Putting together a DIY postpartum care kit for after baby, and not sure what exactly you’ll need? Today, I’m sharing the postpartum essentials I couldn’t live without, and why you’ll need them, too.
Let’s dive in –
What does the hospital give you when you have a baby?
While what exactly the hospital will provide new moms after birth will obviously vary across facilities, they will most commonly provide the following postpartum supplies during your stay:
- Bed pad
- Mesh panties
- Heavy postpartum pads
- Peri bottle
- Numbing spray
- Witch hazel pads
- Pain meds
Here in Canada, I was able to request a few extras of everything from my nurses, though even then, it was only enough for a day or two that I was home.
Because you’ll need more than the handful of items that you get from the hospital, I definitely recommend putting together your own little DIY postpartum kit to use at home.
As with every other pregnancy and baby item, the tricky part is not knowing in advance what will work for you, and what you won’t love. For that reason, I recommend going with the smaller packages of these items so you can try them out first — you can always Prime more of what you find you need and are using!
So, let’s get to it.
Here’s what you’ll need to put together a DIY Postpartum Care Kit:
DIY Postpartum Care Kit
01. A Bed Pad
After labour & delivery, you’ll be moved to the postpartum ward in the hospital. One thing you may notice is that underneath the fitted sheet, the bed is lined with thick, absorbent bed pad.
These waterproof, washable bed pads are just like the ones they have at the hospital and will protect your mattress and bed sheets from postpartum bleeding.
02. Waterproof Fitted Sheet
Postpartum sweating is no joke. My gosh! This was definitely one of the big challenges of the postpartum period.
As your body’s hormones are adjusting after giving birth, it’s common for you to experience some serious sweating overnight.
I recommend protecting your mattress with a waterproof sheet – this one’s great – and affordable.
03. Postpartum Underwear (aka Diapers😆) or Mesh Panties
As with pretty much *every single* other element of pregnancy, different mamas will find different things work for them, or, that different options work better at different times.
When it comes to postpartum under-things, there are essentially four options:
- postpartum underwear
- postpartum underwear + postpartum pad
- mesh panties + postpartum pad
- period panties + postpartum pad
- granny panties + postpartum pad
While I was in the hospital, I wore the mesh panties (which are essentially a thin, disposable pair of fabric boy short underwear) along with the postpartum pad that they provided, which was okay.
Once I got home, and the bleeding had lightened a bit, I switched to postpartum underwear and stuck with that option, as it was the easiest and most comfortable.
Amazon Always Discreet Postpartum Underwear, 36 Pairs ($31)
These postpartum undies were my go-to, and I highly recommend them. They’re entirely padded, so you’ve got lots of coverage, they’re stretchy, high-wasted and comfy!
04. Heavy Pads
Because postpartum bleeding can be pretty heavy, even though the postpartum underwear are fully lined, they may not quite be absorbent enough.
If you find that’s the case, you can line either mesh panties or the postpartum underwear with a pad.
Amazon Amazon Basics Ultimate Absorbency Pads, 30 ($14)
05. Peri Bottle
A peri bottle is another must-have postpartum essential.
After giving birth, you may have a bit of a tear, and depending on the extent of it, there may be stitches, too.
Dry, scratchy toilet paper, is a definite no-go.
Instead, you can fill a peri bottle with warm water and gently spray yourself to keep clean.
Amazon Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle($16)
As I mentioned, the hospital will provide you with a basic one, but the issue that comes up is that in order to clean the whole area, you need to angle the bottle upwards, not downwards. It’s definitely tricky and you can easily end up with your hand in the toilet as you’re trying to hover and stretch and reach.
To solve this problem, FridaBaby came up with this super handy peri bottle that actually does the work for you, which makes the experience a whole lot more easier, especially for sore, sleep-deprived mamas.
06. Pain Killers
Yep, you’ll most likely be in need of some pain meds postpartum, so make sure you’ve got a bottle on hand (and check the expiry date if you’ve already got some).
Though I definitely recommend speaking with your doctor or pharmacist about any medications you plan on taking while breastfeeding, the LactMed database from NIH is also a great resource to know.
07. Witch Hazel Pads
These witch hazel liners are small, wet liners that are used to help reduce inflammation, reduce redness, itching and pain from giving birth.
While you’ve probably seen Tucks pads being recommended elsewhere, the issue with them is that they are small (2 or 3″ wide) and require you to layer 3 or 4 or 5 of them along a pad in order to completely line it.
These liners, on the other hand, are longer and easier to use – I definitely think they’re an upgrade from Tuck’s pads!
Amazon Frida Mom Perineal Cooling Pad Liners ($11)
08. Numbing Spray
Dermoplast is another tried and true way to manage some of that pain and discomfort.
While the first few days are usually pretty tender and sore, it’s common for stitches to itch after a few days, and this spray helps to relieve some of the discomfort.
Amazon Dermoplast Pain, Burn & Itch Relief Spray ($6)
09. Sitz Bath Soak
Another really useful addition to your DIY postpartum care kit is sitz bath soak – a special blend of epsom salt that you can add to a shallow bath to soak your tender bits in.
Pink Stork Postpartum Sitz Bath Soak ($16)
Postpartum Essentials for Breastfeeding
10. Nursing Pads
When you first begin on your breastfeeding journey, as your body is figuring out how much milk to produce, you’ll get a lot of leaking.
Nursing pads are just like maxi pads, but used to line your nursing bra, and prevent the milk from leaking through onto your shirt. (Most of the time. Lol.)
After awhile, your milk supply will usually level off and you won’t need the nursing pads on a regular basis, so I personally think the 200 is a good amount to get started.
Lansinoh Stay Dry Nursing Pads, 200 Count ($24)
11. Nursing Bras
These nursing bras are a great value and total postpartum staple, and they can even be worn before baby is here.
They don’t have wire, or padding, so they’re nice and comfy and work really well for that changing body of yours.
Amazon Nursing Bra for Breastfeeding, 4 Pack ($29)
12. Nursing Tanks & PJs
While you could just continue to wear your pre-mom tops and pajamas, nursing tops make life so much easier and more comfortable because you don’t have to be constantly pulling your shirt up or off or down.
These super soft pjs from Kindred Bravely are ridiculously comfy and make it really easy to breastfeed.
Kindred Bravely Jane Nursing Pajama Set ($49)
13. Huge Water Tumbler
The thirst that you experience postpartum is unlike anything else – I swear, I went through 3 or 4 litres of water a day – and it still didn’t feel like enough!
This tumbler is soo handy – it’s insulated, so your water stays cold, has a straw, so it’s easy to drink from one-handed, and a handle, too so that it’s easier to carry with a baby in your hands.
Reduce 40oz Mug Tumbler, Stainless Steel with Handle ($27)
14. Nipple Butter
If you’re planning on breastfeeding, dry, cracked, painful nipples – yes, they may even bleed 🥺 – they’re a rite of passage for new moms learning how to nurse.
This soothing balm is a must-have — it’s totally natural, doesn’t contain petroleum, and doesn’t have any artificial scents, either.
Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter ($5)