Carrie Kinnison, Maternity Coach
Here’s the truth: most moms are so focused on the actual birth process and being prepared to meet their new baby’s needs, that they never stop to consider what they might need after birth.
Whether you are a first-time mom or a seasoned veteran, stocking a postpartum care kit is one of the best ways you can prepare to be kind to yourself during your recovery! There is a shift that occurs when we invest in ourselves like this, that tells us we are strong, powerful, and worth believing in. This makes the birth process itself easier and more enjoyable, and prepares us to mother from a more centered place.
If you are early enough in your pregnancy, you might want to add some of these items to your registry!
1. Booby Tubes by Earth Mama Angel Baby
Your breasts will dramatically change in the days following birth. Within 3-4 days after birth, your baby’s suckling will trigger the flow of mature milk, which could bring with it over-engorgement, swollen skin, and pain around the nipple area. That is where Booby Tubes come in! These flexible organic cotton tubes filled with flax seed are made to be heated up or cooled in the freezer.
When cold, they provide excellent relief for sore nipples, and are an ah-mazing alternative to gel breast packs which can sweat through your clothes. And unlike ice packs or gel packs, Booby Tubes remain flexible and malleable even when cooled. If you do decide to freeze them, I recommend putting them inside a Ziploc bag, so that they do not assume the odors of the freezer meals you've prepared before baby! If you do use them cooled, it is best to warm them up and apply them again afterward, so you are not blocking the flow of milk by staying too cool. When warm, Booby Tubes help release milk and stimulate production.
But the best thing about Booby Tubes? They are one-size fits all, and can be twisted and manipulated for any size woman.
2. Peri Bottle
Childbirth changes things. Simple everyday activities like sitting and walking are suddenly monumental tasks. Going to the bathroom? Yea, you want to be prepared!
Toilet paper can further irritate sensitive skin after birth, so you will want to make sure you have a peri bottle handy instead.
A peri bottle is essentially a squirt bottle that you use as a substitute for toilet paper after birth. As a tip, cold water can sting sensitive skin so be sure to fill your peri bottle with warm water each time you use the restroom.
3. Maxi Pads
During pregnancy, your blood volume increases by about 50%, and discharging that extra blood postpartum is completely normal. Breastfeeding stimulates the release of oxytocin that helps the uterus contract and expel this extra blood, called lochia.
Your hospital will send you home with some pads to get you through the first few days, but make sure you stock up yourself as well.
The bleeding period can last up to 4 weeks, and will be heavy at first, tapering off toward the end just like a normal period. How many do you need? i’d recommend having about 200 maxi pads on hand.
4. Tuck’s Pads/Witch Hazel Pads
After birth, your perineal muscles are going to be sore. Tuck’s pads provide cooling relief to this stretch, irritated skin. To use Tuck’s, simply line your pad with four or five pads. Just replace them again when you discard your pad. Your hospital may offer you a package of these during your recovery stay.
5. Heating Pad
The small mini-contractions your uterus makes in the weeks following birth may feel like subtle labor pains. To ease the discomfort, drape a cloth-covered heating pad across your abdomen and set it to medium heat. Some moms will find relief from heat on the lower back area as well. Figure out what works for you, but you will definitely want to have a heating pad handy!
Now, with these essentials in place, I encourage you to take the next step and personalize your kit. Recovery can be a confusing time. You’ll want to supplement your postpartum care kit with personalized items that remind you of who you are. Some ideas to include are:
- Photos from a time you felt the most “you”
- Affirmation cards
- A list of songs that will lift you up
- A list of people who have agreed to offer emotional support
The postpartum period is a vital time of recovery, growth, and—most significantly—redefinition for new moms. By preparing this special kit for yourself, you’ll be setting yourself up to care for your new family in the most balanced way possible. Congratulations, mama!
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