Congratulations, mama! You created a life, you birthed a life, and now what do you do?! Can you believe that the hospital let you take this baby home without a how-to guide? Can you believe that your baby isn’t the only one wearing diapers? Oh, how life changes in an instant.
While I was pregnant, I appreciated the unfiltered advice I received from my sister, mother, and dear friends. This was the advice from people that kept it real. The “you may poop on the delivery table, you might have hemorrhoids, you might bleed from your nipples” type of advice that gave me a realistic view of what to expect in the fourth trimester. So here I am, hoping that I can give you the keeping it real older sister advice to help you navigate all things postpartum. Here are the postpartum essentials that were game changers when it came to my fourth trimester recovery.
- Needed collagen: Needed has a fabulous prenatal collagen that also doubles as a postnatal collagen. I put Needed collagen in my oatmeal every single day when I was pregnant as well as postpartum. Collagen has been shown to help support joints, tissues, and the pelvic floor. It’s also great for hair, skin, and nails. They also have fabulous vitamin products for all of your prenatal and postnatal needs.
Needed gave me special codes for Roamaroo readers with code ROAMAROO
- 20% off first order / first 3 months subscription
- $100 off the Complete Plan ($33.33 off months 1, 2, 3)
- $10 off sample packs
- Frida Kit: This postpartum kit was gifted to me by a dear friend and fellow mama. The Frida Kit is by one of the best postpartum essentials for recovery. It comes with disposable postpartum underwear, instant ice maxi pads, perineal cooling pad liners, and perineal healing foam, all stored in a toilet-top storage caddy. I also highly recommend purchasing the upside-down peri bottle. If you had a c-section, there is also a Frida c-section recovery kit. Basically, anything that Frida makes, I buy. It’s that good.
- Elvie Hands Free Breast Pump: The Elvie pumps have saved me on many occasions in my postpartum journey and it is one of my ultimate postpartum essentials. When it comes to breast pumps, you’re often plugged into a wall and cannot move. Just like when you’re breastfeeding and you’re in one location and cannot move. The Elvie cord-free pumps give you back your freedom because they’re mobile! I’ve pumped on the way to dinner, I’ve pumped and run errands around the house, and I’ll definitely be pumping on road trips! Elvie pumps give you your hands back (and your sanity…seriously).
- Belly Bandit: Belly binding has been practiced around the world for hundreds of years. This postpartum compression wrap can be used for support during the healing phase after a c-section or vaginal birth and if you’ve had a hernia or diastatis. I consulted with my pelvic floor physical therapist regarding the use.
- Stool softeners: When you’re postpartum, pooping will be…scary at first. No matter how you delivered, it’s a little frightening thinking about something else exiting your body. Do yourself a favor and have some milk of magnesia and Colace ready for when you get home. My pelvic floor therapist also recommended taking Colace in the week leading up to birth. Milk of Magnesia and Colace are safe to take while breastfeeding but be sure to ask your doctor if you have any questions.
- Silverettes: Recommended by the hospital lactation consultant, these silverettes have been a savior and postpartum essential for my nipples! They protect sore nipples between feedings and the silver has antimicrobial properties.
- Nursing bra: When it comes to postpartum essentials, a great nursing bra (this one also doubles as a pumping bra) will help support your body as it goes through this transition of life. If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll want easy access to your breasts and this nursing bra has an easy clasp that can be clipped and unclipped with one-hand (also essential).
- Nursing pajamas: Just like a nursing bra, nursing pajamas will hit the easy button on accessing your breasts for breastfeeding. I absolutely love my Kindred Bravely nursing pajamas because they feel fabulous, they are practical, and they make me look put together during a time where I feel anything but!
Photo credit: Kindred Bravely
- Support System: They say, “it takes a village,” and they’re not just talking about the baby. Postpartum recovery requires mental and emotional support from the ones you love and trust. Prior to giving birth, I recommend putting together a list of people that you can go to in times of need. This way, when you’re postpartum and don’t want to or can’t think about these things, you already have a resource to reach out to. These people should be non-judgmental, loving friends and family who you can call and just say, “I need you.” Also, speak to your support person in times that you’re feeling overwhelmed. You are not alone.
- The ability to be radically honest with yourself: Postpartum can and most likely will be overwhelming at times and that’s ok. You don’t have to do it all, mama. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or alone, try not to isolate yourself further by keeping things to yourself (I would know – been there, done that!) Reach out to your support system (above), do a little self-care, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Get Outside: I’ve always been a proponent of the power of the Great Outdoors, and it is a fabulous and free postpartum essential. If you can get outside for a walk, it can be extremely powerful. Even if you don’t have the time for a walk, just stepping outside for a few minutes can change your whole day!
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