Whether you’re about to welcome your sweet little one into the world, you’ve just given birth, or you’re looking for something for a friend, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled a list based on what I personally used and the recommendations of my mama community. BEWARE! This list is for real life so you may want to prepare yourself for some honesty. I’m talking about all the not-so-pretty details about childbirth so just remember, you’ve been warned.
Large, Comfy Panties
Whether you’ve given birth naturally or via c-section, you’re going to need some big ‘ol granny panties to get you through those first few weeks. You’ll need them to be comfy and be able to hold a nice big pad. I personally like panties that are full coverage but are still nice to look at like these ones from Amazon: Motherhood Maternity Fold Over Panties (3 Pack). If you go this route, you will also need some pads with wings like these ones: Stayfree Ultra Thin Pads for Women with Wings, Overnight – 40 Count. You can actually make some frozen padsicles ahead of time by soaking the pads in witch hazel and throwing them in the freezer. You won’t be sorry you prepared these babies, I promise!
I personally decided to go the route of using adult diapers because they are so comfy and you can easily put all your witch hazel pads, frozen padsicles, or whatever else you’ll need, nice and snug in them. These are also disposable so you don’t have to worry about ruining your panties. My favorite are Always Discreet, Incontinence Underwear for Women, Maximum Classic Cut, Small/Medium, 32 count. You can thank me later! 😉
Dermoplast Pain Relief Spray
The angels sing and you breathe a huge sigh of relief when you use this stuff! Seriously, get a few cans – one for each bathroom – because you’re going to love it. This is not something you’ll want to skimp on, especially if you delivered naturally. You can get it on Amazon here: Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray 2.75 Oz
Pain Relief Pads
You can use a number of different types of pain relief methods such as soaking your pads in witch hazel and tossing them in the freezer, placing tucks pads on top of your pads, and/or placing some hemorrhoid wipes/pads in just the right spots. Here’s a short list of my favorites from Amazon:
Using the bathroom after you give birth is going to be awful. That’s why the hospital sends you home with that lovely spritzer bottle so you can give your lady parts a nice dousing with warm water while you go and after. You’ll definitely need stool softeners because you certainly won’t want to have to strain and make things that much more painful. Here’s my favorite brand: Colace Docusate Sodium Stool Softener, 100 mg Capsules, 60 Count. Don’t forget to invest in some SUPER soft toilet paper – it really makes a world of difference.
Sweatpants or Comfy PJs
As you may have already heard, you’re going to be spending a lot of time sitting or lying around during recovery. Either you’ll be in too much pain to go anywhere or you’ll be nursing a million times a day. This calls for some seriously comfy clothing! My absolute favorite are these pants from Amazon: Beachcoco Women’s Maternity Fold Over Comfortable Lounge Pants – These particular pants are great to wear while pregnant, right after birth, and even while you’re not pregnant (I still wear mine All. The. Time.). They are also nice enough to wear out of the house (Yippee!!)
Another good idea is to find a comfy robe for those days you’re stuck on the couch nursing. I recommend a lightweight robe like this one: SIORO Womens Cotton Robe Soft Kimono Robes Knit Bathrobe Loungewear Sleepwear Short. I was always hot after I gave birth so a lightweight outfit that was easy to nurse in was an absolute must.
A Nursing Bra
You’re going to need to wear a bra to sleep, especially at the beginning when you’re milk is coming in. You’ll also need a bra that is compatible for nursing easily but will give you reasonable support without an underwire. I like these versatile bras for sleeping and for day use and they sometimes come in a 3-pack, which is important because you’ll always be washing them: STELLE 3PACK Women’s Soft Cotton Wireless Nursing Sleep Bra For Maternity/Breast Feeding. There are also some really nice nursing bras that offer a little more coverage and support like this one: Kindred Bravely French Terry Racerback Nursing Sleep Bra For Maternity/Breastfeeding.
On top of needing a nursing bra, you’ll also need a ton of nursing pads. In the first few months, you will likely leak all the time! Don’t get caught without nursing pads when you go out because I guarantee you’re going to need them. Before you give birth, put some nursing pads in the diaper bag, the car, the nursery, by the bed, and in all the bathrooms. You’ll be so glad you did! I recommend getting these because you get a ton and they are very comfy on sensitive nipples: http://amzn.to/2C3joDb (Lansinoh Nursing Pads).
Anyone who has breastfed will tell you that your nipples are going to crack and possibly bleed. They will be sore and sensitive to the touch so it’s SO important to have a nice, soothing cream to put on them. This one is safe for baby and will help immensely when your nipples are aching from the round-the-clock nursing: Motherlove Nipple Cream Certified Organic Salve for Sore Cracked Nursing Nipples, 1 Oz. Some women also swear by this lanolin: Medela Tender Care Lanolin Tube, 2 Ounce.
If you can’t afford to buy everything on this list, this item may be something you can skip if you absolutely have to (even though this stuff is seriously a godsend!). Instead, you can express a little bit of milk and leave it to dry on your nipples after each nursing session. This will miraculously speed up the healing time for cracked and sore nipples. Seriously! Write that down and don’t forget it!
A Huge Cup For Water or Water Bottles
You are going to be so thirsty after giving birth, especially if you’re nursing. Drinking lots of water will not only quench your thirst, it will also help keep your milk supply up and keep you from getting constipated. So drink up!
I highly recommend getting yourself a nice, big cup with a lid and straw, like this one: http://amzn.to/2BWvSkF, so you can have water when you need it. I also highly recommend getting a bunch of bottles of water and keep some everywhere you plan on nursing: in the nursery, by the couch, in the car, in the fridge, by the bed, in your diaper bag and at least one in every room of your house. Stock up with a nice big case of water from Costco or Amazon: Kirkland Signature Purified Drinking Water, 16.9 Ounce, 40 Count.
A Video Streaming Service and A Universal Remote
You’ll probably find yourself stuck on the couch or in bed for long periods of time during those first weeks. That’s why it’s so important to have plenty of entertainment and to not have to get up for much. A universal remote can help you control your entire entertainment system from the comfort of your couch: http://amzn.to/2C8L4a4 (Universal Remote)
Look into getting a video streaming service as well – you may find yourself wanting to binge watch your favorite show or discover new movies while your stuck in one spot all day. There are quite a few services to choose from but I recommend the Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player. You’ll be able to “enjoy tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills with access to over 500,000 movies and TV episodes from Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more. Plus, access millions of websites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit with browsers like Silk and Firefox.” Seriously, what else will you even need?
Don’t forget to get yourself a long charging cable for your phone because you may be on social media or playing games for a good portion of the day (especially to post those cute newborn baby pics!): http://amzn.to/2C5Qpi4 (for Android and Windows phones) or http://amzn.to/2C5okYi (for iPhone)
A Grocery Delivery Service
This was an absolute MUST for me! Even though I had prepared a ton of frozen meals ahead of time, I still needed to get the basic groceries but simply couldn’t find the time or energy to go out. On top of that, most doctors will not allow you to drive for 4-8 weeks or more after giving birth. Here are my favorite services:
Instacart – (Get $10 OFF with this link) This one has, by far, been my favorite because you can place your order and have it delivered within an hour or two. On top of that, you can see when the person is shopping for your items and they will get your permission for any item substitutions via the app.
AmazonFresh – (Get a Free Trial with This Link) I LOVED AmazonFresh! Unfortunately, they no longer offer it in my area so I had to find something else. They allow you to compare prices on groceries, paper goods, and more, which made staying on a budget a cinch. You can either have your groceries delivered within a few hours or pick a day later in the week. Sometimes, Amazon will even offer deals where you can get an item for as low as 25 cents!
Home Chef –(Get 3 Free Meals with This Link) This service is for when you don’t have a whole lot of time but you need to cook a delicious, healthy meal. They send you ingredients and recipes that can be thrown together in as little as 30 minutes.
Sun Basket – (Get $50 Off with This Link) Sun Basket is awesome because they offer a ton of different meal plans based on your ingredient and diet preferences. They offer vegetarian, dairy-free, and soy-free options and even have meals that can be put together in 20 minutes! (Yay!!!!)
Support and Lots of Help
Of all of the things you’ll need, this is the most important. Whether this is your first baby or your fifth, you’re going to need help during those first weeks. You’ll be feeding a little human for, what feels like, every waking moment of your existence. You’ll be tired, in pain, constantly hungry or thirsty, and bathroom trips will take extra time. Trust me, you’ll need someone there with you to help you.
If you don’t have a spouse or family member immediately available, lean on your friends for support. Ask them to bring you some food, water, and maybe to help a little around the house. There’s no shame in needing help! One day, someone will need to lean on you and you will be there for them so there’s no reason why you can’t ask for the help you need.
There are also a ton of new mom websites and forums that you can check out to get some of your questions answered. I have logged SO many hours on these forums and websites, especially in the wee hours of the morning. Some of my favorites are listed below.
Glow Baby Community (My Favorite)
This list is the bare minimum of what you’ll need to get by. I also recommend asking your mama friends and get some additional advice. They are your best source of information, especially if they’ve had a baby recently. Trust me, you’re going to do great, so don’t stress! In the end, all the pain will be worth it.
Disclaimer: This post is the opinion of the author. Always speak to your doctor before beginning any exercise plan or changes to your lifestyle. The information provided in this post is for entertainment purposes only and is not intended to provide medical, legal, or other professional advice. Read and/or use any of the information from this post at your own risk. Some or all of the links displayed on this site may be affiliate links.