5 Must-Haves for Postpartum Healing
The days and weeks immediately after birth come with so much joy and emotion… AND so many physical changes and discomfort. The only thing that can really get you back to feeling 100% like yourself is time, but there are many things that can help you feel better along the way!
As postpartum doulas, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and the unnecessary… so we’d like to share FIVE of our favorite tools for postpartum recovery.
1. Stool Softeners
During labor and birth, your body will go through a lot, especially down in your lower half. After your baby is born, this can make going Number 2 a little bit uncomfortable! Rather than straining and risking injury in an already sore area, it’s a good idea to have stool softeners on hand. Likely, your doctor or the hospital staff will prescribe you some after birth, but these are also easy to pick up over the counter (once you’ve checked with your doctor of course). It may feel unnecessary at first but trust us… you’ll want them.
2. A Peri Bottle.
Speaking of using the bathroom after birth, you want to be gentle when urinating as well. While this doesn’t create the same strain as having a bowel movement, you still want to be careful. Enter the peri bottle. A peri bottle is basically a squeeze bottle that you fill with warm water and use to cleanse yourself while going to the bathroom. Rather than wiping with toilet paper, it’s much more comfortable and sanitary to use a peri bottle at first. It can also help to use it while you’re urinating to alleviate some of the burning sensation that many new moms feel. Afterwards just do a quick, gentle toilet paper or washcloth pat and you’re good to go.
3. Mesh Underwear
Sounds terrible, feels amazing. Whether you have a vaginal or cesarean delivery, mesh undies are the way to go! The hospital also provides these during your stay (and you can usually snag a few to take home with you as well). They’re also available for purchase if you need more. They won’t squeeze your newly-postpartum-but-still-swollen stomach, they are easy to pull up and down during recovery, they stretch to fit the ginormous post-birth pads you’ll be wearing, and most of them are disposable making for easy clean up if you end up with a mess. These things are seriously awesome.
4. Help for Swelling
After you give birth, especially vaginally, you are bound be a bit sore and swollen “down there.” Luckily, there are several easy remedies for this. Many doctors and seasoned moms recommend applying witch hazel to the vaginal and perineal area to help. This can be applied with sprays, pre-soaked cotton pads, or included as part of a “padsicle” recipe you can make ahead of time. Another helpful tool is just good ole fashioned ice. Both can reduce swelling as well as ease pain. As always, check with your doctor or midwife first.
5. Water and Healthy Food
As simple as it sounds, one of the best things you can do to aid in your recovery is drink plenty of water and eat healthy meals and snacks. These two things alone can replace fluids you lost in birth, reduce all kinds of swelling, help avoid dehydration, combat hemorrhoids and constipation, keep up energy, help with hair loss, and lower stress. Better than any miracle drug out there!
PRO TIP: Make a list of easy snacks and meals that you like and stock up before baby comes, sign up for a nutritious meal deliver program like Freshly, and take home that giant water bottle with the straw that the hospital gives you… you’ll miss it if you don’t.
There you go! Our top 5 picks for the most helpful postpartum recovery items. If this entire list sounds useful to you… Frida Mom makes a “hospital bag essential kit” for a one stop shop! Now that’s a great use of modern technology.
We hope this makes your postpartum period just a little easier. What items would you add to the list?