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My Top Postpartum Care Items

afterbirth care healing postpartum recovery

The postpartum season is often forgotten about before birth. Everyone is so focused on preparing for the new baby's arrival, they forget the mother will need support after birth.

 

So, I want to share some of my favorite items I used during my postpartum season with my first birth. Please note these items are what worked for me, please don't feel like you need all the things on this list.

 

Perineal Care

1. MotherLove, Sitz Bath Spray

  

This is something I used after going to the bathroom, especially after pooping, for the first couple of weeks.

There are soothing herbs to calm any inflamed or sore tissue of your perineum. No BS ingredients or added fragrance. You can find it on Amazon, Thrive Market, Target, plus many others.

 

2. Cloth Pads

These were great for postpartum bleeding and much more comfortable that sitting on plastic all day. If my perineum was hurting - I would spray the sitz bath solution right on the pad before applying to my body. They are easy to clean and you are saving the planet! Win-win in my opinion.

I did make a few pad-sicles with some of the smaller ones by getting them wet with water/witch hazel and sticking them in the freezer for a few hours. I would apply the small pad on top of a larger pad for 20-30 minutes to get some perineal relief.

There are so many brands of reusable cloth pads. Mine were gifted to me from Alvababy an online store. You can find them almost anywhere - Amazon, Target, Walmart, online. Etsy to support a small business.

 

3. Sitz Baths

These were something I enjoyed bringing baby in with me. She would lay on my chest while I got to soak in some warm salt water.

In my sitz bath - I would add 1 cup of epsom salt with a premixed sitz bath mixture, like one from Mama Earth. I would sit for 10-20 minutes and try to do that at least once a day. But ya know, realistically it was probably only a few times a week. You know cause #life, especially if this is your second or third baby.

You could make your own sitz bath mixture from herbs you buy at the store. Place them in a filter and throw in the bath with your epsom salt. Herbs like - Calendula flower, lavendar flower, comfrey leaves, rosemary leaves, yarrow flowers, plantain leaves, or sage leaves can all have tissue healing properties.

You can easily find these herbs at your local health foods store, Amazon, or other other herbal stores.

 

4. Peri-bottle

 

This little guy is a life saver after you poop. Your perineum is inflamed and doesn't want to be touched very much. So, the peri-bottle is great to use after your void to keep the area clean.

Personally, I liked this bottle I got from the hospital in my first birth. But, many others like the one with the curved handle for easier access. You can find your own preference.

 

Pelvic Floor/Belly Support

1. Supportive garments

This is one item I didn't get to try out after my first birth but I have many clients that love these supportive underwear. They have a gentle compression in all the right places for a healing body.

It is common to feel pelvic floor pressure in those early postpartum days so having some gentle support can be helpful especially if you are caring for more than one kiddo.

The picture above is specifically from Bao Bei and it is their support Bloomers. I snagged a pair on Black Friday so I could give a more accurate review to clientele. Another brand people enjoy using are from Bodily.

Either way, I recommend having support from the bottom up like these under garments or high waisted *loose* fitting leggings VS a compressive waist band. The velcro waste bands can push pressure down into your pelvic floor if you aren't wearing it properly.

 

2. Period Underwear

I highly recommend investing in some heavy flow period underwear. I loved wearing these in my last postpartum season. It feels less bulky than the pads do. Another easy way to reduce your postpartum waste.

I have the Thinx brand for period underwear but there are many companies that make them now. Awwa, Knix, Saalt, Rael, and Amazon has many options too.

 

3. Belly lotion

Give that postpartum belly some love after birth. A daily (or whenever you can remember massage) is great for adding in digestion, soothing your nervous system, and help you reconnect with your body. Because it is going to be beautifully different than before. 

You can follow your digestive tract for adding in digestion by making an I-L-U on your belly starting at the bottom right hip and moving up toward your shoulder (this makes the I), going across the middle and down the left side of the stomach toward your left hip (this makes the L), and then just moving in a circular motion as before to make the U. It doesn't have to be a long practice, a few minutes will do.

*Please note if you have a c-section to wait until your stitches and wound are closed/healed before starting this massage.

 

4. Heating pads

I love the homemade heating pads with rice or beans you throw in the microwave for a minute or two and place where you please. It's soothing to your nervous system to have heat on your healing uterus or on your back or hips. Whatever might be giving you some grief. Regular electric heating pads will work great too!

 

Breastfeeding Support

1. Silverette Cups

Cracked or sore nipples? Throw these bad boys on for FAST relief. No amount of cream is going to help you better than these babies can. Of course, I will add if you have cracked, sore nipples, and breastfeeding is painful.. PLEASE invest in a lactation consultant to get your latch and baby evaluated any other possibilities leading to the continued painful latch.

Silver has natural healing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties. They are reusable and last a long time.

Side note: another tip I used was rubbing some of my own breastmilk on my nipples after the feeding was done and let that air dry for a few mintues.

 

2. Cloth breast pads

If you can't already tell, I'm all about reusable items in the postpartum period. Place these inside of your bra after your milk comes in to hide the let down from getting on your shirt (if you are in public or care about this lol). Note: you will need to wash a brand new pair a few times to make these absorbent before first use.

 

3. Nursing bras

You are totally welcome to have no bra the first however many weeks you won't be leaving your home. But... for ease when you are out and about. Nursing bras are super handy. You can throw your cloth pad inside incase your milk starts to release without your control in those early weeks too (yes, this happens).

The nursing bras I have were all Motherhood Maternity brand. I am more of a sports bra kinda gal so they were all sports bras instead of regular padded bras with a clasp. Now, I have Bao Bei no clasp nursing bra and really enjoy the feel and fit. It is a hard bra to nurse with laying down, but that could be because I'm nursing a toddler now instead of a new born. I can update this after second baby arrives.

A friend also suggested to just wear a nursing tank with clasps and a loose fit sweater/sweatshirt over top too. This was super easy and convenient as well.

 

4. Engorgement Relief/Heating Packs

I really enjoyed using my Haakaa to catch the let down on the opposite side during the first few months. This helped me build a stash supply in my freezer because I was never pumping. Although, she never did take a bottle and we ended up using most of the freezer milk in her baths.

It is also great to throw some warm water and salt/epsom salt in and place of the engorged breast for relief. Please note, that this can create an over supply if you are over using it.

Those same homemade heating pads you can place on your breasts for some relief if your boobs are engorged. The heat will help stimulate a release of milk. There are many brands that make more circular pads that are specific for your breasts. The brand I had was Earth Mama.

 

Finally, pillows and nursing pillows are huge for supporting you and holding baby with comfort during the early postpartum days.

 

Things I will be trying/using in this next postpartum period

These are items I have not gotten to try yet so I can't give them my thumbs up but, I wanted to share with you what I am going to use.

1. WishGarden Herbs AfterEase tincture for postpartum cramping, as I've been told the cramping can be more intense after multiple births.

2. Homeopathic remedies for pain, breastfeeding, fatigue, and overall healing. I get a lot of my information from Her Homeopathy. I will leave the link to her postpartum blog here. She has many blogs on homeopathy throughout pregnancy and for birth as well.

 

Again, this is what worked for me. Please do not feel like you need to purchase all of the things on this list. I am just sharing what I used in my journey.

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