Postpartum Necessities

Updated on May 14, 2010
H.A. asks from Colbert, WA
23 answers

Hello again Mama's

I was wondering, as we approach or 37th week of pregnancy, what items were absolute must-haves for the first few weeks after baby?

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answers from New York on

Some cheap,dark colored, cotton underwear for the post partum "period" that lasts for weeks. I got some bigger than pre pregnancy but smaller than the biggest pregnancy ones.

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answers from Savannah on

Okay. This is going to sound so gross, but you asked...

I could not have gotten through postpartum weeks without a bottle I kept in the bathroom to help clean up after I went.... even just #1. The stitches were so sore for a little while, I didn't want to wipe even with baby wipes! I would fill the bottle with warm/hot water and rise clean, then pat dry with witch hazel wipes.

I also used old school thick PMS pads to help me keep witch hazel wipes securely on my stitches for several days.

Boppy Pillows are the best!

LANSINOH cream for nursing mothers. And nursing pads for my bra.

Sticky notes and a marker for the front door. I wrote things like "Quiet Please! We are napping!" .... or "Please return at _____ time, we are napping!" ...... etc.... that way no one rang the doorbell and woke up my son OR me while we were getting some MUCH needed Z's!

Build yourself a little nest in your most favorite place in the house. Blankets, baby wipes, burp cloths, the lansinoh, nursing pads, a giant mug w/ straw and lid for iced water or Powerade, my prescriptions close by and the remotes. And my laptop, And a few books - get all of that situated, grab a few extra diapers and a plastic bag - and you may actually get to camp out the whole day in one spot! Put baby & bassinet right next to your nest and you're all set.

Oh yeah, and stool softener. No joke.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Okay, so I'm going to be honest here and tell you all the stuff that no one ever properly conveyed to me!! It's a little gross, but it's true!!

I am SOOO with Liza - that bottle of warm water was a TOTAL lifesaver. In fact, the nurse at the hospital sent me home with three of them and said, "You MUST take some of these with you!"

Continuing on with the gross-ness, stool softeners. Seriously, that was the scariest part after having a baby, worrying about having to poop and being constipated - they'll give them to you in the hospital and TAKE THEM. I didn't at first and boy, was I sorry! Especially if you are on iron supplements - I was very, very anemic and needed the supplements and it only made things that much worse.

Ask the nurse for a steroid foam for hemorrhoids. You might be okay, but I was totally miserable for the first 12 hours after having my daughter and that foam was amazing. The night nurse came on her shift, checked me out and gave it to me. The pain was gone instantly. Put the foam on a witch hazel pad/wipe and... You get the idea!

Maxi pads - like the ones that make it feel like you're straddling the arm of a couch! You really don't need them for a very long time, but it was nice to have the big ones. They'll give you some in the hospital, but holy cow, those are usually too big after the first or second day.

I know - all this makes it sound horrible. But I would love to do childbirth all over again - I would in an instant. Honestly, you don't even think about all this stuff - it sounds scary and awful, but you really don't think about it and it doesn't seem like a big deal. You are so in love with that new baby that it's all you think about and focus on. You don't care one bit about your discomfort. Enjoy your little one!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

The thing that I suggest as highly important is full meals for your family (whatever the size) frozen and ready to thaw in the freezer! I do this every spring and when I make a meal I make double and just put one in the freezer. If you need/want some great recipes let me know. I'll try to get them to you!


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answers from San Diego on

In addition to many of what's below... my favorite things:

- Bag of crushed ice in the freezer (for filling up the...)
- Giant waterbottle with straw (nursing + bleeding = dehydration)
- Nipple Shields & Boppy
- 1 gazillion burping clothes... pretty much worn 24/7
- Fingerfoods/ precooked and made snacks
- books to read in order to stay away for middle of the night nursing
- guilt free napping... seriously... sleeping when they sleep
- a "farts don't count" house rule

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answers from Jacksonville on

glider rocker (for those middle of the night feedings)
squeeze bottle for the bathroom (I would run hot water in it and it would cool off sufficiently while I got into the bathroom and changed those huge maxi's.. lol)
Dermoplast (epi-foam?) for stitches relief
ceiling fan in the bedroom (night sweats)
nursing pads/bras (even if you don't nurse... you will be engorged some and leak a little).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

So many people spend so much energy in this area and truly forget that this is such a tiny little thing that actually has very simple needs. Here is a quickly list that I am putting together for my soon to arrive, 4th baby:

- car seat - one that you can use until they are around 30 lbs.
- bassinet
- diapers
- wipes
- bottles and formula if you are not going to nurse
- pump is you are going to nurse (I still never use mine)
- A little baby pack of first aid stuff (you can buy them in one little kit)
- Onsies (7-10)
- Blankets (3 or 4)

I never liked the stroller option as most people do. I always have one but do not use it until they break one or so. I use the little snuggies that are like a backpack.

I think that is it, you can certainly get everything, like cribs, clothes, etc. but really that can come anytime.




answers from Boise on

These are the things that I found to be a must when I had my 3 kids.....A bassinet that will fit close to your bed, so night feedings are easier. Lots of burp clothes for inevitable spit ups. Plenty of size one diapers and wet wipes. A breast pump if you plan to nurse, or bottles, nipples, formula and a bottle warmer. At least 7-10 newborn changes of of clothes, believe me they dirty their clothes frequently at this age. 5-7 sleepers, I loved the newborn nightgowns- makes for easy mid-night changes. A swing, my babies all napped/calmed easily in their swing ( this is also a great way for mom to have a moment to use the restroom or do household chores)
Blankets, you can never have enough light weight blankets!
Blessings to you and your new family!!!



answers from Houston on

Just another thought.....Dollar Store.....thats where I bought 3 or 4 pj"s. I spent about 4 bucks a pair and who cares if they get ruined!!! I will have to say like the other will bleed like nobody's business after kiddo!!! Dont ruin your good jammies!!!

P.S. I utilized the "plastic" type "sheet" they give you in the hospital. Its usually green on one side and cotton on the other. It saved my matress. Call it a "puddle" pad...if you will!!!
Congrats!!! Good Luck!!!!



answers from Cheyenne on

I would set up a basket with diapers and wipes and a changing pad, diaper cream, and baby clothes, nose bulb, pacis, things like that that you set within reach on the couch (forget the changing table for now- in fact, I never had a changing table...always used the couch) because you won't want to move much those first few weeks. If you end up delivering vaginally, I found that the boppy pillow made a great "donut" to sit on!!! Have granola bars and crackers and water close by the couch if you are going to nurse because I was SO hungry as soon as I started nursing the baby that I would have to yell for my hubby to come bring me something NOW! Also, if you are nursing, give it three takes that long for your nipples to get tough (and if you have "barracuda" babies like me- meaning they latch on and are done in 5 minutes- your nipples will always seem a little more sore) because that was one thing I was not prepared for- but pushed past it (and got some lactation consultant help too) and was able to nurse my first for 14 months and am on month 8 with #2. Lanolin and nursing pads will help sore, cracked nipples! Anyway, the other gals all said meals...whether frozen or have others bring them...and don't worry about cleaning! Other than that, just relax and recover and enjoy your baby...they don't stay little for long!



answers from Salt Lake City on

Post partum support band..helps your belly go down after baby!! You can find them at babies r us. good luck with your labor!



answers from Provo on

a relative/friend coming over or staying in the house. my husband has never been able to take off more than a week from work when our kids have been born, but truly i needed help longer than that. having a mother, mother in law, neighbor, etc. come to the house each day helped a ton, even if it was just to let me take a nap without holding the baby or get a shower. that break helps.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Microwave dinners, :) multiple sets of jammies for mommy and baby, soothing shower gel, Disposable plates and cutlery so you don't WORRY about the dishes (you should get the ones that are eco friendly as you'll be going through a lot in a week or so of eating off of them). get rid of the vaccum- or just hide it. you shouldn't worry about trying to do any cleaning. Give yourself lots of time with just you, your baby, and your hubby. Enjoy! oh, and ps get your hospital bag packed! I went into labor at 38 weeks with both my kids and didn't have my bag packed either time. You don't want to be packing while you're in labor-not a fun time.



answers from Denver on

As a mom of three kids, I have to second postpartum help that's not your husband! Even though my husband was awesome, he also wanted to bond the baby and was up at night ad was just as tired as me during the day. If you don't have family and friends to take care of the house, the cooking, the pets, etc, hire a postpartum doula! Your job for the first 4-6 weeks is breastfeed, rest and take care of your baby! Let someone else do the rest!

W. Nichols-Dewey, CD(DONA)



answers from Denver on

Quick dinners and lunches you can make one handed... I made and froze several casserols and quick dinners before my first was born and it was a life saver for my husband and I. Also if you have a friend or family member that is eager to help ask for them to come over once a week and help with laundry or house hold chores as I drove my self nuts nursing and looking around at what needed cleaned, folded etc.



answers from Houston on

diapering supplies (dipes, wipes, boudreaux buttpaste)
clothes (onsies and socks)
baby thermometer
infant tylenol
baby wash
large lightweight blanket suitable for swaddling or a breastfeeding coverup
(a friend who sews whipped up some 4X4 ft size & I only had to pay for fabric)
feeding supplies
(nursing bra & pads & lanisoh nipple cream and/or formula and bottles)
crib or bassinet
jumbo maxi pads for mom


answers from Houston on

Well you need a way to feed so either a good set of bottles and formula or a comfortable nursing pillow to nurse. Diapers, wipes, one piece sleepers are really great, socks, caps, little hand covers help so baby doesn't scratch him/herself. A bassinet, a car seat of course, they make these inserts that will support baby's head in the car seat:, they come in blue and pink really helps baby's head to stay up and not flop around:). You don't have to go crazy at first because your baby will mostly sleep, eat and of course poop! So as long as you can accomodate those activities you are good to go for several weeks:) Congrats on your new baby have a great delivery!!
p.s. I forgot a couple really important things: A thermometer, and a nasal must haves!



answers from Minneapolis on

As I am going through this now (and have no time to read the rest of the comments) Pads, Ibuprofen/Tylenol on hand. And enough of your basic baby needs for a few weeks diapers/wipes, nuk...This is just in case something happens, I did not have enough diapers for a few weeks and not enough ibuprofen, I ended up having a much harder recovery so having to make a trip to the store was not fun. And snakes easy to eat for while feeding... And congrats your almost there! take it easy also!!


answers from Dallas on

I found that having an extra boppy pillow was GREAT to sit on b/c of my episiotomy stiches.
Witch hazel pads were awesome for the stich pain.
A side table next to where you will be breastfeeding. I had it piled with the phone, remote, burp rags, nasal asperator, a blanket, etc. Never sit down without the phone and the remote, lol! Sometimes you can't get up!
Good pajamas that open in front for breastfeeding and slippers. Oh, and people will be taking lots of pictures while you are red-eyed with sleep deprivation. Visine is awesome! Oh, and congrats! Have fun with your new bundle of sunshine!



answers from Salt Lake City on

I had a horrible delivery with my first and was very swollen. The nurse used a diaper to put ice in. She tore open the top and put the ice between the layer that goes against skin and the absorbent layer. So if you don't have an ice pack or anything else to use, you should have a diaper!

I haven't seen this mentioned and I admit I didn't read all the posts, but for my 2nd and 3rd deliveries, I used adult diapers. (I am pregnant now and I already have them purchased!) Sounds crazy, yes. Works wonders!! You only need them the first few days or so and they do such a good job with that postpartum bleeding. You are sitting, laying down, trying to nurse, and you don't need to worry about your pad shifting! I actually have a friend that refused to buy them because she was embarrased. I knew how fantastic they were, so I bought them for her and she couldn't stop telling me what a good idea it was!



answers from Fort Collins on

other mom's have great advice below so I'm only adding what is different... a sign on the front door that say's 'new baby in the house please don't knock or ring doorbell, we are not accepting visitors for now, we hope you understand'. (personally I would recommend telling friends and family now that you really want to get off on the right foot with establishing a routine, breastfeeding etc so the first week (mimimum) you won't be having an visitors so you can try and maximise sleep and a routine (week old baby or less doesn't have much of a routine). If you have visitors it's hard to say sorry you have to go now. Try and only have people in your home that are there for help you eat, sleep (by settling the baby) wash, grocery shop. If they walk in the door then they are there to help. Plenty of time for visitors later.
I-Pod/MP3 with a bunch of slow tempo songs that you can use as a tool to help you distract your mind to help enable you to sleep when you have the chance. Without ear phones you hear every single noise your baby makes and I found it almost impossible to sleep.
If BFing is important to you - a few phone numbers on hand for lactation consultants, experienced friends that can help through the first 3 weeks. Despite being 'natural' it isn't always easy. (lather the cream on your nipples from day one).
Cell phone on vibrate, land line off the hook. Meals ready for defrost. Camera ready -despite sleep deprivation those first few weeks are so precious.
Swaddle-Me - (makes swaddling easy)
emergency supply of formula and bottles (my son screamed inconsolably for 5hrs on day 4 until we fed him as a last resort - he then fell asleep within minutes)
if you can find another mom of a newborn and stay on contact via Email or phone for the first 2mths (even better longer term) it might help you to feel like you have support and understanding
not trying to be negative but if you go home from the hospital with the attitude that you won't do anything but live for your baby for the first six weeks and anything else (walk, movie, dinner out etc) is a bonus then it will make it easier to accept the overnight lifestyle change. It may seem like your life has changed and will never be the same again (sleep deprivation, irregular hours, lack of freedom etc) but it really is just a very short period in your life so just try and focus on eating healthy and sleeping whe you can plus asking for help when you need it. Accept offers of help from other mom's - some of us relish the chance to help a new mom and be around a newborn again :-)



answers from Denver on

I tore and had the worst postpartum pain I could imagine. I absolutely second the comments about the bottle in the bathroom. Make sure it's got warm water and keep a container of witch hazel pads. It feels SO good! Also if you don't want to spend the money on a second boppy for your bum (or don't want to get one stained), ask for one of those inflatable 'donuts' at the hospital - lifesaver!!! Trust me, pillows don't work because you still have pressure on the tear/incision. You need something with a hole it in. Although if you don't tear or have a C-section this may be a moot point.



answers from Salt Lake City on

the nurse in the hospital I was at told me to take the pads that you crack so that its a pad and an ice pack at the same time daily and put them in our bag, she said trust me you will need these. another trick she showed us was to used crushed ice in a hospital glove. regular ice packs don't shape to the size you are, but the gloves do and they really help with that after birth healing--echoing the warm bottle, pain spray, and witch hazle pads.
lansino for your nipples also a must must must. as well as a heating pad for your stomach and to help milk drop when you feel engorged or just before feeding to help it not be so painful
and if at all possible your spouse or someone else who can be around for the first week as you heal and adjust to being a mom, someone to take care of the stuff around the house so you can focus on your baby and the new changes with your body and the joy of your little one

ps I couldn't sit on a boppy it hurt me too bad but just having an extra pillow that was soft helped me so much

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