My Postpartum Essentials

It’s hard to believe it’s already been two weeks (exactly!) since Vance was born. These first weeks of his life have been such happy ones for our family. (Sleep deprived, for sure, but oh-so happy!)

He’s proving to be more fussy than his sister was at this stage (and seems to have some minor digestive issues that leave him feeling uncomfortable), and so we’ve been working to figure him out.

Still, he’s so, so sweet, and this time as a brand new family of four is incredibly precious.

Thankfully, from a postpartum standpoint, I’ve been feeling really good this time around. I had a great postpartum experience with Maggie, too, but feel like my healing is happening faster after this birth and that even those less-than-fun symptoms (like night sweats — SO GROSS!) are less upsetting because I knew to expect them and know from experience that they’re short lived.

That said, having a few items on hand to help navigate this early postpartum period has been hugely helpful! Here are the products I’ve been using the most over the past two weeks:

Nursing Camis: I LOVE these (versus nursing bras) in the early postpartum days as well as to sleep in while breastfeeding (since they make nighttime feedings a bit easier). I’ve been wearing them non-stop so far, and just layering a cardigan or long-sleeved shirt on top. The ones I have I bought from Target before Maggie was born, and it looks like they’re no longer available, but these look very similar!

Nursing Pads: Go ahead and grab one of these 100-count boxes, because you’ll need them if you plan to breastfeed as well! Early on, there’s SO MUCH LEAKING, and you’ll be changing your shirt non-stop unless you use a nursing pad of some sort. There are reusable nursing pad options (like these), too, and while generally I’m all about sustainability, during the postpartum phase I personally opt for disposable items so I can just get rid of them and reach for a clean new item each time with no laundry involved.

Nipple Cream: Early on, you’ll be so thankful you have this. Breastfeeding can do a number on your nipples, and to keep them from cracking and bleeding (NO FUN), nipple cream is a must. This time around, I’m really enjoying the Motherlove Organic Nipple Cream. (Oh, and another tip: It helps to grab a couple of jars of cream. That way, you can keep one by your bed and one in the living room — or wherever you tend to nurse most often — for easy access.)

Disposable Underwear: As I mentioned, I’m a big fan of disposable items during the postpartum period. Instead of dealing with huge pads fitting into my own underwear, I MUCH prefer exclusively using this brand of disposable underwear in the early weeks after giving birth. (And no, it won’t look like you’re wearing a diaper under your pants…even though it will kind of feel like it to you.)

High-Waisted Leggings: After giving birth to Maggie, I enjoyed wearing a belly band, but this time I prefer just wearing high-waisted leggings each day! I find myself reaching for some of my more compression-heavy pairs to really help add some extra support to my midsection, and those have worked great! It’s a bonus because they’re things I already had on hand, so one less thing to purchase. Wahoo!

Breast Milk Storage: If you’re pumping at all or using a milk catcher (like a Haakaa) at this stage (which I am!), you’ll need something to store that liquid gold in. Of course you’ll need breast milk storage bags for the freezer, but I discovered these breast milk storage cups to use to collect milk in the fridge, and they’re wonderful! I can collect milk during the day and put milk from each pumping session in a separate cup, and then when all the milk is the same temperature in the fridge it’s safe to combine and freeze the milk.

Organic Red Raspberry Leaf Tea: I drank this tea during the final weeks of my pregnancy to help prepare my body for birth, and I’ve continued drinking it postpartum since it can help stop postpartum bleeding as well as increase milk supply!

A Reusable Water Bottle: Your body will need LOTS of hydration to help support milk production, and so it’s essential that you have a water bottle that’s easy to drink from and that you can cart around with you most of the time. Personally, I love this one! (I also like adding a Liquid IV packet to my water bottle once a day for some added electrolytes. Passion Fruit is my favorite flavor!)

Supplements: Right now isn’t the time to slack on health, especially since so much is being asked of your body. You’re healing, you’re feeding a human with your body, and you’re doing all that on much less sleep than you’re used to getting. Make sure you’re supporting your body with good food, hydration, and supplements. (Check out this post to see what I take!)

Ember Mug: This was a postpartum gift from Kevin, and talk about the perfect thing to give a new mom! I’m constantly warming up the same cup of coffee in the microwave, and this heated mug means I can sip on the same cup for hours without having to reheat it again…and again…and again. Talk about a game changer!

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