Bringing life into this world and growing your family is one of the most beautiful things, but it can also be a really hard period. Pregnancy can be a doozy, between the swollen ankles, weight gain, nausea and finding new clothes to wear every few months. Then labor day comes, and no matter what kind of birth plan you choose, giving birth is a feat in itself. But what I found the most difficult myself? The postpartum period. So as I approach the birth of our second baby, I’m sharing on the blog what to have at home after giving birth to help you not only survive, but thrive during the fourth trimester!
1. This first item is a must in my opinion- Frida Postpartum Products!
The Frida Mom Postpartum Recovery Essentials Kit has everything to recover and soothe things “down there”. It includes disposable underwear, ice maxi absorbency pads, cooking witch hazel medicated pad liners and perennial medicated healing foam. Two additional products I would recommend to help heal and soothe, are also the Frida upside down peribottle and this Dermoplast product or what I tell my husband “the blue one”. As our first midwife Erin emphasized, “DO NOT BUY THE RED DERMOPLAST!” because that one, my friends, will burn!
2. As if finding things to wear postpartum as your body continues to change and constantly feeding a newborn isn’t hard enough, having outfits at home after giving birth that make you feel comfortable and cute is a must!
After I had our daughter, one thing I struggled with was finding something to wear that also made me feel cute, despite all of the changes my body was going through. Another must was that it had to be breastfeeding friendly and I personally hate true nursing shirts with the slit below the breast line- yikes! So I couldn’t write this blog post about what to have at home after giving birth without including some closet staples for the fourth trimester!
I recently purchased all of these to have on hand after our son arrives to go with a comfy pair of biker shorts or high waisted leggings– two postpartum essentials. This button down shirt comes in all sorts of colors and patterns, so I ordered the cream and pastel color block one! If you’re giving birth during colder months this waffle shirt is a good option that also comes in several colors.
This short sleeve sweatsuit is also adorable and perfect for lounging around the house all day with your newborn. Since it will be warmer weather after I have our son, I also ordered this dress and this checkered shorter dress that I can’t wait to wear when we finally venture out of the house. I hope these affordable clothing options help you feel beautiful, comfortable and life giving to make the postpartum stage a little easier!
3. Stagger and be honest about how you feel having guests after the baby arrives.
When we had our first baby, we lived 12 hours away from family and COVID had just begun, so no one was able to visit until she was about 2 months old. This time around with our second baby, we only live four hours away from family, which means everyone will be able to come soon after he’s born. We’ve already told our families how soon after he’s born when we’d like for them to come, where they can stay (hint, not with us!), and how long we’d like for them to stay.
Being upfront and honest about what you can handle with a new baby in the postpartum period without depriving grandparents is in my opinion, crucial! The last thing I want while I’m sleep deprived and trying to heal, is being stressed out by guests staying at our home, no matter how much I love them or how good their intentions are. If you are the opposite of me and already know that you will want the 24/7 in-home help, then be up front about that too! Just be sure to communicate beforehand to set expectations and make things easier for you, mama.
4. Another item on my list of what to have at home after giving birth is quality nursing and pumping bras!
The first time around postpartum, I bought several inexpensive nursing bras from Target. While they got the job done, they weren’t the most comfortable and weren’t the best quality. I recently purchased this bra that’s both for nursing and pumping and have been loving how it fits. I can’t wait to try it with our son when he’s here and will report back and edit this if I find otherwise!
5. Two words: maxi pads.
I know, so boring to mention but it is oh so necessary after a vaginal delivery! My husband’s a trooper and will go to the store to buy whatever I need, but I do like to spare him the embarrassment by buying a pack or two before if I can! I love this organic, chlorine free option.
6. Another thing I’ve set up for what to have at home after giving birth, is a cleaning service!
This is something so many moms dismiss, but having someone scheduled to clean your house every few weeks for that first month or two postpartum will ensure that you’re not overextending yourself physically when your body’s healing, but you’ll also be less stressed out knowing the house is clean. If it’s not in the budget for your family, ask a family member or a friend to come help! Loved ones are more than willing to help, and sometimes all you need to do is ask! As an Indianapolis lifestyle newborn photographer, my clients are so glad when they’ve set this up ahead of time so the house is clean for their session!
7. What makes drinking water for nursing and postpartum recovery even easier? A new water bottle!
No matter how ridiculous and ‘trendy’ it is, I’m always a sucker for the latest trending water bottle. Right now that’s this tumbler! It’s kind of ridiculous how much more water I drink with ‘my Stanley’, but whatever helps get the job done! In fact, you’re supposed to drink a whopping 16 cups of water if you’re nursing! But when broken down in Stanley cup terms, that’s about 3 fillings of the 40 ounce tumbler which makes drinking that much water so much easier. I also love adding this in for flavor once a day to help get more water down.
8. Last but not least on our list of ‘what to have at home after giving birth’ if you’re nursing? A quality pump!
When I had Mia, I loved the Spectra pump, however what I didn’t love? Being tied to the couch for the duration of the pumping session. I knew I wanted something a little more convenient that was still hospital grade.
After doing a lot of research through one of my favorite Instagram influencers and postpartum nursing experts Karrie Locher (and fellow St. Louis native!) I decided to go with Pumpables Genie Advanced this time around. She recently experimented with several portable pumps on herself, and this pump is actually now her main pump. Check out her incredible comparison blog post on portable pumps here.
The other best part? The Pumpables Genie Advanced is so affordable. Our family’s insurance reimburses us for a new pump every pregnancy, and I can also submit any replacement parts that I may need to order until I reach the maximum for what insurance will cover.
One other item I’m adding to my nursing and pumping items? This manual breast pump to catch any let down when I’m nursing, because no liquid gold should ever go to waste! Have you used this before?
As a lifestyle newborn photographer in Indianapolis, I hope these tips on what to have at home after giving birth are helpful as you prepare to bring home your sweet baby.
And if you’re in the Indianapolis area and haven’t booked a maternity, lifestyle newborn or family session with me, I would love to hear from you! Simply inquire through the website here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Lastly, if this blog post was helpful, please let me know in the comments below! You got this, mama.
Birth Photography by the ever so talented: Ivan and Louise