The baby registry, the baby showers, and the hospital bag checklist...if you are an expecting mom, you probably know all about these things. You’ve probably spent countless hours planning for what your baby will need. But don’t forget your own needs during the postpartum period.
As a new mom facing unfamiliar, scary, exciting, and emotionally taxing challenges, now is the time to make sure you have everything you need to make your postpartum recovery as easy as possible.
Keep reading to learn about our favorite postpartum essentials; some recent inventions of modern society, and some tried-and-true items all new mothers need.
1) Breast Pump
Breast pumps are an essential tool for breastfeeding success. Whether you intend to exclusively breastfeed or know your baby will receive a bottle at some point, a breast pump is crucial to breastfeeding mothers. A breast pump will help you to build up a storage of breast milk and can be an extremely useful tool if you need to increase your milk supply. Additionally, a breast pump is a must-have for mothers who work outside the home, but also want to continue to provide breast milk to baby.
2) Nipple Cream
Breastfeeding can be tough on a new mom’s nipples. While you will eventually get used to breastfeeding (as you perfect your baby’s latch), nipple cream can save you in the meantime. We recommend using a natural, oil-based cream and applying after every nursing session.
3) Sanitary Pads
Expect to bleed vaginally for two to six weeks following your baby’s birth. This “blood” is called lochia and is actually a combination of blood, mucus and uterine tissue. The discharge occurs for all new moms, whether their baby is birthed vaginally or via C-section. The hospital will provide very large sanitary pads while you are in the hospital, but you will need a stash at home in various sizes as the lochia lessens over time.
4) Large Water Bottle
Breastfeeding moms tend to have an unquenchable thirst. We recommend finding a large water bottle that you love, because it will be your constant companion postpartum. Staying well hydrated is also essential for surviving those first few weeks or months of sleep disturbance. A good rule of thumb is to drink as much water as you did before pregnancy (assuming you were well hydrated then!) plus the volume of fluids you lose each day when you feed your baby (or pump). To make it easy to remember, some experts recommend drinking an 8-ounce glass of water each time you breastfeed.
The immediate postpartum period is a time to take extra good care of yourself. This means sleeping as much as possible, eating often and well, staying hydrated and taking your vitamins. A new mom’s body is healing, so getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need is essential to your recovery. Most OB/GYNS recommend continuing to take prenatal vitamins during this period, but you should discuss this with your healthcare provider.
6) Nursing Bra and Tanks
Garments that make nursing easier and more comfortable are essential to surviving the postpartum period. We recommend buying nursing bras in various sizes (some new moms’ breasts triple in size when their milk comes in, while others barely change). Keep your receipt to return the ones you do not need, then buy multiples of the ones you like. Nursing tanks are also very handy to wear around the house or under a shirt when out of the house.
7) Postpartum Recovery Apparel
In addition to nursing bras and tanks, other postpartum apparel can be a big help to a new mom. Whether a baby is born vaginally or via C-section, labor and delivery is tough on a mom’s body. A postpartum recovery garment – kind of like a full-body Spanx! – can reduce pain and discomfort, so you can heal faster. These garments work by providing compression and structure to stabilize your stomach, back, and hips. Compression stockings can also provide tremendous relief for legs, ankles and feet that are still swollen after delivery.
1 Natural Way is committed to helping new moms with many of their postpartum needs by providing insurance-covered breast pumps, breastfeeding supplies, compression stockings and postpartum recovery garments. Click here to begin the process of qualifying for some –of all! – of these items at no cost to you through your insurance.