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Mother Holding Baby

PRODUCTS & TIPS

Whether you are prepping for an upcoming c-section, frantically looking for solutions after an unexpected one, or simply a loved one who is looking for ways to support, 

these are the products that we found most helpful.

Please note: We may receive an affiliate commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase via the links. However, we only recommend products we love or are raved about.

THE essentials

The list is short, the impact is huge.

a belly binder

1. A belly binder for support

Compression is everything. It not only helps reduce swelling and but it also gives you helpful core support and reduces back pain during those early days. When worn regularly in the initial weeks following delivery, they can help get you back to your pre-pregnancy size. You can ask for one from the hospital, but those versions were clearly NOT designed for a c-section (lots of twisting to put on and velcro of steel to get off).

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS:

woman in leggings

2. Compression shorts or leggings (high-waisted)

These can be worn on their own or in combination with the belly binder, and they also provide high waist coverage over your tender incision. They may be hard to wrangle on at first, but we were wearing these for months afterward because they helped us feel and look good ;)

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • C-section shorts (splurge or save by using normal spanx-type shorts)

  • C-section leggings (splurge or save)

postpartum clothing

3. Comfy high-waisted briefs that go above your incision

You may have grabbed handfuls of the mesh briefs from the hospital (those were great while bandages were on) or may have wanted to ditch them right away. When we were ready to upgrade, these high-waisted undies helped protect our incision area while also helping us feel a little more put together. Aaaand we may still be wearing them.

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS:

pill organizer

4. A Pill Planner. Yes, one of those.

Get this. Like right now. There are A LOT of pills you have to take at different intervals throughout the day. Everyone says to stay on top of pain management because once it sets in, it can be really mentally and physically exhausting to get back from. There are already so many "timers" you are tracking for baby (feedings, counting diapers, wake times), so clear your mind with a pill organizer to measure out everything once for the week and set a simple reminder on your phone. Seems strange, but this was one of the most life-changing items we bought.

Buy it here

Nursing pillow

5. A nursing pillow that doesn't hurt.

It's called My Breast Friend, and it will be yours. The beauty of this nursing pillow is that it is a firm platform that supports itself from a strap around your ribs, meaning no pressure on your incision and it gives your arms a break! Other traditional u-shaped pillows aren't quite tall enough to use without slumping forward creating outward pressure on your abdomen (ouch!) and they place the full baby weight on your incision (oof!). Try this one instead. 

Buy it here

woman in cardigan

6. Lightweight cardigans w/pockets

You don't want to have to bend over to grab your phone any more than necessary. Pockets ladies, pockets. These layer perfectly over tank tops and give just enough coverage to hide the postpartum pooch without feeling frumpy. Ok, we might still be feeling frumpy but at least this helps a little. It's has the comfort of a robe but says "look, I got dressed."

Endless options for this, but here's one that is soft for baby, pockets for you, and on Amazon prime.

Buy it here

hands-free shoe

7. Hands-free shoes.

The "easiest shoes you'll ever put on"? No bending over? Sold. Ok, these ones might not be essential, but after hearing about them we really wish we had them (and they just seem awesome for general life). Trade out your flip flops for something a little sturdier. Just keep in mind some women's feet stay a 1/2 or full size larger after pregnancy, so worth doing a quick check before ordering.

Buy here

sleep mask

8. Light blocking eye mask, ear plugs, etc.

Get that sleep girl. Wherever and whenever there's a chance. There's nothing worse than having a window to take a nap, but it's too bright or trying to fall asleep at night but the noises from your dear little one (or big one) keeping you up. Highly recommend bringing these to the hospital too. Lots of choices in this category, this is the one we got, mostly due to the 75,000 reviews and the adjustable strap.

Buy here

Images are sourced from their listings.

INVEST IN
HEALING

We started off browsing free postpartum exercise videos on Youtube and Instagram, but once we found this highly recommend, medically-proven postpartum strength program, it felt like we finally had a plan that didn't take mental energy. It's a one-time fee for lifetime access, and you can track your progress (or pick it back up months later) to be flexible with your new life and its demands. 

The initial exercises can be started just a few days after delivery and gradually build from there. Most workouts are ~12 minutes which felt like a manageable and achievable way to build small daily progress, and the program as a whole feels wonderfully supportive and approachable.

Check out the MUTU program that 80,000 moms love.

HOME TIPS

Little actions that can go a long way:

  • Set up a little side table in your bathroom for your postpartum toiletries so you can reach them without twisting or bending too much.

  • Create a "couch station" that has key items for you and baby within reach. You can use a box or a tray to keep loose items in one easy-to-grab place. 

  • Keep a water bottle in your daytime location and by your bed-- it really does help with post-surgery swelling. We love ones that have little time markers on them like this (BPA free) or this (Glass).

  • Have a safe place for the baby to nap on the main level of your house (e.g. playpen or travel bassinet) to cut down on the amount of stairs you have to do.

  • Put loose nightstand essentials in a clear bag that's easy to reach so you don't have to bend and pull open the drawers. (e.g. pills, chapstick, nursing gear, the novel you're writing - just kidding).

  • If you have space, set up a light bottle/pump cleaning station in your master bathroom. It helps avoid unnecessary stairs in the evenings.

  • A diaper changing mini-station on each floor. You may not feel comfortable carrying baby up and down stairs for a while, so when there's a dirty diaper you want to be able to take care of it on the level you are on. We actually ended up using this extra set for a while.

  • Order your groceries to be delivered for the first two weeks.

OTHER ITEMS

These are items that had a shorter-term impact (so perhaps borrow-over-buy if you can!). 

A shower bench/stool/chair or handle

  • You may be feeling a bit woozy standing for longer periods or with the steam.  This should fade after the first week or so, so if you can borrow a solution, try that first!

  • Shower bench (splurge or save)

  • Shower handle (save)

A foot elevation pillow

  • If your thigh basically now extends all the way down to your ankle (like ours did) from all the fluids they pumped into you, then elevation is key (and drinking LOTS of water).

  • You can repurpose your maternity pillow or stack pillows, or buy this one for something that stays in place easier.

A lap tray

  • Depending on the stair situation in your house, you may be spending the first few days in bed, which can make eating a challenge. These trays help avoid having to bend forward  to eat, and can always be used in the future for breakfast in bed or for any days you decide to stay in bed all day (you have our permission!)

  • We found a few options herehere, or here.

 

Reminder: You don't NEED to buy any of these things.

You can do this without all of the above.

(So don't stress if it's not in the budget.)

These are simply things that can provide helpful comfort and support to make things easier.

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