After I had my first son I’d wish someone had told me that there were so many things that you need for your postpartum recovery. I just thought that you push a baby out and you get to love on them, dress them in cute clothes, feed them and rock them to sleep all the while your just a little tired from not sleeping through the night, right?
Other moms out there are shaking their heads knowingly that I had no idea what taking care of another human being was going to be like and how utterly exhausted you will be too if you don’t care of yourself as well.
People would jokingly say, “Just you wait”. I thought they were just being dramatic. But after I had become super anemic after the birth of my son it was so hard to even to walk from one end of the house to the other. I thought other moms must be crazy when they said they were getting stir crazy a few weeks after their baby was born and I’m over here like, “Woman, I can barely stand up and keep my eyes open let alone get out of the house!”
Now I make a little postpartum care kits for first time moms so they have an easier time recovering than I did from the first one. This is a mostly natural list because I am not sure what is in the depends but everything else has natural ingredients and is what I used.
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The little bit of iron that is in prenantals is not enough to make up for the amount of blood you lose after a baby is born. And it is A LOT. Then you continue to lose quite a bit for several weeks after. Fun, huh?! If you become anemic this goes double for you. Now with that being said, you can get iron poisoning so only take the recommended amount on the label.
This liquid iron that my midwife told me to take helped get my hemoglobin back up really fast! Like a few days fast. I could already tell. My thoughts were clearer. I had the energy to stand up. I could stand up without feeling like I was going to faint. I highly recommend this form of iron because your body will process and use it very quickly.
On its label it says that it is combined with fruits and veggies to counteract constipation which leads me to my next essential item…
The Squatty Potty
Okay, there, I said it. This one is a little weird to talk about but it is a must. After you have your little bundle of joy you will find the next time you need to use the restroom it might be a bit…difficult. The squatty potty will help “eliminate” that problem.
Long story short it helps you have a better “go” by having your legs like you are in a squatting position. This will help you go to the bathroom without straining because that is the last thing you want to do after pushing your baby out. It will reduce hemorrhoids and hopefully help you eliminate everything to keep you healthy! You can watch their very interesting video here.
Something else to combat constipation is to drink plenty of water. I saw someone had marked a water bottle with hourly lines to make sure they drank the recommended amount for their weight daily.
There are so many good uses for essentials oils but the ones that I will talk about are going to be for the “baby blues”.
Dr. Axe says that these are the four top essentials oils that help uplift your mood.
- Lavender – To relieve stress and induce sleep.
- Bergamot – Improves blood circulation and gives energy. Works against anxiety.
- Chamomile – Best medicinal herb for fighting stress and promoting relaxation.
- Ylang Ylang – (pronounced ee-long, ee-long) Promotes good feelings.
Some other good ones are tangerine, grapefruit, sandalwood and frankincense. If you want a more in-depth reading you can go to Dr. Axe’s article here.
So if you already have some of these oils just use a few drops of each in a diffuser and relax.
Not only is this juice super yummy to drink but there so many ways that is helpful. There is no data on this, just personal experience, that says that it will relieve clogged ducts.
It does contain bromelain, which is an anti-inflammatory protein enzyme in the pineapple, which may be why it relieves the pain of mastitis.
Pineapple is also very high in vitamin C, and contains a good amount of Vitamin B1 (turns carbs into energy) Potassium and manganese (a trace mineral that thins the blood and creates connective tissues and does loads of other things!) And the Dole pineapple juice is now in a BPA-free can. Woo-hoo!
I mixed mine with coconut water to get the benefits from that as well.
There is an unsavory fact that most moms don’t always get to bathe, that or they have no energy to do so, after they have given birth. And with moms who have more than one little this becomes almost impossible. On the days when you need to freshen up and there isn’t anyone to help you by watching the baby so you can get cleaned up, these little deodorant wipes come in handy.
They are also great to throw into your purse or diaper bag for a quick way to get rid of B.O. when you are out and about because it’s hot or you forgot to put deodorant on that morning!
This was the weirdest concept I had heard about but they helped SO MUCH! There will be all kinds of discomfort down there and you may not be able to sit directly on your lady parts for days. So to make these…
- Aloe Vera – Try to find one without dyes or synthetic ingredients. I can’t remember which one I used.
- Heavy duty pads.
- Witch Hazel (This is what is in Tucks pads).
How to make:
First dilute the witch hazel with the water. Add about a tablespoon of witch hazel to 4 tablespoons of water. Then you are going to take your pad out of the package. Keep the outer packaging.
Add your water and witch hazel mixture to your pad and let it soak in. Then apply about 2 tablespoons of aloe vera to the pad. Then place the pad in its packaging and store in the freezer. They last for quite a while in the freezer.
Replace pad as often as needed. I didn’t usually wear them at night because I needed the extra absorbency of the pad to last me through the night.
Now I didn’t end up needing nipple cream so there isn’t I have tried personally. But I know that for most woman it is a must because your nipples may crack and bleed but you can prevent this by using a good nipple cream. If there was one I was going to use it would be this kind because it is vegan and all natural. Works on mom and baby!
You need so much care for down there! This relieved a lot of discomfort, especially if you tear. I hope you don’t but you might. It also helps relieve hemorrhoids if you get them.
A sitz bath is a shallow bowl that will place on your toilet that you put warm water and herbs into and you “sitz” (sorry, I had to.) on it. This kind even comes in pretty colors!
My midwife made a different recipe for me but you can use this kind for your sitz bath.
- 1/2 cup Epsom salt
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 2 tablespoons witch hazel
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 drops lavender essential oil
- 8 drops chamomile essential oil
Dissolve the epsom and baking soda in warm water. Then add the rest of your ingredients. Add enough warm water so that your lady parts are sitting in the water. And don’t worry about it overflowing. The extra water will just pour over into the toilet out the back. Sit and enjoy for as long as baby will let you. 😉
Notice how there are so many uses from the same few products! Which is nice because you can get the most healing for your buck.
Toilet paper, even the softest kind, is the not the nicest or easiest way to get clean after you’ve had your baby. I highly recommend feminine wipes because it is quite refreshing and you can see that you are getting clean. Hopefully, wherever you have your baby they will give you a peri bottle but I found that this doesn’t always do the trick when going more than just pee. So it was nice to have these wipe as well.
I’d like to get more and use them for when it is my monthly time. I don’t plan on using tampons in the future so these will be nice when wanting to feel clean during that horrible week.
I would use them sparingly though because you don’t want to upset the delicate ph balance of your girly parts. If it’s cleaned too often or too well you could get a yeast infection. One or two will work just fine to be thoroughly cleansed.
And above anything else listed here, the best thing you can do postpartum is…
You’re probably thinking this goes without saying because you’ll be exhausted but you’ll be surprised how many things you will try to do that you could easily ask someone else to do.
Need a glass of water? Ask someone. Need an extra pillow? Ask someone. Need help getting to the bathroom? Ask someone. Just ask. It is that simple.
All of these products really helped speed up my recovery and I hope they are helpful in making yours quick too.
Already had a baby? What were your “must have’s” for your recovery?