormones–it’s a lot for anyone to handle.
Because I had a general lack of awareness of what to truly expect postpartum, I figured that there must be other women out there who feel the same way.
Once you give birth, you’re so busy taking care of your new little ones, that you tend to forget to process the experience and share what life is truly like as a new mom. It isn’t glamorous and maternity leave certainly isn’t a walk in the park. The more we share, the more we can help future mamas prepare and not feel so alone in the after-birth process. You’ve got this, mamas!
Below you’ll find a list of my postpartum recovery essentials, plus a few other things that I felt were truly necessary during the first few weeks of motherhood. I hope you find this list helpful!
- Witch hazel pads: these are my absolute favorite witch hazel pads to put on top of regular pads for healing
- Binto Postpartum Vitamins: use the code ‘ambitiouskitchen’ for 20% off your first month!
- Lavender essential oil: a drop of lavender essential oil in your padsicle is amazing for healing.
- Garden of Life Magnesium drink: postpartum hydration recovery is essential and I found this really helped me.
- Epsom salts: for sitz baths! Which trust me, you’re going to want to take almost every day.
- Perineal balm: I loved this!
- Nursing & pumping bra: so many of you on IG recommended this bra so I just got it and so far, so good!
- Nursing pads: this is to prevent chafing and leakage.
- Postpartum pads: if you prefer pads, that works too! Absolutely LOVE this company.
- Comfy underwear: you likely won’t fit into your old underwear, so I highly suggest some high-waisted ones to help hold it all in (including pads!).
- GoHydrate: staying hydrated is so important postpartum, especially while breastfeeding. Absolutely love these packets! I drink one right away in the morning when I wake up. Use the code ‘AMBITIOUS’ for 15% off.
- Majka Lactation Bites: love these as nourishing snacks & to help books milk supply!
- Super soft nightgown: my fav super soft nightgown that’s easy to nurse in! I basically live in this postpartum
- Perineal spray: this was super soothing and smells amazing.
- Superfood Boobie Bars: the most addicting lactation bars that helped boost my supply!
- Nursing tanks: my go-to nursing friendly tanks that are super comfy and functional.
- Nipple butter: I use this ALL the freaking time and love it. Best nipple butter!
- Ice packs: grateful for these ice packs!
- Diapers: I found diapers to be much easier than wearing pads, plus again, you can make padsicles.
- Peri bottle: without a doubt, you will need this!!
More Ambitious Mama posts
- Viggo James’ Birth Story
- Our Favorite Newborn Essentials
- What’s In My Hospital Bag (+ free printable checklist!)
- The Third Trimester with Baby 2
- My Pregnancy Skincare Routine
Read all of the Ambitious Mama posts here!
If you have any other postpartum recovery essentials, I’d love to hear them in the comments below! xo.
Thank you for using your platform to share this important info! Like you, I felt unprepared for the postpartum period. I had my baby almost a year ago (!!), experienced a 2nd degree tear, and had a hard time caring for myself and my baby especially once my husband went to work. It took like 15 minutes to pee because of all that goes into it with the peri bottle lol! Depends diapers are your friend and so is the earth mama witch hazel spray. My doctor recommended sitz baths due to my tearing, but I only had time for one! I bled for probably 8-10 weeks, and I definitely wasn’t prepared for that or how long I would wear diapers. It’s important that we not only educate for birth and labor, but also for postpartum. That “fourth trimester” is hard, and it is helpful to know what you are going through is normal and others experience it.
You are rocking mama-hood, keep it up!!
The fourth trimester is so real! Thanks so much for your note, Rebecca. Totally agree that sharing is super helpful so that we know what to expect (and that these things are normal!)
A great list and resource for women!! I also found that I had no idea what to expect after giving birth. Uffda. I just wanted to add that I hated that brand of adult diapers! For anyone else who lurks the comment sections, there was too much diaper in the middle, so it had to fold. The fold also poked up between my legs…ouch!
So many women don’t know what to expect – myself included! Hoping this provides a good resource for new moms 🙂 Noted on the brand, too! Hope you were able to find a new kind that worked well for you.
Waterproof pads for your bed so you aren’t constantly changing your sheets from all the terrible sweats you break out in!
Everything you wrote is spot on! That Frida video was the first time I ever saw an accurate depiction of a post birth story and even two years later, it brought me to tears. A nurse at the hospital told me to freeze newborn diapers and sit on them! The pad cicles were too uncomfortable for me but the newborn diapers were just perfect for sitting on! She saved me that first week home! Oh, and once you can be active again I used MUTU to restore my pelvic floor. This helped a ton with post baby bladder control!
Isn’t it spot on? Such a powerful video. And that’s a great tip, too! Thanks for your note, Lisa 🙂
As a mom of five with my youngest being 17 I love your list. It’s just missing one item, Dermaplast Spray. It was a life saver after the birth of each one of my children. I had episiotomies and stitches and it was awesome in aid with healing.
Ah great recommendation! Thank you so much!