DIY Postpartum Care Kit for First Time Moms (STEP BY STEP)
Throughout my first pregnancy, I read all the popular pregnancy books out there. Read a few blog posts and I thought I was 100% ready for baby. Well, I was. But what I wasn’t prepared for, was the postpartum recovery. I had no idea how much I needed a postpartum care kit.
You may have seen that postpartum care has (finally) been getting a lot more attention over the past few years.
In fact, one of the biggest movements included the #THISISPOSTPARTUM social media wave that united tons of postpartum moms.
Throughout this unity, providing support for one another, including tips to help each other recover as we journey into mom-hood has influenced the way we now look at pregnancy to include the postpartum period.
One of the biggest tips I’ve come across (and totally FAILED to do with my first) is to create a postpartum care kit!
Why should I make a postpartum care kit?
Creating a postpartum care kit allows you the opportunity to gather all the essential items needed for a smooth recovery, put them in one (or multiple) central locations, and alleviate the worry of being prepared for recovery.
The good news is if you have a hospital or give birth at a birthing center — you can usually get a good chunk of supplies needed from them, such as:
- mesh underwear
- thick postpartum pads
- peri bottle(s)
- witch hazel pads
- Ice packs
- stool softener
- wound dressing (if needed for cesarean)
- nipple cream (if planning to breastfeed)
If not, don’t worry, you can plan ahead (I suggest no later than the first few weeks into your 3rd trimester) and order all the items you need.
Keep in mind, you’ll want to account for the kind of delivery you’re PLANNING to have.
If you know you will be induced for a cesarean, get postpartum supplies relevant to that.
If you know you’re going to try for a vaginal delivery, get postpartum supplies for that.
Postpartum Essentials for mom to put in your Postpartum Care Kit
This post may contain affiliate links.
We’re going to cover a massive list of postpartum essentials to include when you make your own postpartum care kit for a smooth recovery.
Keep on reading if you’re ready to be prepared for your postpartum recovery too!
Peri Bottle (an irrigation bottle after childbirth)
Going to the bathroom will likely feel uncomfortable if you had a vaginal delivery.
Whether you experienced any tearing, had an episiotomy, or didn’t have any “issues” down-there, it’ll likely be tender regardless.
That being said, you will not be wiping after using the bathroom (at least for a couple of weeks). Instead, you’ll use a peri bottle!
Usually, your hospital will provide you with a standard clear plastic peri bottle to fill with warm soothing water and rinse off after using the bathroom.
However, they also make an angled bottle designed to help you “aim” exactly where you need to rinse without having to bend forward into any uncomfortable positions.
Witch hazel pads should be a MUST for all postpartum moms that gave birth vaginally!
According to Healthline, “Witch hazel contains many compounds with potent anti-inflammatory properties, including gallic acid and tannins.” It makes sense that the use of these pads can help to soothe the irritated skin & tissue down there after giving birth.
I know from personal experience, I found them extremely helpful in providing pretty quick relief!
The other thing you could do is purchase an actual bottle of witch hazel & mix a little bit into your warm peri bottle rinse!
I found the peri bottle + witch hazel combo to be very effective in alleviating pain/burning down below after birth.
After birth pads
Believe it or not, whether you had a cesarean or a vaginal delivery — there will blood after birth.
You can expect some heavy to moderate bleeding that tapers off over the next few weeks, but during that time, stocking up on some after birth pads are a must.
Now, the hospital tends to have giant dinosaur pads that I personally find very uncomfortable.
If you need some thick pads to do the trick, I found that these Always Maxi Pads did the trick & were most comfortable (especially when sleeping in them overnight).
Even if you don’t think you’ll need them, grab a pack, and have it ready to go, trust me on this one.
And if you just hate pads, use the disposable undies up next on the list instead!
I won’t lie – I hated the giant pads the hospital gave me.
I found them uncomfortable and also just not very discreet.
Instead, I opted to pick up some always discreet underwear (disposable) which was 10 times more comfortable and easier to move around in!
The absorbency was amazing despite all that initial heavy bleeding.
They truly made my postpartum experience overall a lot more manageable!
Perineal cold packs
Cold packs will be a lifesaver if you had any kind of tearing or episiotomies.
It’s a different kind of pain that makes it uncomfortable to simply walk around or move.
Fortunately, Frida Mom has come out with pad-like perineal cold packs to wear, and let me tell you — THEY WORK WONDERS!
They’re a little on the pricey side, so if you wanted to save a few bucks, you could grab some regular maxi pads, lather them with witch hazel + plain aloe vera and place them in the freezer — boom! You just made your own perineal cold packs (also termed “PADSICLES”)
A SITZ bath will come in handy for the usual swelling/irritation down below.
In addition to helping you keep yourself fresh and clean since you won’t be able to wipe.
It’s literally a sterile bath for your va-jay-jay that gets placed on the toilet, filled up with warm water (add some Epsom mix for extra soothing relief) and you can let the bath do the work from there!
I personally didn’t use my SITZ bath enough because I made the mistake of ordering a giant one that was a pain to use. However, when you order the portable SITZ baths that actually fit on your toilet, they really do provide incredible perineal pain relief.
Perineal soothing spray(s)
These perineal soothing sprays are great to offer a “quick-relief” kind of sensation (especially during those first few days after delivery).
I found relief with all 3 of these perineal sprays and depending on if you prefer a more natural spray vs. medical spray, you can see it listed next to the item below:
- Dermoplast BLUE – this medical spray provides the quickest relief for perineal discomfort. I would always use this after using the bathroom and it would provide immediate relief!
- Earth Mama Herbal Spray (natural) – this natural spray also provides fast cooling comfort down below. I didn’t find it works AS fast as the Dermoplast, but when you’re trying to avoid unnecessary chemicals & ingredients, this is the spray to use!
- Nalakai Healing Herbal Spray (natural) – again, another natural spray that provides cooling and soothing relief for your lady bits down below. I personally didn’t feel as much cooling relief as I did with the Earth Mama or Dermoplast, but I did notice that once the soothing effect took place, it seemed to last much longer.
Stool softeners are a MUST in any postpartum recovery kit. Why?
Well, you do NOT want to be straining to have a bowel movement after giving birth.
This goes for both vaginal & cesarean deliveries.
On top of the pain, you’ll feel from excessively straining, you could also end up giving yourself some very uncomfortable hemorrhoids back there.
So trust me, put the stool softeners in your recovery kit and take them as recommended by your provider!
Other Postpartum Essentials
On top of those non-negotiable essential recovery items above, you may find yourself needing additional things to help you cope with your body’s changes after birth.
You can find a quick break down below depending on your needs!
Comfortable clothing after birth:
- Nursing bras
- Sleep bras
- Loose fitting t-shirts
- Soft pajamas
- Lounge pants or joggers
- Soft robe
Items for baby:
- Variety of swaddles (2-3)
- Lots of burp cloths
- Suction bulb (2-3)
- Multiple sizes of baby diapers
- Baby Wipes (Water wipes are AMAZING)
- Portable White Noise Machine
Now, it won’t be a deal-breaker if you don’t have every single item on this list, but it’s a good idea to at least check them all out and see which ones you think can help you the most!
What will you pack in your postpartum care kit?