The hard work is never done when it comes down to pregnancy and giving birth. Pregnancy is no walk in the park but postpartum is no joke either. Postpartum brings hormonal changes, bleeding, swelling and for some moms, cracked nipples.
Everything happens all at the same time, your body is trying to go back to its normal self and you are trying to adjust emotionally and physically to your new bundle of joy. Postpartum is a moment in a woman's life when she may need the most support.
Having a support team like a partner, parents or friends that you can count on is definitely important to a healthy postpartum recovery but after giving birth for the fourth time I also realized that there are some products that were a great chess player in helping the recovery process a bit easier.
As with everything in life, opinions and needs are always different so this following list are items that are my personal must haves and coincide with the style of life I live. With that being said, not every item may satisfy your needs but the list may give you an idea of what may be something that can help you or someone you know.
12 Postpartum must haves for a healthy recovery
1 - Adult underwear
There will be quite a bit of bleeding. If you have had children before then you know this and if this is your first time, well, you have been warned.
How many days a woman bleeds will differ from pregnancy and person. According to my midwife it can last anywhere from 30 to 45 days. The first days are going to be heavy and those are the days that the adult diapers are going to come in handy. I found them more comfortable to wear and easier to change frequently after giving birth compared to regular pads.
2 - Padsicles
Cold padsicles are a great way to provide the vaginal area with relief from vaginal child birth and it helps with the healing process They are easy to make, simple to store and use.
Here's what you will need for this recipe:
On each pad apply a generous amount of aloe vera all throughout the pad. Add about a tablespoon of witch hazel in the middle area and add about 3 drops lavender essential oil; one on each end and one in the middle.
Close the pad back up and put it in the freezer. It is important to note to not remove any of the sticky parts so you can fold the pads back and be able to stick them to your underwear when is time to use them.
Also, it is a good idea to make the padsicles ahead of time so when the time comes when you need them, you will have them ready for use and can start getting some relief right away.
3 - Herbal Afterbirth Bath
The herbal afterbirth bath is a natural way to help reduce perineal swelling and lacerations, hemorrhoids and it has a relaxing and soothing aroma.
It can also aid in the healing of baby's umbilical cord and it is such a relaxing and sweet way for mom and baby to bond while enjoying the benefits of this magical herbal bath.
I use the herbal bath mix from InHisHands and I really enjoy the smell and feeling after using it.
4 - Herb Vaginal Wash
The same herbal afterbirth bath can also be used as a vaginal wash to help with soreness and swelling.
The best way to use the wash is by adding it to a perineal bottle and applying it to the vaginal area every time after going to the bathroom to urinate.
My midwife made a half gallon of it right after I gave birth and I started using it immediately. It does help quite a lot with relief and healing the vaginal area especially when cold.
5 - Arnica Pills
Arnica pills is the holistic mom's best friend. It reduces pain, swelling, discoloration from bruises, temporarily relieves muscle pain and stiffness.
It is a great natural pain relief, it is non drowsy and it works naturally with the body.
I was unaware of arnica tablets until my last pregnancy. My midwife included in the home birth must have items list and I had no clue what they were for but boy, was I glad I had them after having my baby.
My midwife recommended to take a tablet every two hours for vaginal swelling and bruising and for the first two days after giving birth I was pretty consistent with them but fell off on the third day, and stopped taking them. That's when I realized the arnica pills really worked.
It started to hurt when I went pee, I was feeling more engorged, and my vaginal swelling was not healing as fast or maybe I was just feeling the pain more intense. After realizing the power of the arnica pills, I started taking them every 2 hours again but this time consistently for a week.
They are now a staple item in our house. If the kids fall, husband has a headache, or I have a stiff neck, we always reach for the arnica tablets.
6 - Waist trainer
What woman doesn't want to get back to her regular weight as fast as she can after having her baby?
Getting rid of the baby pooch can be frustrating, after all, your organs are still getting back into place, and your abdominal muscles are so far apart they are on different time zones. But where there is a will, there is a way! And that is why waist trainers are a must have on my postpartum list.
They help your body bring the ab muscles back together. So, while it is not recommended to exercise six weeks after giving birth, it is totally fine to wear a waist trainer so you can help your body shed that baby belly fat faster.
There are a variation of waist trainers in the market, my favorite are the vest waist trainers which cover your entire back, the ones with the double control with the hooks/zipper and with a velcro belt.
7 - Iron supplements and foods
Did I mention you will be bleeding anywhere from 30 to 45 days? Some women, like myself, can become anemic after giving birth due to the loss of blood.
Iron supplements and foods such as spinach, or live can help curve the risk of becoming anemic.
To ensure I do not suffer from any iron efficiency, I supplement my daily intake with Hema Plex which was what my doctor recommended. This is also the one I take during pregnancy if I happen to have low iron. In the event you become constipated, try taking the iron pills along with a juice packed with Vitamin C, like orange for example, and/or a vitamin C supplement.
8 - Prenatal pills
To heal faster and better, your body depends on vitamins to do its job, hence, it is very important that you continue taking your prenatal supplements even after you have given birth.
If you are breastfeeding then you most definitely should continue taking the vitamins until you have weaned your baby to ensure that both you and your baby are getting all the nutrients you both need.
I alternate between two different brands of prenatal vitamins, MaryRuth Organics and Garden of Life My Kind. They are both organic, non GMO, gluten free and vegan. The major difference between the two is that the MaryRuth brand has probiotics.
9 - Pantyliners
Once the heavy bleeding goes away, wearing adult diapers and uncomfortable pads might no longer be necessary. However, you may want to wear a pantyliner as there can be some spotting and you want to be proactive for the sake of your underwear.
You may also experience the blood coming back which is exactly what happened to me with my fourth child. I thought the bleeding was gone and after two days it returned with a vengeance and just like that one of my favorite underwear was gone.
10 - Postpartum tea
Mental health is just as important as physical health and postpartum depression is a real condition.
Pregnancy and the birth of a new baby can bring many changes and new challenges for everyone involved especially the mother. Moms are also dealing with hormonal imbalance which can lead to mood swings and unstable feelings.
To ensure your mental stability and happiness my first advice on this is : Happy mom, Happy baby!
Here's what I mean:
I am a breastfeeding mama but I understand that it isn't for every woman. If breastfeeding is making you miserable and you want to use formula but are afraid what others may say, use formula. Don't do it for others, do it for your sanity, for your happiness and your baby's happiness as well.
Now, with that out of the way, take time for yourself to relax. For me the best way to do that is by sipping a mid morning or afternoon tea while the baby takes her nap. I love the bamboobies women's postpartum tea because it is specifically made for women who are going through the postpartum period.
The tea can help balance postpartum hormones and stabilize mood, it has a sweet flavor and aroma and it is free of caffeine.
Part of taking care of yourself includes using items and foods that are non toxic and free of harsh chemicals which is the very own reason why bamboobies is one of the best options for postpartum teas. Their tea are made without GMOs, gluten, soy, wheat, sugar, tree nuts, animal products, preservatives, artificial ingredients, Dairy or peanuts
11 - Lactation Drink Mix
Ready to boost your milk supply? One of the tastiest way to help boost milk supply is with smoothies. There are a variety of foods that can support the hormones that helps promote healthy breast milk supply and a smoothie is a great way to intake them.
To give your lactation smoothie a boost, you can add a lactation drink mix. My favorite one is the upspring milkflow breastfeeding drink mix, their chocolate flavor one is just simply delicious. The mix combines three naturally-sourced breast milk-boosting herbs – fenugreek, blessed thistle, and anise to help support breast milk production.
Here's my favorite lactation smoothie drink:
4 - 6oz of yogurt
Put all the ingredients in the blender except for the mix. Once you have blended the first ingredients, add the lactation mix and blend it one last time and enjoy.
You can also watch the video right here
12 - Nipple cream
Nipple cream is another breastfeeding must have. Regardless of how many children you have had or how much experience you have, you will want to have nipple cream in hands just in case.
Every child is different, some get the concept of breastfeeding really quickly, while others don't, there are even babies that have issues with tongue tie causing damage to the nipple area.
A good nipple cream should help with keeping the area moisturized, assist with healing and prevent cracking.
Bamboobies has a great nipple cream that is safe for mom and for baby as well, no need to wipe off before nursing. It is organic and lanolin free.
What has helped you the most during the postpartum phase? Please share it in the comments and help other moms who may be looking for a solution to the same problem you had.
If you have a questions or just want to say hello, don't hesitate to reach out via social media or send a DM on Instagram.