Postpartum Essentials Checklist

Throughout pregnancy, all of your focus is on your newborn essentials, on labour and delivery… and not so much on what are your postpartum essentials for those first days/weeks after the baby arrives. Giving birth is hard work, and it can leave you feeling sore and physically exhausted… and that’s before you start on those sleepless nights and constant demands that newborns have. Taking some time to care for yourself is really important – after all, if you’re not feeling great, then you can’t look after a baby as well as you could if you felt better.

postpartum essentials

If you tear in delivery, or need an episotomy, you’re going to be feeling pretty sore down there for a little while. Add to that possible bruising and sitting down isn’t always the relief it should be! The first two or three weeks can be the hardest whilst your body heals and recovers from carrying a baby for 9 months and giving birth.

This time around, after having done it three times already, I knew what to expect, and stocked up on a few essentials pre-birth. Though this list is based on a vaginal-birth, you can adapt it to suit your needs. My first labour I suffered from bruising, and it was pretty uncomfortable to sit down for a good week after I’d given birth. I have to say, I’ve been really lucky the last three times and had no tears, no stitching and no bruising – my first labour was definitely the worst.

PostPartum Essentials Checklist

Care for down there
+Maternity Pads – lots of them! Atfter not havign a period for nine months, the bleeding after labour can come as a shock. Stock up on plenty of packs of maternity pads, you’ll need them – for at least the first two weeks.
+Normal Sanitary Pads – once the bleeding has slowed down, I switch to my usual brand of sanitary pad. Less bulky, and they don’t feel like you have a whole duvet in your knickers. It’s normal to bleed for up to six weeks.
+Earth Mama Angel Baby – New Mama Bottom Spray. Made with witch hazel, antibacterial lavender, and cooling peppermint pure essential oils, it’s great for relieving postpartum vaginal soreness and swelling.
+Tucks Hemorrhoidal Pads with Witch Hazelv – great for if you have hemorrhoids or even just for using for extra general ‘down there’ relief.
+icepacks – if you’re really sore, spread some aloe vera gel and a tablespoon of witch hazel on a sanitary pad, and pop in the freezer for an hour before putting in your pants – instant relief!

Clothes
+Knickers – a lot of post-labour advice tells you to get some disposable pants. Don’t. They are horrid! I usually buy a few packs of cheap, big knickers {primark is great for these!} that you don’t mind throwing away after a few weeks.
+Yoga shorts – I love a pair of comfy yoga shorts to wear over the top of my knickers – keeps everything held in place and makes you feel a bit more secure
+Nursing Sleep Bras – once your milk comes in, your boobs suddenly turn into two bowling balls that can be really uncomforatble. I found that for the first few weeks, a sleep bra made a huge difference. I love these Mothercare ones.
+Nursing Tank Tops – these are my favourite things to wear. I tend to live in tanks/vest tops anyway, and these are great under a chunky jumper this time of year, or on there own if it’s warmer! These ones are great, and inexpensive too!
+Breastvest – I came across these just after Vega was born and quickly bought a couple. They’re great! A vest that stops just below your bra, it’s great for wearing under other tops for discreet feeding – and keeping that post-partum tummy covered if you don’t want to show everyone!
+Post-partum support belt. Can help your tummy get back to it’s pre-baby size, but more than anything it holds everything together, and under clothes makes you look a little smoother

Boob Care
+Breast Pads – you will leak once your milk comes in – stock up, either disposable and/or reusable ones
+Nipple Cream – I use this Lansinoh one
+Breast Soothers – these gel
pads that you keep in the fridge then pop in your bra are amazing for soothing sore boobs!

Other bits
+Pain Relief – your Doctor may prescribe you something, if not talk to your midwife if you’re in pain.
+Lipbalm – my lips always get really dry and cracked, so I keep some on hand all the time
+Hand cream – lots of handwashing and bottom cleaning can make your hands feel really dry.
+Water – especially if you are breastfeeding, keeping hydrated is essential. Don’t ever sit on the sofa/bed to feed the baby without a glass of water in reach!

What other items would you add to your postpartum essentials?

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5 Comments

  1. February 6, 2015 / 17:30

    Wow, this is such a good list! I will direct my pregnant friends this way for your tips x

  2. February 7, 2015 / 12:03

    This is a great list and super useful – I have stocked up on breast pads and cream as I find they are totally essential for comfort. I have never heard of the breast vest before but going to check it out – thanks for sharing

    Laura x

  3. February 9, 2015 / 18:13

    Wish I had read this before having Cherry, I had an episiotomy and my stitches came apart too, I was in so much pain. Couldn’t walk for two weeks and going to the toilet was pure hell!! x

  4. February 10, 2015 / 13:28

    Such a good (and honest!) list! I agree there’s not much advice around for after birth, and especially on the bits people don’t want to talk about!

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