You might have noticed things got a little quiet around here. And for good reason, because I have someone to introduce to you: meet our gorgeous daughter Sophie. She arrived fashionably late but with lightning speed. I’m not one to share her entire birth story on this platform, but it was the home birth I so wished for. An overwhelming experience, yet the most natural empowering one I could imagine. So thankful to have her part of our family now, we couldn’t be more grateful for this precious girl to be in our arms.
The first few weeks and months after birth can be both wonderful and wild. Postpartum is an incredibly important time of healing and bonding. Emotions can go all over the place (thanks hormones) with tears from happiness, exhaustion or being overwhelmed (or all at the same time). Things happen to your body that you might not have prepared for, or even heard of. Physical healing can be a tough ask amidst night feeds, carrying and soothing your newborn and figuring this tiny human out.
(Just a note on ‘getting your body back after baby’: you never lost it in the first place mama! You grew a human and have the marks on your body to prove so – it’s totally normal, totally something to be proud of and accept. Just be kind to yourself and your body; let those first months be months of bonding, adjusting and healing, the other things will come in due time).
There’s definitely some things that are very helpful during this season. First of all, it’s important to be kind to your body – get the support you can (like help around the home or hot meals from friends & family), rest when possible and eat nourishing foods. I also made a list of my postpartum essentials. I always try to stay minimal and limit the amount of products I buy or keep inside our home, but it can be very hard to know what to purchase and prepare. Now that it’s my second time around, I feel I got a solid idea of what items I actually use. Also a note that people are extremely different so what works for me, might not be what works for you – there’s many different products out there to suit different needs. I do hope however that it will inspire you and help you to prepare for your own postpartum season!
My Postpartum Essentials (Minimal & Natural)
This is not so much a full breast pump (although you can use it in that way) but more so a great tool to catch any let down on the side your baby isn’t nursing. For me, those first few weeks of nursing are just plain messy with supply still balancing out and a LOT of lost milk every feed. Using my Haakaa means I can catch all that otherwise wasted milk and have a freezer milk stash in no time! This Haakaa pump is super affordable and easy to use – and the many top reviews make it pretty clear that this is a great product to get your hands on. It makes a great gift to any new breastfeeding mama too!
Nursing pads are a must have for any breastfeeding mum, I don’t think I need to explain here why, ha. Getting yourself some reusable nursing pads is a great idea – not only is it better for the environment than disposable ones; the natural, breathable fibres against your delicate skin are a much better option too. Especially when your nipples might be sore or healing during the initial breastfeeding time. They are a bit more pricey to begin with, but over time, you’ll definitely save quite some money too. I’ve got these that I love (they’re from a Dutch company), but these are a great option too!
3. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel (hamamelis) is a hydrosol made from the twigs, bark and dried leaves from the witch hazel shrub. It’s an all natural plant water that has many uses for your skin – and that’s exactly why you’d want this in your postpartum basket! It’s great to reduce swelling and repairing and tightening skin. It also has anti inflammatory properties. You can either spray it on pads (or make padsicles, ha!) or spray it directly on sore areas. Just make sure to use an all natural and alcohol free witch hazel. And after you’ve healed up, you can keep using it as a toner on your face or have it on hand as a natural remedy when needed – it’s a great staple to have in your (natural) care routine!
4. A Baby Carrier
A carrier, whether that be a wrap, ring sling or another kind, is great for baby, but also super helpful for mum. It enables you to bond with your newborn and have them close, but at the same time distribute their weight and give your arms and wrists a break from all the carrying. It’s a must have when you have older kids around that you are caring for too. I absolutely love my Wildbird ring sling – used it for my first daughter and am now carrying my little girl in it while playing with my oldest, cleaning our home or prepping dinner. It usually settles her in no time!
Yes, they are called prenatal vitamins, but they are often suitable for postpartum and while breastfeeding too (check the label to be sure). They support your body while you’re healing and recovering. I personally love taking these Solgar Prenatals and take them for as long as I’m breastfeeding.
6. Water Bottle + Healthy Snacks
Life can get pretty hectic all of a sudden – and most likely basic self care goes straight out of the window the moment your baby cries or needs help. Having a water bottle by your side makes it so much easier to stay hydrated, which is especially important when breast feeding. Stocking up on healthy snacks is also a great way to keep yourself fuelled – my favourites include this zucchini bread and these date balls (both are great to freeze and grab when you have little time to yourself!).
This is pure self care for me – I love my coffee. But newborn life just means that chances are very real my cup of joe will sit on the table going cold while my attention goes to changing that blow out diaper, feeding a hungry babe or comforting her to sleep. Best mom hack, if you ask me, is to get yourself a nice thermos flask to keep that coffee hot. When you do have a moment to yourself, you won’t be spending reheating it (those are valuable minutes!). I adore my Kinto flask and have been using it for years now – it’s leak free, pretty and comfortable to drink from!
That’s it, there’s my list of my postpartum essentials! Short and sweet – I hope it helps you to prepare for this wonderful season and look after your own health and wellbeing. Let me know in the comments if you’ve got anything to add!
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