postpartum recovery essentials

Products You Need For Your DIY Postpartum Recovery Kit

You’ve spent months getting everything you need for the baby. But have you prepared your postpartum recovery kit for what you will need to ease your recovery postpartum? Your body deserves to be well-loved after the marathon event you’re about to go through.

There are so many products marketed to new moms claiming to be essential for postpartum recovery. Some products were lifesavers. Others will forever sit in a bathroom vanity untouched or barely used.

So I put together this list of things for your postpartum recovery kit I absolutely couldn’t live without. You’ll be thankful to have them in your postpartum recovery kit (because even Amazon Prime can’t deliver quickly enough when you need them!)

Don’t forget to pin this post so you can refer to it again and again (or pass it along to a friend in need!)

Also, this post contains affiliate links for which I may receive a small commission.

What do I need for my postpartum care kit?

Here’s what I recommend having in your postpartum recovery kit specifically for your lady bits:

  • Adult diapers – Not only are they comfortable, they’re practical for late pregnancy and postpartum leaks.
  • Sitz bath – A sitz bath that sits on the toilet is great for quick soaks if you don’t have time for a bath, or if you don’t have a tub.
  • Sitz bath salts or regular epsom salts – This helps heal the bits and alleviate sore muscles (pushing is hard work!).
  • Mesh underwear – These kind aren’t see-through for when visitors are around. See more details about my Frida Mom mesh underwear comparison to hospital mesh undies below.
  • Ice pads – These are heaven on sore lady bits and worth getting a pack.
  • Pliable, rectangular ice packs – For when your ice pads run out and you’re not bleeding as heavy, but still need comfort after overdoing it (like after browsing too many isles at Target, or just making your way to the back of the store to get toilet paper. How did we ever survive before Pick-Up service??)
  • Perineal spray – Dermaplast from the hospital is great, but this kind is a bit more gentle and great for longer-term use.
  • Waxelene or Vaseline – Dryness down there can occur postpartum so a topical lubricant can help prevent chafing.
  • Donut pillow – Helps take the pressure off the nether region. Softer surfaces such as couches and even car seats really seemed to put pressure upward and cause discomfort.
  • Tucks pads – Put these on your pads for cooling comfort in the days postpartum.
  • Pads of a variety of sizes and pantyliners – your bleeding will vary so be prepared!
  • A quality lubricant that won’t sting and that will last the duration of the deed – for when you’re ready and willing to attempt the deed again.

The best place to store these items is in baskets in the bathrooms you use most frequently. This one is cute and functional and sits perfectly on the back of the toilet, and can be repurposed later. While this one is larger and has handles, making it easier to tote from one bathroom to another.

What are other essentials for postpartum recovery?

You may be focused on things you’ll need for your down there care in your postpartum recovery kit, but don’t forget about the milk makers!

  • Silicone breast pump – Even if you’re getting a breast pump, there are so many uses for a silicone milk collector throughout your breastfeeding journey!
  • Lactation cookies – They’re not only helpful but a delicious snack to grab easily.
  • Nipple Cream – To help soothe nipple pain and discomfort. This option is free of lanolin and you don’t need to worry about wiping it off prior to nursing.

Are Frida Mom products worth the money?

Frida Mom offers some great options for mamas postpartum and I tested a few products. Some I used (such as the ice pads, and they were heaven) and others are sitting on a shelf in our bathroom unused. Others I wanted to love, but wasn’t overly impressed, but I would still buy them again knowing their limitations.

The good news is you will get all of these items from the hospital. So, you can save money and skip these products if you don’t mind the hospital stuff, or put your dollars somewhere more fun. In my experience, the hospital versions were ultimately better than the products I purchased on my own.

Here are the details:

Mesh Underwear

I lived in mesh underwear for longer than I needed to. They were just so comfortable, and comfort is key in those weeks postpartum! I bought Frida Mom mesh underwear but I preferred the hospital version for a few reasons. Here are the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself:

Hospital Mesh Underwear Pros

  • “Free” from the hospital (or, at least you’re already paying for them)
  • Very soft and stretchy
  • Reusable time and again until they fall apart (they’re washable)
  • Held up to multiple pad replacements throughout the day, for multiple days
  • Accommodated multiple sized pads from giant diapers to everyday pads

Hospital Mesh Underwear Cons

  • They’re see-through, so they’re not as conducive to wearing around the house with guests stopping by
  • The crotch area is a thinner and less defined than the Frida Mom version, so smaller pads didn’t stick/stay in place as well. (But truthfully, at that point I could have switched to regular underwear. They were just so darn comfy.)

Frida Mom Mesh Underwear Pros

  • These mesh undies are not see through. They are gray and stretch like mesh undies but appear more like boy shorts with enough coverage to wear around the house as-is when you don’t feel like wearing pants, especially during summer months.
  • They offer a wider crotch that has more surface area so smaller pads stuck in place.
  • Beneficial for nights when bleeding was super light and you want to lose the pads completely or drop down to a liner.
  • Higher waist than hospital mesh underwear may be beneficial to mamas who have a C-section because it will clear the incision area.

Frida Mom Mesh Underwear Cons

  • The major con which prevents me from adding this product to the absolute must-have list was its price for being such a single-use item. So while these underwear are better at grasping the pads, the downside is that they really only are single use. And I don’t mean single day—I mean single use as between bathroom trips if you’re planning to replace your pads each time. It was very difficult to remove pads from these underwear without the crotch ripping or becoming stretched beyond usability. Therefore, I found myself switching back to the hospital undies whenever I would start out with the Frida Mom undies.
  • They didn’t offer as much stretch and couldn’t very well accommodate the giant hospital pads without being uncomfortably bulky. So, you would want these more when using smaller pads.
  • The high waist also can be a con if it’s unnecessary because they stuck out well above any pair of pants I wore.

Peri Bottle

Some mamas swear by the Frida Mom peri bottles, but I found it to be more of a pain in the vagina than helpful. I really didn’t need an upside-down bottle, and the nozzle wouldn’t sit right and kept leaking. I was already waiting to go to the bathroom until the sink water was warm. The bottle kept leaking my precious warm water. I chucked the Frida Mom peri bottle and stuck with the hospital version. It served its purpose just fine.

Will I need a postpartum wardrobe?

Yes! Postpartum, you will want to feel comfy as you can in your new beautiful body. But you’ll also want items that are practical. Here are the few staples I recommend buying for your postpartum lounging and snuggle sessions.

  • Stretchy nursing bras – When your milk comes in, you’ll want a bra that can adapt to your engorged breasts while your supply regulates.
  • Loose-fitting pants – The maternity leggings are great, but you may just want loose pants that are breathable and don’t ride up in places that already feel uncomfortable.
  • Skin-to-skin shirt or sweatshirt – Skin-to-skin is such a great way to bond with and calm baby, but if it’s cold to be naked, or you have visitors, it’s inconvenient to have your chest hanging out. These are great options for maximizing snuggle time and offer coverage.
  • Lalabu soothe shirt – Sometimes you won’t want to deal with the hassle of a baby wearing device or it’s too big and cumbersome for an itty bitty newborn. This shirt was extremely convenient for just tucking baby inside and going about the day. (They even have a dad version!) It also offered easy breastfeeding access whether baby was in or out of the shirt. (FYI, the shirt itself is very tight and is not stretchy. The pocket is the same size for each shirt size, too. Definitely measure yourself with their sizing instructions. I found that stepping into it was the easiest and kept the pocket from bunching up. Lalabu says it’s best for new babies up to 15 pounds, but I think it depends more on your baby’s height!)
  • Nursing tanks – You likely have stocked up on maternity shirts or dresses, but you’ll want to add nursing tanks to your wardrobe. A bunch of nursing tanks because, especially at first, because you won’t wear the same shirt two days in a row (unless, of course, you’re sleep-deprived and have no idea what day it is). Nursing tank tops have special clips that unclasp when the baby needs to nurse or you need to pump. It’s much easier at first to have shirts that come down than shirts with the flap that you need to pull and somehow manage to keep off the baby’s face while you’re also trying to position and latch your baby at the same time. I recommend saving the flap shirts for once you’ve perfected your latch and you need more discreet nursing coverage.
  • Button-down shirts – I live in these shirts because not only are they cute and comfortable, they’re also very breastfeeding/pumping friendly. They’re also great for layering nursing tanks underneath. Any button-down shirt is a great option though.
  • Easy-access pajamas – Eat, nurse, sleep when you can. That’s the routine when you have a baby so you’ll want really comfy PJs.
  • Black underwear – Comfy undies are essential for your postpartum recovery kit. I love these from Fruit of the Loom.

Do I need a hospital gown?

Personally, I find all the pretty hospital gowns to be a bit overpriced for practical use. Things get really messy, both during labor and after, and if you’re strapped for cash you may just want to invest in some other wardrobe staples. HOWEVER, I’m all about doing what makes you feel good. And maybe you want cute photos in your cute gown and matching robe. In which case, I say go for it, mama! (But definitely DO NOT wear it during delivery. Save it for the photo ops so it stays nice and blood-free. The last thing you want is blood all over your cute gown and no stain remover easily accessible. Or extra laundry to do when you get home! 🙂

PRO TIP: Pull up the back of your robe so your mesh underwear is sitting directly on the Chux pad on the bed to avoid bloodstains.

Another option is this super comfy (and practical) black 3-in-1 gown. I lived in this for most of my summer maternity leave because it was so comfortable and it is black so I was less concerned about stains.

Another postpartum recovery kit must-have

Postpartum, you’ll just want to feel good. But when your hair is coming out in clumps, it’s just one more thing that adds insult to injury.

I found and fell in love with Oh Hey Mama Hair Repair serum and I LOVE it. Not only does it smell great, it actually works so well at restoring hair growth. Within a couple of weeks of using it my baby hairs had grown significantly and had become much more manageable. My hair was super soft and shiny.

Oh Hey Mama Hair Repair was created by a mama like us who KNOWS what it’s like to lose her hair postpartum. You can check out the serum here and get 10% OFF when you use the promo code BEANS.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Postpartum Recovery is …

Be gentle with yourself. The first days postpartum are both the most amazing and the most taxing. You’re trying to figure out life with this new little human and your hormones are raging. And you’re trying to heal. You may even be trying to process emotions from your birth experience. Be kind to yourself as you navigate your new normal. Ask for help. Don’t overdo it. And just enjoy those snuggles and baby scent!

Also, make sure you take advantage of ALL the things the hospital provides. While I recommended the above items, I made good use of all the hospital goodies including mesh underwear, Chux pads, regular pads, peri bottle, and Dermoplast. Don’t forget the baby diapers and wipes, too. (And check out this post where I cover all the diaper changing secrets you’ll want to know to avoid those dreaded blow-outs!)

Was there a product you found particularly helpful to have in your postpartum recovery care kit? Mention it below in the comments section! Also, be sure to check out the prepared mama roadmaps to help make your pregnancy and postpartum journey easier!

P.S. Here is our birth story if you’d like to learn about the day we welcomed our little girl into the world. Good luck, mama. You’ve got this!

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