Here are my suggestions for things a freshly postpartum person may find quite handy, in no particular order…
Apply organic extra-virgin olive oil to your newborn’s bottom; this keeps meconium from sticking to skin and makes for much easier cleanup.
If you birthed at a hospital, they will let you take one home. If at a birth center or home, this should be included in your birth kit. Fill with room temperature water and spray onto urethral opening (or your bottom area if you’ve had stitches) before urinating. Continue to squirt the water as you urinate. This dilutes the urine stream and results in less stinging and burning during bathroom trips. You can put a Tucks pad or witch hazel in the bottle to maximize benefit.
Apply witch hazel pads to your bottom area to help decrease swelling, reduce bacteria, and treat any hemorrhoids. A sitz bath can be used for similar pain-relief purpose and hastens healing by increasing blood flow to affected tissues. If you had stitches or a particularly painful delivery, you can avoid wiping after urinating by using a hair dryer instead. Stand with legs a little apart, and dry your bottom area holding the dryer 6-8 inches away on the lowest, cool setting.
Though Labor & Delivery’s mesh underwear is beloved by many (kidding yet also not!), their postpartum pads are bulky, lower quality and tend to leak. Consider buying a brand-name pack of adult diapers or postpartum mama cloth instead.
Once you’re settled at home, you’ll be moving around the same few rooms for a while, and it’s nice to have all your stuff in one mobile case (you can grab a cheap one from the dollar store). Your partner can be extra helpful by restocking the caddy while you breastfeed.
You can include items for baby:
- burp cloths
…anything you need for breastfeeding:
- nipple cream
- hair ties
- nursing pads
…and personal needs:
- water bottle
- easy-to-munch snacks
- phone charger
Some care providers offer ice in a sterile glove, perineal cold packs, or frozen pads. Do 20 minutes of cold per hour. You can try DIY ‘padsicles’ at home. Another idea (for those not allergic to latex) is to fill a condom with ice, tie the end and freeze. Wrap in a clean, dry, breathable cloth such as a T-shirt or hand towel and rest against your perineum.
You’ll want to maximize your comfort for the first bowel movements post-birth, and stool softeners can really help in this department. A drop of peppermint oil in the toilet is often effective for stimulating the urge to release.
Your caregivers will inform you of your medication options, should you want them. If you’re breastfeeding, first check whether these medications are contraindicated. AfterEase is a natural remedy for managing pain of postpartum contractions, which may be more intense after each baby.
“Mother Roasting” is a tradition of nourishing one who has recently given birth by warming her body, mind and heart through certain practices, including massage, herbal bath, belly binding, heat applications, warm temperature foods and teas, and more.
Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale Test
Is it baby blues? A postpartum mood disorder? Postpartum gets busy and blurry, so it’s important to regularly check in on your emotional health. Take this test weekly for the first month and every 3 weeks thereafter. Print it out and post it on your fridge or bathroom mirror so you don’t forget!