For all of my mamas-to-be out there, this is for you! Please know that I am a *planner* extraordinaire; I prepped our hospital bags with linens and post-delivery items and had the whole game plan in place…
What I didn’t plan for was recovering from a last-minute C-section.
I went in for an induction and ended up needing a C-section. While I knew it was entirely possible, I hadn’t really considered what an unplanned C-section would mean in terms of recovery time.
My only birth plan was to be pain-free; I made it to 4cm, and got an epidural, but I got an infection and started running a fever so I needed to have a C-section. While the initial prognosis was upsetting, I had a very positive birth experience.
The recovery was the most difficult part — you can’t lift more than 10lbs for 6 weeks, and even sitting up is painful for the first two weeks.
Anyway, regardless of if you are having a vaginal or C-section delivery, there are postpartum items that will be particularly useful.
Based on my experience, I’d recommend having the items that are useful for any type of delivery on hand; but I would wait to order anything after you’ve given birth. Unplanned C-sections happen! And, luckily, most items you can order while you’re still in the hospital and can be delivered before you get home.
I’ll detail this all below!
Whether you have a vaginal or C-section delivery, here are my tips for preparing postpartum essentials.
Plan Ahead for Meal Prep
Lean on your community to help you with meals once you return home!
You can start a meal train for friends and family to bring home-cooked meals. I’d also recommend adding gift card requests for Doordash or Uber Eats to your baby registry!
I opted to do a 40-day ayurvedic healing postpartum meal plan that my mom prepared for me. It’s definitely not something you can prepare for yourself but you might be able to prep some of it yourself and freeze it ahead of time.
I’d definitely recommend either hiring someone to cook for you or asking a friend or family member to help. It was a TON of prep and cooking, but I felt amazing and nourished.
Here are a few options for reference:
Create a Postpartum Station in Your Bathroom
I bought a tiered cart that fits between the wall and the toilet to store everything for easy access to everything!
- Rolling Utility Cart
- Sitz Bath: Whether you have pregnancy hemorrhoids or end up delivering vaginally, this is something nice to have at home. You can use it on your toilet with some organic herbs for soothing and healing.
- Sitz Bath Organic Herbs
- FridaPeri Bottle: The hospital will have a Peri Bottle for you to use but this is great to have at home and use to clean after any type of birth
Postpartum Essentials for Any Birth
I’d recommend packing these items in your hospital bag!
- Frida Disposable Boyshorts
- Rael Organic XL Overnight Pads: You will bleed postpartum regardless of how you deliver
- Rael Organic Period Underwear (Optional): You may find these most comfortable when you’re bleeding your heaviest the first few days after birth
- Sweetspot Body Wipes: These are so nice for the hospital if you aren’t able to shower during labor! You can use them everywhere. They’re also great postpartum when you don’t quite have time for a shower and need a quick refresh
- Heating Pad: This was amazing to use during and after labor! I used it daily on my c-section incision for pain relief and to bring warmth to the area. It also works great for lower back pain when you spend so much time in bed. You can even use it for period cramps (whenever that day comes again)!
Postpartum & Nursing-Friendly Clothing
Helpful tip: Stock up on comfy and nursing-friendly clothes (if you’re planning to breastfeed) for postpartum! I seriously underestimated how nursing-unfriendly my wardrobe was and ended up needing to shop for nursing tops and button-down dresses/outfits.
- Cozy Warm Robe
- Vuori Joggers: Love these and have them in multiple colors!
- Under the Canopy Organic Loungewear Set — this includes the robe, tank, long sleeve tee, and joggers
- Sleep-Friendly Bra
- Pumping Bra (1-2); this pumping bra is heavily structured but works well. Here’s another pumping bra option that’s inexpensive but works great!
Helpful Tip: Babywearing is where it’s at!
Even after a C-section, you’ll eventually be able to wear your baby and it’s much more comfortable than holding the baby for long periods in your arms—plus, you will have your hands free.
I’d recommend having one structured baby carrier that provides lots of support for your back as well as a wrap for cozy babywearing.
FYI: You wear a newborn nice and high on your waist so nothing will be near your c-section incision.
Postpartum Essentials for Vaginal Delivery
No matter what type of birth you’re planning, I’d recommend adding these vaginal delivery items to one Amazon list and the C-section items (in the next section) to another list.
Once you’ve delivered your baby, you can order your items. 🙂
The hospital will have everything else you need and will send you home with even more items. And, your Amazon order will likely be delivered before you’re even home! This saves you $ and buying things you won’t end up using.
Postpartum Essentials for C-Section Delivery
As I mentioned above, add these to an Amazon List (have one for Vaginal Birth and another option for C-section delivery. Then, order the items after you’ve delivered).
- Grabber Tool: I actually got this in my third trimester because it was so hard to bend down to pick things up and it was perfect for my C-section recovery
- High-waisted underwear for recovery
- Belly Support Binder: The hospital should have one for you to use but this one is more structured for a few weeks after birth
Once your incision has healed:
Definitely check out my hospital bag packing guide as you prepare for labor and delivery.
Are there any particular products out there that you found useful? Let me know in the comments below!