What to include in a postpartum care kit

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A postpartum care kit is one of the most essential items you need after giving birth to your little bundle of joy. But it is often forgotten as the focus is usually on buying things for the baby or getting the nursery ready. Mums from around the world share what they would include in a postpartum care kit below.

Postpartum Care Kit

Mums from around the world suggest you include the following items in your postpartum care kit:

  1. Maternity leggings
  2. Epsom salts
  3. Pump and save bags
  4. Nursing reminder clips
  5. Breastfeeding pillow
  6. Lactation bites
  7. High waist panties
  8. Beautiful and comfortable pajamas
  9. New mum maternity pads
  10. Washable nursing pads
  11. Peri bottle

Maternity Leggings

If you haven’t discovered the magical powers of the Cadenshae maternity leggings while you were pregnant, you are missing out. But you will still appreciate their amazing fit postpartum.

The Cadenshae maternity leggings have a high waisted belly band that is perfect for pregnancy, but it also folds down for a perfect fit after you have given birth. When your stomach muscles are practically non-existent post birth, and you have a jiggly little pouch that feels a bit odd, the Cadenshae maternity leggings will make you feel whole again.

The doubled over high waisted band holds firmly against your belly, keeping everything in place, whether you are just recovering from birth, or are starting your journey back into exercise. They come in a variety of colours and are squat proof because no new mother needs to worry about that.

I highly recommend buying these leggings during pregnancy as they are a great help in supporting your big bump in the later stages of pregnancy. The firm band stretches over the top of your belly to help support during walking or fitness, as well as your active daily life. A complete lifesaver and so good that you can wear the same size throughout pregnancy and postpartum. (And even two years postpartum, hiking up a mountain in Wanaka, I’m still wearing them!) It is the ultimate piece of kit, designed by an innovative New Zealand company, Cadenshae.

By Jennifer from Backyard Travel Family 

Epsom Salts

Epsom salts are a must have item for your postpartum care kit. This is because Epsom salts work perfectly in baths to help relieve pain and swelling in your body, as well as help to speed up healing by encouraging circulation. You want to encourage all these things after giving birth to help sooth any postpartum discomfort from stitching or perineal bruising. It should also help with any itching.

Epsom salt is actually magnesium sulfate and isn’t something you would eat like table salt. Its name is from the town of Epsom in England where it was first discovered. It dissolves easily in water and has been used to treat different ailments for hundreds of years. It’s easy to buy Epsom salt online or from drug and grocery stores. A big bag is recommended for your postpartum kit. You can also buy the salt with herbs added. Herbs such as lavender, red raspberry leaf, yarrow and calendula can be helpful.

When filling up your bath, simply add two cups of Epsom salts per gallon of warm water (not hot water as it can worsen swelling) and then soak in the bath for at least 15 minutes. There is no reason your new baby can’t enjoy the bath with you.

By Suze from Survey Suze

Pump and Save Bags

For breastfeeding mothers, those first few weeks postpartum are typically when your milk supply is the strongest. While your milk supply will eventually adjust to the needs of your baby, in those first weeks after you have a baby, you often over-produce. Many women pump the excess milk to alleviate discomfort while others decide to pump to save or freeze the milk for future use. Some breastfeeding mothers may want the expressed milk so a partner can assist late night feedings, while others may need to pump while at work or may want to use expressed breastmilk while travelling. 

Regardless of your reason for pumping, the process is a common part of a postpartum mum’s daily life. Although most breast pumps come with two small bottles to collect your expressed breastmilk, every postpartum care kit should come with at least one set of pump and save bags for breastmilk. These pre-sterilised bags save new mothers a couple steps in the somewhat inconvenient process of pumping. With an adapter that fits most breast pumps, women can pump directly into the bag, eliminating the messy step of pouring the milk from the bottles to the storage bags. No need to wash and sterilise bottles after pumping either! The pump and save bags are convenient because you can pump, store, warm the milk, and even feed your baby, all with one simple bag. 

By Melissa from Parenthood and Passports

Nursing Reminder Clips

Breastfeeding is hard work, especially for a sleep deprived new mum. Any item that will make it a little easier deserves to be in every postpartum care kit. Nursing reminder clips do just that – they remind you which side you need to nurse on next, so that you don’t have to try to think back in the hazy fog of a midnight feeding.

Nursing reminder clips are cute and subtle little tags that simply attach onto your nursing bra. When you finish a nursing session, you just switch it over to the other side.

There are, of course, other ways that you can keep track. Some women switch a bracelet from one arm to the other, some use an app, some use a safety clip pinned to their shirt and some take notes. But nursing reminder clips are easier to use than those options and you won’t notice it is there except when you need it. You can find them on Etsy or Amazon. Better yet, these are fairly simple to make for someone with minimal crafty skills.

Nursing reminder clips can continue to be helpful for as long as you breastfeed, and even more so when you pass the first few months and it becomes harder to tell by feel which breast is fuller. They take the guesswork and unnecessary steps out of one small but important aspect of breastfeeding.

By Dani from Diapers in Paradise

Breastfeeding Pillow

After birth, mamas need everything and anything that makes their life more comfortable. A breastfeeding pillow is definitely a must!

Breastfeeding pillows help support the baby when breastfeeding or giving a bottle, and later turn into a support for baby to sit, climb and explore their surroundings. They are also the most comfortable pillows for mamas to sit on when recovering from the stitches. Not only are they necessary for a postpartum kit, but they are also incredibly useful for many months to come.

Feeding cushions come in different shapes and consistency. 

I bought second-hand a long and tough one, more similar to a maternity sleep pillow, with laces to tie it into a circle: during the pregnancy it was helped me sleep better, and then after birth I could adapt it to my shape and sit on it comfortably, as it left space for my recovering stitches. However, it was too big for me for breastfeeding.

I received as a present the feeding pillow by JojoMaman Bebe, which fits on my legs and around my hips in a broad U-shape. Its softness makes it a wonderful support for breastfeeding – my back doesn’t break, my baby is close to me, and falls asleep easily after a feed. 

I don’t know what I would have done without a breastfeeding pillow!

By Giulia from Travelling Sunglasses

Lactation Bites

I was caught completely off guard when I had my first baby. No one warned me that 1) Breastfeeding was HARD!! and 2) I’d be STARVING! I struggled with milk supply, but I also struggled with being hungry all the time and being too overwhelmed to cook or eat anything other than TV dinners. Lactation bites are a new mum’s lifeline to proper nutrition and a great milk supply! They can be purchased (try Majka brand), or easily made at home. This would be a fantastic gift to surprise a new mum with, as long as she doesn’t have any gluten or nut allergies. They increase milk supply mainly because of the rolled oats and brewers yeast, which are amazing for lactation. But honestly, keeping mum fed with nutritious food also goes a long way for a strong milk supply. And the best part is, they don’t have to be cooked or heated up, and mum can eat them with one hand while she’s rocking baby to sleep at 2am!

By Clarissa from Modern Hipster Mama

High Waist Panties

The one thing that I would include in a postpartum care kit is high waist disposable panties. As opposed to their regular, low waist, counterparts, these panties cover and protect your c-section incision. Recovery from giving birth is never easy, nor pleasant. But nowadays there are so many products available to make it at least a little bit more tolerable. I found high waist undies one of these. Where regular panties can cause friction and irritation on and around the scar, the high waist variant nicely covers the incision.

You’ll also be treating your wound with anti scar cream or gel and as you’re not covering it with a plaster, the gel will end up staining your clothes. Unless you are wearing an undergarment that covers your incision of course.

You can also take it a step further with specially designed, reusable, c-section underwear. Depending on the brand, these undies provide additional support around your abdomen. Usually, they have adjustable velcro support, so that you can release the compression as you recover.

Whether you had a c-section or natural delivery, when choosing your post-recovery undergarment, make sure to pick the ones with a high waist that are mesh-free and latex-free, as these stretch even more than your tummy has, and don’t easily roll down.

By Marlieke from A Cheeky Monkey

Beautiful and Comfortable Pajamas

If there is one item of clothing you’ll be wearing a lot more than usual in the days following the birth of your child, it’s a pair of pyjamas. So why not include a beautiful new pair in a postpartum care kit! It makes a wonderfully thoughtful addition, and it’s something that’s guaranteed to be used, a lot. Look for pyjamas that are comfortable enough to wear all day, suitable for the season (warm pyjamas in winter, light cotton in summer), have buttons down the front, or are easily movable for breastfeeding, and that are preferably made of a sustainable fabric such as organic cotton. Many mothers prefer to dress their children in natural fibres, and seeing as they’ll most likely be sitting around holding their new bundle of love for a lot of the day, it makes sense to choose the same quality for mum’s pyjamas. When choosing pyjamas to include in the postpartum care kit, go for loose styles, and preferably with an adjustable waistband, as the new mother’s size is likely to fluctuate as her body adjusts after giving birth. You could even go one step further and get a cute mummy and me matching pair for the new mum and baby!

By Nadine from Zero Waste Memoirs

New Mum Maternity Pads

The period that follows immediately after delivery is called lochia, and usually lasts for about four to six weeks after delivery. Although the discharge looks a lot like a typical period discharge, in reality, it is quite different as it contains blood, uterine tissue, and mucus. What this means is that the flow is quite heavy and regular period products are hardly useful.

Therefore the one product that is an absolute must in every postpartum care kit is a pack of new mum maternity pads. Maternity pads are much larger than regular pads and far more absorbent as well. Plus, these pads fit perfectly inside the boyish postpartum underwear. The high absorption capacity and the large size of these pads ensures that there is no leakage and that you stay clean for almost half a day. The fact that you don’t need to change the pad every few hours can save your tired body a lot of trouble.

Depending on your requirement, you could even opt for the ice maxi maternity pads, also known as padsicles. Similarly, you could buy the witch hazel maternity pads that not only work like regular pads, but also provide immense relief from pain. 

By Vrushali from Mumbaikar Mom

Washable Nursing Pads

When putting together a postpartum care kit, it’s important to focus on all aspects of mum‘s physical recovery. This includes taking care of your body as it begins to produce milk. One staple item that any mum needs early on is breast pads. In the beginning, your body is adjusting to milk production and breastmilk leaks are (unfortunately) part of that process. You will want to wear breast pads to keep your shirts clean and avoid embarrassing wet spots. If you are planning to breastfeed, I recommend skipping the disposable breast pads, and going right to washable breast pads. Most are made of a soft and absorbent cotton material. They just sit inside of your bra between your skin and the fabric to absorb any milk that leaks. After being worn, they just get tossed in a small garment bag right along with your regular laundry. Overtime, you will save money and reduce waste by not purchasing box after box of the disposable ones. How many you need will depend on how often you do laundry in your home. One pair per day is a pretty good starting place, but you may go through more in the first few weeks postpartum as leaks are more common at that time.

By Lexis from Mommy Home Manager

Peri Bottle

It’s no secret that plenty of women end up needing stitches after giving birth. Whether it’s a full blown episiotomy or minor tearing, it’s not nice and it’s certainly not comfortable. As if just sitting and walking around in general isn’t bad enough after stitches – there is then the dreading toilet trips!

The squeeze “peri” bottle is a must for any postpartum kit to keep the area clean, and eases that dreaded sting when you pee. Simply fill the bottle with clean lukewarm water and, when you go to the toilet, aim it at your stitches and gently spray them to stop the urine running over them.

You could opt for a simple peri bottle like the ones you see in the cheap stores, but there are bottles specifically designed for this job. They are basically a squeeze bottle, but they have an elongated nozzle that’s angled to make it easier to spray stitches. Even the specially designed bottles are less than $10 and they really do make it easier to spray without having to twist yourself into an awkward angle.

By Sophie Marie from Australian Coffee Lovers

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