What mom needs in the first weeks after birth

Credit: Kelly Sikkema

Shopping for baby clothes, completing a registry, and opening baby shower gifts are such fun parts of having a baby. Who

doesn’t love tiny booties, onesies with clever prints, and Sofie the giraffe? Heck, even newborn diapers are cute! But guess what? There are also things that you are going to need after birth to help with your recovery, and these things aren’t as cute. There’s nothing fun about shopping for mesh briefs, for instance, but they are going to make your life a LOT easier for a few weeks.

Besides various types of unflattering underwear, there are dozens of things that people don’t really talk about that you’ll want handy before you go into labor.

Don’t worry, we have another shopping list for you. Make sure to prioritize shopping for these items as much or more as shopping for baby items, as they aren’t things you will want to wait two days for Amazon to deliver and they aren’t things you will likely want to send a partner or friend hunting for post-birth. You can download our Postpartum Care List .

What a mom needs in the first few weeks after giving birth (an honest list)

Aiding in recovery

Sitz bath: More and more mothers are swearing by these. A sitz bath sits either in your tub or on top of your toilet and provides a soothing shower to your perineum. When used after birth it can promote healing, keep you clean, and provide comfort. Read about the benefits here. 

Squirt bottle: If you deliver in a hospital they made provide one for you. You can also check out the Frida Fridet Momwasher.

Extra washcloths or gauze pads: There will be a lot of cleaning up to do throughout the day and you will want to clean or dispose of your cloth each time you do. Have plenty on hand to toss in the hamper of trash regularly.

Natural stool softener: You’ll thank us later.

Flexible ice pack

Heating pad

Comfortable underwear: This is one of the things we needed most and hear from ALL other mothers that they needed as well. We suggest a pack of mesh disposables and also a set of cotton briefs that are one size larger than usual. Just trust us — you’ll be glad to have these on hand.

Large maxi pads for the bleeding post-delivery: Have multiple packs ready. Some new moms prefer adult diapers so that is also an option.

Extra protective cover for your bed: Chux pads work great.

Prenatal or postnatal vitamins: Continuing to take prenatal vitamins is beneficial for the first two weeks after giving birth or as long as you breastfeed.

Robes: Mom needs things to be easy after giving birth! Have things you can just throw on and remember to get multiple options are essential as they will need to be cleaned often.

Epsom Salts: An Epsom salt bath is soothing after giving birth and has healing qualities as well.

Water bottles: You MUST stay extra hydrated after giving birth. Keep them placed throughout your home to make things easy.

Tucks pads: There will be a lot of discomfort in the initial weeks after birth. Some women even line their pads with Tucks to ease irritation and promote healing.

Numbing products: Many women are thankful to have a numbing spray like Dermoplast on hand, especially if tearing occurs.

Feeding your baby: what you need after birth

Chair or comfortable place to sit upright: Don’t under think this. You will be spending a lot of time feeding your little one while also recovering from birth so comfort is crucial. A recliner, a cozy couch with an ottoman, or a rocking chair with a pull-out leg rest may work.

Extra pillows for feeding: Make sure that you are able to sit up comfortably in bed to feed your baby as well. We love My Brest Friend Pillow.

Nipple cream: Lanolin creams are popular. Coconut oil is also a popular option.

Cooling gel pads for when you need more soothing than the nipple cream can offer: A few popular options include: Medela Hydrogel Pads, Lansinoh Soothies Gel pads, Ameda ComfortGel.

Nursing bra: You probably want 3 and you may want a night time bra and a daytime bra. Make sure they are comfortable and also easily usable. You will want to try one on if possible before buying. It is also best to avoid anything with an underwire. Bravado is great for plus size mamas or mamas with larger chests.

Nursing pads: Your breasts will leak. There are many options here. You can get disposables or reusable pads. Start out with small samples of a few different ones to start. This is also something you will need regardless of how you will be feeding your infant.

Nursing friendly clothing: You can find clothes from stores and brands like Hatch that specialize in this kind of attire. You can also go with tank tops and button-up cardigans or button up shirts. Have a few things on hand for the first couple of weeks and then venture out to shop for more once you are recovered and have figured out what you like.

A breast pump: As moms who pumped at work, we love the Spectra S1 but you should pick based on your needs.

Milk storage bags: There are many good ones out there. Our favorite was the Lasinoh storage bags. They are big enough, a good shape, and sturdy.

Journal or app to track feedings: these are quite helpful.  Apps are the better option if you are returning to work and alternating nursing and pumping and bottle feeding.

There is a lot to learn about pumping at home and preparing to do it at work. Check out our article “Breastfeeding and Pumping 101” to get tons of great advice on getting started

Preparing to give birth? Check out more of our planning guides:

The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist

Best Sleeping Positions for Pregnancy

Planning Ahead for Your Maternity Leave