There are things that you definitely need postpartum and other things that are nice to have but not essentials. It is important to know which is which as you embark on your postpartum journey. Set yourself up for success knowing the postpartum must-haves that you absolutely need and the things you really don’t need but could be nice to have. Even if you want everything and have the space and budget for it, there are many items that may not work for your baby or may never come into need.
The Absolute Postpartum Must-Haves
Once you announce you are pregnant everyone has an opinion about what you should and shouldn’t do. There is a difference between postpartum must-haves and things that are nice to have. Although babies don’t come with manuals they are essentially “easy” in that they really require in the postpartum phase. You just must have lots of all of the postpartum must-haves, backups, and extras on hand at all times, you definitely never want to run out of any postpartum must-haves.
Postpartum must-haves are the essentials for day-to-day living with a newborn and your own personal needs as you recover from childbirth. When preparing for postpartum, is as important to set yourself up for success as it is to set your baby up as needed. You may not need quite as many items as a baby postpartum, but you will need to make sure you have all of the supplies as you recover from childbirth as well.
Most hospitals will let you leave with extras in the room postpartum essentials but you should be prepared at home with plenty of extras. Sanitary pads-at first you will need the bigger ones but over time you will be able to use an ordinary pad and even liner as the bleeding tappers off, paired with mesh underwear in the beginning is much needed for your ever-changing body, peri bottle, witch hazel pads, perineal spray (trust us this is heavenly on your sore parts!), nursing bras (having multiple comfortable ones is key in the beginning as your milk regulates), Hakka, nipple cream, and breast pads for leaking are the absolute postpartum must-haves for a new mom.
The absolute postpartum must-haves are the ones that are probably already at the top of your mind, diapers, wipes, lots of changes of clothes, PJs, burp cloths, and formula if you don’t plan on breastfeeding, or the pumping essentials if you plan on going that route. Plus a place to set your baby down safely to sleep that is not low to the ground. As a recovery
As much as your postpartum must-haves are baby focused, you will need to get plenty of items for yourself during this time as well. Make sure you have plenty of comfortable and easy-to-wash and wear, clothes to wear during those first few weeks. Ones that are maybe a bit oversized and that you don’t care what type of stains or bodily fluids you get on them.
The Nice To Have Postpartum Essentials
As a new mom, there are the postpartum must-haves that are the essentials when after birth for both yourself and your new baby. Then there are the nice-to-have postpartum essentials, that you don’t have to have, may not need all of them but they can be helpful. That being said they may not work for you, or your baby, or you may not ever have a need for them. Such as a belly binder, and a hands-free pumping bra (you might consider this a necessity if you have to pump multiple times a day).
Don’t forget to get extra postpartum undies (find ones with a comfortable waistband) in at least one size up from your normal size for extra room for a bulky pad. Or you can go the route of adult diapers, which may not sound pretty, but at the very beginning of your postpartum days, it can be helpful to just be able to throw it all away and not worry about ruining your underwear.
An extra seat cushion might be helpful during your postpartum recovery from swollen lady parts, possible bruised tailbone, or otherwise uncomfortable sitting normally. Hemorrhoid cream might be good to have on hand as well, you may or may not need it, so you could wait till after you give birth. Various nursing bras, tank tops, and shirts are extremely useful as well, that being said, waiting to order some of these items to know what you will really need is suggested.
Read More: 6 Simple Tips to Prepare for Postpartum Care
Tips for Postpartum Must-Haves
When planning for the postpartum period it is important to be prepared but to not overwhelm yourself with things you don’t need or worry about everything you think you need to have. Despite being helpless and needy, a newborn baby has simple needs and just wants to be dry, fed, and warm. Simple enough in theory and truly they do not need many things at first. Less is more during the fourth trimester and overpreparing could result in your baby not caring for a particular diaper, wipe, formula, etc., and you are left with extras you don’t need.
Knowing the postpartum must-haves is an important step to preparing yourself for the fourth trimester. It is easy to get overwhelmed and unsure of what you actually need during this time as there are so many products out there that promise to be exactly what you need. Sure some things are more than a gimmick and could be helpful for you and your baby, but not all babies will like everything. Very quickly you will learn the likes and more importantly the dislikes of your baby.
The same goes for you and your recovery process, there are the things that will make your life easier and the pretty things that may or may not work for you. Most importantly you need to take care and listen to your body, rest as much as possible, eat nourishing foods, and soak up all of the newborn snuggles. Always keep receipts for items that way if you end up not needing them you can return them for the items you need and use!
When preparing for postpartum, don’t overthink what you need. The top postpartum must-haves are easy to stock up on and everything else can easily be picked up or ordered and delivered to your door within days. Don’t forget to focus on recovering, taking care of your baby, and yourself (including your mental health), getting enough to eat, as much quality sleep as you can, and enjoying these precious days. Postpartum may not be an easy period, but it is a beautiful time to enjoy the new member of your family.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out My Experience with Postpartum Anxiety and Why I Didn’t Realize I Had It.
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