The postpartum period can be humbling, to say the least. From the physical recovery to navigating life with a newborn, new moms certainly have their work cut out for them. Thankfully, there are a host of useful products on the market that can make the postpartum period more comfortable and as enjoyable as possible. Whether or not you already have older kids at home, life with a newborn is magical in many ways - but it’s also busy and at times downright exhausting. From products that help with physical healing to those that make mom’s life just a little bit easier, there are several must-have items that you’ll want to make sure you have on hand once you bring baby home. Let’s face it – happy mom, happy household, right?
On the other hand, there are many products that aren’t worth shelling out cash for. Oftentimes, there are products out there that have been designed and marketed directly to new moms, which leaves you thinking that you “need” these products to survive the postpartum period. But the truth is, there are often generic products available for a fraction of the cost – or even remedies you can try with items you already have at home.
Pads are a staple that you will want to stock up on for the first several weeks postpartum. No matter how you delivered your baby, it is inevitable that you will bleed afterward. Take it from Janna, mom of two – this is a must-have that you don’t want to skimp on. “I naively brought a mini pack of ultra thin pads to the hospital,” when my first baby was born. “I soon realized that those weren’t going to cut it.” Some women even buy adult diapers like Depends for optimal coverage.
If you’re breastfeeding, investing in a hands-free pump can be a huge time saver. New moms pump for a variety of reasons. You might want to create a freezer stash so you can sneak away for a few hours. You might have such an oversupply that you’re dripping and uncomfortable between feeds. Or, your baby might not latch at all. Regardless of the reason, pumping can be a huge time suck. A hands-free breast pump allows you get the job done while still having your hands free to tend to your baby or complete other tasks.
If you’re a mama who feels on edge when her house is in disarray, it will be worth every dime to invest in an in-home cleaning service during those first few months with your new addition. While the dishes and the vacuuming most certainly do not need to be done right away, letting household chores pile up for too long only makes more work that will need to be done later. If it’s in your budget, you likely won’t regret shelling out a bit of extra cash to have the cleaning taken care of. This way, you can spend more time during those precious newborn months snuggling your baby.
You can bet that you will have more visitors than usual during the first few weeks of bringing baby home. Everyone will want to meet the babe! If you feel best in sweatpants and oversized tees, no one will blame you. However, if you feel better in something a little more flattering as you introduce your newest addition to your family and friends, there are plenty of options out there. A pair of fitted joggers, for example, are as cute as they are comfortable.
If you’re breastfeeding, staying hydrated is essential since your body is working hard to produce milk. Even if you’re not breastfeeding, you’ve recently gone through the physically demanding act of childbirth. On top of that, you’re likely up several times at night tending to your newborn. These activities are taxing for your body, making it crucial that you stay hydrated. The Yeti Cup is large enough that you won’t continually need to refill it and it truly keeps your beverage cold for hours. Bonus? Since it’s stainless steel, it also works as a thermos that will keep your coffee warm. It’s a win-win.
As a new mama, your time is precious. Despite having a new baby to tend to, your family still needs to eat. But, nothing sucks your time more than peeling, chopping, and sautéing. Meal prep and delivery services like Hello Fresh and Home Chef take the work out of meal planning and prepping by delivering fresh and healthy meals that are ready to be cooked, right to your door. There are many options on the market, so with a little bit of Googling you are bound to find a meal prep and delivery service that serves your area.
“It wasn’t until I became a mom that I invested in quality pyjamas,” Lindsay, mom of three, recalls. “I used to sleep in ratty old gym t-shirts and my husband’s boxers! But now slipping into velvety pyjama sets feels like a small luxury at the end of a busy day.”
As Lindsay attests, a pair of pyjamas that you look forward to wearing each evening can help you feel more put together when you’re in the throes of life with a newborn. After all, if you’re going to be awake multiple times each night, it’s worth it to be comfortable while you’re doing it. If you’re nursing, opt for a button down version.
Let’s face it – newborn babies like to be held. While there’s nothing quite like snuggling your baby, sometimes you need your hands to be free. Investing in a quality sling or carrier that you feel comfortable wearing your baby in can make the postpartum period infinitely easier.
Mom of two, Darcy, says her baby sling was her saving grace after her second son was born. “I couldn’t exactly cuddle on the couch all day with my second baby like I had with my first, since I now have a toddler. The sling allowed me to experience that same closeness with Jacob while still keeping my hands free to play with Easton.”
Compared to other postpartum essentials, dry shampoo is relatively inexpensive. However, it’s no less important. “I went from washing my hair every day, pre-baby, to every three or four days, post-baby,” says Christine, mom of one. “On the off days, I doused my hair in dry shampoo to hide the fact that it hadn’t been washed.”
Most new moms can attest that they became much more efficient at getting ready in the morning after their babies arrived. Investing in a dry shampoo that works for your hair can be a huge time saver.
Your couch or your own bed might be where you feel the most content feeding and snuggling your baby. However, many new moms find that they prefer a quiet and cozy nursery when their schedule and family life allows. If you fall into this camp, comfort is key. It is worth testing out several options, and even shelling out a few extra dollars for your favorite, because you’ll spend a lot of time in your rocker or glider during the postpartum period.
As the physical discomfort caused by giving birth eases and you feel ready to get out of the house, getting ready and putting on “real” clothes can do wonders for your spirits. But, your favourite pair of pre-pregnancy jeans may (understandably!) be a little snug for a while. To feel comfortable and put together, jeggings are a great option. They look just like regular jeans but they have a stretchy waistband instead of a button. This makes them a comfy choice both in and outside the house.
If you’re a coffee drinker, it’s worth investing in a quick-brew coffee maker if you don’t already have one. Coffee makers like Nespresso or Keurig have machines that brew at the touch of a button and dispense your cup of jo directly into your mug. It may not seem like much of a time saver than brewing a whole pot of coffee, but those little steps add up. Many machines even allow you to set it to brew at the same time each morning. So, if your baby wakes up predictably at the same time each morning, your coffee will be ready to go too.
Moms who have had a c-section may find this especially helpful but, truth be told, a postpartum belly wrap is beneficial for all mamas, no matter how your baby entered the world. Since pregnancy temporarily displaces many of your internal organs as your uterus grows, wearing a wrap as soon as you’re comfortable doing so after giving birth can provide support and comfort as everything starts to move back to its place. Kelani even attests that it provided her with much-needed back support while she nursed her baby.
While there’s no doubt that a newborn will keep you busy (since baby depends on you for his or her needs), there will also inevitably be times when you might be bored, since newborns spend a lot of time eating and sleeping. Splurging on a subscription for your favorite podcast, magazine, or TV subscription like Netflix are great pastimes during marathon nursing sessions. This will be especially useful if you don’t already have older kids at home with you to keep you busy.
If you have a partner or another family member who is able to take some time off as you adjust to life with a new baby, you won’t want to pass up this opportunity - especially if you’ve had a c-section or a difficult delivery because you’ll need help completing everyday tasks like dishes and laundry. But if free help from family members isn’t a possibility, it may be worth hiring someone to help you out during the postpartum period. Perhaps a neighbourhood kid can walk the dog or your older kids can go to daycare a few days each week to give you quiet time to bond with the new baby.
If a nice robe will make you feel your best during the delivery and postpartum period, it may be money well spent. However, many moms find themselves wearing the hospital gown during the entirety of their stay. “I was sore after giving birth and I was too busy getting acquainted with my daughter to worry about what I was wearing” says Darcy, mom of two. “Once I got home, I simply wore loungewear. Fancy robes were the last thing on my mind when I had a newborn to take care of.”
Having photos of your newborn taken shortly after their birth, often while still in the hospital, can be a precious keepsake - hence the growing popularity of the Fresh 48 photoshoot. But, just because it seems to be the trendy thing to do, don’t sweat it if it’s not in the budget. Instead of spending those first few hours of your baby’s life getting ready for a photoshoot, truly cherish those moments. Photos captured via a smartphone convey those memories just as well.
“With my first baby, I made the mistake of purchasing nice, new underwear for the postpartum period,” says now-mom of two, Dana (30). “It made sense in theory because I wanted to feel good in my postpartum body,” she says. “But, I soon realized that right after having a baby isn’t the best time for fancy underwear.”
You’ll have plenty of time to splurge on lingerie that fits your post-baby body just right. But, take it from Dana and give your body time to adjust before making the splurge. In the meantime, opt for simple, comfy pieces that you won’t mind if they get ruined.
If you’re breastfeeding, investing in quality nursing bras may seem like a good idea. After all, they will get a lot of mileage during those first few months, as newborns are known for nursing around the clock. But, as is true for postpartum underwear, it may be a good idea to hold off until you’ve gotten into a groove and established some sort of nursing schedule. Not only are those early weeks are full of milk stains and spit up, your bra size is bound to change as your milk production adapts to your baby’s needs. Inexpensive nursing bras do the trick during those first few weeks postpartum.
If you’re a breastfeeding mama, you’re likely to find yourself in situations where you need to feed your baby in public from time to time. Instead of opting for a nursing cover that only has one purpose, try using a simple receiving blanket (which you’re likely to already have on hand). Drape it over your shoulder and your baby’s head if you prefer coverage. Preparing for outings is challenging enough – having to remember a nursing cover just adds another item to the list. Or, you may feel comfortable nursing in public without a cover at all!
Boppy pillows are popular to help you support your baby while breastfeeding. They can also serve as a lounger for your baby while she is under your supervision. However, if a special pillow isn’t in your budget, don’t sweat it. A regular pillow works just as well. Slide it under your baby while you’re feeding her or prop her upper body on the pillow while you chat with her during awake time. However, never let your baby sleep on a pillow or leave her unattended.
While hair loss is totally normal during the first few months postpartum due to hormonal changes, it can be stressful. There are a number of products on the market that claim to promote postpartum hair regrowth – but they are usually expensive and ineffective. It’s important to remember that postpartum hair loss results from your hormone levels returning to normal post-pregnancy, so there is no magic fix. However, there are plenty of at-home options you can try without wasting money on hair regrowth kits, like continuing to take your prenatal vitamins.
Books like What to Expect the First Year contain a wealth of information – but there are drawbacks. Not only are they costly, they are difficult to lug around when you already have your hands full. In today’s world, there are numerous apps out there that will track your baby’s development based on his or her birthday, so you don’t need to search through multiple books for the information you need. Instead, you’ll receive information you need directly in your inbox or your smartphone.
Nursing pads may seem like a must-have for new moms who are breastfeeding. However, the disposable variety can get expensive if you’re nursing for several months and the reusable pads need to be washed regularly, making it imperative that you either purchase numerous pairs or always stay caught up on laundry. Cutting a panty liner or pad in half and sticking each piece in either side of your bra will absorb leaking milk in the same way, at a fraction of the cost of actual nursing pads.
Breastpacks like Booby Tubes are specifically designed to provide hot or cold relief to tender areas for breastfeeding moms. However, you don’t need to spend money on a special compress that is marketed for nursing moms when a regular hot and cold compress from the pharmacy will do the trick. Alternatively, you can try a cabbage compress to treat engorgement. Cabbage leaves can be washed, chilled, and applied for 20 minutes between feedings to help with discomfort and oversupply.
References: What to Expect, Quotes from real moms who gave consent to use direct quotes came from motherhoodherway.com and in conservation.