I really feel like a did a good job at preparing my body for labor and birth, and while it wasn’t anything like I expected, I still felt like I knew about most of the possible outcomes.
Going into the postpartum period after birth was much different. 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.
Recently, 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.
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!
1. Pure Aloe Vera Gel: this is for making Padsicles. You can find out how to do this on my postpartum Instagram highlights.
2. Diapers: I found diapers to be much easier than wearing pads, plus again, you can make padsicles!
3. Binto Postpartum Vitamins: use the code ‘ambitiouskitchen’ for 20% off your first month!
4. Lavender essential oil: a drop of lavender essential oil in your padsicle is amazing for healing.
5. Garden of Life Magnesium drink: postpartum hydration recovery is essential and I found this really helped me.
6. Epsom salts: for sitz baths! Which trust me, you’re going to want to take almost every day.
7. Perineal balm: I loved this!
9. Nursing pads: this is to prevent chafing and leakage.
10. Postpartum pads: if you prefer pads, that works too!
11. 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.
12. Nipple butter: I use this ALL the freaking time and love it.
13. Witch hazel: amazing for making those padsicles I was telling you about!
14. Dermoplast pain and itch spray: this will help with the burning and stinging from tears.
15. Witch hazel pads: put these on top of your pad, or just use for your hemorrhoids.
16. Majka Lactation Bites: use the code ‘ambitious’ for 10% off your first order! They help boost milk supply!
17. Perineal spray: this was super soothing and smells amazing.
18. Maternity tops: perfect for nursing!
19. Peri bottle: without a doubt, you will need this!!
20. Nursing bra: these were some of my favorites and super cheap. I also like Kindred Bravely.
If you have any other postpartum recovery essentials, I’d love to hear them in the comments below! xo.