This list is a little longer than my pregnancy favorites, but it’s still edited to only include the must-must-haves, not the nice to haves, broken up into relevant categories. I hope this helps you have an easier postpartum.
Ameda ComfortGel Pads
I tried every single gel pad on the market back in 2016, and these ones were hands down the best. Apparently they’re medical grade. If your nipples are blistered, bleeding, or just sore from breastfeeding, these are lifesavers.
Hakaa Manual Pump
I hesitate to call this a pump because it’s really more of a leak collector. You just attach this bad boy to the other side while your baby is feeding, and it collects milk from the letdown with sustained, very gentle suction. I get about 1-2 ounces from an average feeding, so it’s not a replacement for an electric pump, but it’s such an easy, low-energy way to collect extra milk that it’s become my favorite breastfeeding accessory.
One note of caution: the measurements on the side are vanity measurements. If the Hakaa indicates 3 ounces, once I pour it into a container for storage (bottle, bag, etc), it’s closer to 2 or 2.5.
This cheapo nursing nightgown
I never thought I’d be a person who wore a nightgown. The word sounds so … fusty. But getting dressed postpartum is hard. You are loathe to put on your maternity clothes, your regular clothes don’t fit, and you’re in a state of half-undress all the time anyway, between breastfeeding and tending to your lady parts.
This $20 nightgown was a lifesaver during my last few weeks of pregnancy, when I wore it as a dress, swimsuit coverup, nightgown, and for every other occasion, and then postpartum. The elasticized neckline means you can easily pull it down for breastfeeding, and the rest of it kind of floats away from you so that you can temporarily ignore the rest of your shape-shifting self.
There’s a whole lot of weird shit happening with your body.
Thinx or other period underwear
Just like your baby, you’ll be wearing a diaper for a while, in the form of super thick pads. The chafing that comes from those pads feels like the ultimate insult on top of injury. After you get through the first week or so, when those pads are *necessary*, switch over to period underwear and save yourself the extra pain. I’d get at least 10 pairs, because you’ll need to wash them often, but it’s worth it.
Diaper pail or trash can that closes
Speaking of giant pads, your bathroom trash is going to be … funky … for a while. If you have a dog, they will be very interested. They may even get into your trash, shred it, and drag it all over your house.
You may want to kill your dog.
Save your dog’s life and your own nose and put a diaper pail or other dog-proof trash can in your bathroom.
Speaking of chafing. And nipple blisters. And weird dry skin. This magic stuff is safe for baby (put it on your sore, cracked nipples), and can go everywhere else your skin needs some TLC. I’ve used it as a lip balm, a lubricant (on those chafed areas!) to help random skin rashes chill the fuck out, on my big toe callus … and on and on). It’s an all-purpose lifesaver.
These should be sent home in every hospital gift bag. They’re essential for mom life: you can talk on the phone, listen to podcasts, watch Netflix, etc, with no cords for your baby to get tangled up in, and you can still hear what’s going on around you. I have both the Trekz Titanium and the Trekz Air and I love them both, with a slight preference for the Titanium.
I’ve tried a lot of carriers and the Ergobaby is my favorite. I had the 360 with Mac, then upgraded to the Omni with Levi. If you’re going to get just one carrier, I’d get the Omni: you can use it without the infant insert, and it has a pocket.
Runner up: Baby K’Tan, for when baby is super new. It’s a great napping aid but there is no lumbar support, so once they get bigger… it’s not as useful unless you feel like doubling up.
Aftershokz belongs in this category, too!
I really struggled to find time to work out after my first, and now with two, ugh, it’s hard again. I am so grateful to have discovered Gixo, because it’s the right amount of convenience + accountability. I like having live coaches because my lazy ass does not work very hard on pre-recorded video workouts… and sometimes you just need something you can do while the baby sleeps or bobs around in their bouncer.