As you near the big day, you’re probably focusing on what you need for labor & delivery and whether your home is ready for baby. However, it’s also important to consider what you’ll need during the postpartum period. Creating a postpartum care kit is a great way to set yourself up for an easier recovery! Not to mention, it will cut down on the need for trips to the store in the early days after you bring your newborn home.
Part recovery and part comfort, the perfect postpartum care kit is both practical and personalized for your individual needs. Use the below list to help you assemble what you need. You could also use it as inspiration for a postpartum gift for another expectant mother!
5 Absolute Must-Haves for Your Postpartum Care Kit
While creating the perfect postpartum care kit is more of an art, there are 5 items that every new mom should have around to make postpartum easier. You should include these in your kit no matter what and then add in extras from our long checklist in the next section.
How to Create a Perfect Postpartum Care Kit for Mama
Recovery Must-Haves to Add to Your Postpartum Care Kit
Whether you deliver vaginally or via c-section, you’ll need to prepare for inevitable heavy bleeding for the first week or so after delivery. The hospital will likely offer you their standard postpartum pads, but many women find them too bulky and uncomfortable. Consider these options instead:
- Overnight Pads– Postpartum or overnight pads are a must. I personally loved the Honey Pot Company Postpartum Herbal Pads because they were soothing and cooling (many moms like iced pads, they were uncomfortable for me so I preferred these herbal pads!).
- Instant Ice Maxi Pads– Gone are the days of freezing your own “padsicles” to soothe your nether regions after vaginal birth. These ready-made pads are simultaneously soothing and absorbent.
- Absorbent Underwear– If you prefer not to worry about your giant pad slipping, consider absorbent postpartum underwear instead. They’re disposable and offer maximum protection, while also being discreet under your clothing. Knix is a popular brand, they are seamless and breathable. Many c-section mamas recommend wearing these for postpartum.
- Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle for Postpartum Care– They weren’t wrong when they said to trust them on this one. Trust us, you’re going to want this if you are having a vaginal delivery. I thought it was way better than the one provided by the hospital.
- Earth Mama Perineal Spray– This spray is soothing and relieving. Plus, it sprays upside down so that you can get to all the hard-to-reach places.
- Dermoplast– This was actually given to me by my doctor because of tearing during birth and it was an absolute lifesaver.
Mom Care Products
Do yourself a favor and go one step further than the must-haves in your postpartum care kit. A few extra personal care touches can make all the difference as you navigate this time. There is a lot going on with both your body and emotions, so treat yourself right with products like these:
- Witch Hazel Pads-When you’re healing from a vaginal birth, you don’t have to just grin and bear it. Soothe your injured and irritated perineal area with medicated witch hazel pads meant to cleanse, comfort, and promote healing. You can also make your own padsicles with witch hazel. Learn how here!
- Coconut Coffee Scrub-Your body has been through a lot. Treat it right with natural products to soften skin and reduce those pesky stretch marks.
- Weighted Sleep Mask– When you do get a few moments of precious shuteye, make it count with a sleep mask that blocks light and soothes puffy, new-mom eyes.
- Postpartum Belly Bandit Belly Band– This band offers great support, I especially recommend it for c-section moms to provide extra comfort while healing.
- Promptly Journals Postpartum Journal– This journal is full of prompts, check-ins, therapy tips, words of encouragement, and resources specific to the postpartum period.
Wardrobe Essentials for Your Postpartum Care Kit
You probably won’t be breaking out your favorite pre-pregnancy skinny jeans as soon as you have your baby. Not to mention, you’ll also be settling into a phase of life that demands comfort as you tackle motherhood. Add the following to your wardrobe to make this transition easier:
For every mom:
- Comfortable Underwear– Trust us when we say the mesh underwear provided by the hospital is created for basic functionality only. Once you leave the hospital, allow yourself the comfort of a good pair of convertible maternity underwear. These can be worn up high over a c-section incision, as well. Their soft material and excellent stretch will take your postpartum body through a range of shapes and sizes.
- Soft Sweats– Soft material, stretch, and the ability to machine-wash should be at the top of your list for postpartum wear. Comfortable, versatile joggers like these will be your go-to pants for late-night feeds or midday naps with the baby. They’re stylish enough for receiving visitors, too!
- Cozy Robe– Every mama deserves a cozy robe that is easy to throw on!
- Kindred Bravely Postpartum Leggings– If you want to wear these for 3 days in a row, we won’t blame you. They mold to your body and are super comfortable for lounging around the house.
For nursing moms postpartum care kits:
- Nursing Tanks– It can be incredibly difficult to find a great fitting bra under normal circumstances, and it’s even harder when your postpartum body is changing week to week. Whether you’re nursing or not, a comfy seamless tank can be your best bet for sleep or daytime. This one from Target is my absolute favorite! It’s comfortable and great for layering.
- Versatile Cardigans– With hormones going a bit crazy in your postpartum body, you may find yourself needing to dress in layers to accommodate your temperature needs. A chunky and comfortable cardigan solves this problem. It’s great for covering up those spit-up stained clothes when an unexpected visitor shows up to meet your little one.
- Nursing Bras– When you’re nursing or pumping every two hours or so in the beginning, a nursing bra comes in handy. Check out our favorites here!
Other Additions for the Breastfeeding Mama
If this will also be a time of learning to nurse your newborn, you’ll want to stock up on the following in your postpartum care kit:
- Nipple Cream– Motherlove Nipple Cream is one of my favorites for relief when you first start breastfeeding. It is organic and safe to leave on as your baby nurses, and it soothes and heals the inevitable cracked nipples that come from the first few weeks of breastfeeding. The Honest Company Calm Your Nip Balm is also great!
- Nursing Pads– I loved using the Kindred Bravely Ultra Absorbent Reusable Nursing Pads because of their shape and the fact that they held up in the wash so well. Bamboobies bamboo version are also great and machine washable for dozens of reuses. Since you can easily go through several per day, stock up so you’ll never be without.
- Lactation Snacks and Supplements– You’ll need extra calories while breastfeeding, and these helpful cookies double as lactation support. Fill your postpartum belly and enhance your milk production to keep your breastfeeding game strong. I also loved this Magnesium Drink and Legendary Milk to help prevent clogged ducts!
- Insulated Water Bottle– Breast milk is made up of 90 percent water, so it’s essential to stay hydrated while nursing for both your health and for milk production purposes. Treat yourself to a new insulated water bottle to ensure you always have a refreshing, spill-proof drink nearby.
Preparing for Postpartum
The postpartum period can be a truly beautiful time as you get to know your new bundle of joy, but it’s also physically and emotionally demanding for many moms. Use this guide to create your perfect postpartum care kit so that you can ensure your needs are met regarding recovery, personal care, and nursing. It is also important to plan for how you are going to take care of your mental health postpartum.
Dr. Kim of The Parentologist recently did a takeover on our Instagram and talked about how her daughter’s birth didn’t go as planned and left her with feelings of disappointment. Head to our highlight on Instagram titled “Ask the Experts” to hear more about her story and how she worked through these feelings.
You’ll soon be wrapped up in caring for your adorable bundle of joy every moment of the day and night, but it’s important to think about self-care, too. Plan ahead to support your own needs in this new phase of life. You’ll be glad you have easy access to all your postpartum essentials once your baby arrives!
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Frequently Asked Questions
What should I buy for postpartum care?
These were my absolute must-haves for postpartum care:
Overnight Pads-These pads aren’t made specifically for postpartum women, but that means they’re probably more familiar to you. They’ll get the job done while also helping you feel more like yourself.
Instant Ice Maxi Pads– Gone are the days of freezing your own “padsicles” to soothe your nether regions after vaginal birth. These ready-made pads are simultaneously soothing and absorbent.
Absorbent Underwear– If you prefer not to worry about your giant pad slipping, consider absorbent postpartum underwear instead. They’re disposable and offer maximum protection, while also being discreet under your clothing. I love these boyshort undies from Target, they are seamless and breathable.
Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle for Postpartum Care– They weren’t wrong when they said to trust them on this one. Trust us, you’re going to want this if you are having a vaginal delivery. I thought it was way better than the one provided by the hospital.
Earth Mama Perineal Spray– This spray is soothing and relieving. Plus, it sprays upside down so that you can get to all the hard-to-reach places.
Is the Frida mom postpartum kit worth it?
If you are looking to keep things simple, the Frida Mom Postpartum Kit is a good choice. However, I would actually recommend the Frida Mom Hospital Bag Essentials Kit instead. It includes the Frida Mom Peri Bottle, which was one of my favorite postpartum care items overall.
Which pads are best after delivery?
Frida Mom Instant Ice Maxi Pads were my absolute favorite after delivery. I also recommend The Honey Pot Company Postpartum Pads and Natracare Pads.