This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
If you’ve never been through postpartum (and I’m guessing you haven’t) it’s easy to think you really don’t need to do much to prepare.
Or forget to prepare at all.
We sure do get wrapped up in all the baby prep – I mean, we are READY for that baby, am I right?
But what about healing ourselves after childbirth?
Not as prepared, to be honest.
That’s where my postpartum recovery tips have you covered, mama.
It’s good to have this info BEFORE being postpartum and since I’ve been through recovery twice now I can share my best tips for not only healing quickly (because fast isn’t always important) but recovering properly.
Your recovery from childbirth is basically deciding if your body will age well – after all your body is about to go through the biggest event to ever happen to it.
(Here’s what to expect during labor and delivery in case you’re wondering.)
The more you can plan and prepare your postpartum care before going into labor the better.
That’s what I’m going to help you do today.
Let’s get your postpartum recovery plan in order so you can heal like a boss and get back to feeling normal again.
Note: Your postpartum recovery timeline is about 6 weeks – that’s usually how long it takes before you’re feeling more like yourself.
Does that mean you’re fully healed after those 6 weeks?
But enough talk – let’s get to the postpartum recovery tips so you can get ready.
(This is an epic post so pin it for later so you can refer back!)
Postpartum Recovery Tips So You Can Get Back to Feeling Like Yourself
Postpartum Care For Mom Right After Birth:
1) GET READY TO DEAL WITH THE POSTPARTUM PERIOD
Mama, it doesn’t matter how heavy your periods were before having a child, postpartum bleeding is a different kind of beast.
You might bleed for the full 6 weeks or you may get lucky and only have a heavy period for 2 weeks.
Since every woman is different, it’s hard to say.
Here are the essentials you need to handle postpartum bleeding like a boss:
- Thick postpartum pads – there are many options but I do recommend picking up pads with wings because you don’t want that pad going anywhere (cringe). Next time I’m postpartum I’m giving these all natural pads a try because I love the idea of treating my lady parts better than I did the first time around.
- Mesh underwear or Granny panties – the hospital may give you disposable mesh underwear to take home but I recommend picking up more OR grab granny panties that you don’t care about. That way if you do leak it’s on underwear you don’t care about.
- Peri bottles – again the hospital may send you home with a bottle but if you plan on having a home birth then you need to pick up a few and place one in every bathroom. Fill them with lukewarm water for cleansing yourself (doing this also encouraged me to pee postpartum, I know TMI! Here’s the one I used)
- Loose fitting clothes – the main idea during postpartum recovery is to be as comfy as possible and that really doesn’t mean you should try to squeeze into your old clothes just yet. I lived in my nursing nightie and robe and will do the same again!
- Mattress pad – Because you don’t want to stain your mattress. I grabbed this mattress pad because it made me feel better and it’s washable. (Yes, it’s the small things during recovery, haha!)
NOTE: A few mom friends used Depends instead of a pad and underwear. They say it made them feel more secure (which is pretty darn important when you’re dealing with everything postpartum) so that might be an option that works for you.
2) PERINEAL SPRAY
The next 3 postpartum recovery tips are all about how to make your lady parts feel better.
Because they’re going to be sore regardless if you tear or not.
Since you WILL NOT want to touch anything down there, I highly recommend you pick up this perineal spray by Earth Mama Organics to get the healing started.
It’s a cooling spray with no yucky chemicals to burn your lady bits.
Did I mention it’s a cooling spray?
Mama, you will thank yourself tenfold when you’re postpartum and unsure if everything will ever be good down there again.
A gentle cooling spray will give you that first dose of relief.
The next postpartum tip is for a few days later…
Around 3 or 4 days postpartum, I started making padsicles.
What is a padsicle?
It’s a pad filled with healing ingredients placed in the freezer and then worn to comfort your lady parts.
(Mamas, make sure you unthaw the padsicle BEFORE wearing; the idea is to heal not freeze your lady bits…a cool pad will do the trick!)
What kind of ingredients did I use?
✔Aloe vera gel for its natural healing and anti-inflammatory benefits.
✔Witch Hazel for its natural cleansing and healing benefits.
There are other ingredients you can use but I found these two were all I needed to feel relief.
How do you make a postpartum padsicle?
- Open your postpartum pad.
- Apply a thin layer of the aloe vera gel (use organic so you know it’s good)
- Spray the witch hazel on top.
- Wrap the pad back up.
- Place them in a container or bag for the freezer.
- Let them cool and enjoy!
If you can, make a few padsicles ahead of time but don’t worry if you can’t – they really don’t take long to make.
RELATED READ: Postpartum Care Checklist
4) POSTPARTUM SITZ BATHS
*Get the go-ahead from your doctor or midwife before taking a postpartum sitz bath.*
Postpartum sitz baths are an amazing way to get relief down there and score a precious few minutes to yourself.
What exactly is a postpartum sitz bath?
It’s immersing your lady parts in lukewarm water with healing ingredients and sitting there quietly while you reap the benefits.
(Yes, that’s my own definition, haha!).
I used an over the toilet sitz bath so I was safe. 🙂
Here’s what I filled my bath with:
✔Lukewarm water (you can use cold water too if you feel you’ll like it better).
✔Epsom Salt (choose an organic one so there won’t be any yucky ingredients).
✔Witch Hazel (make sure to get alcohol-free so you don’t irritate your lady parts)
✔Lavender (get organic like this one because you want only the best for healing).
I mixed a small amount of the ingredients and stirred well before sitting down.
You can also buy an organic premade sitz bath mixture if you want to make things easy but I haven’t tried it (although I’m sure it’s pretty amazing since I love their perineal spray!)
5) STOOL SOFTENERS
If you give birth in the hospital the nurses will give you stool softeners soon after delivering – make sure you take them.
The last thing you need to deal with is your first bowel movement being like birthing a baby all over again – because it will if you don’t take them.
(Yes, I have first-hand experience with this – take the stool softeners, trust me)
6) HAVE SOME PAIN RELIEF HANDY
I wasn’t going to include this postpartum recovery tip but that wouldn’t be fair to you.
Some people feel you shouldn’t use any pain meds during postpartum but I think you need to make that choice yourself.
How you choose to relieve pain is completely up to you – I recommend you have something on hand that will work quickly.
If you are experiencing a lot of pain, you’ll need something to give you relief so that you don’t lose your sanity.
Postpartum Necessities for Mom As Time Goes On:
7) MILK SUPPLY HELP
It normally takes a couple of days for your milk to fully come in after delivery.
The key though is to make sure you don’t lose supply and build it up as quickly as you can.
Since you’re dealing with all of this postpartum (and you don’t want to get stressed out about breastfeeding which is a whole other post, stay tuned!) it’s ideal to help boost your milk supply as easily as possible.
There are numerous resources on how to do this.
I was successful using lactation cookies so I do recommend you try them because they’re super easy to make.
Here’s a link to the recipe I used – the cookies worked like a charm.
If you can, bake a batch (or have a friend bake them for you) before you give birth.
Then start munching on them as soon as that baby joins the world. 🙂
8) BREASTFEEDING ESSENTIALS
By now you see the theme of my postpartum recovery tips is to make you as comfortable as possible so that you can heal quickly.
If you’re going to breastfeed get your supplies ready before you deliver.
What do you need to treat yourself kindly AND breastfeed your newborn baby at the same time?
✔A good breastfeeding pillow (I used this one)
✔Nursing pads (because you will leak and it’s embarrassing).
✔Nursing nightie (I love this one and yes I still wear it because why not?)
✔A few good nursing bras (I have these ones and yes they are comfy and I may…nevermind 🙂 )
✔Nipple Cream (I was shocked at how quickly my nipples got sore)
✔Nipple shield (good to have on hand in case you just need that break from direct contact on your nipple).
RELATED READ: A Postpartum Recovery Plan
9) SLEEP MASK
They say you should sleep when the baby sleeps and I remember thinking, ‘Nah, I’ll sleep sometimes but other times I’ll get stuff done around the house’.
Other moms give you this advice because they’ve been there and done that – trust them.
Pick up a sleep mask for when the baby sleeps during the day.
Once I came to my senses I used a sleep mask and got the sleep I needed.
10) EASY ACCESS TO POSTPARTUM COMFORT ITEMS
Postpartum recovery can be a tough time and what makes it a bit easier is having the things you love accessible while you’re balancing baby and trying to heal.
What the heck do I mean?
I love drinking coffee and needed it to survive my healing time.
Since I was a new mom I was terrified of spilling hot liquid all over my newborn baby and that means my coffee was always cold when I finally got to it.
It’s the little things that make all the difference, you know?
Having hot coffee was one of those things.
So, MOM HACK: put your coffee in a spill-proof travel mug (like this one) and BOOM your coffee is warm for hours AND won’t spill on your baby.
The point here is to make the things that are going to make postpartum a little more bearable EASILY ACCESSIBLE without a lot of movement on your part.
(This is one of my postpartum recovery tips that you won’t find anyone else saying 😉 )
11) BABY CHANGING STATION WITH ESSENTIAL NEWBORN STUFF
This is one of my postpartum recovery tips that you aren’t going to hear anywhere else. 🙂
I’m willing to bet you won’t be hanging out in your baby’s nursery 24/7 so I highly recommend you create a baby changing station where you will primarily be.
I used our playard for this task and placed it directly beside the couch.
Yup, that’s where I was for the first few weeks during postpartum recovery.
I had a stockpile of diapers, wipes, newborn clothes (for all the clothing changes that happen because of spit ups and accidents), burp clothes, and blankets.
I could walk over and change our baby without exerting too much energy.
I also had some rattle toys so I could entertain the baby when I felt up to it.
This is also where I stored the tummy time mat so I could access it easily.
I realize this is an unconventional way to use a playard but it worked for us and made my life so much more comfortable.
12) COMFY CLOTHING FOR POSTPARTUM RECOVERY
One of the best postpartum recovery tips I can offer you is to wear your comfy clothes and not care about what anyone thinks.
You just gave birth to a baby and, yes, you’ll get back to wearing other things but the point is to be comfortable while you adjust to life with a newborn baby.
13) QUICK CLEANSING TOILETRIES FOR MOM
This might be one of my favorite postpartum recovery tips. 🙂
You’ll soon realize you don’t shower or wash your face as much as you did pre-baby.
There were days when noon hit and I still hadn’t brushed my teeth.
And, it’s not that you don’t want to take care of those things, it’s that you forget to do them or just don’t have the time.
I put together a postpartum care kit for mom with the following items:
✔Dry shampoo (because life goes on even when you haven’t washed your hair in 4 days).
✔Cute headbands (for those days you really don’t care but still want to look cute).
✔Facial cleansing wipes (those are needed because you just don’t have time).
✔Mouthwash and/or breath mints (for when those unexpected guests drop in to look at your baby).
You’ll feel better if you have these items on hand, mama.
14) FREEZER MEALS
Hopefully, you’re reading this before you deliver your baby.
You need to make freezer meals ahead of labor and delivery.
You will not want to think about what to have for dinner nor will you want to use your precious energy to pick things up at the grocery store.
Freezer meals = pre-made meals = pop it in the oven = done.
15) MEAL PLANNING
Unfortunately, those freezer meals will run out.
And, unless you were a cooking queen during your third trimester, it will be a sad day when you realize you need to start thinking about what’s for dinner again.
Postpartum recovery was a turning point for me.
It’s when I decided that it’s okay for someone else to plan our meals as long as they were still as healthy as I wanted them.
I started using TheDailyDinner.com and I haven’t looked back.
They plan healthy meals for us based on the sales at our local grocery store.
Um, it doesn’t get much better than that.
I actually think not having to think (read that part of the sentence again, haha!) about dinner helped with the process of becoming a new mom.
It’s one less thing to think and worry about.
Now all I have to do is make the meals (which I don’t mind because I love to cook).
16) WATER BOTTLE
Here’s one of those postpartum recovery tips that are really important yet I don’t see a lot of sources reminding new moms to drink water.
It’s so easy to forget to drink water, wouldn’t you agree?
Drinking water is super important to keep your energy up and if you’re breastfeeding – breast milk is 90% water!(source)
I grabbed this 1-liter bottle and took it everywhere with me.
RELATED READ: 8 Ways to Speed Up Recovery from Vaginal Childbirth
17) MOSES BASKET
(Read my post Must-Have Baby Products to Survive the First Year if you want to know what else made the list!).
When baby girl fell asleep (and I was supposed to be sleeping too, haha!) I could place her in the basket and know she was safe.
I could also move her without waking her up.
This is when I would take a sitz bath or attempt a shower – and, yes, sometimes I would take a nap too! 🙂
18) BABY CARRYING WRAP
A couple weeks postpartum, you’ll be looking to get around more and that can be made much easier with a baby carrier.
I used a wrap baby carrier and it was wonderful – I could move and have skin to skin time with baby girl.
(And, yes, I told everyone to call ahead before coming over, haha! 😉 )
19) A GOOD SUPPLEMENT
If you were taking a prenatal supplement make sure you continue after labor and delivery.
Your body needs the nutrients to heal and recover as quickly as possible.
And, in fact, you need to keep taking your supplement while you’re breastfeeding.
(Make sure to add it to your postpartum care kit for mom so you don’t forget with everything else going on!).
RELATED READ: How the Heck Do You Start Loving Your Mom Bod?
20) KEGEL EXERCISES
Once a few weeks have gone past (or whenever YOU feel comfortable) start doing kegel exercises.
Here are some of the benefits of doing Kegels during your postpartum recovery:
✔Strengthens your pelvic floor.
✔Helps with bladder control (watch when you sneeze, haha!).
✔Promotes healing of your perineal.
I got into the habit of doing Kegels on the toilet – it seems to be the only time I can find!
Once I’m finished going to the bathroom, I do 3 or 5 (depends on my mood) Kegels before wiping etc.
I’m not sure if that’s TMI but it’s what I do and I think it’s really helped me gain control over my bladder.
21) THE POSTPARTUM CURE
The Postpartum Cure is a program that takes you past the first 6 weeks of postpartum recovery and shows you how to heal and nourish yourself.
Postpartum recovery doesn’t end at 6 weeks, mama.
Often, it’s a much longer process which I think shocks a lot of new moms.
(Don’t believe the hype that Hollywood and the media projects on us – proper postpartum recovery doesn’t happen in two weeks!).
And it’s because of that truth that I want to let you know about this program – to give you as many options for healing yourself as possible.
I’m still working my way through the program and so far here’s what it’s all about:
✔How to heal Diastasis Recti (most postpartum moms have an issue and it needs to be healed correctly).
✔How to lose weight but not lose milk supply (yay!).
✔A list of healing foods to help you recover from pregnancy, not just delivery.
✔How to work on and get rid of your mommy tummy.
✔How to heal your pelvic floor.
How does The Postpartum Cure help with all of this?
✔Access to 60 meal plans with a shopping list.
✔A Facebook community to support your efforts.
✔An app to track your progress.
✔Safe postpartum workouts so that you heal and don’t do more damage (mama, it’s possible to do that trust me).
So far I’m really enjoying the program and wish I’d found it sooner (that would be impossible though, haha, since the program is still relatively new 🙂 ).
I’ll be doing a full review soon if you want to check back.
To see the program details yourself, click here.
22) A GOOD BELLY WRAP
In all my postpartum recovery tips, this one will help you start getting your tummy back.
I totally regret not picking up a belly wrap sooner for postpartum recovery.
That decision set me back in flattening my tummy and helping the separation of my abs.
Mama, make sure you grab one like this – I did pick up one but would have liked it much sooner.
23) PHYSIO FOR YOUR PELVIC FLOOR
This is one of the postpartum recovery tips that’s pretty important and often overlooked – research to see if you can go to pelvic floor physiotherapy.
I started just after 6 weeks postpartum and I’m telling you it’s one of the reasons I had a quicker recovery.
I learned safe exercises to do to strengthen my pelvic floor AND vaginal muscles.
I also learned how to perform a perineal massage properly which really helped me since I tore during birth.
Postpartum recovery tip: Perineal massages are a must if you tore during delivery – it’ll help heal your scare tissue – get the go-ahead from your healthcare provider first.
There you have it, mama!
23 of the best postpartum recovery tips from a mom who has been there and done that.
Remember that doing things for yourself during the postpartum recovery period is healthy.
Yes, you’ll be focused on your newborn baby but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have things ready that are going to make you feel comfortable.
I really believe that’s the key to good postpartum healing.
If mama is comfortable then she feels good and will adjust to life with a newborn baby easier and faster.
If you take nothing else from this post, PLEASE make yourself some padsicles, take a sitz bath and let someone else do the meal planning for you!
What do you think of my postpartum recovery tips?
Which ones will you use?
Have you heard any other good ones? (Help a mama out for her next postpartum recovery, haha!)
Comment and let me know! 🙂
I would love it if you pinned this post for me! 🙂