A postpartum survival kit is essential for making it through the first few weeks after giving birth.
In some cultures, new moms are not allowed to leave their beds for the first few weeks postpartum. That is how important proper recovery is after giving birth.
While that is likely not an option for you, this new mom survival kit will help you to plan ahead and learn some of the things that can make your first week at home a lot easier.
In the first days after your baby is born, you will have a lot to do so putting together a “labor recovery kit” for yourself beforehand is a good idea.
That way you are all stocked up and prepared and can focus on looking after yourself and your new baby.
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Why Do We Need A Postpartum Survival Kit?
If you are a new mom, or pregnant for the first time, know that the postpartum days can have their share of ups and downs. It’s a huge adjustment and there is a steep learning curve to looking after a baby and feeding them (whether you decide to breastfeed or not).
Just remember that in the postpartum period, you only have two things to do:
- Take care of yourself (rest, recovery, eat healthy foods).
- Take care of your baby
Anything else is not a priority for that first week. Forget about the bills, cleaning and looking after anyone else except yourself and your baby if you can (I know that might not be possible).
Just remember that the 4th trimester will pass quicker than you know it, even if it doesn’t feel like that at 3am when you are up for the 5th time. “This too shall pass” was likely written for a new mom.
If you are planning to breastfeed and want some tips on getting started with building up your milk supply, these breast pumping tips that are great for new moms.
People don’t like to talk about the postpartum days because, well, they can be a bit messy and emotional. Even some of the postpartum supplies in the list below can seem a little gross or weird.
If you are looking for mommy survival kit ideas for a baby shower gift the postpartum must haves below are a good place to start and are sure to give you a few laughs as well!
Top 12 Postpartum Essentials For New Moms
I’m listing this one first because, for me, this was the most important in my new mom survival kit.
Stock up on tons of snacks for your hospital bag and first few weeks at home. I’m talking granola bars and trail mix that you can eat with one hand (most of your time will be spent nursing or holding the baby).
No postpartum list for mom would be complete without Depends. You probably know that you will need some pads for postpartum bleeding. I’m going to go a step further and say, “get some Depends”.
It is totally glorious to just toss the Depend underwear away and start with a fresh one rather than messing about with pads. Yes, you will look horrific and feel silly. No one cares.
Nurses at the hospital actually thought it was the best idea ever that I was rocking the Depends. Oh, and get the black ones for a more “chic” look if you are so inclined.
You can buy small packs of 4 pairs on Amazon so you don’t have to get a huge box.
3. Nursing Pads
You will need some kind of nursing pads for the first few weeks and possibly longer, it really just depends on your body. You can buy disposable pads from all the major drug stores but I found that some itched me and really showed through my clothes.
I discovered the reusable fabric breast pads and didn’t look back. I love that you can wash them and reuse them and they are super soft on sensitive skin.
You can also get over $500 of free baby gear using the same code – get all the details here –15 Freebies for New & Expecting Moms
4. Pairs of old underwear
Once you are done with the Depends, you will transition to pads and underwear.
Do yourself a favor and use old underwear that you can toss at the end of the postpartum period. Then go out and treat yourself to some new ones, you deserve it.
5. Witch Hazel Pads or Tucks
Some, not all, but some, find they get hemorrhoids after giving birth. It’s literally the last thing you need after giving birth so make sure you are prepared and have some witch hazel ready to go.
I seriously recommend having some Tucks Medicated Pads on hand just in case. You can use them or soak cotton wool pads in Thayers Alcohol-free Unscented Witch Hazel and it will do the same thing. I don’t recommend witch hazel with alcohol postpartum (it might sting) so make sure you get the alcohol-free version.
Keep in the fridge for sweet, sweet relief.
Earth Mama Herbal Perineal Spray
Earth Mama Herbal Spray for Pregnancy and Postpartum should be part of every new mother survival kit. I only discovered it during my second pregnancy and I really could have done with it for my first baby. It is amazing.
This spray is cooling, soothing, all natural and it smells fantastic.
You can use it as often as you need because it is a natural product which is brilliant for sensitive parts. A lot of moms also use it on their baby’s bottoms as it is great for diaper rash too.
7. Stool Softener
Yes. A must. Make sure you start taking them as soon as you can after your baby is born and don’t stop
until you lose that feeling of dread every time you go to the restroom. For me, that is normally a couple of weeks. I recommend Colace brand.
You should be given one of these squirt bottles at the hospital if you can snag two, grab it
! It’s great to have one in every bathroom of your house so you don’t have to go too far to use it.
You can buy cheap Peri bottles on Amazon too if you need extra
9. Stomach Spanx
A little bit controversial, and you certainly can forgo these but for me, they are an essential item in the postpartum goodie bag.
I wore these SPANX Power Pants from about 1 day postpartum for roughly 3 weeks and they made me feel more like myself and definitely helped with my postpartum body image. I think they also helped my uterus shrink quicker but that might just be my imagination.
10. A Sports or Nursing Bra
If you plan to nurse, a nursing bra will make the middle of the night feeds easier in the first few weeks, it will also allow you to keep nursing pads in place to prevent crazy all over the bed leaks.
A sports bra is also an option to make you more comfortable in the early days.
11. Cooling gel breast pads
One of my absolute holy grail items for those first few days postpartum if you are nursing.
These Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads are so cooling and relieving when you are first getting to grips with your baby’s latch and the initial soreness. In case no one tells you, it can hurt a bit in the beginning, even with the perfect latch, it does go away though!
12. A Large Water Cup With A Straw
It might seem a weird thing to put in a postpartum survival kit, but proper hydration is really important for your labor recovery. You will need a straw cup at the hospital for your ice water and then once you are at home, you will want to keep a large water on hand at all times.
If you are anything like me, you had a raging thirst throughout pregnancy and the postpartum time is really an extension of that so keep chugging away. You need to be really hydrated for your milk supply if you plan on breastfeeding too.
If you liked this postpartum survival kit, check out these tips for new noms