Mama Coaches always preach about how moms are the glue that hold families together. This is especially important during the ever so special 4th trimester.
Whether you had a vaginal or a Cesarian delivery, your body took a hit! These are some of the essentials I feel every mama who has a vaginal delivery needs. This list was compiled based on my time working in Labour, Delivery and Postpartum, & the birth of my own babe!
Seriously, stock up on more than you think you’ll need. You can expect to have bleeding for up to 4-6 weeks postpartum. This bleeding starts out like a heavy period, and slowly becomes lighter. For the first 3-4 days you can expect to need heavy duty protection. Lots of women use depends, or pull-up style pads to avoid leaks. They aren’t glamorous, but they sure are handy! After that, I always recommend on stocking up on varying sizes and absorbencies of pads and liners. Tampons and menstrual cups are not safe for at least the first 6 weeks postpartum, so get used to the extra bulk!
This is a little cleansing bottle with a squirt top that they provide you in hospital. This is what you will be using to cleanse your perineum (bottom) after babe since use of soap, or wiping with toilet paper is discouraged. They are super cheap, and easy to find (Blankies and Bums or Amazon), and unbelievably useful. I recommend having one to keep in each bathroom, filling it with warm water, and giving yourself a good rinse after using the toilet. When you’re sore down there, a good rinse and patting dry is the best way to prevent infection.
These are medicated cooling pads that are great for soothing a sore bottom post-
delivery, AND for the nearly inevitable hemorrhoids that come with a vaginal delivery. These can
be used a couple ways… laid out on pads or folded and half and tucked into the folds of your
bottom so they are directly in contact with the sore spot. Otherwise, witch hazel on a cotton pad is a DYI alternative!
This is a first spray that contains a numbing agent to help with any soreness
from tears or episiotomies. You’ll find it in the first aid section of most pharmacies.
5. Nipple Cream:
If you’re breastfeeding, I highly recommend picking up a prescription for All
Purpose Nipple Ointment (APNO) from the pharmacy, and a tube of Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple
Cream. They will be your best friend!
6. Advil and Tylenol:
Have them and TAKE them. So often moms push their needs to the side
and don’t listen to their bodies after having a baby. If you didn’t know, contractions don’t stop
after baby arrives. It’s like a sick joke Mother Nature plays on you. The cramps can be awful
(especially if it’s not your first baby), as your uterus begins to shed its lining and shrink down.
This is a little basin that is designed to be filled with water, put on top of your toilet, and sat in. It’s like a mini bath just for your bottom. Submerging your bottom in warm water can be super soothing and beneficial for healing. I recommend taking a sitz bath for 10-15 minutes 3 times a day. This can help to reduce pain, chances of infection, and improve healing time! Amazon will deliver one right to your door, or else they are found at pharmacies that contain homecare supplies (like the Dave Hill Pharmacy).
8. Stool Softener:
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT forget the stool softener. Women often fear the first (or first 10) bowel movements after having a vaginal delivery. One way to ensure it won’t be as
traumatic as you envisioned is to have stool softeners on hand. Colace or Docusate help to increase the amount of water in your stool, making it easier to pass. I would avoid laxatives, but stool softeners are a great choice postpartum. If in doubt, ask your pharmacist to help you pick out the right one.
9. Nursing Pads:
Whether you’re breastfeeding or not, you can expect your milk to come in. For many women, they experience leaking from their breasts that can get uncomfortable and messy. Nursing pads come in either a disposable variety (my favorite are the Medela brand), and reusable cloth pads like these deliciously soft and squishy organic bamboo velour ones.
See my favourite recipe here.
Always remember to take care of yourselves Mamas! You can expect to take 6-8 weeks after a vaginal delivery to start feeling a bit like yourself again. Keep a BIG water bottle on hand, and instruct your postpartum support crew to keep it full, and to encourage you to eat frequent snacks and meals. REST REST REST! Labour is HARD on your body, and your new baby can be quite demanding. Take naps throughout the day, and accept help when it’s offered. If they’re offering, they want to help!
What were your postpartum must haves? Help a Mama out and leave any I missed in the comments below!
Stay tuned for a C Section (or Belly Birth) version of this list coming next week!