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30 Postpartum Recovery Must-Have Essentials

A shopping list gift guide for postpartum recovery to help with lactation, pain relief, hormonal side effects, stress-relief, and self-care to help mom quickly feel like her pretty self again.

This post is really just one big TMI moment. But considering 98% of y’all who read this blog are women, I figured, “Hey, maybe this could help someone going through one of the most challenging few weeks/months of their lives.”

Childbirthin’ ain’t easy, yo!

A shopping list gift guide for postpartum recovery to help with lactation, pain relief, hormonal side effects, stress-relief, and self-care to help mom quickly feel like her pretty self again.

As special and sweet as it is to cuddle a fresh new babe, there is also the really painful, kind of gross, stressful recovery behind it.

So a few weeks ago, as I was pulling together all of my postpartum supplies that I knew I would need to recover from having baby Regan, I figured I’d go ahead and share all of my favorite must-have essentials. I wracked my brain to think of all of the ones I loved from having Olivia 6 years ago that were total lifesavers, and I’ve discovered some new favorites this go-round too.

A shopping list gift guide for postpartum recovery to help with lactation, pain relief, hormonal side effects, stress-relief, and self-care to help mom quickly feel like her pretty self again.

It’s a whole range of goodies to help with lactation, pain relief, postpartum side effects, stress-relief, and self-care to help you quickly feel like your pretty self again (and not like a total sleep-deprived zombie).

I’ve even put a whole bunch of these into a big basket and given them as gifts at baby showers before. Because baby gets LOTS of gifts usually, but it’s so seldom that the mom gets any goodies to take care of herself in that new chapter.

30 Postpartum Recovery Must-Have Essentials:

(Some affiliate links are provided below.)

A shopping list gift guide for postpartum recovery to help with lactation, pain relief, hormonal side effects, stress-relief, and self-care to help mom quickly feel like her pretty self again.

  • Lactation cookies – I’ve made a DIY recipe of these before and they work AMAZINGLY for boosting your milk supply if you’re nursing. Plus, they’re a yummy little treat. This one is the highest rated one out there that I found. 
  • Fenugreek– I took this supplement the first time around when my milk supply dropped after going back to work from maternity leave, and it gave me the big boost I needed.
  • Instacart Gift Card – If you are close with a new mama, nothing says “I love you” like an Instacart gift card because oh my gosh! Where has this been all my life? It’s a same-day grocery delivery service and can be used at all kinds of different grocery stores.
  • Nursing pads – Don’t come home from the hospital without ’em. Even if you don’t plan to nurse, you’ll likely need them at first. These reusable eco-friendly ones are great too.
  • Postpartum belly wrap – I had one very similar to this with my first-born and it helped my abdomen feel put-back-together and bounce back to its pre-preggo shape after all of the stretching it had to do for 9 months. It’s recommended for C-sections too.
  • Silverette cups – My sister-in-law introduced me to these and they are genius! Silver has natural healing properties and the coolness of them helps to soothe nursing irritation.
  • Earth Mama Herbal Perineal Spray – To help cool and soothe the lady bits post-baby.
  • Lanolin – A major must-have if you’re nursing!
  • Lavender essential oil and diffuser – Lavender oil has been proven to reduce pain and also aid in stress-relief, relaxation, and sleep (both for mama and baby). I love this particular diffuser because it glows like a candle and has a remote if your hands are tied up with snuggling your little one.
  • Epsom salts – A warm bath of Epsom salts with a few drops of lavender oil can do amazing things for stress and pain relief.
  • Dermoplast spray – The hospital has sent me home with this both times, and it’s life-giving for immediate pain relief! Make sure you use this blue kind. The red will burn.
  • Fridababy Fridet – Yeah, it’s gross. But your bottom will thank you because toilet paper is the devil the first few days.
  • Mother’s milk tea – If you need even more of a lactation boost, this tea along with the Fenugreek and lactation cookies will pretty much turn you into Bessie the cow.
  • Chocolate – Because is there really any better stress relief than chocolate? Especially Godiva?
  • Stress relief hand sanitizer – To help keep the germs away from your little bundle but also to give you a little aromatherapy boost when you’re feeling worn down.
  • Fuzzy cute slippers – Since you’ll probably be shuffling around in your pajamas for days and nights on end, you might as well have slippers that keep you feeling cute and toasty.
  • Giant 2 liter insulated water bottle – Because nursing requires a heck of a lot of water and you’re ALWAYS thirsty. And no mama wants to get up 20 times a day for refills.
  • Disposable undies – The hospital ones are kind of “meh”. These have better coverage and texture.
  • Dry shampoo – To help with your greasy hair situation when you start counting how many days its been since you showered #newbornproblems
  • Purity face cleansing cloths – I packed these in my hospital bag so I could wash my face without leaving my bed while my legs were still numb from my epidural. I’m hooked on the liquid cleanser version of these, and the wipes are great when you’re too busy mommying to wash up in the sink.
  • Wisp toothbrushes – Again… when you’re too busy mommying, tied up with cluster feedings for hours, and realize you desperately need a toothbrush. Just keep them in a basket nearby with your other easy-reach essentials.
  • Lip balm – Dry hospitals and nursing can create chapped lips. I’m loving this balm.
  • Concealer – This Tarte Shape Tape stuff is the best concealer on the planet! Nothing gets rid of my under eye dark circles like this does.
  • Rosewater facial spray – I’ve been hooked on this toner for months and probably will be for life. My skin hasn’t been this smooth and break0ut free in 15 years! It feels and smells amazing too. And keeps the wacko postpartum hormonal skin issues at bay.
  • Becca eye brightener – I’m super hooked on this stuff too. Not a single trace of tired eyes when I use this under my Shape Tape concealer.
  • Instant coffee – For those major #zombiedays when even waiting for a K-cup to brew seems like an eternity.
  • Hair, skin, and nail vitamins – All of that gorgeous maternity hair growth comes falling out in chunks postpartum, but its often because our bodies desperately need biotin and other vitamins we lose post-baby. These gummies are like a little treat too.
  • Headwraps – If you have to have greasy gross hair on those shower-stretching days, at least these can cover it up in a cute way.
  • Nursing nightgown – After pushing out an 8-ish pound bundle, the last thing I wanted to wear was pants of any kind. This nursing nightgown is great to wear in the hospital and for recovery at home. It’s practical but still pretty.

Got any others you would add to the list? Freezer meals, house cleaning services, and a mani/pedi are pretty great too. It really does take a village.

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15 Comments

  1. When my Goddaughter was born (8 years ago) I gave her Mum a basket that included hand cream and special soap, subscription to Audio books, essential oils and carrier oil with simple instructions for Dad on how to do massage. An eye mask specially made for her, her favourite perfume.
    She did tell me that I was the only person who’d given her a gift and that she was thrilled to have something for herself. She also loved all the items and listened to the audiobooks while feeding the little one.
    Hope your own recovery is going well as you all settle into the new dynamics of being a family of Four.

    1. Lucy, what a thoughtful gift!! It is easy for everyone to get so excited about gift buying for the new baby. Let’s be real, anything small is cute. We mama’s tend to get overlooked. The gift basket you created would be a new mother’s dream.

  2. It has been 28 years since my son was born so I won’t be having more. However, I thought this was such a great list for all my younger friends because new moms need all the help they can get. Even though it has been a lot of years, I would have appreciated many of these gifts when I had my son. Once again, another helpful post.

  3. Lauren, this is such a beautifully candid and thoughtful post—with a list of products that is truly a gift. I hope many moms-to-be get to see it, especially those having their first child. You share this while you yourself are healing; it’s very generous of you. Cheers to you and your lovely family, Ardith

  4. My baby is 30 years old but now he and his wife are having their own in January! This will make a wonderful gift for her. Thanks for all of these “up to date” ideas 🙂

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