Here are 10 things you will want to have on hand for after baby is born. Plus some tips on how to have people best help you and do things for you so that you can help yourself heal!
Big thanks to our sponsor The Online Prenatal Class for Couples — I have two FULL chapters on postpartum recovery that you don’t want to miss. So much good information that so many classes glaze over.
In this episode
Other things that might interest you
My post on the best postpartum pajamas
Producer: Drew Erickson
Check out my other pregnancy podcasts:
[00:00:00.170] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys. Welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today on episode 198, we are talking about things to have on hand for mom after baby. Let’s untangle it.
[00:00:20.450] – Hilary Erickson
Hi, I’m Hilary Erickson, the curly head behind the Pulling Curls Podcast: Pregnancy and Parenting Untangled. There’s no right answer for every family, but on this show, we hope to give you some ideas to make life simpler at your house. Life’s tangled, just like my hair.
[00:00:40.890] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, so these are just some things for you to have on hand for yourself, because I promise you are going to un-prioritize yourself after a baby. You’re going to think the baby needs all these different things. So having these things on hand for you after baby is so important. You probably have a lot at home or some of them you’re going to get given in the hospital. So I will mention which ones you should purchase and which ones you may be given or already have.
[00:01:05.410] – Hilary Erickson
Do you feel prepared for your delivery? In just three short hours, you can be prepared for the confident, collaborative delivery you want. You’ll know what to expect and how to talk with your healthcare team. And there are no boring lessons in this class. I’ll use humor, stories from my 20 years in the delivery room to engage both of you. I love how Alyssa told me that she found herself laughing at things that used to sound scary. Most of all, you guys are going to be on the same page from bump to bassinet. Join the online prenatal class for couples today. You can save 15% with coupon code UNTANGLED. You can find the link in the show notes.
[00:01:40.830] – Hilary Erickson
So, number one, depends. And I’m not saying it depends on if you need this. I’m saying depends meaning what your grandma might wear if she had some bladder leakage. So this was like not a thing when I had babies, but dang it, I sure wish it would. Because the first few times you get up to the restroom, there’s a lot of blood in there that pools and just kind of gushes out.
[00:01:59.780] – Hilary Erickson
And it’s still that way usually by the time you head home, which means you often get blood on your sheets when you’re trying to get out of bed, because those first few days, you really are going to be in and around your bed most of the time. And the less time I have to change sheets, the better in my world or my husband.
[00:02:18.230] – Hilary Erickson
I mean, I just always felt super embarrassed that there was blood on the sheets and he was going to have to change it, which is odd because I can’t tell you how many bloody sheets I have changed. But either way, those things, you just throw them in the trash. The underwear comes with the pad, less leaks, so handy, throw them in the trash, be done with them.
[00:02:34.590] – Hilary Erickson
And then you’ll notice as you’re getting better and you can just change to like overnight pads, and you can still use the mesh undies that they gave you in the hospital or they sell that type of mesh underwear, although it’s nicer.
[00:02:46.220] – Hilary Erickson
And I’ll put a link in the show notes if you guys are interested in that. Okay, number two is large pads. So you’re wanting like the overnight pads, bulky ones that are going to collect a lot of the blood. Now, I will say that I have looked more into period panties as I have a child who’s using them, and this may be a good option for you as well.
[00:03:04.650] – Hilary Erickson
If you’ve worn period panties before, hopefully you already have a brand that you enjoy. There are two different kinds, though, of period panties. There are ones that you’re supposed to wear a pad with and it’s supposed to just protect against leaks. And then there are ones that are supposed to hold every ounce of period fluid that you have. So those ones that are supposed to be with a pad I do find leak quite a bit.
[00:03:24.750] – Hilary Erickson
And they are the ones that are cheaper on Amazon versus the ones that are supposed to hold every ounce of fluid. I have had moms who said that they loved using them after they had a baby, but honestly, if you’re still in that first week, I would still wear a pad.
[00:03:36.760] – Hilary Erickson
Even with those super protective ones, they’re kind of expensive and I don’t see them in large packs, so that’s kind of the annoying thing about them. But I would still encourage you to wear a pad with them because you are going to be also applying tucks and those different kinds of things and we’re going to talk more about those. But I would still wear a pad with them personally, but they are a great option.
[00:03:57.240] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, we are on number three. So then you’re going to want smaller pads because just like a regular period, your postpartum bleeding is going to slowly taper off. Side note, if your postpartum bleeding all of a sudden jumps back up and you’re bleeding a lot more, that is Mother’s Nature’s sign of telling you that you are doing too much. So that means you need to do less. I can’t tell you how many people have called me saying, Hilary, all I did was do a Costco run and all of a sudden I’m totally bleeding.
[00:04:20.490] – Hilary Erickson
That is not part of your postpartum journey. A Costco run where you are picking anything up or walking long distances should be handled by somebody else. So, yeah, if your bleeding increases, it’s a sign to stop moving so much. As a reminder, you will not be using tampons or cups for any of your postpartum flow because you don’t need anything in your vagina. You don’t want this bleeding to stay in your vagina because you would increase your chance of positively having an infection.
[00:04:48.630] – Hilary Erickson
All those different kinds of things. There is nothing going in your vagina or six weeks after you have a baby. So just a reminder that that also includes tampons and cups. Okay, number four was actually period underwear, which I’ve already discussed, but I do think that it is a good option. There’s the Thinx brand which is meant to collect everything.
[00:05:06.630] – Hilary Erickson
So if when you look on the period panties it will tell you how many cups or tablespoons or whatever it’s supposed to collect. Side note, they also have period swimsuits, which is apparently kind of a new thing. You should again not be going in the pool after you’ve had a baby. But it’s kind of interesting. Anyway, period underwear could be really helpful after you have a baby, you are going to have to wash it.
[00:05:29.320] – Hilary Erickson
So that is one reason why I like Depends. You can just chuck all of it and there’s no responsibility to you afterwards. So some of those panties, they’re not supposed to dry, so then you kind of have to hang them up and that can be awkward. So something to think about with period panties.
[00:05:42.820] – Hilary Erickson
But I honestly think I would have bought some just because I hated leaking so much and every once in a while I would still get kind of a gush of blood because wasn’t as protective of my body as I should have been. Okay. Number five is Tucks. That’s the brand name but they are just witch hazel pads. They will give you some in the hospital but I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea to have a small container of them at home.
[00:06:02.800] – Hilary Erickson
Also, bonus tip, I liked to keep my Tux in the fridge. I had a sister in law who told me about this one. I had a really large tear with my first baby and those tucks in the fridge felt so good against my bottom when I would put them on. I know a lot of people love those pad sickles. But lately on TikTok I’ve seen some people say they really didn’t like how they felt because as it melts you’ve got this kind of gushy diaper type feeling in your lady bits that they didn’t like the feeling of and especially if you have other kids like trying to change that at the opportune moment can get difficult.
[00:06:34.340] – Hilary Erickson
Something I have seen is people using newborn diapers to make kind of a padsicle. Or you would put the diaper into your mesh undies and then put the padsicle on top of it so that the diaper would collect it. That could be a good option as well. But the idea behind Tux is that the witch hazel helps with inflammation and it really just does feel so good, especially when it’s cold against your bottom. You wouldn’t want to put them in the freezer because then the Tux pads would all flurries together so that’s why you want to put them in the fridge.
[00:07:00.120] – Hilary Erickson
It’s just kind of annoying to go grab them every time you have to pee. Although my husband got really good at about I would just scream, can you bring me the tux? And then he would bring them to me. So that’s just a great way partners can help out. Okay, another thing to have on hand after the baby is born, and this is something that you could tell friends or family who want to help out, is to have easy fruits and vegetables on hand, because trying to decide what to have for dinner or lunch or breakfast was just too hard for me.
[00:07:24.820] – Hilary Erickson
I would just revert to things that probably weren’t that great for me. Chips. When my mom brought over a tray of fruit, it was so nice because I was hungry a lot. It keeps me hydrated. It’s great fiber because that first poop is going to be a doozy.
[00:07:38.330] – Hilary Erickson
And it just was such an easy way to get those things in when I had literally no coping skills to cut up fruits or vegetables on my own in the beginning. So that’s a good thing to have on hand, and it’s a great one when people ask what they could do to help out, say, hey, would you mind bringing a fruit or a veggie tray over? That would be super helpful. I would just like to eat a little bit better and have that on hand, and I know people would love to bring that, especially because you could just buy it at the grocery store if you were really busy. Okay, number seven, you’re going to want a nice big water cup.
[00:08:06.480] – Hilary Erickson
Now, a lot of hospitals provide you with a water cup before you go home. Those are super coveted, although I don’t find that they hold the ice as long as I wish they did. But you’re going to be wanting to drink lots of water to keep up your breastfeeding. And even if you’re not breastfeeding, you really do want to just really hydrate yourself because your body is just cycling through all those hormones. You’re going to have those night sweats.
[00:08:26.840] – Hilary Erickson
You’re really just trying to kind of recycle all the things in your body. So make sure that you’re drinking lots of water, breastfeeding or not. And sometimes a fun water cup can help with that. Although if you know your hospital is going to provide you one, I wouldn’t buy one because those hospital ones are pretty great, too. Okay, number eight is a helper.
[00:08:42.090] – Hilary Erickson
Now, this can be your partner, but if your partner is going back to work, it could be your mom, it could just be a friend, and your helper is going to look however the helper can make it look. So my mom could come for like a week, and I figured out when that week would be best for me. You might not have a mom that can come or a mom that you want to come, which is A-OK.
[00:09:00.430] – Hilary Erickson
But I think it is so good to have someone come in to provide whatever they’re going to provide. I’ve seen a lot of people complaining on TikTok about what their helper provided, and you kind of have to take them at whatever they’re going to offer. Hopefully you have a helper that wants to provide you whatever you need. If that is cleaning your bathtub or folding laundry or watching the baby.
[00:09:19.560] – Hilary Erickson
It all just depends on what they are willing to do. Now, if your helper wants to come and be entertained, that probably isn’t a helper, but a lot of people will come, and they’ll do whatever they’re best at. Cleaning. Even if it’s holding the baby, then go rest.
[00:09:32.880] – Hilary Erickson
At least you have that anxiety taken care of. That the baby’s okay. You can at least rest and get some time in on your own, shower. I know a lot of people are like, don’t come and just hold my baby, help me out. But if that’s all they’re going to do, take them up on it and try and get some time in for yourself as well.
[00:09:47.920] – Hilary Erickson
So having a helper on hand is super handy after you have a baby. Okay, number nine is ibuprofen. So after you have a baby, you’re going to have cramps just like you would on your period. They are going to suck just like they have when you’re on your period, but they are going to be more painful. And if you’ve already had a baby, your subsequent baby cramps just get worse on every baby, which is just magical because you have so much extra time when you already have two other little people hanging around to wish you could have gotten your epidural after you had the baby, because the cramps are killing you.
[00:10:18.140] – Hilary Erickson
One thing that’s super important to know with ibuprofen is that you need to take it with food, especially when you’re taking it really frequently, as you are when you have these cramps. That is something that I ignored on my third baby, and it has come back to haunt me because you can give yourself an ulcer. I basically, I think, gave myself, like, a bleeding ulcer because I was taking it so much, just wishing it would take away those cramps, and it wasn’t good. So make sure that you’re eating a little something with it. Now, this doesn’t have to be a full meal now.
[00:10:45.150] – Hilary Erickson
I just eat, like, five cashews when I take an ibuprofen, and that really helps to take care of it. A slice of bread, some of that fruit or vegetables is a great option just to make sure that it’s not irritating your stomach lining and could cause problems later on. So ibuprofen is important to have on hand. Your doctor may write a prescription for ibuprofen, 600 milligrams, but that’s just three of the regular ibuprofens. So if you already have it on hand, you could detour and not have to go to the pharmacy to go get that.
[00:11:13.420] – Hilary Erickson
Although some people like to do that because they’d rather take just one big pill than three small pills. So that’s totally up to you. But for me, I would rather just have the giant bottle of ibuprofen that I bought at Costco and just use that rather than to go get the prescription that my doctor wrote for ibuprofen at the pharmacy. Okay. And then finally, comfortable pajamas, you are going to be at home most of the time for those first few weeks after you have the baby.
[00:11:37.700] – Hilary Erickson
Probably months, possibly after you have the baby. And comfortable pajamas are a huge win. And ones that you feel like you can greet that helper in without feeling super Schluppy, is another win. Now, I have to tell you that I tried to get back into jeans with baby number one, and my stomach would allow it, but my lady bits were screaming by the time I got over to my friend’s house. So it’s really important that you allow that area of your body to have all the room that it needs.
[00:12:05.770] – Hilary Erickson
So just be fine with the pajamas and get some fun ones that you feel comfortable in. They can be ones with pants. I would encourage you to have stretchy, very breathable pants, which are easy to clean, because as we talked about with those first few ones, there’s a good chance you’re going to leak on them. Or there’s lots of really cool breastfeeding gowns out there that are kind of like hospital gowns, but cooler, that are nice and breathable and would be a great option. And then you wouldn’t have to worry about your lady bits.
[00:12:31.860] – Hilary Erickson
This is especially important if you had a C section, because you are not going to want anything putting pressure on your C section scar. So if you’re possibly looking at a C section, which everyone who’s going in to have a baby is possibly looking at a C section, your C section scar is right where your belly normally folds. We call it a bikini line scar, so it is a little bit lower. So if you have pajama pants that come up to your belly button, you should be fine. That shouldn’t be bothersome to your C section scar at all.
[00:12:58.090] – Hilary Erickson
But I know a lot of people like to wear the dresses after a C section because there’s just no chance of it bothering that area, and I can totally see why. I don’t want that. Okay, so those are ten things to have on hand after you have a baby. I have to tell you that I just watched the postpartum video of the online prenatal class for couples. The last video. And I can’t tell you how great it is, you guys, I say in there that parts of it my nurse cap is off and my mom cap is on.
[00:13:25.920] – Hilary Erickson
Because I’m really honest about what you’re going to experience when you get home. And it’s something that I wish people had been more honest with me about and so I would really encourage you guys to come join me in there. That chapter is included with any of the online prenatal class for couples and I think you guys are really going to enjoy it. I hope you guys found this list of ten things super helpful. And oh, I have a bonus one that I didn’t mention, but I wish that I had had a bidet on hand after I had a baby.
[00:13:52.350] – Hilary Erickson
So they will give you a little squirt bottle that you can fill up with the water of your choice. Some people like it warm, some people like it cold, and you can spray that on your stitches or any tears that you have and it just feels magical. But I, again, with my first baby tore a whole lot and I would just sit there and refill it and refill it. And my sink, by the way, was not by my toilet, so that was a big fat pain. But it felt so good to have the cold water just on my stitches and I wish that I had had a bidet back then.
[00:14:18.900] – Hilary Erickson
There are a lot of high priced bidets. I have been sent a tushy. I have a review on my website. I’ll try and link that here. But we also got one for another one of our toilets in our home, just at Home Depot.
[00:14:30.690] – Hilary Erickson
I want to say it was around the $30 mark. They are not hard to install and I really like how that one actually has a lower flow. You don’t want it pushing hard on that area, obviously, but it just would have been really nice to just sit there with a cold water flowing on that. I think it would have felt really nice. I’m just saying a bidet would have been handy, but they will give you that squirt bottle.
[00:14:51.140] – Hilary Erickson
I personally don’t believe that you need the Alfreda one at the hospital, but I have heard a lot of people who really enjoyed that one and felt like it was worth the $15 or whatever that you pay for that. It has kind of like an angled head up to you. Most people find that the squirt bottle works just fine. So those are the ten plus a bonus things to have on hand after you have a baby or mom.
[00:15:11.200] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, stay tuned. We have communication with kids coming up next week. The last episode will be on pain and childbirth and we’re going to talk about some of your fears associated with that. So stay tuned.
[00:15:21.590] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode. The Pulling Curls Podcast grows when you share us on social media or leave a review. If you do, please tag us so that we can share and send you a virtual hug, which frankly is my favorite kind of hugging. Until next time, we hope you have a tangle free day.