When we start talking about postpartum “essentials”, what comes to mind? Cutesy baby onesies? Those soft AF muslin blankies? Adorable tiny little diapers?
As much as I love all of those items (I’m pretty sure I just ovulated thinking about them) I want to tell you about a different type of postpartum essentials—ones that don’t just have the baby’s needs in mind.
I know, seems like a crazy idea to focus on Mama. We tend to make our focus all about the baby, when we should really be giving Mama a lot of that attention too, helping her get a head start on recovery so she can truly give that little bundle of joy her all.
This one is a no-brainer. A squatty potty allows you to assume a squatting posture when going to the bathroom, which will help protect your very sore, and possibly stitched, perineum. If you can't get a squatty potty, no worries, use any type of footstool that will allow your knees to be higher than your hips.
Witch Hazel is a natural remedy for hemorrhoids and pain. You can also use it to make padsicles- see below for more on that! The benefits of Witch Hazel include anti-inflammatory properties which sooth the skin, can help with hemorrhoids, and make swollen tissue feel better.
I bet you didn’t know that you can use compression to help speed up healing! Think about your vulva and perineum like a sprained ankle or another muscle injury. What do we usually do for injured ankles? We use RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. The same principles apply when we are recovering from birth. SRC health makes my fave postpartum recovery leggings, and the compression is awesome for pain relief, speedier recovery, tummy support, and less swelling. You can find them HERE. Use code #Marcy_Crouch for exclusive discounts!
FridaMom is another brand that is doin’ right by moms. They created the upside-down peri-bottle, which is what you need for “easy-squeezy relief” as they say. A peri bottle is also a necessity for potty breaks after having a baby. You don’t want to use scratchy toilet paper on sensitive and torn skin..trust me. The bottle gets filled with warm water, and you squeeze warm soothing water after going to the bathroom to clean yourself. It’s a good one. Find it HERE.
Y’all these are amazing. Saalt started as a period cup company but is now making soft AF, sustainable period underwear, and they have designed pairs specifically for new moms. These are so much more comfortable than mesh undies, AND you can wash them, AND they can hold your postpartum bleeding easily. Check them out HERE.
Those 3-tiered rolling carts aren’t just for crafting!! Packing all your supplies for feeding and diapering, along with snacks, water, nipple pads, and phone chargers into these carts can make your rest and recovery time so easy and efficient. If you are parked on the couch during the day, you can roll your cart to the kitchen, into the bathroom with you, and have all your necessities right there for you. No need to keep getting up and down while you should be resting and recovering. Here’s a great option!
Eye Masks are great for mid-day naps. You’ll want to rest and sleep as much as possible, and it’s super hard to do that during the day (especially at the hospital with all the lights and interruptions)! Pack a soft, secure, and dark eye mask so you can nap regardless of how bright it is outside. Here’s another option I found on Amazon.
Hospital floors are cold, slippery, and gross, and those hospital socks are just not going to cut it. Get a pair of slippers to bring with you that you can labor in, as well as use, in the postpartum floor. You may want to get up and walk a bit, and you need slippers that are comfortable and keep your feet warm and clean. I still have the ones I used in the hospital for my 2 babies!!
Here’s that “I” in “RICE”! Using ice on and off to the perineum/vulvar area, can help with pain reduction and decrease swelling. I like a bag of frozen peas that you can drape over your vulva and perineum, or a soft gel pack that you can mold to your body. Ice speeds up the healing process and helps reduce pain significantly. Padsicles are like “popsicles” but with a pad…and please don’t put them in your mouth. Combine the benefits of ice with the soothing witch hazel, with a padsicle. Soak period pads in witch hazel and freeze them. Use them at will when you are home, especially after using the bathroom.
Did you know that you can get a yeast infection on your nipples? You sure can! And your baby can get it in their mouths also. It’s called thrush, and can cause a lot of pain in your nipples and needs to be treated with medications. To avoid all that, use a nursing bra and nipple pads that actually wick away moisture and keep your skin dry from leaking milk. This can help create a drier environment and make it harder for yeast to grow. Change your nursing bras frequently and try to “air out the nips” as much as you can. Check out BaoBei for some of my fav nursing bras on the market.
So there you have it!! The essential postpartum must-haves from a pelvic floor PT. I promise that having each of these items will make everything exponentially easier as you adjust to life with a new little one. It’s important to give yourself all the tools you need to have the smoothest transition out of pregnancy and into mamahood!
Share this with a friend who is about to have a baby or, if you want to be the favorite friend, consider gifting her a basket that has some of these items!
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