Any new parent will tell you that the aftermath of childbirth is nothing to joke about.
From stitches and swelling to engorgement and endless diaper changes, the days and weeks following the birth of your baby can be a real challenge.
And while money can’t buy happiness, it can buy strategic postpartum care products that can help make the early days and weeks after giving birth a little easier.
In this guide, I offer you 27 postpartum care products that may help ease your recovery.
You don’t need to run out and purchase everything on this list. I want you to know that these things exist and which problems they solve, so that when the need arises, you know where to go.
Caveat: There are a few items you really should consider having on hand when you come home from your birthing location. Let’s start with those!
What do you REALLY need in your postpartum recovery kit?
The truly essential stuff, the stuff that you NEED in your home when you get back home, are:
- giant maxi pads
- underwear to accommodate them
- a peri bottle
- Tucks pads
- stool softener
Stuff you need to plan in advance for?
- washable period panties
- a postpartum doula
- your pelvic floor PT appointment.
Unless you’re an A+ student and you like to be prepared for anything, you can purchase the rest of this as needed. But at least you now know what your options are and where to find it all.
You’ll notice that this particular postpartum supply list is all about YOU. There’s nothing here for baby. Baby gets enough attention! This is all about helping you plan for your needs, your recovery and your experience once your baby is earthside.
Postpartum Must Haves To Manage Bleeding
Disposable Postpartum Underwear
No one tells you about the mesh underwear. I mean, sure, they mention the ice packs and the maxi pads the size of small countries, but what about the mesh undies that hold it all in place. Disposable, roomy, and completely unsexy, these unmentionables are a necessary evil when it comes to postpartum recovery.
1) Because they can actually accommodate all the ice packs and extra-large pads.
2) They’ll take the hit from messy leaks and stains and save you from having to try and clean THAT out of your clothes.
3) They’re surprisingly comfy. And you’ll appreciate that when you’re in recovery mode.
Personally, I took a good stash of hospital-issue mesh underwear home fafter my hospital stay. Since I had my kiddos, there are a few fancier disposable underwear options available.
If I were doing it all over again, I’d check out these panties from Frida mom. While I haven’t personally experienced them, everything I’ve ever used from Frida has been exceptional and so they have my trust.
Overnight Maxi PadsNo matter how you delivered – vaginal birth or C-section, you will bleed. A lot. And you’ll need something to catch it. You have a few options. The hospital will send you home with a few extra long postpartum pads. I found that once I ran out of those incontinence pads worked really well. They’re extra-long and super absorbent, so they can handle even the heaviest flow. You’ll also find that the really heavy bleeding will subside pretty quickly so you might be able to go from the hospital issued pads to extra long overnight maxi pads. I recommend having a few options on hand.
When I was postpartum, I found that all of the disposable maxi pads and liners were causing a lot of irritation. Washable period panties were an absolute relief once I found them.
While there are several brands on the market, I used Thinx panties and had only good things to say. Since I had my babies, they have bundled their higher absorbancy, higher-waisted styles into a discounted Postpartum Set.
These are more of a nice-to-have. But they’ll make your bits feel nice and you can replace some of your single-use supplies. Highly recommend.
Postpartum Essentials To Manage Perineal Pain
Perineal Ice Pack (–> A.K.A. The Padsicle)
After giving birth, the perineum can be quite sore. An ice pack can help to reduce inflammation and ease the pain.
Frida sells a ready made version. You can also google “Padsicle” for a million recipes. They’re all pretty similar, so I wouldn’t spend a lot of time finding the “perfect” recipe.
Postpartum numbing spray
Postpartum numbing spray can help to relieve the pain and discomfort of perineal stitches. You’ll appreciate the instant relief that a good perineal spray provides, making it an essential part of the postpartum recovery kit.
If you want a more natural option, check out something like Earth Mama Perineal Spray. It’s more of a cooling spray (with Witch Hazel) than actual numbing spray- but may offer some relief. You can keep it in the fridge for adding cooling benefit.
One of the most important postpartum must-haves is a peri bottle. This handy little device is used to cleanse the perineal area after going to the bathroom. It’s specifically designed to help reduce irritation and prevent infection.
If you’re unfamiliar, a peri bottle is a small plastic squirt bottle with a long, thin spout that you can use to squirt water directly onto your perineum (the area between your vagina and anus) after going to the bathroom. This will help you to cleanse the area and keep it free of bacteria. It’s also great for cooling down when you’re feeling sore or swollen. Just fill it up with warm water, and give it a squirt!
Your birthing center or hospital will likely send you home with a basic one- but here’s where I think it’s really worth a little splurge.
Frida mom makes the most amazing upside down peri bottle that makes it a heck of a lot easier to actually get the water where you want it to go. It’s hard to get this excited about a peri bottle, but little things make a really big impact in those first weeks.
Whether you use the hospital version or the Frida version (nobody regrets the upgrade!), just make sure you have something handy to help minimize the wiping and irritation.
Witch Hazel Pads
Witch hazel is a natural astringent that helps to soothe and protect your skin. It also has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, making it ideal for helping to heal wounds.
I recommend purchasing pre-made witch hazel pads. Tucks pads are the same things and save you a step.
A Sitz bath is a little tub that fits right inside the toilet seat. Once filled, with warm water and epsom salts, you just sit your bits down in it and hang out.
Gonna be honest y’all- I never used the sitz bath. I just couldn’t figure it out. I preferred just getting in the tub. But I’m leaving it on this list because everybody else I know swears by it.
Truly, I think I missed out on a good thing and I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you this exists.
Best Postpartum Products to Help You Poop
Stool softeners might not be the most glamerous postpartum product on the market, but they can be absolute lifesavers. Why? Because they help to relieve constipation, which is a common side effect of pregancy and childbirth.
Those first few days after birth can be painful enough without having to deal with constipation on top of everything else. Stool softeners can help keep things moving and make those first few trips to the bathroom a little less uncomfortable. They’re also great for preventing hemorrhoids, which are all too common in the postpartum period. So if you’re looking for a way to make your recovery a little easier, be sure to stock up.
My favorite flavor: Colace.
For ergonomic pooping! There’s no more delicate way to describe the Squatty Potty.
It’s a thing you put your feet on while you’re on the toilet and it puts you into a squat position. Your bowels can do their job with way less strain in this position.
During a time when constipation is a problem and your pelvic floor is already a little miffed, you can use every tool in the arsenal to make pooping less problematic.
Best Postpartum Products For Your Chest/Breasts
A good support bra:
Your breasts will be tender and full of milk, so a comfortable support bra is essential. Look for one with wide straps and adjustable hooks so you can find the perfect fit.
If you are nursing your baby, be sure to purchase a bra with easy access for nursing.
Pro tip: Nordstrom (if you live near one) will convert any regular bra into a nursing bra for $16. Just ask in the lingerie department. If you don’t live near a Nordstrom, inquire at your local department stores!
Washable nursing pads:
These absorbent pads will help to keep your clothing dry while you’re nursing. They also provide a bit of extra protection against leaks.
They make disposable ones, but please consider washable ones.
Unlike period panties, nursing pads are legit not gross and they can just go in the regular laundry. This is a super easy place to reduce your single-use items.
When I nursed my babies, I loved the Bamboobies pads.
Sleeping bra:A sleeping bra is a soft, comfortable bra that’s designed to be worn while you sleep. It provides gentle support and prevents your breasts from becoming too tender or swollen. I don’t have a specific recommendation in this category. I purchased mine at Motherhood Maternity and I imagine any store specializing in maternity clothing would have something that would work.
Sweet relief from sore nipples: Lansinoh Nipple Gel Pads.
Store them in the fridge for extra cooling benefit!
Heat is the most amazing therapy for plugged milk ducts. It’s also an amazing tool to support milk let-down.
I liked these Lansinoh TheraPearl Breast Therapy packs.
Yes, you could just hop on Google. But there’s something so nice about having a hard copy reference book at the ready. In my experience, a reference book feels so much more personal than a cold list of search results (‘specially in the middle of the night!).
I really love Latch by Robin Kaplan. It’s a recent publication (–> up to date) and it will guide you from first latch to weaning, with tons of troubleshooting in between.
Since I nursed my babies, another great guide has come out:
Lactivate: A User’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Jill Krause and Chrisie Rosenthal. It’s a super sweet, super approachable nursing companion that is actually set up like a user manual. With a “Quick Setup Guide” (i.e. first latch and establishing nursing) to “Advanced Operations” and “30 Common Codes” (–> Troubleshooting), it’s definitely a lighter (thought still authoritative) take on breastfeeding.
Pro tip: Build yourself a nursing basket.
What’s a nursing basket? A nursing basket is a container that you stock with all the bits you need while feeding your baby. It includes your comfort items (nipple creams, warm packs etc), clean up items (nursing pads and burp cloths) and nutrition items (water bottle and snacks).
The goal is to have a mobile nursing station, preparing you to set up shop wherever you like and enabling you to park for extended periods while feeding your sweet babe,.
You can consider setting up 2 or 3 baskets and stage them in your favorite nursing locations so you don’t have to constantly move a single basket around.
For When You Need A Hot Minute
A couple of more book recommendations, because no one said this job would be easy.
Breathe Mama Breathe by Shonda Moralis is full of strategies to help you take a hot sec and bring you back to the moment. While many of the mindfulness tips will feel more relevant as your kiddo gets a little bigger, the first chapter in particular is a great intro to foundational mindfulness practices that can support you through the first months postpartum.
Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts by Karen Kleiman will validate your feelings in your most trying moments and offer actionable advice for managing your fears and emotions. Very easy to pick up and scan, a great addition for your postpartum library.
If you’re a bookworm and you’d like additional recommendations for books about postpartum recovery, pelvic health and return to exercise after pregnancy, you can check out my master list here!
2 Bonus “Items” To Support Your Postpartum Recovery
Okay, so technically the next two items aren’t postpartum care products.
But my goal in writing this is to ease your first weeks and months postpartum. Sometimes that aim is best served by physical products. Sometimes, it’s bet served with profressional guidance.
Here are two pros I highly recommend adding to your early postpartum support team:
A postpartum doula is a great resource during the first few weeks postpartum. They can help with everything from breastfeeding support to newborn care to household tasks. They can also provide emotional support and advice during this challenging time.
A great place to look for a postpartum doula is The Northwest Association for Perinatal Support (NAPS Doulas).
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
In the chaos of the early postpartum period, please take care of you too. Your body, and in particular, you deep core muscles have undergone tremendous strain and transformation.
Invest in rehabbing those muscles so that you can feel your absolute best.
The most appropriate pro? A pelvic floor physical therapist.
Whether you had a vaginal delivery or a C-section, book a pelvic floor physical therapy appointment for 6-8 weeks postpartum.
Pelvic floor physical therapy can help to restore your pelvic floor muscles to normal, healthy function. This can reduce the risk of urinary incontinence and other postpartum health problems.
Plan ahead: I recommend booking a pelvic floor therapy appointment about 6 weeks after your estimated due date. You can always move it if you need to, but these appointments tend to book out several weeks in advance.
You can locate a pelvic physical therapist through these links:
👋🏼 Before you go!!
This list is not just a list of “stuff”. It’s solutions to problems. I hope by compiling this in one spot, I’ve made it a little easier for you to troubleshoot some of the common post-pregnancy ish!
Before you go, I’d love to know:
How are you preparing for postpartum? What’s going in your postpartum kit? Please share in the comments below!
And if you found this helpful, please forward this list to a friend!
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to follow the link and make a purchase.
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