Postpartum Care Kit

Postpartum Care Kit: The Only Things I Needed The Hospital Didn’t Give Me

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When I was about to be a first time mom, just like you, I was on the Internet reading mom blogs trying to figure out all the things I would need to make a postpartum care kit for myself.

After I had my first baby though, I realized I had bought a lot of stuff from other postpartum care lists that I didn’t actually use.

Why you ask?

Because my birth didn’t go according to plan.

Let me explain:

I had planned to have a natural, vaginal birth with my first baby, so I ran out and purchased all of the things necessary for vaginal healing. But I ended up having an emergency C-section!

So there I was with a bunch of postpartum products for my “vaj” that I didn’t need. I ended up giving them away.

Now that I’ve had two babies and gone through the postpartum healing process after both a C-section and a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), I can tell you exactly what you’ll need for both scenarios.

But first, let’s start with the basic postpartum care kit items every new mom will need.

Postpartum Care Kit Items For Both C-Section Or Vaginal Delivery

Sanitary Pads

No matter how you give birth, you can expect to bleed for 6 weeks postpartum.

I know. 😩

It’s like Mother Nature getting back at you after not having a period for 9 months.

And since you can’t use tampons while healing, it’s best to stock up on sanitary pads. The hospital may send you home with a few extras, but you’re going to need A LOT more.

Make sure to get pads like these though and change them often instead of using a thick maxi pad. The thick maxis breed bacteria easily. I didn’t realize this at first and after a few weeks of big maxi pads things got well… itchy down there. I had to see the doctor and get a prescription anti-bacterial cream, and of course they recommended changing pads. Lesson learned.


Speaking of wearing sanitary pads for 6 weeks, you’ll need several pairs of postpartum underwear.

This is more than just “period underwear” or underwear you don’t care about. You’ll want comfy undies that can also absorb the leaks (I have these ones). I like that they also come up above the postpartum pooch, which makes me feel less like things are hanging out in my new postpartum body.

This type of underwear is also particularity important if you’ve had a c-section. You don’t want your regular underwear rubbing right on top of your c-section stitches as you’re healing.

Nipple Cream

If you’re planning on breastfeeding, make sure to bring this baby safe nipple cream to the hospital with you. Don’t wait until your nipples are cracked and bleeding to use it. Start putting it on right away after every feed or you’ll be very sorry you didn’t!

Once you and your baby perfect the art of nursing together (baby’s latching properly), eventually you won’t need to use nipple cream anymore. This takes time though as breastfeeding is a learned skill for both of you. I went through almost the entire tube with each baby before we got to that point.

Nursing Bras

Nursing bras are also a must if you plan to breastfeed. Once your milk comes in, your breasts will engorge and you’ll be a completely different size than before so you’ll be needing new bras anyways.

You might be tempted to just wear a sports bra, but please DON’T!

Wearing a tight fitting bra runs the risk of developing a clogged milk duct, which I can tell you from experience is painful. A clogged milk duct can also turn into a bacterial infection called mastitis (trust me, you don’t want that to happen!)

Wearing a nursing bra that fits properly doesn’t mean these things won’t happen, but it’s definitely a best practice. And obviously, it makes pulling your breast out to feed baby much easier.

I recommend purchasing at least three comfy nursing bras. I personally love this wireless nursing bra (because wires suck) and it comes in regular and busty sizes, which was great for me after becoming a 34G while breastfeeding. I had two of those for daywear so while one was dirty, I had a backup.

Then during the night I wore this super soft nursing bra while sleeping (to prevent leakage all over my bed). I love it because it doesn’t have any clips to fuss with which makes feeding baby in the middle of the night easier when you’re only half awake.

Nursing Pads

Speaking of milk leakage, this will be happening for several months before things “even out”.

You can expect your breasts to leak if:

  • You hear your baby cry (or even someone else’s baby!)
  • Your breasts get too full right before a feed or you miss a feed.
  • Your body continually overproduces milk

The best way to protect yourself from soaking your bra or having an embarrassing moment in public is to wear these nursing pads. They have a sticky side just like a sanitary pad so you can adhere them to the inside of your bra.

Postpartum Care Items After Vaginal Delivery

Now we get into more specifics. These are things you *might* need if you have a vaginal birth. Because if you push your baby out, you’re obviously going to need more care “down there”.

But you don’t need to buy them just yet (unless it makes you feel good to be prepared for anything). Remember, births don’t always go the way you plan.

When I went into labor with my second baby, I knew my desire to have a VBAC wasn’t a for sure thing. My doc said I had a 50/50 chance. So I waited until after delivery and then had my husband place an order using our prime membership to get a quick shipment to our home once I knew what I needed.


This worked out way better because the hospital also sent me home with important supplies for my postpartum care kit like stool softeners, Dermoplast, a peri-bottle, and hemorrhoid cream after delivering vaginally. So I didn’t have to purchase those at all!

Here is what you WILL want to order though in addition if you deliver vaginally:


After you give birth, things are going to be swollen and burning down there for awhile. Get yourself a box of Tucks because these things will give you the cooling relief you need. You’ll be using a lot of them.

One of my nurses taught me how to make a “subway sandwich” with them 😂. You just place 3 Tucks in a row along your sanitary pad like you’re layering salami lol.

Flushable Wipes

One thing I feel like no one ever talks about when it comes to being pregnant and giving birth are the hemorrhoids!

I had them in my third trimester with my first baby, but that was nothing compared to what I had going on down there after pushing out my second baby vaginally.

Postpartum hemorrhoids can make it really hard to get clean after using the toilet. And extra wiping just makes it itch and burn even more. So make sure to get some super soft flushable wipes like these ones here. You’ll thank me later.

Sitz Bath

In addition to using wet wipes, one of the best ways to get clean is to take a sitz bath once or twice a day. Not only will you feel much cleaner afterwards, but it also helps speed up the healing process. If your doctor says it’s ok, there are a couple of ways to do it:

The first way is to fill your bath tub with a couple inches of water and add these bath salts right into the tub and soak your bottom for 15-20 minutes.

The second way is to get an actual sitz bath that goes right onto your toilet so you can sit and soak on the pot.

I found I wasted less bath salt by going the second route as I was never sure how much to put in the tub. Either way, it’s an excuse to take a little break and take care of yourself.

Postpartum Care Items After C-Section

Having a C-section is a much more painful postpartum healing experience in my opinion. But it’s more about the fact that you can hardly sit up or walk for several days. And then when you start to be able to move again you’re slow as a turtle. My husband had to wait on me a lot (and do all the heavy lifting).

In terms of postpartum care after my c-section, the difference was that even though I pushed for awhile before getting wheeled away for surgery, things were not “messed up” down there like after my vaginal birth. I was mainly taking the stool softeners and painkillers prescribed to me after the birth and going through lots of sanitary pads.

The only other postpartum care item I really needed after my c-section was this one thing:

Silicone Scar Sheets

After your stitches come out, you can start to work on minimizing the scar left from the incision.

I used these reusable silicone sheets that go straight across to cover up the scar. My body was tender at the incision for quite a while so it also was comforting to have something over it.

Final Thoughts On Making A Postpartum Care Kit

That’s it for my postpartum care kit!

I know the whole postpartum healing process can sound like a lot, but you’ll be healed up before you know it.

Plus, you’ll have a precious little baby by your side.

Definitely get those first five essential items on this postpartum care checklist so you have them before baby arrives. You can even add them to your baby registry if you want to so you don’t forget.

Then remember to pin this post so that you can come back to it later and purchase any other necessary items after you give birth (and know what you’re getting from the hospital).

Wishing you a safe delivery and a speedy recovery!

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