The journey of postpartum life is a long and messy one. I spoke up and told the hard truth about a lot of what happens during this time in our life in my The Things No One Wants to Talk About post and like I said in that post, it all slowly gets better. There are some great things I learned to have on hand though to help things a long, and I wanted to share them with all of you today! I used all these things multiple times a day and they all helped so much. I was pretty much pain free from day one with the exception of my tailbone and back...so I think that's saying a lot about this little list!
Pads, pads, pads
Well my first tip is take as many from the hospital with you as you can. Start out with the big diapers they give you there for about a week or two. Then start using these number 5 maxi pads. You can slowly work your way down to panty liners after a few weeks. It's good to have a stock of a bunch of different kinds because 1, you won't have time to go to the store in those first few weeks to grab more and this way you don't have to send anyone else out to get them for you. And 2, you can make a bunch of padsicles to help you heal and find some relief even quicker.
Hemorrhoid Cream + Wipes
Hemorrhoids are a real thing after labor. I luckily didn't get them while I was pregnant but oh my goodness postpartum life was awful. I thought to get cream before I went in to labor just in case I needed it and I'm so glad I did because I used it all the time. I also ended up getting some of these Tucks medicated cooling pads and they really helped, as well. I suggest having both in your medicine cabinet at all times because you never know when they're going to flair up.
You may be thinking well duh, I'm going to go through 100 of these day with my baby but what I mean is have some for you too! Steal a pack from baby's room and stash them in your bathroom. Toilet paper can be rough when you're as sensitive as we are after giving birth so baby wipes are a great alternative to making sure you stay clean down there plus don't irritate things further.
Ice EVERYTHING! Your back, your vagina, your butt, your shoulders, whatever you need to feel better. I personally just took a bunch of extra ice packs from the hospital but if for some reason you can't take them with you or better yet if you have a home birth, I suggest stocking up on these reusable ice packs from Amazon! Just pop them in the freezer and rotate them as need. I iced my tailbone so much for the first couple of months because it was so badly bruised from delivery. I'm telling you...throw one on whatever hurts during a nursing session or a nap and you'll heal so much quicker.
Diffuse them, put a small amount in your sitz bath, use them on your padsicles. Essential oils are multi-use and last for such a long time. Lavender and Tea Tree oils both have extraordinary healing properties in them. They soothe and taking swelling away immensely, so I highly recommend grabbing these two before baby comes.
Nipple balm or cream is a huge help in the first couple weeks and even periodically after if you plan on breast feeding. I still use mine from time to time now at 9 months postpartum when I'm feeling a little sore! I'm a big fan of the Honest Company nipple balm because it doesn't stain my clothes. I used the Lansinoh nipple cream at first and it stained some of my clothes without me realizing it! It did help me feel better though but I was very bummed that some of my favorite lounge clothes got ruined from it.
Usually the hospital will provide you a peribottle but just in case you don't get one from the hospital or your doctor after giving birth you can buy them for real cheap on Amazon. It's good to have one in every bathroom that you use, too, so I recommend grabbing a few. Just fill the whole thing up with luke warm water and spray on your vagina/perineal after going to the bathroom to keep yourself clean. This really helps with stopping anything from getting infected, especially if you had to get stitches like me. I stopped using mine after about 6 weeks.
Even if you're not hurting and you'e not against taking pain reliever, I recommend taking a couple of ibuprofen 3 times a day and slowly working your way down to not taking any over the first 4 to 6 weeks. Always check with your doctor but I was told by the hospital staff and my doctors that ibuprofen is safe to take while nursing. Not only does ibuprofen help all the pain but it really helps with swelling. By taking some when I woke up, after lunch, and before bed, I was able to stay on top of my pain pretty much all the time. We all have that one thing that just really won't get better after deliver (for me it was my tailbone), so plenty of ibuprofen helps to keep those things somewhat at bay.
Another goodie you can grab from the hospital but I actually got one more can even after. After you do the peribottle after going to the bathroom, spray some of this down below for some added relief in those first couple of weeks. It acts as a fast acting pain reliever. I used it after every bathroom trip for the first two weeks postpartum and it provided so much relief.
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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