NOTE: This post is full of affiliate links, meaning I get some commission if you click and buy, to help support this blog. However, none the companies or products were provided to me — I paid for them all with my own money and opinions are my own.
Just having given birth to my second child, there are a few products that I feel are truly life-saving and worth every penny!
Here are my favorite postpartum products, in no particular order:
- Depends – not just for the incontinent! I have never given birth in a hospital, so I don’t know what they give you there, but at the birth center and Bradley classes, they recommend Depends. Depends are my BEST FRIEND both during birth (things leak during labor…) and afterward. I just love not having to worry about bedsheets, clothing, or ruining my undergarments. Adult diapers FTW!!
Belly Bandit (affiliate link) – when people ask me how I regain my shape so quickly, I know it is really a combination of breastfeeding and genetics, but I also have to admit that I have used the Organic Bamboo Belly Bandit for at least 12 hours a day for the first 3 weeks after giving birth to both my children. I actually had read about how mothers in India bound their stomaches to aide in recovery from childbirth and then found this American product. For me, it really helps with that “jiggly” feeling as the organs rearrange themselves.
- Shapewear – I transitioned to shapewear after the Belly Bandit is at it’s smallest setting to continue reducing my tummy jiggle until I start working on my abs again… someday (maybe when the kids are teenagers?). What you want is a brand that goes all the way up to under your armpits. I received Spanx’s lower-level brand Assets shapewear at BlogHer 2010 last year and tried them first. It only took 2 days and one washing before they started to come apart and roll down my waist, creating a more severe muffintop than I had before. I was very disappointed because, hey, they were free! My best friend Millie is an expert and pointed me to Hanes Smooth Illusions Waist Smoother. I like these much better and have 2 pair which I rotate washing.
- Bio-Oil (affiliate link) – you could really probably use any good moisturizing oil on your stomach to help with the recovery of the skin’s elasticity. I used Bio-Oil on my first pregnancy and I was so confused by the number of new stretch mark oils and creams out there that I went right back to it after this pregnancy. I have also heard really great things about Earth Mama Angel Baby stretch mark oil, but haven’t tried it myself.
- Moby wrap – babywearing is a huge help, especially with two babies under the age of two. I frequently wear Little Lady while I’m chasing after Little Sir in the backyard or a playground. The Moby is one of my favorites for infants because it holds them so closely that they tend to fall asleep. As the baby grows, I like the Ergo or Mei Tai.
- Postpartum herbal soak – Buy this and have it ready for after the birth! After Little Sir’s birth, a friend made me a combination of loose herbs (uva ursi and comfrey). After Little Lady was born, my sister-in-law gave me the Earth Mama Angel Baby postpartum bath herbs, and I used both interchangeably. It doesn’t matter if you make your own or buy a pre-made sitz bath mix, doing a soak twice a day is pretty much essential after a vaginal birth. I have really never had any recovery pain in “that area” despite having an episiotomy and some small tears.
- Comfrey drops (affiliate link) – I put about a dropper-ful of comfrey extract into the peri bottle they give you to use after you go the bathroom. If no one gives you one of those, buy one! They are amazing and the comfrey is super soothing.
- Baby smartphone app – my favorite app for both my kids to track feedings and diapers actually disappeared from the iTunes app store after I had Little Lady. *sadface* However, I encourage you to buy whatever app you can fo $5-$10. It’s way more convenient to carry your phone with you for night and on-the-go feedings than it is to try and locate a notepad & paper or an additional gadget that only tracks feedings. Plus, smartphone = reading blogs and Facebook during night feedings! Score!
- Portable changing pad – no matter what brand or kind you use, it’s best to have 1-2 changing pads (you can always use the one that comes with your diaper bag) so that you can change the baby wherever you happen to be in the house – including right there in your bed. No one wants to get up from bed and carry the baby into his/her room to the changing table when you’re both trying to get as much rest as possible. Just have diapers and wipes nearby and you’re set (if you’re cloth diapering, you might also have a wet bag on hand for the dirty diapers). Do make sure the changing pad is truly waterproof, though, and not just one of the ones that “looks cute”. Cause that baby is going to pee on it.
Swaddle blankets – any blanket that is at least 35 inches by 35 inches (“receiving” blankets are way too small) and has a bit of stretch to it makes a great swaddle blanket. My favorites are muslin blends like Aden and Anais or Luna Lullaby because they are breatheable, making it OK if the baby somehow gets the cloth over/around their nose or mouth. For swaddling newbies who need a little help, the Miracle Blanket is amazing, and the SwaddleDesigns blanket is a full-size blanket with a little instructional tab to help you remember how to do it.
- Boppy pillow (affiliate link) – one of my favorite breastfeeding accessories, and whether you breastfeed or not, it’s helpful to prop baby upright after feeding to avoid reflux.
Hopefully my list is helpful to someone! I’ll just say right here that I was not given any of these products to review, I discovered and bought them all on my own and the opinions stated are my own as well.