Baby 12 months ago by Liz Adams

Postpartum Essentials for New Moms

a very rare day that I actually had makeup on, I think this was after Christmas brunch when Jack was 10 days old.

Ok, so earlier this week we talked about newborn essentials but today I want to talk about postpartum recovery as a new mom! I feel like this is the biggest shock as you enter motherhood because NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT. I’m going to talk from a vaginal birth with an epidural perspective because I’ve personally never had a C-Section and can’t speak to that experience.

I want to start by saying that every woman’s experience is different and the ultimate goal is to deliver a healthy baby. Let go of expectations for yourself and be in the moment. It is a really incredible experience if you let it be. I felt this way more the second time around so I just want to remind you that it’s okay to have all the feelings surrounding labor and delivery. It’s okay to feel unprepared and scared. I can easily say this is the biggest transition you will ever make in your life so remember that YOU ARE CAPABLE. You are strong and worthy of whatever emotions come up for you. You’re going to be okay. You’re actually going to be great, I promise. Remember this letter I wrote to myself when Charlie was 15 months? I hope it helps you, too.

Let’s talk about what is going to happen…

When you think about the fact that you’re pushing a human head through a 10cm hole that usually operates around 0cm hole, it makes sense that you’re going to be a little beat up down there post labor. BUT, when you’re pregnant, you are too focused on bringing a human life into the world and keeping it alive and all the other responsibilities coming your way. It makes sense to be a little shocked by the aftermath of delivery but I’ve learned a few things along the way!

So, you’re going to have a baby. Then you’re going to deliver your placenta. There is going to be a lot going on down there as you hold your new baby on your chest. I had 2nd-degree tears with both of my boys which required stitches, a lovely addition to recovery (but VERY VERY COMMON!). In my case, I had an epidural with both of my boys and you really don’t feel much of this at all, maybe some pressure and pulling. However, once the epidural wears off and you’re sitting in a hospital bed, you’re going to start feeling sore. You’re going to bleed along with some other bodily fluids.. This lasted 3-4 weeks for me with Charlie and 10-14 days with Jack — I attribute my quicker recovery with Jack to WAY MORE REST.

With Charlie, I was in such a rush to get back to life and pop into motherhood like it was this easy transition which ultimately led to a few months of postpartum depression. A simple reminder to nurture your body, nurture your mind and space. Give yourself grace, let yourself be – everyone understands and there is no other priority greater than allowing yourself to be with you baby and ease into motherhood.

In terms of recovery, the hospital is going to provide you with a ton of direction. techniques and products to help you recover more quickly and help with pain! But I’ve learned that there are a bunch of products out there that can make the transition even easier once you’re at home.

Shop this post: No. 1 Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask // No. 2 YETI Tumbler // No. 3 Earth Mama Nipple Butter // No. 4 Ice Roller // No. 5 Breast Gel Packs // No. 6 Bamboobies Nursing Pads // No. 7 Frida Mom Cooling Pad Liners // No. 8 Earth Mama Perineal Spray // No. 9 Frida Mom Instant Ice Maxi Pads // No. 10 Frida Mom Peri Bottle // No. 11 Fruit of the Loom Seamless Panties // No. 12 LAKE Pajamas Robe // No. 13 Postpartum Bath Soak // No. 14 UGG Fluffette Slippers // No. 15 Nursing Bras

Postpartum Mom Essentials

For your vagina:

Comfy undies. I ordered these and these. A lot of people recommend the disposable ones – I think these are the exact ones the hospital gives you. Ask for a pack of them before you leave and then I just prefer to buy a larger size of comfy undies that will ultimately get thrown away.

Frida Mom Peri Bottle, this will be your best friend to clean out down there. Follow up with this Perineal Spray, super cooling and cleaning. I actually brought both of these to the hospital with me with Jack!

Order these maxi pads. Put it in your underwear, then add this ice pack pad, then top with these perineal pad liners. That is going to be your little layered cake for soothing your vag.

If you’re breastfeeding:

Nipple butter or Lanolin (I like and use both!). It’s going to take about two weeks for your nipples to get used to those hard baby gums! Expect bruising, swelling and some bleeding. It’s a toe curling pain (sorry!) but your nipples will toughen up eventually!

Hot and cold packs! I love these because they can go either way. Great for swollen boobs, engorgement, clogged ducts or signs of mastitis. I used these a lot!

Your boobs are going to leak and I recommend these nursing pads for your bra! I personally don’t love the disposable ones (although I usually have these on hand, too) because I always feel like you can see them through your bra/clothes.

These are my favorite nursing bras! I also ordered a couple from this brand.

In general, the best thing you can do for your body is rest, go on slow walks, drink lots of water (the best gift for new moms!!), lounge — oh my gosh I can’t wait to do this with baby #3!

Invest in pajamas and loungewear you love because you’ll be living in them. Here are a few of my favorites for nursing/new moms:

anything from Lake Pajamas maternity collection

Tommy John’s lounge henley and lounge joggers, short sleeve pajama top and pajama pants! Use code LIZADAMS25 for 25% off through tomorrow!

This waffle henley set from J.Crew.

I’ve linked a ton of these items in my Amazon Shop for new moms!

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to leave in the comments and I’ll answer! Or any moms supporting moms out there — we love to hear your experience, too!

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  1. Thank you for talking about recovery! It’s not the most glamorous but it’s real life!! And for those of us who haven’t had kids, it helpful to know what really helps!

  2. Love this! Wish I could have read this 21 years ago!!! This is well written and so helpful! I will be sending anyone I know who is a first time mom to this post. Thank you. I am so excited for you to have cuddle time with your new baby!!
    Cheers from Omaha!
    Kimberly

  3. I’m pregnant with my first and this was SO helpful! Bookmarking this for May when I’m due.

    Praying for an uneventful labor for you and the best holidays with your family!

  4. Another thing that I’ve been told is really common but nobody warned me about – I had (and still have, honestly) some bladder control issues post-delivery, so I bought straight up adult diapers for the first couple of weeks. Obviously not glamorous but it helped me to focus on my recovery and my daughter without the stress of constantly worrying I was going to pee in my pants. You can also use a little Thayer’s witch hazel on your pad for some cooling and soothing – ice packs were a little much for me with how sensitive everything was down there!

  5. I had a c section two times. (One was an emergency) and I found supportive belly wraps to be invaluable. Also a pair of disposable flip flops for the hospital shower. I never had any issues with any pain at all during breastfeeding after the first two or three times until I got the latch on process. I actually thought it was weird to feel your uterus contracting after baby. Who knew? The large period pads are put horizontally on your incision after a c section AND you will sometimes get vaginal fluids too. I recommend unscented, organic pads xl size for both. Also underwear for after c section with a little support. They make them with a large thick band.

  6. Thank you for sharing! This is super helpful! I will be a first time mom in June and am definitely bookmarking this for reference!

  7. Yay thank you!! Expecting our first baby (due date January 11) and just bought everything on this list that I didn’t already have lol. So thank you thank you!! Nervous, anxious, excited <3

  8. Due with my first in March and this list is SO helpful! Stocking up on EVERYTHING you recommended 🙂 Thank you for keeping it real for us!!