Best Postpartum Essentials for Mom: A New Mom Checklist for Mind, Body, and Soul

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Lauren Hays

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, PMHNP

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Best Postpartum Essentials Every New Mom Needs: A New Mom Checklist for Mind, Body, and Soul

Becoming a mother is a transformative experience, and the early postpartum days can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. As you prepare for your matrescence—the process of becoming a mother—it’s extremely helpful to have the right postpartum essentials on hand to support your mind, body, and soul during this incredible journey. In our list of the best postpartum essentials for mom, we’ll walk you through the must-have items for MOM and your recovery, ensuring you’re well-equipped to navigate the ups and downs of new motherhood.

Prepping for Your Matrescence: A Guide for Everything You'll Need for those Early Postpartum Days

Too often, focus is placed on baby’s needs in the 4th trimester, when the reality is, all that a new baby needs is a healthy and supported mama! In this article, we will provide lists of postpartum essentials for mom for even more postpartum essentials download our maternal wellness app, The Matrescence available in the App Store and Google Play.  If you have other children at home you might have some additional considerations that we discuss in our blog post Things You Need for A Second (or more) Baby. Either way, the following postpartum care items listed below are sure to help you ease into motherhood.

Best Postpartum Essentials for Physical Postpartum Recovery

  • Disposable postpartum underwear or pads: postpartum bleeding, known as lochia, varies from woman to woman but generally lasts for about 2 to 6 weeks after childbirth. Yes, you still bleed even if you deliver via c-section so stock up on the postpartum pads aka adult diapers!
  • Stool softener: just trust me on this one! You can discuss frequency with your doctor, but if constipation has been a crappy (pun intended) part of pregnancy, you may want to start them before delivery and set yourself up for success during your first postpartum bathroom experience (yes, this is a thing).
  • Large water bottle: hydration is a key component of your recovery (and will help with the constipation, too!). Supplementing with electrolyte packets, like LMNT, can aid in your recovery and boost your supply if you plan to breastfeed. You’ll want to stay hydrated because it is one of the best ways to help your body heal and recover and is equally important for both a vaginal or c-section birth. It might seem counter-productive when you feel like you’re about to pop from fluids and swelling, but staying hydrated will help you shed (soak the sheets with sweat) the excess fluid (yes, also a thing!). 

C-section Recovery

If you’ve had a cesarean delivery, your postpartum checklist will require some extra care and attention. Here are some essential items to help you heal:

  • Abdominal binder: Provides support and helps reduce swelling.  The hospital will also provide a binder however they tend not to be as sturdy. I recommend leaving this one at home to use in the following weeks and use the hospital issued ones in the first few days of recovery. Request one size down as you leave the hospital. It never hurts to have an extra on hand.
  • Scar cream or patches: Helps minimize the appearance of your c-section scar.
  • High-waisted underwear: Offers comfort and avoids irritating your incision.
  • Ice-packs: icing your incision will help reduce inflammation.
  • Frida Mom has a C-section kit contains socks, disposable underwear, silicone scar patches, a binder and more!

Vaginal Delivery

For those who have had a vaginal delivery, these postpartum essentials will aid in your recovery:

  • Peri bottle: Helps keep your perineal area clean and reduces discomfort while using the restroom. Use warm water to soothe the area and spray while using the restroom to relieve the sting and clean your perineum without having to wipe abrasively. Our fave? Frida mom upside down peri bottle is a game-changer! However, most hospitals will provide a peri bottle upon request.
  • Sitz bath: Provides relief from soreness, hemorrhoids, and promotes perineal recovery. You’ll be glad you have this before you need it.
  • Perineal ice packs: Reduces swelling and numbs the perineum for pain relief. It’s a good idea to ask for extras before you go home from the hospital. You can also prep homemade perineal ice packs as past of your postpartum prep before baby comes home. 

Hemorrhoids Care

Many new moms experience hemorrhoids after giving birth. These postpartum must-haves can help alleviate the discomfort:

  • Witch hazel pads: Soothes and reduces inflammation.
  • Hemorrhoid cream: Provides relief from itching and pain.
  • Donut cushion: Offers comfort while sitting, especially if you have stitches.


If you plan on breastfeeding, these postpartum products will make your journey more comfortable and successful:

  • Nursing bras: Provides easy access for feeding and offers support.
  • Nipple cream: Soothes cracked or sore nipples. While there are many options, I loved Earth Mama.  Ask your lactation consultant about a medical grade cream for severe cracked nipples.
  • Nursing pads: Prevents leaks and keeps you feeling dry. You can find reusable or disposable options!
  • Breast pump: Allows you to express milk for storage or when you’re away from your baby. Check with your insurance provider to see what options are available to you.
  • Manual breast pump: This was a game-changer personally because when I was able to sleep a longer stretch and felt engorged, I could get a bit of relief without the hassle of setting up the pump or waking baby up.
  • Hands free pump: While I wouldn’t put this in the ‘essential’ category it can be a really nice option especially if you are returning to work.

Postpartum Essentials for Mom's Mental Health

Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical recovery. These postpartum essentials will help you navigate the emotional ups and downs of new motherhood:

  • Journal: Provides a space to process your thoughts and emotions and an accessible way to practice postpartum self-care.
  • Meditation app: Helps you find moments of calm and relaxation to help ease yourself into this new identity. Find an app that first your needs.
  • Support group: Connects you with other new moms who understand what you’re going through and can provide suggestions or ways to help.
  • Sleep support: Sleep is queen, mama. Try not to wear sleep deprivation as a badge of honor. Lean into support. Invest in overnight or postpartum specialists if able. Create a sleep hygiene routine and sleep plan with your partner to ensure you’re protecting your sleep the best you can while you heal. Our favorite part of our postpartum care kit for sleep was Needed’s pregnancy and postpartum safe sleep support. 

Postpartum Self-Care Essentials to Soothe Your Soul

Taking care of yourself is crucial during the postpartum period. These self-care essentials will help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated:

  • Comfortable loungewear: Allows you to feel cozy and relaxed while you recover. Find a favorite postpartum piece of clothing that is breathable, allows for breastfeeding if needed without removing, and is affordable and buy a few of them to have on hand!
  • Moisturizing skincare: Helps combat dry, stressed skin and makes you feel pampered. Anya provides lovely postpartum care products, use code THEMATRESCENCE, for 15% off your order.

Postpartum Care Checklist for Your Home

In addition to your personal postpartum essentials, there are some home items that can make your life easier as a new mom:

  • Meal delivery service: You not only need to feed your baby, you need to make sure you’re fueling yourself, too! Postpartum moms tend to focus on everyone but themselves, including remembering to eat! Ensures you have nutritious meals on hand without the hassle of cooking. Consider adding meal delivery service gift cards to your registry and accepting a food train from friends, if offered.
  • Cleaning service: Takes the burden of household chores off your shoulders if you are able! Friends make great help, too! When they offer to help, have direct instructions on things that feel helpful! Having your village take out the trash, keep the laundry going, or empty the dishwasher is encouraged! You will soon be in a season of giving and can remember how helpful this felt for you.
  • Comfortable nursing chair: Provides a cozy spot for feeding and bonding with your baby. This is where a lot of the magic (and overwhelm) can happen! You may be spending a lot of time in it for MOTN feeds, reading books, and snuggles for years on end, so this is a good investment and important part of your registry for both mom and baby.
  • Nightlight/Sound Machine Combo: Hatch get’s our vote! This nightlight is one of the top postpartum products if you ask us.
  • Postpartum or “Diaper” Cart: A cart (on wheels) or a basket that you can easily take from room to room full of your most used products will be really helpful in those early days when you are on a cycle of sleep, feed, snuggle, repeat. Pack it with snacks, diapers, baby wipes, plenty of burp cloths, and essentials for your baby and for mama. 

Postpartum Recovery Essentials Can Help New Moms Transition Into Motherhood More Comfortably

As you embark on your journey into motherhood, remember that every mom’s postpartum experience is unique. Be patient with yourself and don’t hesitate to reach out for help when you need it. An important part of postpartum is remembering that there is not one perfect way to be a mother, but a million ways to do a pretty darn good job. Give yourself grace and try to enjoy the glimmers in your day, even if you’re donning a diaper and leaky t-shirt!  With these postpartum essentials by your side, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the challenges and joys of new motherhood. Remember, you’ve got this, mama! Find us in the app store to download and access our full list!

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Picture of Lauren Hays, PMHNP

Lauren Hays, PMHNP

Lauren was a licensed and trained registered nurse in the NICU and has since made a career shift to focus on mental health. Lauren is now a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, focusing on women’s health and wellness. She is a mom of three precious little men who has turned her pain into passion.

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