While there are any number of postpartum gear round-ups out there, many of them contain a lot of fluff items you don’t really need. Once you’ve got yourself a good nursing bra and some solid comfy (post)maternity loungewear, there are a handful of other relatively small-ticket items that can really make a big difference…
Here are nine things our team members swear by for the months after birth:
1. Time Trackable Water Bottle ~$17
We love this water bottle for the postpartum period because it’s so handy for keeping track of fluids consumed — the side-labeling functions as a welcome reminder to stay hydrated throughout the day (all the more important if you are BF’ing), and the straw makes it easy to use even when you have a baby in hand or are nursing. Plus, the price is right.
This silk eye-mask is SO helpful for all those times when you are trying to sneak in a few minutes of sleep “off schedule” (aka, when the sun’s out). Eye masks are not created equal — you want one that won’t make your face itch or let light in through the bottom. A *must-have postpartum essential that will serve you well.
3. A Good Robe ~$99
If you already have a robe you love, great — but if you don’t have one, now is the time, friends! This organic terry robe from LL Bean is SO COZY and will last you well beyond the postpartum period. It’s not just a comfort thing, BTW (although that’s nice, too) — a robe is actually super practical for the first days, weeks and months home with baby because it makes for easy nursing access (especially in the mornings and evenings) as well as skin-to-skin time. This one washes and dries very well and feels like you’re at the spa.
This kit comes with a nursing gown and L&D socks, a reverse peri bottle, some disposable PP underwear, ice maxi pads, perineal cooling pad liners, and perineal healing foam. Especially if you incur any damage or tearing during birth, this pack can be a HUGE help with pain relief. (FYI, some women note that you can get many of the items in this kit from your hospital — which is true! You may want to call ahead to see what will be available to you. And/or, you can opt for the watered-down version that comes sans hospital gown and socks, for half the price.)
5. Hatch Baby Belly Oil ~$58
OK, so this is a luxe pick, but it’s beloved, insanely-hydrating, and smells amazing — it dries quickly after application, and delivers a lovely spa-like experience during a decidedly not-spa-like time, hah. From belly to boobs… your skin will love this little treat.
6. Epsom Salts ~$4
Speaking of the spa… epsom salt baths are so soothing for post-birth body traumas. This lavender scented version is extra relaxing. Also helps with dry skin and swelling — *just make sure to be careful getting in and out, as it can be slippery.
7. Speax Leak-proof Underwear ~$35+
These “period underwear” are actually crazy convenient for postpartum moms — they’re much more comfortable than disposable underwear (which often carry a nauseating smell…) and soft/smooth compared to scratchy pads and liners that can be especially irritating if you have stitches. This version is specially designed for bladder leakage, which solves another problem… [See also: Postpartum Binders and Girdles for C-Section Recovery: Do They Work?]
8. Pelvic Floor Trainer ~$199
This Kegel exercise contraption helps with maintaining and/or regaining pelvic floor muscle strength and bladder control — because this is a totally neglected area of attention in the US. (And also, how many of us know we should be doing Kegels but don’t ever actually do them? Or only do them for like 30 seconds once a week?) As a bonus, exclusive of its benefits with postpartum recovery, many women think it’s a boon in the boudoir.
How this one^^ works: It’s “smart,” so the device connects to an app on your phone. You insert the trainer (it goes in like a tampon), and basically contract around it to do Kegels. The app actually guides you through brief regimens and you can track your strength/progress over time.
9. A Meal Subscription/Kit ~$varies
Not having to worry about dinner is SO nice when you are home with a new baby — even if it’s just once or twice per week. There are numerous subscription services available, but we like Hello Fresh because it’s reliable, widely available, and affordable.