Hey everybody!!!!! I’m really excited about today’s post and a little bit sad I haven’t shared more of the real mom stuff surrounding child birth. I know I could have been spared so much pain and confusion had I just had a few extra tools in my tool belt! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Abby and I run this lifestyle/beauty blog. I had four kids in five years and endured a full term twin pregnancy. I had an emergency C-section with my first baby (that’s another story for another day) and while trying to recover from 24 hours of labor, vaginal tears, forceps, AND a C-section, I remember thinking to myself that this would be my first and last child! Luckily you forget the pain and you learn things after each delivery that make it easier and easier. Plus there’s that beautiful baby at the end that makes it totally worth it.
So today I’m sharing the “Mom Basket”!!! It’s my comprehensive list of tried and true favorites for postpartum recovery. I’m sharing expert advice, tips and tricks + favorite products to have on hand after you’ve delivered your little one. Having a baby is a beautiful experience and if you know what’s ahead, you can alleviate a lot of insecurity!
So let’s back up just a little bit. My friend is having her first baby soon and I had already started making my infamous Mom Basket that I give out at baby showers when Always Discreet reached out to me. Talk about perfect timing! This topic isn’t something I typically post about on my blog and so I was going to disregard the email when I decided to poll my Instagram audience instead. I was OVERWHELMED with how many women wanted to know more about childbirth! It’s really gotten me excited to expand what I talk about here on the blog. Childbirth is something many women will experience in their lives but somehow talking about periods and bladder leakage is this weird taboo subject! I figured I’d change the narrative a little bit and hopefully become a resource for you new mamas going through some of the most intense and precious experiences of your life! I also want this post to be a conversation. I don’t know everything!!! Like, at all. So if I miss something, will you please leave a comment with what you do that’s helped your postpartum recovery? For those reading this, check out the comments because that’s where you’re going to find some true gems on how to get through postpartum recovery gracefully!
Alright, let’s jump into what I put in my postpartum mom baskets. These are things that every mom who is delivering a baby, whether vaginal or c-section, needs to have on hand. If you’re putting together your own postpartum basket, I’ve also thrown in some tips and tricks along the way! These products are listed in no particular order except the largest items go in the basket first so that’s the order we’re going with!
1. Always Discreet Bladder Leakage Pads. K we’re gettin’ real REAL fast! This was a product I didn’t know about… it was also a condition I didn’t know existed until I had the twins. A lot of moms who have vaginal deliveries end up with really weak bladders – it’s just a fact. A few months after my best friend delivered her first baby she called me up and was laughing hysterically. She told me she was jumping on the tramp and full on peed her pants in front of her husbands whole family!!! I laughed with her but never really understood her pain. Every time we were together though, and just like a best friend would, I’d jump on the tramp and laugh when she wouldn’t get on with me. But then I had the twins and all of a sudden it wasn’t so funny anymore. Luckily, incontinence was something I had to deal with for only a few short weeks, but whether you deal with this issue for a few weeks, a few months, or the rest of your life, there’s a better solution than maxi pads! Maxi pads don’t provide the right kind of protection! Always Discreet Bladder Leakage Pads are made to absorb urine leaks and odor.
Peeing your pants postpartum is NORMAL!!!!!!! Little leaks here and there are NORMAL!!!!!!! 1 in 3 women experience bladder leaks and it’s even more prevalent in African American women with 1 in 2 experiencing it. So don’t be embarrassed. Instead call your best friend and laugh together about how having children is literally the best and worst decision you’ve ever made haha! And quit using maxi pads for protection, there’s something so much better out there for you!
2. Maxi pads are a MUST!!!!! I like the Always maxi overnight pads with wings and I’ll show you how to make a padsicle below so keep an eye out for that. After you deliver a baby you’re going to be so swollen and continue to bleed quite a bit. Because you can’t wear tampons, you’ll want the best maxi pads available!
3. Nursing Pads. You can use disposable pads or invest in reusable ones. If you’re not sure your friend is going to nurse, it won’t matter because this product is for those who want to nurse AND for those that don’t. Oh man, I feel like I’m gonna need an entire post JUST for nursing!! Again, I really struggled with nursing my first baby. I had NO idea what to expect and pretty much did everything wrong. C’mon guys this was before Pinterest, I had no idea what I was doing!!! I thought it was going to be this sweet experience, painless, easy and a way to lose weight… HAHAHAHA!!! Well nursing is freaking hard. And if you don’t prepare yourself, it’s gonna hurt worse than the labor itself! But when you get it right, it’s exactly that sweet experience you’d hoped it would be! This tip I’m going to share with you is going to make nursing so much more enjoyable, PROMISE me that you’ll do it before you give birth ok?
A few months before you have your baby, when you get out of the shower rub a towel back and forth on your breasts. Don’t laugh, I’m dead serious! We’ve gotta callous these puppies up! Don’t rub too hard but just enough that you feel it. Do it every day when you get out of the shower until you deliver. Then when you have a little baby trying to suck out milk, your nipples are gonna be totally prepared to handle it! Then you can focus on your milk supply and getting a good latch instead of sobbing because it’s so painful! You can thank me later.
The second thing is to be prepared for your milk to actually come in. When my milk came in I woke up in the middle of the night at the hospital on day three with my robe soaking wet. I wasn’t wearing a bra and my boobs ached! I’d recommend getting a great nursing bra to wear around the house, and then make sure you have the nursing pads handy because chances are you’re gonna leak milk everywhere! Even if you don’t plan on nursing, your milk is going to come in and you’re still going to leak milk everywhere!
Before I move onto the next item, I just wanna say that nursing is amazing. I nursed all my kids, the twins until 6 months, and it was overall a positive experience. But it’s hard. And I didn’t lose weight until after I stopped nursing. Everyone experiences things differently but be open minded to having a different experience than your mom or best friend and do what you feel is best for you and your baby! Don’t get sucked into any mom guilt and start believing that you’re the mom now and you’re gonna be the one with those instincts to know what is right for you and your baby!
4. PostPardum Belly Wrap. Buy one right now!! The hospital provided one for me when I had the twins and I loved it, it was very similar to this one. At six weeks I started the ReCORE Fitness program with Celeste and bought her Fit Splint which I used for months after the twins. It was my absolute favorite wrap, it was super comfortable and has a really slim fit to it. Plus is just provided that support I felt like I needed after delivering the babies. So how and why belly wraps work. The hormone relaxin is released during pregnancy to help soften and relax the pelvic joints and ligaments. Binding the hips postpartum can shrink your hips to their original size and even smaller! I didn’t do it after Boston or Savy and I noticed a HUGE difference when I used it with the twins. I wish I had known about it for all three deliveries! You can also use a wrap while you’re pregnant that can help prevent diastisis recti. If you don’t know what that is, look it up because there are things you can do to prevent it. I of course didn’t know this until it was too late! Luckily Celeste is a boss and her workouts helped me so much!!
- 5. Laxatives. Literally my best friend. I have SO many stories and things I want to share but I’m trying so hard to be concise! Being constipated is probably one of the scariest things about child birth. Does anyone else agree with me?! I was given so many drugs when I had that emergency C-section and I wasn’t prepared for what all the anesthesia would do to my body. My favorite laxative is this, and I start taking it a couple days before I give birth. You do not want to get backed up, especially if you’re having a C-section because those ab muscles are going to be no good to you! Okay moving on.
- 6. Perineal Irrigation Bottle. Ever seen one of these bad boys before?! The hospital should provide one for you but it’s always nice to have an extra one. You’re going to put warm water in it and it’s gonna clean you right up. Your nurse will show you how to use it.
- 7. Hemorrhoidal Cleansing Pads. The brand on this one doesn’t matter, I just get whatever is cheapest at the store. Sorry babes but after you have a baby, you’re most likely going to get hemorrhoids. Don’t know what a hemorrhoid is? It’s okay, I didn’t either until I had Boston. Google it though and then buy these pads cause they’ll save your little tush at the hospital and after you get home!
8. Hemorrhoid Cream – I don’t have a picture of this one, but trust me it’s in there. This will go hand in hand with the pads above and the spray below. You wanna make sure all your bases are covered in the hemorrhoid department.
9 . New Mama Bottom Spray! This is just a little spray that helps ease and cool discomfort, it’s made with witch hazel, lavender and peppermint. You use it with your peri bottle when you go to the bathroom and the thing I love about this one vs other sprays is it has an inverted spray so you can spray it upside down!
10. Lanolin Cream – Like we talked about earlier, your nipples are gonna get sore when you start breast feeding. They might crack and bleed (true story) and this cream is going to help alleviate the pain and also help them heal.
Padiscles!!!!!! A padiscle is the most amazing thing for postpartum recovery invented by some genius mother who should have patented the idea and made millions!
After delivering my oldest, even though I had a C-section, I had a lot of damage down below. They had used forceps to try and get him out and unfortunately it caused a lot of tearing and pain. One of my nurses kept making these magical padscles for me to alleviate the swelling and pain. I didn’t use them for my last two deliveries because I had scheduled C-sections but when you’re broken down below they’re going to save your life!!! You can make them out of newborn diapers, which is what my nurse did for me, or you can make them out of these maxi pads.
What you’re going to do is open the pad (don’t take the purple wrapper off the pad so it’s still sticky when you go to use it), take off the paper, drizzle aloe vera gel onto the pad, then saturate the pad with witch hazel and then sprinkle a few lavender drops onto the pad. Put the paper back onto the pad, fold it back up and stick it in the freezer. When you get home from the hospital, use these when you’re hurting. They’re going to help with the swelling and pain!
And that’s it!!! I feel like there’s so much more and hopefully you veteran moms will leave more ideas in the comments, but this is my must have list for moms who are ready to deliver a baby!
Motherhood is an amazing thing. My four babies were worth everything I went through to get them here and it’s so important that you don’t lose yourself in it. Take care of yourself! You still need to be a priority. And you’ll be a much better mom when you’re healthy and taken care of. If this basket is for a friend, tell them congratulations for me, and if it’s for you, I can’t WAIT for you to start this amazing journey!!! Hopefully this basket, full of essentials, helps you recover faster and allows you to give yourself some grace when you’re going through some pretty weird challenges postpartum!
Here are some links in case your interested in reading more:
What I’d pack in a hospital bag | DIY burp cloths | Maternity outfit ideas here and here (it’s painful to see myself so huge haha!!) | When we found out we were pregnant with twins | When we welcomed the twins into our home
This conversation was written in partnership with Always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.