Hello birthing people of the world. I'm back with another post in this pregnancy and postpartum series - hope you're finding them helpful so far. Today, I'm going to be spilling the tea on postpartum recovery products I actually used. I hope to baby Jesus that your labor, delivery, and healing experience is quick and painless, but just in case you're having trouble like I did, here are some suggestions for ya:
First suggestion: If you give birth in a hospital or birthing center of some sort, take everything. Pads, sprays, ice packs, underwear - whatever you can shove in a bag, take it. And after all that runs out, check out my below recs! (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but as always, this is all the shit I actually used).
I had a lot going on downtown after River came literally ripping through my vagina. I was also extremely swollen for about a week after her arrival and couldn't have worn my own underwear if I even wanted to. Disposable mesh undies were the solution for awhile. Pro-tip: get a size bigger than you think so you can shove in them all the other crap I'm about to recommend. It's gonna be a party down there. A pity party, but still.
These Stayfree super maxi pads were absorbent without being annoyingly bulky. They come 66 to a pack, which is important when you're going through a billion of them a day. I will be forever haunted by visions of my bathroom trash can full of these bloody suckers, but they got the job done.
I had never even heard of witch hazel pads until the day I gave birth, but I sure had a close relationship with them in the weeks following. I was BFFs with these soothing circles. The nurse taught me how to line them up, three to a pad, like a little salami sandwich for my torn perineum to munch on. For awhile there, these were the only things in the universe that gave me any kind of comfort. Oh yeah, and I guess my baby, too.
Consider perineal spray as a condiment for your your little witch hazel sandwich. Just a little zhuzsh to keep the whole thing so fresh and so clean. At first, I used the hospital grade Dermoplast (which makes it sound like you're drywalling your vagina or something), and when I ran out, I ended up ordering the Earth Mama kind.
I just used the straight-up squirt bottle from the hospital, but if you're angling (I crack myself up - get it? Angling? Cause it's at an angle?) for something different, check out this one from the fine folks at Frida.
I liked having hemorrhoids about as much as I like figuring out how to spell hemorrhoids. Something is just not right about your insides on your outsides. (Newborn babies are the exception). After delivering River, it was difficult to sit upright at all, let alone try to take care of her needs from a seated position. In a genius move, my sister took the cushion out of her car and brought it into my house so I could have a little comfort while seated. It helped a lot. And once we ventured out into the world, I took that m-f-er with me. In the car, to the park, to restaurants - everywhere. No shame in my game. Swollen veins in my rectum, sure. But shame? No.
Once I got the all-clear to resume bath time (and could actually tolerate the act of sitting), I stocked up on lavender Epsom Salt. Love me a good soak on any given day, but baths were especially sacred to me during the "fourth trimester," and I imagine they will continue to be throughout parenthood. Mama needs some me-time, ya know what I mean? Also, I'm no doctor, but I think this stuff really helped the healing process along and soothed an otherwise very angry perineal area. (PS - if you're into CBD, head straight to Magic Mama Co for all your bath bomb needs, plus so much more).
If you've ever experienced back pain or cramping of any kind, I highly recommend ordering a Tens unit. Even before pregnancy, I used this device on my raging cramps during periods and also on my aching back after intense workouts. This magical machine has come in handy yet again during my postpartum journey. I don't know how the science of it all works, but who needs a practical explanation when the proof is in the pulses? I always feel so much better after each session. I wish human bodies just had this feature built-in!
Armrest Drink Holder and TV Tray
Okay, before you laugh at me for these seemingly non-relevant, superfluous purchases, I want you to picture a tiny ass living room with no space for a coffee table. And then picture my swollen, torn, exhausted, non-walking self trying to nurse a baby and pump at all hours of the day/night while also trying to manage some sort of nutrition for myself. This over-the-couch drink holder and this portable TV tray made life just a little more do-able. The TV tray also makes a great mini-desk for late night work-n-pump sessions (this is literally where I work on my new line of journals!)
That's all, folks! Hope any of these ease products ease your postpartum journey in some way. Stay tuned for additional recommendations based on my experience. In the meantime, check out past posts below ICYMI!
*Postpartum Vitamins and Supplements I Actually Used
*Pregnancy Products I Actually Used