Giving birth is tough, and that’s just the beginning. The time after a child is born is very special, but it can also be very hard, and to top it off, most people focus on the new baby, not the stressed-out new mom. However, a few of the right supplies can make things easier for new moms.
Whether you’re shopping for a new mom in your life or are about to be a new mom yourself, here are some items to stock up on to smoothen the transition into motherhood.
Heating & Cooling Pads
Whether you give birth vaginally or via cesarean, bearing a child is rough on the body. Heading and cooling pads will help soothe the aches and pains following birth.
After giving birth, you can expect vaginal bleeding. It can be pretty heavy for the first 10 or so days, and you can expect some spotting for as many as six weeks after giving birth. You can’t use tampons, so you’ll need heavy absorption maxi pads or period panties to help manage the bleeding. Thinx makes a variety of cuts that are comfortable and will help you feel a little bit more normal. They even have comfy sleep shorts!
Soft breast pads are useful for a few different things. First, if you experience leaking, breast pads will help to keep your bra and top dry. Second, nipples can be sensitive post-partum (even if you don’t breastfeed, but especially if you do) and breast pads can provide a comfortable barrier between your nipples and your bra or shirt. Third, breast pads can be used as cold or warm compresses for sore nipples. Simply soak pads in warm water to use them as a warm compress or soak and freeze to use them as cold compresses.
To go along with your breast pads, you’ll want nipple cream, especially if you’re breastfeeding. It helps relieve soreness and prevent chapping. There are a lot of options out there, but we like Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream.
Unfortunately, giving birth vaginally inevitably leads to stretching and tearing of some delicate bits, which then have to be carefully kept clean. A peri bottle is a great tool for helping soothe soreness and it also helps prevent infection. After you use the bathroom, fill the bottle with warm water, then use the bottle to clean yourself. We like the Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle, but there are plenty of great peri bottles available and there aren’t really a lot of differences between them.
A nursing pillow can be a lifesaver during breastfeeding sessions. It helps provide support so you can bring your baby to your chest without killing your arms and instead of leaning down, which kills your back. Once your baby can lift their head, a nursing pillow can even let you breastfeed without using your hands at all. The Boppy is probably the most popular nursing pillow right now and for good reason. It’s comfortable for both Baby and Mom, comes in a ton of different patterns, and, once your baby is old enough, it can be used for tummy time and to help your baby sit up.
For breastfeeding mamas, a handful of comfortable, flattering, and easy-to-use nursing bras and/or tanks is a lifesaver. They’re all you’ll be wearing for at least a few months, so you should love them. Kindred Bravely makes our favorite nursing, maternity, and post-partum apparel, including nursing bras, but they also have a ton of other clothes designed to make nursing as easy as possible.
If you’ve chosen to breastfeed, a breast pump is a virtually unparalleled convenience. Pumping allows other people to feed your baby, giving you a break. It also allows you to release milk, relieving soreness, even when your baby isn’t around.
Newborn babies often want to be held by Mom at all times. However, it’s not exactly practical for most of us to hold our babies 24/7. Sometimes, things just need to be done. A baby carrier is a great way to keep both Mom and Baby happy. Baby will feel mom’s warmth and can listen to her heartbeat, while Mom’s hands are free to cook, clean, work, shop, or do whatever else needs doing.
During the post-partum period, your body is doing a lot of physical recovery. Staying hydrated is an important part of letting your body recover as efficiently as possible. Get a large water bottle so you don’t have to refill as often. Studies have also shown that drinking through a straw will encourage you to drink more, so a lid with a straw is ideal. Finally, a double-walled, vacuum-insulated water bottle will keep your water cold longer. My favorite water bottle that fits all these criteria comes from Hydroflask.
Not a big water drinker? Try adding fruit or herbs so the water has more flavor.
A yummy tea can help you relax when you’re stressed and soothe you to help you fall asleep. There are even teas that are meant to support milk production for those who’ve chosen to breastfeed. Speaking of which, moms who opt to breastfeed will want to make sure they choose a tea that doesn’t have caffeine.
A new baby is extremely exciting, but moms need support too! These essentials should help make that important post-birth period a smoother, less stressful time. Whether you’re a new mom yourself, a soon-to-be new mom, or just someone shopping for a new mom they love, the items on this list are essential for making life as easy as possible for new mothers.
And as your baby grows into a toddler and becomes mobile, you’ll need some of these: