There is something every woman who has had a baby knows and it is something that many pregnant women don’t (because we don’t talk about it openly enough): those first postpartum weeks can be physically tough and it isn’t just because you’re not getting enough sleep. When you get pregnant you do lots research and spend lots of time preparing your home, nursery, and body for your labor and delivery and for bringing your baby home. You register for all the stuff. You take a birthing class. You pack a hospital bag. But very little is dedicated to preparing you for what happens to your body as you deliver and afterwards or telling you how you can best help yourself to heal after you have a baby. There are a couple of things that can happen afterwards that you really should know and be prepared for and that no one really talks about. So I thought I would help some mommas out and tell you what I put in my postpartum bathroom survival kit, for all those issues that might come up, down there… I also gift a postpartum care bathroom basket for all of my new mama friends.You might think you should wait until after you have a baby to see what “issues” you have to deal with and then hit the drugstore to address those issues. But after having three babies I would say that there are definitely a few things you should have on hand ahead of time, and a couple of other things I would buy for the “just in case” situations, because when you’ve just had a baby and have a terrible case of post-labor hemorrhoids, you’d really rather just have the stuff to treat it rather than leave your house. Trust me.
So here’s my list of must-haves to put in your postpartum survival kit for all of your issues south of the border:
● Two types of sanitary pads: thicker heavy-duty ones, and thinner ones — both with wings. Even if you have a c-section, you’re still going to bleed after and you’ll need these for a while. And I use the really big pads with the mesh underwear the hospital gives you for the first few days. I’ve also had women suggest bladder leakage underwear. What you pick will be a personal preference but I personally preferred big pads with the mesh underwear, and then a smaller pad once bleeding is less heavy.
● Hemorrhoid aids: You might get hemorrhoids, and you might not. You might think you’re in the clear because you don’t get them while you’re in the hospital, but then they appear once you’re home. If you do get them, you’re gonna want some relief. Like immediately and without having to figure out how you’re going to leave the house to get it.
○ PREPARATION H® Totables® Hemorrhoidal Wipes: These wipes are a MUST for postpartum bathroom visits because they provide soothing relief of hemorrhoids while also providing gentle cleansing. They are flushable and are packaged in a convenient travel size so you can use them at home but also on the go.
○ PREPARATION H® Rapid Relief with Lidocaine Cream: Hemorrhoids hurt, I’m not going to sugar coat it. So when you’re looking for products to help you heal you also want something that helps for the pain. This cream contains a powerful combination of maximum strength lidocaine (the highest strength available without a prescription), plus glycerin that provides a soothing protective layer, to offer relief of hemorrhoid symptoms.
*Pro Tip: Put some PREPARATION H® Totables® Hemorrhoidal Wipes or Rapid Relief Cream in your hospital bag as well, because if you get hemorrhoids immediately the hospital only gives you hydrocortisone cream (or at least mine did). It is SO not enough. You need real relief.
● Cold Therapy Packs: For tearing, hemorrhoids, and soreness, ice packs can be a lifesaver. I like to have at least two on hand to rotate and have frozen ahead of time, and the kind made with the gel pearls are my favorite.
● Stool Softener: You’ll likely get some in the hospital (if they don’t automatically give it then be sure to ask for it, especially if you take any pain medication!) but you probably want to have a bottle at home for after. No one really tells you that sometimes going to the bathroom for the first time after baby can be as scary and painful as actually having the baby — and honestly, that doesn’t even cover how terrible it can be. Drink plenty of water, have stool softeners on hand, and if things get rough just remember you pushed out a baby so you can totally do this.
● Epsom salt for sitz baths: I use a small mason jar to store some by the tub so I can just pour it in and not take up a ton of space. Sitz baths were hard for me to keep up with so having some out where I could see it helped remind me to take one. They can be so soothing and healing, plus they force you to take 10-15 minutes for yourself. Start your self-care ritual as soon as you get home from the hospital.
● A peri bottle (the hospital will usually give you one) for rinsing.
● An herbal perineal spray to help with healing: You can buy or DIY this one. If you want to DIY, combine witch hazel and water in a small aluminum spray bottle. Add a couple of drops of Frankincense and/or Lavender essential oils. Shake well and spray directly or on sanitary pads for added healing.
You can find PREPARATION H® Totables® Hemorrhoidal Wipes and PREPARATION H® Rapid Relief with Lidocaine Cream at your local Walmart.
Do you have any favorite essentials in your postpartum survival kit that you think other moms-to-be need to know about? Share your secrets! Also, check out this amazing offer from Preparation H®!
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