Updated: Aug 17
You’ve made it through nine months of pregnancy, and birth, either labour and delivery or a major surgical procedure and now you have your baby. Well done, mumma! But now begins the hard part, parenting, getting to know your baby, and recovering from pregnancy and birth. And you need to do all of this while functioning on much less sleep than you are used to!
And while all the focus is on the baby, postpartum recovery of a new mum is also vital! You carried a baby for nine months and then birthed a baby, your body needs time to recover.
When I was in my postpartum period, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing friends who guided me on what I needed and helped me understand what to expect. Here are some of the things I recommend for postpartum:
A sitz bath is recommended by many drs and midwives in the postpartum period. A sitz bath is a small bath in which you soak your vagina and perineum area in a warm bath with Epsom salts, essential oils or herbs to promote healing. A sitz bath is wonderful for cleaning your vagina area post birth, soothing sore perineum and vagina, soothing haemorrhoids and helping with muscle relaxation and cramps. To make a sitz bath:
Wait three days after giving birth to begin
Ensure you have a clean bath to begin with.
Fill the bath with a small amount of warm water, just enough to comfortably cover the vaginal area
Add a small cup of our healing sitz bath soak
Sit and relax for 15 - 20 minutes.
If you are breastfeeding, a silicone breast pump is a must! A silicone breast pump is different to an electric breast pump and different to manual pumps. A silicone breast pump uses gentle suction to gently remove milk from the breasts. Silicone breast pumps are most commonly put on the used by placing them on the opposite breast while feeding, allowing the gentle suction to draw out the milk during letdown. They can also be used to relieve engorgement at the beginning of breastfeeding, and also any time when your baby hasn’t fed for a while. These silicone breast pumps allow you to build up a stash of milk in the freezer without ever having to pump milk. You can also purchase our breastmilk freezer bags.
It is very common for breastfeeding mothers to leak breast milk often, especially from the opposite side while feeding baby. Breast pads are essential to protect clothing from becoming wet and soaked with milk. Reusable breast pads are a more eco friendly alternative to disposable breast pads. Check out our reusable breast pads with cute designs. Ensure you change your breast pads regularly, and wash them in a delicate bag in the washing machine.
The beginning of breast feeding can be really difficult, and it’s common to have some nipple and breast pain, as well as engorgement. Reusable hot and cold gel packs are excellent at soothing and providing relief from discomfort. Being reusable, these make a more eco-friendly alternative to alternative cooling breast pads. Please ensure you seek help from a medical professional or breastfeeding specialist if you have severe pain while breastfeeding.
5) Lactation biscuits and other snacks
The single most important postpartum essential is snacks! The hunger in the early postpartum period is very intense, and it’s very important to ensure you are getting nutritious and high calorie foods. Not only that, being sleep deprived and recently given birth, you will not feel like cooking food. Snacks are an absolute essential. Keep some in your nappy bag, have some on hand while feeding the baby, and keep some in your bedroom at night. The intensity of the hunger slows, but in the meantime keep snacks around. Lactation biscuits make a great snack, as they are nutritious, high in calories, and designed especially to nourish breastfeeding mums.
6) Nursing balm
nursing balm is another essential for breastfeeding mums. Sooth soreness and discomfort that comes with early breastfeeding with this nursing balm, naturopathically formulated for breastfeeding mums.
7) A good water bottle – Hydration is very important for recovery, and even more so if you are breastfeeding. Keep a water bottle with you at all times; in your nappy bag, nappy caddy, in your bedroom. Ensure you are well hydrated all the times.
8) Maternity pads
Think of the most giant pads you have ever seen, this is what you need in the early postpartum days. Buy specific maternity pads from the supermarket or chemist. Alternatively, some mothers like to use disposable postpartum underwear or adult nappies. After a week or so, you should be able to downgrade to some regular pads.
9) Lip balm
Dry lips are generally uncomfortable, and I seemed to have very dry lips in the hospital after having babies. Carry around a lip balm, or a great multi purpose product like this pawpaw ointment.
Lotions and oils are great in the postpartum period. You may like to use a balm or oil for stretch marks on your stomach. You may also experience dry skin. Or for some new mums, using some beautiful body lotion can feel luxurious and can give just a tiny moment of self-care. We love our range of skincare for mums and babies, including moisture rich body lotion, nourishing oil, intensive soothing cream, and pawpaw ointment.
What other essentials do you recommend in the postpartum period? Let us know in the comments!