How to make a postpartum care kit (cover image)

DIY Postpartum Care Kit (Step-by-step how-to instructions)

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Many moms spend their time preparing for their delivery and for bringing baby home and completely forget to prepare a postpartum kit for their own recovery. Keep reading to learn what a postpartum care kit is and how to make your own so you don’t make the same mistake I did!

After my son was born, it didn’t take me long to figure out that I skipped a crucial part in preparing for life after birth. I forgot to make myself a postpartum care kit.

Ok honestly, a postpartum survival kit just sounds way cooler than a postpartum care kit, but they’re the same thing.

And, let’s be even more real: regardless of how you deliver your baby, you WILL need various postpartum supplies to get you through that recovery period. So, it’s a good idea to have a postpartum care plan and supplies stocked up so you’re ready.

Why Do You Need a Postpartum Essentials Kit?

Easy. You will experience several symptoms after giving birth: cramping, bleeding, a weakened pelvic floor (leaking), breast pains, and much more! You know, the ‘not so cute’ stuff you don’t see on social media.

Since I don’t want you to end up like me, scrambling for supplies at the last minute, this post will help you have a SMOOTH and STRESS-FREE Postpartum Recovery by making a Postpartum Care Kit!

Common postpartum symptoms

It’s important to understand some of the changes your body will be going through after giving birth so you know how and what to prepare for in your postpartum recovery kit!

For vaginal births, you might expect:

  • Vaginal bleeding after birth
  • Painful/swollen perineum
  • Constipation
  • Swollen face or extremities
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Painful urination
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Breast fullness/soreness
  • Leaky breasts
  • Hip & back pain
  • Baby Blues
  • Postpartum anxiety/depression

For cesarean births, you might expect:

  • Pain or tingling around the incision
  • Abdominal pressure
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Nausea (usually due to medication/anesthesia)
  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hip/Back Pains
  • Breast fullness/soreness
  • Leaky breasts
  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Baby Blues
  • Postpartum Anxiety/Depression

As you can see, both of these common birthing scenarios share very similar recovery symptoms!

Now that you know a little bit more about what to expect after giving birth, let’s make YOUR Postpartum Care Kit!

Essential Postpartum Supplies for Your DIY Postpartum Care Kit

I’m going to share every single item I used as well as some alternatives for those looking for more natural products.

If you can, try to have your Postpartum Survival Kit set up BEFORE the baby arrives, but if not, you can get the majority of these items quickly through Amazon Prime (just like I did)!

I highly suggest signing up for PRIME (at least during this postpartum period) because you never know when you’re going to need something in the spur of the moment. Luckily, I signed up for it when I made our baby registry, but if you’re not a member yet, you can try a FREE 30-day trial, literally no strings attached & cancel any time!

Postpartum recovery is not just about vaginal recovery. It’s about your entire body!

So let’s dig into the specifics of what you will need!

Postpartum Recovery Essentials for Breastfeeding

Especially for first-time moms, breastfeeding is a beautiful experience that presents its own unique set of challenges. These items will help make the first few weeks a little easier.

Nursing Pads (reusable or disposable)

Whether or not you breastfeed, the milk will be there and it will find it’s way out.

One way to make sure you aren’t covered in breast milk-soaked shirts (like I did *facepalm*) is to use nursing pads!

I found the disposable lansinoh nursing pads to be comfortable, however, I didn’t want to keep buying more so eventually I used the reusable ones by Kindred Bravely.

Another note regarding nursing pads is if you are more eco-friendly and prefer to use all-natural materials, you should definitely look into the reusable nursing pads.

I found them just as comfortable and a lot more convenient than disposable ones.

Hydrogel Soothing Pads (Breastfeeding nipple pain relief)

If you didn’t get to read one of my earlier blog posts about how my son had a lip AND tongue tie, we were on the struggle bus for almost 12 weeks with breastfeeding.

Due to that, I was in a lot of pain.

Whether or not you have secondary issues, breastfeeding always seems to be painful for the first few days to weeks.

You might feel your nipples are very dry, tender and painful.

That’s where these magical soothing pads come in! I cannot say enough amazing things about these pads.

They helped keep me from crying multiple times and if you keep them in the fridge before use, they have a cooling soothing effect to them that brings great relief!

Postpartum Essentials For Your Postpartum Kit

I wish I had known what I’m about to tell you before my son was born. Here’s what you need in your postpartum kit to prepare yourself.

Big Pads & Adult Diapers (Best Postpartum Pads)

Healing after birth is no joke.

Be warned, there will be bleeding after you give birth. This bleeding is usually referred to as “lochia“.

Typically, postpartum bleeding lasts for 4-6 weeks with the heaviest bleeding occurring 3-10 days after birth. This is where the jumbo pads and adult diapers come in. The hospital mesh undies and jumbo pads were NOT FOR ME.

I ended up ordering myself some extra absorbent discreet adult diapers instead which was much more comfortable (and discreet).

If you don’t mind the jumbo maternity pads, your hospital will likely provide them for you. So if you can, snag as much as you’re able to!

Once the bleeding started to taper down, I started using normal Maxi Pads – which they now make them with their ‘FlexFoam’ material so they’re a lot more comfortable and move fluidly with your body!

Peri-Bottle (this will be your bestie in the bathroom).

This is something you should definitely be provided by your hospital. The peri-bottle is a MUST in any postpartum care kit!

You will have postpartum bleeding regardless of whether you delivered vaginally or had a cesarean. Therefore, it’s really important you keep those lady bits clean. Even more importantly, if you delivered vaginally and had a tear or episiotomy, staying clean from all the bleeding and urine is going to be a MUST for a smooth recovery.

If you’re able to take home more than 1 peri bottle, do it – you’ll thank me later. Our hospital only gave us 1, so I ended up ordering 2 more to keep in every bathroom and to take with me if we went out.

Comfortable Panties (Best Postpartum Underwear)

Once you graduate from the pads, you may have light spotting going on and occasionally need to use a light pad.

However, nobody wants to ruin their good panties!

I’d suggest snagging a pair of cheap – basic undies to use for your postpartum survival kit.

Keep 1-2 inside since you never know when you’ll need to switch out.

If you had a cesarean section, you’ll likely want some high-waisted soft undies so that they won’t rub or irritate your incision site.

Dermoplast Spray (the spray to take your pain away!)

The Dermoplast (blue) spray was a lifesaver for me after birth. Our hospital gave me 1 can to use in hospital and take home, and as soon as I got home, I ordered 2 more.

I ended up with an episiotomy during birth, so using the bathroom, sitting down, or anything to do with ‘down there’ was really painful for a couple of weeks. This spray was a lifesaver and kept my pain to a minimum!

If you’re not really into this kind of product, you can use a more natural, yet still effective pain-relieving spray that Earth Mama makes. Earth Mama is one of the leading brands in natural and safe products for mom, so I always opt for their products whenever I can.

Witch Hazel Pads (a.k.a. “the healing-after-birth miracle pads”)

Thankfully, our hospital gave me a small pack of the witch hazel pads to take home. If your hospital doesn’t give you any to take home, be sure to order them ASAP.

They’ll help keeps things feeling cool, calm and less painful (I found the best relief with this in combo with the Dermoplast Spray).

All you have to do is stick 1-2 of these little circular pads on your maxi pad and replace them every time you change out. Trust me, they will help!

SITZ Bath Postpartum

I definitely recommend having supplies ready for a SITZ Bath. This is a combination of Epsom salt and lavender oils (and sometimes other relaxing oils) to help decrease swelling, reduce pain, and promote healing.

If you don’t have a tub, you can get the toilet sitz bath set up and use it a couple of time a day after going to the bathroom.

My favorite way to do this was to use the Dr. Teals Epsom + Lavender Saltbag, but they do sell actual postpartum soaks to add into your bath.

Pain Medication & Stool Softeners

Pain Medications are a MUST if you had a cesarean delivery and typically pretty common for vaginal deliveries as well.

Stool softeners are great for both kinds of deliveries because you do NOT want to be constipated or straining to defecate after giving birth.

I was a little hesitant putting these on here because ANY medication needs to be cleared and approved by your doctor.

Not to mention, they will likely provide you with these at the hospital before sending you home.

This is just a reminder to have them handy and ready to take when you get home! If they don’t send you home with them, ask them!

Making a DIY Postpartum Kit & Postpartum Preparation Recap

Being prepared for the postpartum period is going to be very important.

You will be sleepy, in pain, hungry, full of emotions, and nowhere near having the energy trying to scramble things together for recovery.

Keep in mind most of these items you should be able to get from your hospital. If you don’t, you can order them online from Amazon Prime to get them delivered quickly!

This is going to be a time unlike any others, but you WILL get through it, mama!

What items did you add to your Postpartum Kit after reading this post? Let me know in the comments!

Read more postpartum articles here:

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DIY Postpartum Care Kit: Essentials Mom Needs

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