Postpartum essentials checklist: how to prepare for the days and weeks after birth

Postpartum essentials checklist: how to prepare for the days and weeks after birth

Becoming a parent is filled with excitement, happiness and joy but it can also feel incredibly overwhelming at times. Welcoming a baby brings about huge changes to your life and alters everything from your daily routine to your relationships.

Preparation for the postpartum period before birth can make this transition slightly easier for you and your family and means that you’re not having to spend time organising when you could be cuddling your baby (or sleeping!).

Preparing for postpartum

The days after birth can be a blur so ensuring you have everything you need beforehand is a gamechanger. While the needs of every parent are different, these are the general postpartum essentials that can make these early days a little less overwhelming.

  • Have a stack of comfortable clothing and supportive accessories on hand, including elastic-waisted pants, mesh underwear, nursing bras and breast pads.

  • Hygiene products like a peri bottle, sitz tub and sitz bath salts to keep your perineum (or C-section incision) clean.

  • Sanitary products to soak up your postpartum bleeding. Cooling pads can be really helpful to soothe your sore bits while also being absorbent.

  • Pain relief products like paracetamol, nipple cream and witch hazel perineal foam are all must-have items. Having a stool softener on hand is also helpful as postpartum constipation is incredibly common.

The preparations don’t just stop at personal items either. Making sure your home environment is stocked and organised ensures that you can bunker down in those early days and not have to worry about running to the shops for toilet paper.

  • Prepare your space and have it clean and tidy so you’ll be greeted by a lovely space when you arrive home from the hospital.

  • Stock up on home essentials like toilet paper, tissues and laundry detergent and consider buying paper plates to use when washing the dishes feels like too much of an effort.

  • Pre-cook and freeze a bunch of meals that you can easily grab and eat. Cooking is often the last thing you feel like doing when you’re tired from caring for your bub.

  • There are also a bunch of birth-related things you can prepare now, like installing your car seat and identifying your route to the hospital.

Postpartum essentials checklist

The first postpartum weeks are incredibly demanding, and you need all of the support you can get. Having items designed to help you in the postpartum period means you can care for yourself while also caring for your newborn.

Be sure to have products on hand that are designed to clean, soothe and restore your vagina and relieve post-birth discomfort.

  • A peri bottle allows you to delicately clean your vagina without painful pressure and can also help reduce the stinging feeling that is common when urinating after giving birth.

  • Mesh undies are designed for the first three months of recovery. These stretchy and breathable undies keep you comfortable and don’t apply any pressure to your sensitive bits.

  • Cold pads provide instant cooling relief to tender skin while also providing maximum absorption.

  • A witch hazel-based healing foam helps fight bacteria, reduce swelling and relieve discomfort.

Other essentials you’ll want to have on hand in the postpartum period include:

  • Ice packs to soothe sore and tender parts including painful nipples, swollen breasts and perineal pain.

  • Sitz salts can help relieve constipation, shrink haemorrhoids and reduce swelling in the perineal area. Pair with a sitz tub, which sits on the rim of the toilet, for an instant soothing spa.

  • Disposable pads are much needed when you’re experiencing postpartum bleeding.

  • Postnatal vitamins help support your daily nutritional needs as you navigate the demands of parenthood. Both birth and postpartum are incredibly demanding periods of life and a high-quality postnatal supplement will ensure your energy levels, immune function and brain health are supported.

  • Breast pads absorb breast milk leakage and protect your sensitive nipples from chafing.

Postpartum recovery checklist

Cleaning the house, stocking up on pads and meal planning are just some of the ways you can prepare for the postpartum period. The most important part of this time is the actual recovery. Keep in mind that postpartum recovery can take up to six months and there’s no rush to get back to where you were pre-pregnancy.

To ensure you’re helping with the healing process, be sure to prioritise the following things:

  • Rest as much as possible. Take naps when you can and try not to overexert yourself.

  • Eat healthy and nourishing foods and stay hydrated.

  • Give your perineum some TLC and be sure to flag any concerns about your recovery with your midwife or doctor.

  • Reach out for support when you need it. Up to 80% of people experience the baby blues around three days after birth so call a friend, family member or healthcare professional when needed.

  • Take note of the changes in your body and mind. If you experience increased vaginal bleeding, difficulty breathing, severe headaches with blurred vision, calf pain, redness or swelling or postpartum depression, please talk to your doctor immediately.

Kin Fertility is here to help you navigate your first few months with your baby with everyday essentials designed for the fourth trimester. Head to Kin for all of your postpartum care needs with both vaginal and c-section recovery kits.

Article supplied by Kin Fertility.