Must have postpartum supplies

As Postpartum & Infant Care Doulas we are experts at helping families feel more comfortable once their baby is born. Aside from instilling confidence in this new parent role we also know that the early postpartum time comes with some physical discomfort too. We are often asked,

“What supplies should we have at home for after birth?”

Don’t worry, we got you! Let’s talk about a healing body. After having a baby there may be tenderness, soreness, aches, and pains in the body. So let’s prepare to care for these spots!

Here are Metro Detroit Doula Services’ must haves for your postpartum supplies!

For your BITS

  • Pain medicine-  this may be IBuprofen.  Check in with your care provider for suggestions on what to have on hand for OTC pain meds.  
  • Cooling items for your perineum-
    • Things like witch hazel pads, ice packs, lidocaine spray (some hospitals send you home with Dermoplast) 
      • Consider yourself a DIY-er? To make your own Witch Hazel pads:
        • Take a large overnight pad and pour 3-4 tablespoons of witch hazel over it, 2 tablespoons aloe gel,  and a couple drops of lavender oil (optional).  Spread the mixture over the entire pad, then fold the pad back up and place it in a Ziploc bag.  Place in your freezer for that cooling relief! 
  • Peri-bottle-  This little squirt bottle can ease any stinging and avoid wiping in those early days.  Simply fill with cool water or a steeped herbal bath water. You can order some to have on hand at home or the hospital should hook you up!
  • Overnight or heavy flow pads- You can use cloth or disposable. There will be lochia bleeding/discharge for days or weeks after birth. Some people even choose to have disposable underwear like the brand Depends on hand in case there are any leaks.
  • Chucks pads (aka puppy pee pee pads)- These can be placed under the sheet on your bed to protect your mattress and they can catch any drips from well  anywhere 😉  

Support belt or belly binder–  If you are recovering from a cesarean birth your hospital may send you home with one! But all birthing people can use one.  Some find comfort with some pressure keeping everything in.   

For Your Butt

Some people will gain a few new friends, aka hemorrhoids.

  • Tucks Pads, Preparation H,  and  Earth Mama Organics, are all great brands that offer wipes, creams, or suppositories that can help with easing any discomfort. 
  • Stool softeners-  Ask your care provider for what brands are recommended to have on hand once you arrive home. 

Pro-tip: Roll a towel or receiving blanket up and place it under your left sits bones to RELIEVE pressure on the tender area. When ready switch to the right side. avoid “donut pillow” use.

For your breasts

  • Nursing bras, especially a sleep bra.  
  • Nursing pads.  (Whether you are nursing or not breasts may leak in the early postpartum period.)
  • Nipple cream- Lanolin based or other creams help with cracked or aching nipples.  Some brands we  like are Earth Mama Organics and Lansinoh
  • Warm/Cold breast compresses-  Lansinoh or Earth Mama Organics make specific to breast compresses.  This helps as breasts may become engorged (see our blog on this very topic to learn more) and uncomfortable. 
  • Contact info for who to reach out to, like an IBCLC, with breastfeeding support if this is how you are feeding. 
Using nipple cream can help reduce discomfort and provide relief

As you prepare for life after giving birth grab of few of these items to have on hand to ease the discomforts. The Frida brand even created a little kit if you are looking for an item that hits a lot of this list. Your doula can help you navigate some comforting solutions in those early days as well. Don’t have a doula yet? Give us a call!

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