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The following is a guest post from Stormy of Pregnant Mama Baby Life
Pregnancy is exciting and a bit overwhelming at times. You do your best to have a healthy pregnancy, you prepare well for birth and welcoming your new baby. But so many moms forget to make themselves a priority too.
The fact is healing postpartum is not always easy. Sometimes your body needs some help to feel better faster after birth. One of my favorite postpartum recovery tips to help you heal faster after birth is to create your own postpartum kit.
Here are the best all natural postpartum recovery necessities to add to your own postpartum kit.
Natural Postpartum Necessities for New Moms
Bleeding for a couple weeks postpartum is pretty normal. You want to find high-quality maternity pads to add to your kit. I suggest thick organic cotton ones or using soft reusable maternity pads. This is especially important if you are healing from any wounds from a vaginal birth. Some of the more conventional pads can cause skin irritation from the constant contact with your skin for such a prolonged time.
Witch hazel is another fantastic all natural postpartum necessity. Witch hazel is a plant that is best known for its ability to help clean wounds, lessen swelling and help varicose veins. This makes it an essential product for natural postpartum healing.
You can apply witch hazel to organic cotton pads and place them on your maternity pads. This will allow direct contact to any wounded or irritated areas. It’ll help keep stitches or wounds clean and can help lessen the swelling, allowing you to heal faster. Since its great for varicose veins, it’s also perfect for any pushing related hemorrhoids you may experience after birth.
I hate to say it, but your first bowel movement postpartum can be very scary. It’s usually not so bad, it’s the fear that’s the worst part.
Most hospitals will prescribe you a stool softener called docusate. It may or may not contain questionable ingredients. I have taken this and had some stomach related side effects that made me miserable for a few days during pregnancy.
Instead, I suggest more natural ways of keeping everything soft and moving. First, make sure you are drinking LOTS (way more than you think you should be drinking) of water and eating foods high in fiber, like oatmeal. Which is also great for milk supply!
However, due to crazy fluid changes in your body after birth (losing lots of fluid due to bleeding, milk supply, swelling changes, and wounds), you may be more prone to constipation.
You can keep a couple things on hand in case this becomes an issue. I like to keep magnesium supplements on hand, as they can help to keep everything soft and moving. My personal favorite is natural calm. It makes for a tasty night time drink that will help with constipation and calm your nerves, so you’ll rest better too.
Herbal Sitz Bath
This is my favorite of all the natural postpartum necessities. Find a good mix of herbs that will help heal and soothe your body. They will make you feel better AND heal faster. You can make your own herbal mix by buying herbs like calendula, chamomile and lavender and mixing them together, or you can buy a premade mix like this postpartum bath soak or this sitz bath soak.
You can then make a strong tea with them and add it to a warm bath or use the tea in your peri bottle and use it as a rinse each time you go to the bathroom. Depending on the mix of herbs and ingredients, it should help cleanse any wounds or irritated areas, reduce swelling and help relieve some pain.
I loved adding the herbs into a warm bath once a day. As a rule of thumb if you have stitches keep to short baths, only once a day. If you don’t have any stitches you should be able to bath more often if you like. If you had a C-section always go based on what your surgeon says for bathing.
Another alternative to herbal bath mixes are these awesome little herbal pads. My husband would prepare these for me and they relieved so much pain for me. They were especially helpful when my stitches began to feel tight and uncomfortable.
Just as warm fluids can be relieving, so can alternating them with cooling packs. You can use reusable ice packs like these that can be frozen or heated. It comes with 2 in a pack so one can be kept in the freezer at all times.
You could also get a few disposable maternity packs instead. I had been given a few of these that a friend hadn’t used, and I can say that they were really helpful. They were particularly useful the first 2 days postpartum and again when I developed a severe rash due to my maternity pads. These don’t need to be frozen, you pop the inside and they cool down themselves. They are also absorbent and act as a maternity pad collecting and blood or fluids.
A Good Perispray
Sometimes you are going to need a quick and easy pain relief that you don’t have to prepare or fuss over. That’s when an herbal perispray like this comes in handy. It contains witch hazel and essential oils to give you a cooling sensation that will speed up healing and relieve your pain.
Quick and Easy Snacks
I found that between healing and milk production I would become ravenous instantly. Quick and easy snacks are a must to keep up your calories and give you enough energy for your body to heal, produce milk and to function well!
I like keeping instant oatmeal packs on hand, bananas and Larabars (The apple pie bars are DELICIOUS and contain only dates, almonds, unsweetened apples, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon.) These are quick pick-me-up snacks that are perfect to tide you over between meals.
Of course, you don’t need everything on this list. Finding solutions that will work for your circumstance is key. I found postpartum to be more difficult than anticipated and regretted not preparing better beforehand. Once it was time for round 2, I came prepared, and it made all the difference! I actually enjoyed my postpartum the second time around and was able to get more rest and bond better with my baby.
Stormy is Registered Nurse with two young boys. She has a passion for natural living and raising happy, healthy children. She writes at Pregnant Mama Baby Life and helps new moms find solutions to everyday problems.
Looking for more Postpartum Posts?
Ways to Make Your Postpartum Recovery Easier
Postpartum Afterpains Relief Salve
What is Placenta Encapsulation & Why You’d Want to Do It
This list is so right on. Thank god for frozen with hazel pads.