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10 Postpartum Necessities

Last Updated on: July 26, 2022

The Need for Extra Care

You wait for the baby for nine months, feeling the movements inside as it grows and develops. You wait excitedly, and probably somewhat anxiously, for the day the baby arrives. As women, we often focus on the baby and the moment of childbirth. We prepare the baby’s room and buy what the baby will need, but we forget what we will need.

Childbirth is a natural and beautiful process, but after giving birth to a child, the female body needs some extra care and attention. After birth, women need to help their bodies heal and recover from both the long stretch of pregnancy and the relatively shorter period of childbirth. This will allow them to give the new child the attention and energy he or she requires.

Woman holding a glass of water while sitting in bed

 

10 Necessities for Postpartum Care

Almost all women who have delivered a baby, whether vaginally or through a C section, will admit they had some sort of postpartum care routine that helped them heal and reduced their pain. Here are some of our favorite postpartum necessities that will help a woman recover as quickly as possible. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

  1. Hydration. Staying hydrated is important in any stage of life, but especially for a mom who has just given birth whether vaginally or via C section. Drinking plenty of water will help the body heal quickly and is especially necessary for moms who are breastfeeding and losing large amounts of liquid through their breastmilk. Not staying hydrated could make a new mom feel sick, struggle with producing enough breastmilk, and hinder the healing process. A woman should choose hydrogen water whenever possible because of its antioxidative properties. Antioxidants will lessen the inflammation in her healing body. Choose a Synergy Science™ hydrogen water machine to help with postpartum hydration.
  2. Peri bottles. After a vaginal delivery, most hospitals will provide a new mother with a peri bottle, but they are also found in stores across the country. After giving birth, the birth canal is swollen and often bruised, and many women have scars and stitches that need time to heal. During this time, to avoid wiping, women can use a specialized bottle, called a peri bottle, which acts as a gentle squirt bottle to help keep the area clean.
  3. Maxi pads. After giving birth, women will experience vaginal bleeding for up to six weeks. Tampons and menstrual bleeding cups are off limits for a minimum of six weeks as the body heals. Therefore, maxi pads are the best choice. As the amount of blood lessens, they can switch pad sizes based on their blood flow.
  4. Specific types of underwear. The vaginal area will feel sore and swollen after birth, so women need looser fitting, comfortable underwear. The underwear needs to hold pads in place and consist of gentle material so as not to disturb the painful areas. Many women will use disposable postpartum underwear; this is underwear with a built-in pad that can easily be thrown away after use.
  5. Pain relief. Postpartum recovery is not easy. Women experience mild to severe pain in the vaginal area, back, and breasts. Women who undergo C sections can experience intense pain at the surgical site. Pain-relief medications can take the edge off. Pain-relieving sprays for the vaginal area can help not only with pain but also with itching sensations in the healing areas. Every woman should consult her doctor to see which pain-relieving medications would work best for her and her situation and which are safe to take while breastfeeding.
  6. Nipple cream. For women who breastfeed, the first weeks can prove very difficult and painful. Nipples can dry out, chafe, and even bleed as they crack. Nipple creams will keep nipples from cracking as they dry out and many act as cooling agents that lessen pain.
  7. Natural healing treatments. For women experiencing postpartum symptoms, witch hazel and aloe vera can work as miraculous healing agents. Putting witch hazel and/or aloe vera gel onto maxi pads before wearing them can give some relief from pain, inflammation, itching, and swelling. (6)
  8. Stool softeners. After giving birth vaginally, women undergo a period of weeks where they are extremely sensitive. Passing stool can feel extremely painful and could possibly damage areas with stitches. Taking stool softeners regularly during postpartum recovery will lessen the risk of painful stools and allow the stitches and vaginal area to heal.
  9. Sitz baths. A sitz bath usually comes as a plastic kit that fits on the seat of a toilet. It allows warm water to circulate around the vaginal area and perineum, helping soothe and heal. Many women will add Epsom salts, lavender, chamomile, and/or witch hazel to the sitz bath to provide even more relief. (7)
  10. Recovery belt. During pregnancy, a woman’s abdomen is stretched to its maximum and organs are displaced. The abdomen takes time to heal and recover after birth. In fact, it often takes a few days to a week for the abdomen to even look like it does not have a baby inside anymore. Postpartum recovery belts wrap around the stomach and back, compressing the abdominal area. This can help the belly return to its pre-pregnancy shape faster. It can provide support and relief to the abdominal muscles that are coming back together. It can also help women who have undergone C sections by keeping the incision area compressed and tight, resulting in less pain while laughing or even sneezing.

Any combination of these postpartum treatments and products will allow a woman to heal more quickly and with less pain.

Prepare for Postpartum Mental Issues

In addition to preparing a postpartum recovery kit to help them physically recover after childbirth, there is one more thing women can prepare for: postpartum mental issues. Postpartum depression, postpartum blues, bipolarity, and obsessive-compulsive disorders are common in women who have recently had a baby. (8)

It may be just as important as preparing a postpartum care kit to have resources available to help if you experience any postpartum mental issues. Knowing where you can reach out for help, whether online from sources such as Postpartum Support International, with a local psychiatrist, or with family members, could prove very helpful if a woman develops these issues after childbirth.

Group of people sitting by one another

The Importance of Postpartum Care

Every new mother has a different body and will have different postpartum issues. A new mom will have her hands full with a baby and all the new responsibilities that come with that. Not only does she have a baby to care for, but she has a body that has undergone a traumatic episode and needs to recover and heal. 

Every woman will recover at a different rate. Each woman should take time and be patient with her body. It usually takes 6 weeks to heal and even after that, there are residual effects. Using postpartum care products and techniques will speed up the recovery process and make the transition into motherhood as smooth as possible.

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