Postpartum must haves

Here’s my list of essential postpartum items that helped me get through the first few days at home with baby.

Menstrual pads

Stock up on pads! I’ve always had a lighter period and I’ve been using a menstrual cup for years. Pads are just something I don’t have in stock at home.

I feel like a dumb ass because I really didn’t expect THAT much bleeding after delivery. I kept joking that it looked like a massacre had occurred in my hospital bathroom.

Pre-delivery,  I had purchased two packs of the Natracare brand menstrual pads (one maternity – 10 pack, one ultra with wings – 14 pack).  Well, let’s just say these were gone within two days of getting home. I ended buying two packs of U by Kotex overnight pads (28 X 2 – I would have preferred the Natracare brand, but I wasn’t driving across town to get them). One week postpartum, I’ve got about half a pack left as my bleeding has subsided quite a bit. I would compare both the Natracare maternity pads and the Kotex overnight pads to the one that the hospitals supply. My public health nurse also advised me that she hears that Always is the least comfortable brand for postpartum needs.

Point being: buy more than you think you will need.


Depend disposable underwear (or any other brand of disposable diaper/panties)

Yes, I’m 100% supporting you wearing oh-so-sexy granny diapers. My friend suggested this tip and it is a laundry saver!Our hospital offered disposable undies but I found the nurses were stingy on bringing me additional pairs when I was running out. Depends saves your own panties because we really wants to be doing more laundry in those first few days?

I used a Depend + a menstrual pad. I tried just the Depend one night but leaked (another tip: put an old pair of sheets on the bed).

If you are looking for a less diaper-ish style, try the Depend Silhouettes. They even have a lower rise cut which still hit me at waist level but wasn’t as Granny.

Honestly, the first few days at home I was mainly topless or wearing a nursing bra and these hot pants.You want comfort and ease.


Padsicles & Perenium Spray

Now, take those pads you bought and make yourself a nice stash of padsicles. Those first few days postpartum the padsicle will feel like heaven on your sore lady bits.

I used this recipe from the Modern Alternative Mama. I omitted the aloe and simply wrapped my padsicles in the wrapper they came with.  I personally use Young Living essential oils,  but there are many brands out there that you can try.

The recipe can also be used as a perenium spray. Simply pour it into a spray bottle and give your lady bits a nice spray down after every trip to the bathroom.

Lactation Cookies

I made these a few days before I went into labour. My milk came in great. I don’t know if I can attribute it to the cookies,  but I’m sure they helped. I even brought some to the hospital with me to snack on after delivery.

I used this lactation cookie recipe. If you have trouble finding brewer’s yeast,  check your local health food store. I added chocolate chips and dried apricots to my cookies. Mmmmm.  They are also a nice quick snack for once you are home with baby. Very filling.


Nursing Bra

We have an amazing local Mama/Baby store that carries a variety of nursing products. I visited them in my 3rd trimester to be fitted for a nursing bra. It’s a good idea to get at least one bra for those first few days postpartum. You may need to buy another size once your milk comes in,  but if you go to a reputable store,  an expert should be able to find you a versatile style that may work for a while. You will want a style without underwire when you milk is coming in.

I went with the Bravado Bliss style.  It still fits, but it’s slightly tight on the right boob since my milk came in. I popped by the store on Friday and picked up another style, the Bravado Essential Embrace. Go with something you find comfortable. Note: both these styles work well for giant ta-tas. 


Nipple Cream

I didn’t put a lot of thought or research into nipple creams. A friend recommended I bring some to the hospital, so I picked up a tube of the standard Lansinoh Lanolin cream.

My nips were totally chapped after the first night of learning to breastfeed. It’s hard to get a good latch when you are a first time Momma and have just endured 22 hours of labour. This cream has been a lifesaver. Since my milk came in, I’m using breastmilk more often than the cream, but it still works.


Water bottle

Let me rephrase this: a water bottle that you can drink from with 1 hand. The first few days into nursing, I was juggling my boob and the baby. I love my Swell water bottles, but the lid requires two hands to open it. I switched to the Contigo one-handed style to ensure I can nurse my baby and sip my water at the same time.


What were your essential items for postpartum? 

42 thoughts on “Postpartum must haves

  1. Those were Ll my essentials too just different brands and I decided on nursing tanks with a shelf bra instead of the bra cause I hated how I would leak onto the bra cup that had been folded down when nursing. For some reason it doesn’t gets as messy with a nursing tank and I didn’t fit in any tops I could wear just a bra with. I liked the Always Infinity Heavy Flow without wings, less bulk same absorbency! The massacre reference is accurate even for a Csection birth. I used the giant cup the hospital provided that has a straw in the lid and I still use it daily, it hold 32 fluid oz. Breast pads were at the top of my list as well cause again I leaked like mad after my milk cam in. I didn’t make cookies but bough these cookie like bites called Aussie Bites you can by at Costco in the states or elsewhere too that have all the same things and more in them. I ate them like a meal in the middle of he night!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I’ve been alternating between disposable and reusable breast pads. I’ve noticed I’m leaking a lot more today and the reusable ones aren’t cutting it, but I do find them more comfy. My gigantic boobs won’t fit in any nursing tanks except the ones that you wear with your bra. I’ve searched and searched but I’m the J/K cup right now

      Liked by 1 person

      • Try ordering from target the tank I told you about, if Kate fits you will it’s really stretchy and oddly supportive. Bamboobies are the only reusable pads I think are comfy and do their job, the blue overnight ones not the heart shaped ones.


  2. Bravado is the brand I swear by too. Bras & tanks. I’ll definitely be getting to those lactation cookie recipes soon! Yum. The bleeding for me lasted 8 weeks with dd#1. I swear it made up for even more than my entire pregnancy of no period, all in one shot!


  3. Ibuprofen, nuts and other one hand snacks, a birth ball for sitting on, a boppy for nursing, and a post partum doula (in my case, my mother). Oh. And a new video game. I think I played at least 40 hours of final fantasy a week for the first month, mostly while nursing!


  4. Great list! I second all of these, except I use the earth mama angel baby nipple butter.

    And def the brest friend nursing pillow! It has saved my back and decreased the knots in my shoulders! Also, I recommend a woven wrap or Moby to carry a cluster feeder. I’m still stuck on the couch more than I would like to be, but it isn’t for several hours at a time anymore!


    • Ooops! Also I found getting good nursing camis while in my 3rd trimester to be really helpful. No guessing on cup size or buying a bra you may not fit when your milk comes in. They’re still supportive and it’s one less thing you have to wear lol. I lived in my camis and depends for the 1st week out of the hospital lol!


  5. I second the one handed snacks. I was so hungry while nursing in the beginning. Also tucks witch hazel hemorrhoid pads. They felt great even after I stopped using ice packs. I really liked the mesh undies from the hospital. My nurses. Were a little more generous with those. You can also wash them. My advice would be try to get EVERYTHING you an from the hospital. At least stateside, you are paying for it. I had some lovely nurses who helped me stock up on pads, numbing spray and mesh undies.


  6. One-handed snacks (and water bottles) are definitely a must. For the rest, to be honest, most items you can forego if you have a c-section as they are fairly specific to a vaginal delivery. I’m not even a week out and basically have no bleeding, but wear a pantyliner for the occasional brown spotting. It’s been like that for a couple of days. For breast cream, Lansinoh is good but the best thing out there is Dr. Newman’s APNO (all purpose nipple ointment). He’s the leading lactation specialist on the continent and this is a prescription ointment you need to get made at a compounding pharmacy. My OB gave me a RX for it – if you run into trouble, look it up and get a batch done. 🙂


    • Ah great tip for the nipple cream! Ill keep that in mind. Yes I really should have specified a vaginally delivery. I’m not going through a ton of pads but I do change it a few times a day right now. I’d take a liner and brown spotting anytime soon.


  7. My only comment on this post, since I haven’t shared in these joys yet, is that I love my Contigo water bottle as well!! I got one of the ones that has a button you push to pop the sipper up, and I absolutely love it! It’s my favorite for work and for car trips! I’ll make sure to tell B that whenever the time comes, to remember to take it with us to the hospital too lol!


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