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Having a baby is a momentous occasion, but we often neglect that mothers need the essentials just as much as babies. We throw lavish baby showers and plan every moment meticulously for new babies, but tend to put mothers needs to the side. I gravely underestimated all that I needed to survive the postpartum phase. Though I had diapers and baby clothes out the wazoo, I was a bleeding, painful, and hormonal mess with no resources! It wasn’t until recently that I even discovered that a postpartum survival kit was even a thing! Why did no one help me make one of those?
While you’re busy packing your hospital bag full of baby essentials, we can’t forget the postpartum essentials we need in those early days.
Well, the good news is that I’m going to do that for you! If I could do it all over again, here is my list of items I’d put in my own new mom postpartum survival kit, and how to assemble one for yourself. Just as much as babies need the essentials for their first few months in the world, you do too. A postpartum survival kit can also be one of the best gifts you can give a new mom.
Items For Your Physical Recovery
For Vaginal Recovery
Regardless of whether you have a vaginal delivery .or a c-section, you’re going to need a sitz bath. Some hospitals will provide you with one when you leave, but if not then this is truly going to need to be in your survival kit. Sitz baths are key in alleviating perineal pain and vaginal area discomfort. Simply fill up with warm water, epsom salt, stick it in your toilet, and enjoy the sweet relief! You can also add essentials oils for an herbal sitz bath for added relief. This sitz bath fits right over your toilet, and comes very well reviewed on Amazon.
A Peri Bottle…And yes, you’re going to want one of these fancy ones!
Most hospitals will provide you with a squirt bottle that looks a bit like a high school football player’s Gatorade bottle. I’m not saying they’re terrible, but they get the job done at bare minimum. The Frida Mom upside down peri bottle feels like a useless purchase, but when it’s 2am and your vag feels like it’s on fire, you’re going to want a peri bottle you don’t have to aim just right. A good peri bottle makes a huge difference in relieving irritation to your lady bits.
For Other Physical Recovery
Just about anything that helps with Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are kind of a dirty little postpartum secret. They’re much more common than people mention after having a baby. Being prepared for the possibility of hemorrhoids is so much better than experiencing them, and then attempting to get your butt out the door to get some help for it.
Stool Softeners…trust me!
For real, you’re going to need stool softeners! Your body experiences massive hormonal shifts after having a baby. Those hormonal shifts make that first bowel movement after baby an Olympic event! Stool softeners will definitely be your friend. Also, double check you’re getting stool softeners, not laxatives. It’s a simple, yet very crappy mistakes one can make after having a child.
Tucks Witch Hazel Pads
Even if you don’t develop hemorrhoids, having witch hazel pads will help with perineal pain! These cooling pads will provide immediate relief to your achy lady bits. These are absolutely an essential for the postpartum healing process.
Items For Making Feeding Successful
Literally the coziest nursing night bra ever!
Listen, my son is 3 and long done with breastfeeding and I STILL wear this bra around the house! It is hands down THE most comfortable bra you’ll ever have. And when it comes to potential breastfeeding discomfort, you’re going to need all the comfort you can get. The fabric is so soft, and yet the bra feels gently supportive.
Reusable and Disposable Nursing Pads
Yes, you’re going to want both reusable and disposable nursing pads! Even though you may be fully committed to not using anything disposable, there is always the possibility of a leak. Having disposable nursing pads on hand for whoopsies are always a good call! These Kindred Bravely reusable nursing pads are highly recommended on Amazon, and the disposable nursing pads by Nanobebe are an Amazon’s Choice.
Manual Breast Pump And Milk Collector
Even if you already have an electric breast pump, having a manual one is an incredibly useful thing to have. For one, manual pumping can actually help you produce more milk, plus it’s much more convenient to have on hand when you’re boobs have turned into rocks and you’re stuck somewhere without your pump or baby. The ladybug milk catchers will prove to be very useful when you’re out and about with your freshly fed baby, and you don’t want that liquid gold to go to waste! These Haaka manual breast pumps come highly recommended on Amazon. Haaka is also a brand with a fantastic reputation for great quality manual breast pumps.
Earth Mama Nipple Butter
When you’re up in the middle of the night with a hungry baby, your nipples will thank you for following up a feeding session with this nipple butter. Breastfeeding can have its fair share of nipple pain, so Earth Mama nipple butter can bring sweet relief to your milk jugs. Plus, it is organic, so if that is a concern for your baby or you, then no worries!
Formula/Bottle Feeding Must Haves
High Quality Bottles
Whether you’re breastfeeding, formula feeding, or combo feeding, high quality bottles are great thing to have on hand. These Dr. Browns wide nipple bottles were absolute perfection for my son, who also had acid reflux as a baby. The wide nipple is also great for breastfeeding moms who may need to use a bottle from time to time. The only con to the Dr. Browns bottles is that they’re a pain in the butt to wash. It’s also worth it to get either their dishwasher attachment basket, or their bottle brushes.
Willow Cordless Pump
Cordless pumps are truly the breastfeeding innovation of the century! No more hiding in a room to pump, or carrying around a bulky case. Simply slide in the pumps and go about your business! Pun intended, pumping can really suck. But this cordless pump makes the postpartum experience just a little bit easier. The Willow pump is fantastic for any breastfeeding and pumping mom. You can also get $50 off a Willow Pump Kit if you order from the link above!
Items For Your Mental Health Recovery
Items That Save Your Sanity With A Fussy Baby
Baby KTan Wrap
Babywearing was a sanity saving practice for me. While my son had a beloved contact nap in my Baby KTan, I cooked myself breakfast, went on a walk, went to the grocery store, you name it! The Baby KTan is hands down the BEST baby carrier I own, and I have way more than one mom with one child would ever need! It’s the comfort of a wrap, with the simplicity of a t-shirt. Plus the sash that wraps around the babies back doubles as a carrying case whenever you need it!
A Sound Machine…and yes, you’re going to want two of them
The Yogasleep Rohm sound machine is by far the best sound machine I’ve ever bought, We got it when my son was born, and we still use it on a daily basis now in his toddler years. The only thing I’d change is that I’d get a second one to keep in the car for car naps, or naps anywhere else aside from home. The sound from a sound machine is soothing to babies because it mimics the sound of the womb. This sound machine worked miracles on my son. You can also use the code SOUND15 to get 15% off your sound machine purchase!
Items To Help Keep You Grounded And Sane
This Beautiful Coloring Book For Postpartum Moms
This coloring book is a beautiful way to pour into your own needs after having a baby. It can be so easy to lose yourself after having a baby, but this coloring book is a great way to give yourself a creative outlet.
This Postpartum Guided Journal For Navigating Changing mental Health
Journaling is a great way to navigate changes in life. Whether you’re dealing with baby blues or postpartum depression, we all need an outlet to process those feelings safely. This postpartum guided journal helps you mentally navigate the first six weeks of motherhood in a mindful way.
Printable Self Care Planner
If you want a way to practice good self care after having your baby, this printable self care planner can be just what you need. Made my yours truly, I created this to make self care a simple and accessible thing for you to do, even when life gets busy! You can buy it directly from my website shop or from my Etsy shop.
Items That Spark Joy, Even Though You Are Probably Exhausted And In Pain
Comfy Clothes For An Uncomfortable Body
Postpartum Leggings By Kindred Bravely
As much as our silly culture tries to glamorize getting your pre-baby body back, the truth is who the heck wants to wear pants with buttons anyways? Getting used to your postpartum body can be an adjustment, but these leggings make the adjustment so much more comfortable. Just slide these puppies on and be out the door. Once again, Kindred Bravely is top notch when it comes to maternity and postpartum clothing. These leggings are worth every penny, according to Amazon reviews.
Postpartum Underwear To Aid In Recovery
To put it simply, you’re going to be sore after you have a baby. These postpartum undies are so great because they have reusable cooling packs that slide nicely into pockets. Not only is there a reusable ice back for vaginal pain, but one for c-section pain for all the c-section mamas! Whether you need comfort from a vaginal or c-section birth, these postpartum undies provide comfort for both.
Nourishing And Delicious Snacks
Drinks with extra electrolytes for hydration
If you’re breastfeeding, your body is going to need a lot of good, dense nutrients. I’ve had several friends swear by Body Armor drinks for keeping themselves hydrated while breastfeeding. They taste delicious, and aid in hydration and milk supply.
Tea that helps with healthy lactation
Traditional Medicinals teas have been long time favorite brand of mine. Their Mothers Milk tea is no exception to that. Made with fennel, fenugreek, and other lactation supportive herbs, their teas are effective and tasty! Both fennel and fenugreek are proven herbs that are effective in milk production.
What To Do If You Can’t Make A Postpartum Survival Kit From Scratch
Consider a Pre-Made Kit
If time is crunching for you, and you have no time to make your own postpartum survival kit, Fridamom has a fantastic postpartum recovery kit on Amazon. This is all of the bare essentials you would need for your postpartum physical recovery all in one. You’ll find instant ice maxi pads, perineal healing foam, perineal area cooling pad liners, and even a cute travel case for it all! Let me just say from experience, the disposable postpartum underwear are so comfortable you may actually feel fine rocking the adult diapers! For a postpartum survival case in a pinch, this is a great place to start!
Pre-assembled postpartum survival kits made by etsy sellers
There are so many pre-assembled postpartum care kits on Etsy as well. So if you’re in a bind and need a kit for yourself or a close friends quickly, consider these handmade survival kits. These kits also offer a wonderful personal touch that makes for a great gift as well! This particular care package totes over 650 five star reviews!
How To Stock Your Postpartum Survival Kit
It’s one thing to get a bunch of recommendations for a postpartum survival kit, but how to actually put everything together in a way that makes sense can be overwhelming. Whether this is your first baby or your fifth baby, trying to remember all the important items you need is quite the task. When assembling your postpartum survival kit, think about trying to fill the following categories with what would help you the best:
- First put everything you would need for your physical recovery period.
- Then consider what you would need for your mental recovery.
- After that, assemble what you can wear that feels comfortable and practical.
- Lastly, all you would need for you and baby.
It may feel selfish to consider your needs before your babies needs. But remember that your needs are important. If your needs aren’t met, then it’ll be substantially harder to meet your child’s needs. So don’t feel selfish that you’re assembling what you need first over your babies needs. For the most part, your baby simply needs you.
So what are you going to have that helps you be the best you for your baby?