Taking proper care of yourself during the post-natal recovery is vital. It is required to aid healing, prevent infection, and help you feel like yourself again in time.
In fact, when you have what you need for you and your baby’s homecoming, it will help you feel better and more in control. So, you can spend more time focusing on your baby and the joy of being a new mum.
For this delicate postpartum phase, below are my top 9 must-have items for mums during post-natal recovery.
1. Maternity Pads
Expect heavy post-natal bleeding for 4 to 10 days, followed by spotting for another three to six weeks.
And especially as you no longer control a lot when you’re sleeping, you will need overnight or a maxi pad.
During the post-natal recovery period, you may have to exclusively use pads; no tampons, to bypass the risk of introducing bacteria into the region.
At least for the heavy postnatal bleeding phase, I recommend the Always Maxi Overnight Pad.
As the flow progresses into a lighter discharge, you can then transition into medium and light flow pads.
Also, if you begin to experience irritation, swelling, or hemorrhoids during this period, you can consider getting medicated pads to help provide additional relief.
2. Belly Wrap Aids Post-natal Recovery
Some people have no issues with them, some others aren’t just great fans of these things called belly wraps/binders.
Regardless, there are several benefits when it comes to postpartum belly binding.
First, it can help manage diastasis recti, a condition that can occur from the uterus is growing and stretching out the abdominal muscles.
Second, it can help with lower back and pelvic support.
During pregnancy, the body produces the hormone Relaxin which helps the body open and become looser and more flexible, which is expedient for pregnancy and conception.
By using a corset, belly binder, or belly wrap in this postpartum phase, you are taking advantage of the Relaxin that is still in your body by putting pressure on your hips, pelvis, and ribs to help go back to its pre-pregnancy state.
For how long? It is recommended that mums wear it for four to six weeks after delivery and 10-hours a day to reap the maximum benefits.
My recommendation, however, is that you go the length your might can take you. No two women’s body is exactly the same, after all.
3. Nipple Balm & Breast Pads
It is only fair that as you take care of the lower regions, you extend the same treatment to the upper area.
Whether you chose to breastfeed or not, breast pads are what you need to keep the leaking breast milk under control.
If you plan on breastfeeding, however, you want to ensure that you take good care of your nipples. It’s to avoid sore and cracked nipples as much as possible.
An all-natural nipple balm to keep the nipples moisturized and also being safe for baby is what you want to opt for.
A great alternative, however, is your organic olive oil or coconut oil, both of which are popular for their abilities to soothe and moisturise irritated skin.
4. Nursing Tanks & Bras Are Great For Post-natal Recovery
Especially if you’re breastfeeding, a well-fitting, comfortable nursing bra is another must-have item for all mums during the postnatal period.
This glory piece usually of cotton & spandex blend, is soft even on sore, cracked nipples and super stretchy, so you can quickly and easily pull it out of the way, particularly during those middle-of-the-night feedings.
And with no hooks, plastic, or metal, there’s nothing to dig into your back while you’re catching a Zizz.
A good nursing bra will be comfortable and support the extra weight of your breasts without being so tight.
5. Large, Comfortable Underwear
Mums at the postnatal phase need a stockpile of dark-colored, disposable, or old maternity underwear; underwear big enough to hold those extra-large maternity pads.
They’re likely to get soiled, hence, a dark color works well.
But if you’ve got old or disposable undies even better, so you can discard them afterward. Keep in mind: in all thy getting, get comfortable ones.
You’ll thank me later.
6. A Stool Softener
The last thing you want is encountering bowel challenges while you’re healing from childbirth.
A stool softener can help with constipation and make your visit to the restroom easier.
In my case, I think everyone forgot to tell me that the first postnatal poo can literally be a pain in the ass. It can feel like giving birth all over again.
So, do well to prepare yourself to include a stool softener on your postpartum bucket list.
Speak to your doctor for a prescription.
Some women also experience hemorrhoids carried over from pregnancy or from pushing during delivery, adding to the discomfort with bowel movements.
To battle postnatal constipation and get your system back on track, it is recommended to include whole grains and fresh fruits and veggies, to your diet, and of course, drink plenty of water.
7. Healthy Snacks & Meals Aids Post-natal Recovery
The best way for your whole body to heal is to eat whole foods like protein, fruits, and vegetables.
In addition to this, I especially recommend some hot pepper soup or Nsala/white soup from time to time.
It worked wonders for me.
Whatever route you choose to go, be sure that you make healthy choices during this time.
This, in turn, will help you feel better and boost recovery from the inside out.
You probably aren’t going to want to run to the supermarket on the first day back from the hospital, so, ensure your store and freezer stocked.
You need healthy foods to help your body heal and maintain your energy while taking care of your newborn.
Have you read: Best sex positions for pregnancy
Seafood, fruits, and foods high in fiber will be the best allies in your postpartum period.
8. Great Mum Books
Reading also helps in post-natal recovery, but it all depends on the kind of books that you read. Here are some of my favourites:
a. What to Expect The First Year by Heidi Murkoff
b. The Fifth Trimester: The Working Mom’s Guide to Style, Sanity, and Big Success After Baby by Lauren Smith Brody
c. Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality by Laura A. Jana and Jennifer Shu
d. The Kickass Single Mom: Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children by Emma Johnson
e. Work. Pump. Repeat.: The New Mom’s Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work by Jessica Shortall
f. The Sh!t No One Tells You About Pregnancy: A Guide to Surviving Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Beyond by Dawn Dais
g. The novel: Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan
h. So That’s What They’re For!: The Definitive Breastfeeding Guide by Janet Tamaro
From diapering to sleep training, and so much more, these books are packed with ancient wisdom, actionable tips and tricks to help get you through the postnatal phase and beyond.
9. Prenatal/Postnatal Vitamins
Many practitioners recommend new mums continue to take a daily prenatal vitamin, like the Vitafusion Prenatal Gummy Vitamins, after delivery — especially those who are breastfeeding.
The reason is that these yummy, gummy vitamins contain a healthy dose of omega 3 fatty acids.
The regular OTC Vitamin C tablets are fine if you don’t have access to those ones with fancy names.
Just ensure you include this must-have for all mums during the postnatal recovery phase.
I too, rejoice with you.
Find more on parenting here.