family wellness

10 Postpartum Essentials

Since we just celebrated Mother’s Day, I want to highlight the importance of taking care of new moms and some postpartum essentials that can help ease the transition into motherhood. Sometimes, it feels like we worry so much about the baby that we forget about the person who just went through a grueling delivery. 

Giving birth is a life-changing event that should be openly discussed. It’s one of the most challenging and transformative experiences a woman can go through. I found sharing my birthing experiences particularly cathartic, and I was really moved by your stories, birthing journeys, and questions.

If you’re pregnant (or know someone who is), there are some postpartum essentials that I think every mama needs. Here, 10 of my favorite items to help nurture yourself during those intense newborn days. 

Soft robe

The last thing you’ll want to do after giving birth is put on pants—or really any clothes. You’re incredibly sore all over and it’s a tad tough to walk. Since you want something non-binding and open in the front that provides easy access for breastfeeding, if you are going that route, I’ve found that a soft robe is the ideal postpartum look. This unisex robe from Coyuchi is perfect for those postpartum haze days. It’s lightweight yet warm, made from super soft organic cotton, and it’s got pockets for storing that random bottle or pacifier. 

Nursing tank

Speaking of nursing, these specially designed tops are a must, especially when you go out to eat or see friends or family (back when we got to do those things). Even when you’re nursing at home, the few seconds it takes to get your top out of the way can make a big difference to a hungry, screaming baby.

Nursing pillow

I wasn’t great about the routine of breastfeeding. I found that on demand worked best for my family, so using a pillow where you have to find the right chair and strap on the belt wasn’t going to happen. For me, this Luna Lullaby pillow was a great fit. It’s portable, light weight, and comfortable for the baby and mama (and I now use it to sleep with!)


My friend Nicole is no stranger to having babies. Upon the arrival of her third child, Nicole launched the BumpSuit. It’s comfortable shapewear that doesn’t have to be worn under clothing. In fact, you can wear it while pregnant and afterward. She’s even thought of nursing moms and compressing the uterus and tummy for shape. 

Peri bottle  

Another thing you learn after birth is that it’s difficult to go to the bathroom (regardless of c-section or vaginal delivery).  You can’t really wipe without irritating yourself, so it’s a good idea to invest in one of these bottles. You can also brew a tea to put in the bottle and help recovery. 


This isn’t your typical way of healing, I know. It’s Chinese medicine (aka Moxibustion) that is used to help energize, strengthen and repair your blood vessels. After a mother gives birth, she loses blood and amniotic fluids and can be very depleted. A moxa stick is heated in a healing box and held over the uterus (see photo above). It’s meant to nurture the mother and encourage blood flow. I will admit it has an unusual smell, however I did crave it when I stopped using it for postpartum. 

Frida Mom Instant Ice Maxi Pads

If you deliver vaginally, think of the workout you’ve just endured! These ice packs for down—ahem—there, are everything. Of course you need to ice! This provides so much relief. If you want a DIY option, you can also wet paper towels, fold them up neatly, and put them in a Ziploc.

The First Forty Days Book

I wish I had had access to this book with my first two babies. I got my hands on this incredible postpartum guidebook awhile I was pregnant with Odette. I’m so grateful because it allowed me to cook nourishing food ahead of time and taught me ways to heal my body and bond with my baby.

Tucks Cooling Pads

Giving birth is the adventure of a lifetime, and you may have the hemorrhoids to show for it. These pads are lifesavers even if you don’t have hemorrhoids. They help soothe and comfort any bum discomfort.

Mesh underwear

I still use these underwear. TMI, but they are incredibly comfortable. After birth, everything feels weird. You really don’t want to wear anything uncomfortable or that hugs in weird places. Plus, you kinda leak from everywhere, so you need all the extra protection and support you can get. 

What item was your lifesaver after having a baby?

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  • michaela kilbride

    Thanks gen this did make me 😊 I have been wanting a baby for around 6 years but am single and cannot afford IVF in the UK. I hope I meet someone soon because even when the reality is explained like you do so gracefully and hilariously I know I want to be a mum more than anything. I know when I become preggers I a m re reading your whole blog for the ahem 20 time because you have a way of keeping it real but also soothing somehow, if that makes any sense ha! We had mothers day in March but I would like to wish you a happy mothers day gen. Take care, love to you and yours 💙

  • Christina Brotto

    Thank for this post Gen. I had two vaginal births (the second being natural without the epidural!). The real lifesaver to me was the sitz bath. So much happens down there after giving birth and this was a great relief to keep the area clean. I even added a bit of sea salt to prevent any infection there. Having my girls was the best thing I could ever have.

  • Sue

    These are great — thanks for being refreshingly honest.

  • Maggie

    Thanks Gen. Im half japanese and learned early on to not just rely on modern medicine but on old tried and true treatments. I still use moxibustion on my feet regularly to remove toxins and clear out impurities in my body. The ones for other parts of the body are much smaller and disposable but work wonders! I also did infant massage on my baby to help her transition to the newness of life and digestion, etc. Thanks for sharing and being such an inspiration!

  • Beth

    I couldn’t love this post more! I chose a special nursing gown and robe that I slipped into right after giving birth at home and it absolutely felt like heaven. I love to see women talking about this postpartum journey more and more! It is much needed. ❤

  • Jyotsana

    Hey Gen! Thanks for sharing your experiences. I wish I were aware of these when I birthed my 2 kids. My body is totally out of shape because of the protruding stomach I am left with after my second child. I have a 15yr old daughter and an 8 yr old son. Do you have any suggestions?
    Thanks and much love to you🙏🏼

  • Jaci

    I found that nursing pad inserts covered in Mineral Oil work way better than any lanolin cream for sore, chapped nipples from the first couple weeks of breastfeeding. I just had to make sure it was all wiped off well before feeding baby or it gives them even runnier poops than normal. Also, I really couldn’t have gotten by without some extra ‘puppy pads’ (i don’t know how else to describe them LOL) to put on the bed over the sheets, especially the first few days when things are still all leaky and mama is so tired she doesn’t realize its pad changing time.

  • Kristin Barton

    Hi. Thanks for this post. Things have come so far for moms since I had my baby 26 years ago and change. I love the trend of encouraging mothers to take care of themselves instead of how it was back in my day, when the articles were praising women who went back to business as usual the day after delivery and were expected to wait on everyone, clean the house, cook, and all the things. Yeah, that was actually how it was in some sectors of society. Anyway, this is a wonderful set of suggestions. I’m really enjoying looking through your material and will continue to do so.

  • Catherine A Bumgarner

    They didn’t have all these great things for new Mothers in the 80s and 90s when I had my babes it was kinda take your baby home and deal with the problems on your own . I’m so glad that these products are now available for all the new Moms out there

  • Tami

    I wish I had had more support. I broke my tailbone during labor, and not one medical professional even suggested getting a donut, or something similar to relieve my pain. Instead, thy just told me to take ibuprofen, which did nothing to help the actual problem, and made my son’s colic worse.

    I switched to Tylenol on my own, and discovered a miracle-cure for colic, if anyone knows someone who needs one – Hyland’s Colic Tablets, they’re all natural, homeopathic, and work great.

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