Gearing up to live my best postpartum life.

I was listening to a podcast recently on birth + postpartum and the guest mentioned before she had her second kiddo she decided to create a postpartum selfcare basket for herself in an attempt to make her second postpartum experience a bit easier for herself.  She filled her basket with things like magazines, tea, etc.  I always have loved the idea of having a self care basket and especially loved the idea of creating something similar just for postpartum. 

All the items in the basket came from friends, friend’s recommendations or birth podcasts I’ve listened to.  A lot of this stuff I was like, “i’m gonna need what?”  But here we are lol

Here’s what I placed in my postpartum basket:

for the boobs

nursing bras + nursing tank tops
soothing gel nipple pads (for nipple relief)
nursing pads (for leaks)
booby tubes (you can freeze them for nipple relief.  I’ve also heard frozen cabbage leaves are fabulous for this)

for my lower lady parts

witchhazel / Tucks cooling pads (for relief for any tearing that may have happened during delivery…clearly I’m hoping for a vaginal birth, but we’ll just see what happens)
pain relieving spray
angled peri bottle (because I hear you can’t wipe after baby comes)
sitz bath soak (for relief after pushing baby out)

pads (I hear there will be blood.  Plus you’ll need something to help keep the witchhazel pads pressed against you)
stool softeners (I’ve heard pushing anything in that area will be off limits for a bit)

for my brain

A list of therapists and psychiatrists from my doctor in case I feel the need to talk to someone or get on medication after Raspberry comes.

Anything else you mom’s would recommend I pick up for me before Raspberry makes her debut?!

Maybe you’re not about to have a baby, but perhaps you’re in college and about to head into finals season, you’re a stay at home mom who is in need or self-care, or you’re about to start a new job and would like to create a specific self-care basket for those instances.  Any self-care basket you think would be good to create for yourself? Or anything in particular you would want to put in your self-care basket? 


  1. With bleeding, it’s essentially a very heavy period for the first week and then another 3-5 weeks before it stops. Special maternity pads are fab at the start as they are more absorbent and also provide padding when you sit down (between stitches and bruising I was super grateful for this).
    I would make sure you are stocked up on paracetemol and ibuprofen. The cramping as the uterus shrinks is even more intense if you’re nursing.
    I only lasted nursing for 2 weeks this time round (for mental health reasons) but during that time my water bottle was one of my best friends, as it was easy to put down in reach anywhere I ended up sat.
    You are way more organised than I was either time, so I’m sure you’ll be fine. But my main advice is to relax and go with the flow from the moment labour starts. Births and babies are much less stressful that way :)
    (I can’t believe I managed to type that much with a 6 month old bouncing on my knee)

  2. What a great idea :) I’d recommend the biggest, longest, thickest pads you can find. You’ll need them. They have the best ones in the hospital so grab as many as you can while you’re there (ask for extra from your nurse).

    The other thing I’d recommend is writing a post-it note (or 10) and putting them where you’ll see them post partum, reminding yourself “you won’t always feel like this” and “be gentle with yourself”. That first 2 weeks is hard and with all the hormones changing in your body, you’ll have more highs and lows than ever before. But as long as you don’t suffer postpartum depression, it starts to ease after those first few weeks.

    It’s a wonderful adventure, this pregnancy and parenting thing and I’m so excited for you and Andrew! :)

  3. This is a great idea!  A water bottle and some easy to grab snacks might be helpful too.  Thirst and hunger while breastfeeding can be intense!  Oh and be careful with the cabbage leaves.  I actually used those after weaning my first baby because they help the milk dry up.  Best of luck!  It sounds so cliche, but being a mom is the best yet most difficult thing I’ve ever done.  Breastfeeding was also hard and painful at first, but got much easier with time.  Everything is harder and more emotional when you’re exhausted too.  

  4. I think you are very well prepared! Like another commenter I would add “waterbottle” and maybe even a nursing tea. I think you basket focuses very much on your “body” care and you should add more for the mind. The biggest difference between my recovery from kid1 to kid2 was my ability and focus to just stay in bed for almost 4 weeks. And although its really nice to look at that baby, at some point you will be BORED.
    Have some of your friends recomment very fluff (yet interessting) books, or if you want TV shows. (also prescreen for content. This is NOT the time to watch anything where children are harmed). On the “stuff” I would not overbuy anything. (I had a supply of super maxipads for 6 weeks, only to learn on day 2 that I am allergic to the plastic…..) Amazon is just a click away and if you feel like you are missing something you can always get it then!

    • Thanks for the helpful tips, Barbara<3 I've got a few book downloaded on Audible that I'm looking forward to listening to. I see myself going stir-crazy / getting bored very quickly so I need to find some new podcasts to listen to!

  5. I think all of this is great. A couple things that helped me:

    Motherlove Nipple Cream–you can get it on Amazon for less than 10 dollars. It is the BEST. Nothing else compares.

    IMO, Dr. Lucy Puryear is the best in town for prenatal/post-natal psychiatry. She’s at the Women’s Place at the Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. Highly, highly recommend.

    Other people already mentioned it, but an insulated tumbler with straw for ice water is essential. You basically need to drink water constantly, and it’s way easier to do that when you’re nursing a baby etc. with a tumbler with a straw.

    Oh, and I highly recommend having super nutrient/calorie dense foods around for those first few weeks, especially trail mix. I found it hard to take in sufficient calories in that first month, because I would get full way before my body had enough energy to burn. The amount of energy being used in the beginning to gear up for breastfeeding was intense. Once I figured out ways to take in more calories in smaller amounts of food, it improved a lot–but I felt pretty awful for the first three weeks or so until I found the right combination of nutrient/calorie dense foods.

  6. I’m not a mother but my sister had a baby earlier this year and her sister in law just gave birth last week, so I have witnessed and heard quite a few things that I’m keeping in my brain for the day I become pregnant! Heehee. One thing both of them said was to have any type of treat you LOVE on hand. For my sister, it was licorice. She has always been a Red Vines fanatic and she said having those was the best thing ever when she was breastfeeding. She would get up in the middle of the night to feed my niece Emma and would rely on those RedVines lol. So whatever your favorite snack/treat might be–get lots of it!! Best of luck to you!!

  7. Definitely fix a snack and hydration basket to keep nearby! Sometimes baby is so comfy when sleeping/eating, and you may not be able to hop up and get yourself something to eat or drink.

  8. Snacks for your bedside! Having graham crackers nearby to munch on during night feedings was super helpful. Also a big water bottle that doesn’t require two hands that open/drink.

  9. Definitely lots of healthy snacks! You can get hangry real easy. I made energy bites a lot or had larabars on hand for all times of day. Some good shows lined up makes those late night feedings a little easier! I always had a hard time staying awake to feed my daughter in the middle of the night.

    • Good shows is a great idea. I hadn’t really thought about that. Also…yes to snacks! I’ve got some cookies in the freezer but wanna prep / buy some more stuff before she gets here!

  10. Because I was way less prepared then you are, I found they gave me many of those items at the hospital (the sitz bath, spray bottle, softeners, even Dermoblast and Tucks).  I probably paid for them eventually through insurance.

  11. Books or TV show ideas. I was so surprised at how much I just sat around trying to get my daughter to learn how to breastfeed. I felt like I became part of the couch and my body was not my own. I used a cookbook stand to prop up a book so my hands were free, which was wonderful. Also, someone gave me the cutest little diary (each day had a short entry for 5 years) So basically you could write one line per year for Oct. 16. I found that I wanted to record every cute coo she made and feeling  I had. i love looking back on it now.. Also the anxiety I felt was intense. I found myself getting up frequently to check on her to make sure she was breathing, which did not help me get any sleep.

    • Yeah. I’m curious about how I’ll be anxiety-wise once she’s here. My little sister is 6 years younger than me and when she was a toddler and we’d sleep together I always remember I would wake up in the middle of the night and put my finger under her nose to make sure she was still breathing. I’ve been a worrier since a young age, so I’m sure, like you, I will find myself getting up a lot of make sure she’s still breathing.

      I’ve also heard newborns breathe really funny and it can look like they aren’t breathing and then all the sudden they gasp for air…and that’s normal. But that all just sounds like another reason to worry for me. I think it’s gonna be hard to wrap my head around the fact that that is normal!

  12. Great ideas! I would add nipple cream, it’s a must if you plan on breastfeeding! Also, I had gas that was so painful my husband had to got to the store in the middle of the night, so I would add gas-x (I think it’s called). It’s safe while breastfeeding! I second the snacks and water bottle. Also, have some shows or programs you want to watch since you’ll be home for a bit.

    • I believe a friend is sending me her go-to nipple cream! Seems like everyone recommends a water bottle and a plethora of snacks so I’m gonna have to make sure I’m stocked up on those!

  13. I added a few things to my registry on Amazon! Thanks for this post…I wouldn’t have thought of this “aftercare” stuff. :)

    Maybe do a post on what you’re packing in your hospital bag? I read to put an electric candle for ambiance and essential oils.

    • Yay! Hope this helps, Megan. My OB gave me a list of things to bring to the hospital, so I’m planning to follow that. I still haven’t packed my hospital bag hehe. I feel like baby is never actually going to come out and I’m gonna be pregnant forever because I really can’t imagine actually having a child…so I’m procrastinating lol

  14. This is such a wonderful idea. I’m just entering my second trimester, and I’ve loved following along on all of your updates. Definitely saving this for later!

  15. Hi Kylie. I wanted to share that the first days/weeks after your first baby are just WEIRD. I remember thinking, “What have we done?!?” BUT, you will feel normal again. It seems like it can’t be true, but you will.

    Blessings to you as you prepare for her arrival.

  16. I’ve been accumulating stuff for my own postpartum self-care basket and have a lot of the same items as you. I have heard many women recommend Depends/Poise type adult diapers rather than the pads, just based on ease of use and comfort (covers c-section incision and they hold everything in place well!). I got both and will see what feels right when the time comes.

    I also bought the Mother Love nipple cream. And you might want to keep your heating pad handy to ease any blocked milk ducts (heat before you feed, cold packs afterwards).

  17. You seem like you are definitely on top of things.  I would suggest, as others have, the thickest pads you can find.  They are horrid but do the trick.  Also, if you soak some pads and then place them over a bowl in the freezer you can make “padssicle”, they bring instant relief if you have any tearing.  I also suggest looking up lactation consultants and writing down their number.  They can be invaluable:)

    • lol they sound horrid haha. Loving this padssicle idea!!! I was gonna attend a La Leche League meeting prior to birth, but they seem to meet so sporadically so that doesn’t seem like it’s gonna happen. Just looking up some lactation consultants and writing their info down sounds like a great idea. Thanks, Christine!

      • I may get frowned on for saying this but a commenter above gave me courage. I couldn’t breastfeed for mental health reasons for more than two weeks. WHATEVER your reason- please allow yourself to realize that your baby will turn out perfectly ok (ie, not a couch potato, immuno-suppressed, insert negative thing attributed to bottle feeding). There is a lot of guilt associated with bottle feeding/formula feeding just from the mothers internal feelings and then add society on top of that and it’s the perfect storm of guilt. I’m not saying don’t try breast-feeding. But I am saying you have permission to do what is best for you and your raspberry. In fact, an abundance of guilt seems to come with a new baby (like one pops out and the other floods in) so be extra gentle with yourself. You are learning too.

        • Thanks for this, Kara<3

        • Kara, I totally agree with you. I’ve had some friends have very negative experiences with consultants through LLL–very much breastfeed at all costs, you are an awful woman if you consider anything else types.

          I used the lactation consultants at the hospital a few times in the days after delivery and they were helpful and not over the top. If I had needed more help after going home, the hospital I delivered at provided appointments with their consultants, and I think my ob/gyn gave me a sheet with a couple recommendations as well. I do think you want to try to find one that has an approach that is compatible with your overall breastfeeding philosophy.

  18. Sounds like you’re very well prepared! I liked having magazines handy at my ‘nursing stations’ for when I got tired of trolling my phone during the day. I liked the ones based on Homes, instead of the overwhelming amount of photoshopped models. Ones like, Real Simple, HGTV, Magnolia Journal, etc.

    Also, while those Medela washable breast pads that you have above are great for being at home, when you’re ready to go out in public, it’s good to have some disposable ones on (and in the diaper bag!) that can’t soak through. Because, things happen…..especially with little ones. Things that make you say, ‘I mean, you can’t make this stuff up.’

  19. This is a great idea! No experience here :) but I would do lots of make ahead meals and treats for myself :D and probably a cute but super comfy outfit to look forward to. Oh, and I bought a Himalayan salt lamp a while ago – I hear those are good for night nursing since the light is not too strong and more muted.

    • A Himalayan salt lamp sounds so dreamy and romantic to me! Love it. Yes to a comfy outfit. I’ve reached out to some mom friends to ask what clothing worked best for them in postpartum and they recommended maternity yoga pants and oversized tshirt or nursing tanks. So I’m stocked up on those things.

  20. Hi, what are the podcasts you have breen listening to about pregnancy and birth? I’m pregnant, and would love some recommendations! I love your blog!

  21. Not really something that will fit into a basket, but friends (older moms/grandmothers who have been there before are an awesome resource!) you can call when you need help, because it will be overwhelming at first.

    FOOD. Friends and people from our church brought us meals after our babies, but make sure you stock up on lots of high energy, grab and go snacks. Whether that means baking and freezing a ton of oatmeal banana muffins, or getting a Costco size box of Trail mix—anything you like that you can get out and eat with one hand. And lots of drinks. For my first two babies, the first month or two of breastfeeding meant frequent INTENSE and URGENT hunger and thirst, but less ability to prep and sit down to a full meal.

    Somebody else said “remember it gets easier.” That goes for breastfeeding and for just feeling overwhelmed/emotionally off in general. It takes time for your body to adjust to the new demands on it.

    • lol about –>’you can’t fit friends / your mom in a basket’ :) That’s a good reminder!

      I’m a big fan of having some go-to mantras and I think “remember, it gets easier” is a great one for me.

      Thanks, Emily <3

  22. This is such a good idea! I’m not a mom so I don’t have any helpful ideas on that front..maybe some books on post-partum topics that you feel might be helpful? Some tea and snacks that you might find yourself craving?

    I’ve been collecting a bunch of self care things but they’re kind of all over the place. I love the idea of putting them all in a basket so they’re easy to access.

    Totally unrelated but I have a travel recap up on my blog! Traveling is something I love and planning trips is something I consider self-care!

  23. Lanolin Nipple cream, 5 pairs of cheap cotton underwear or a package of disposable panties, bottle of Tylenol and Advil, nurse tank tops (I used H&M).

    • Thanks, Liz! I had heard getting some cheap underwear was a good idea, but forgot. Thanks for the reminder!

      • Yes to cheap cotton underwear, a size bigger than your pre-pregnancy ones! Although for the first week or so I loved the Always disposable underwear. Plus leggings and an oversized shirt, like you mentioned…so comfy and easy! I also second the suggestion for trail mix / bars for the middle of the night.

        Because I am an emotional person already and my brother passed away suddenly five weeks before my baby was born, I was very afraid that I would suffer from postpartum depression. I ended up feeling so good mentally/emotionally, super stable and thankful for everything. I think part of that was all the prep for postpartum self care…exactly like you are doing! All this to say: be prepared but don’t expect the worst. You never know how you’ll feel. :) <3 I think your expectations sound really healthy and reasonable. You’re going to be great!

  24. Everything you have is perfect!! I would also recommend the Medela SoftShells – they are like hard shells that you put over your nipples in your bra. They gave them to me at the hospital because I was having a lot of chafing and nipple soreness. Basically, they keep your bra from rubbing against your nipples, and they have holes in them to let your nipples “air out” which prevents chafing as well. They saved me!!

    • Those sound awesome, Susie! I’m listening to a breastfeeding book right now and they recommended placing tea strainers over your nipples to allow them to air out / prevent bra from touching. And I was like, “how is that supposed to be comfortable or stay put” lol. Those Medela shells sound like a better fit for me. Thanks!!!

  25. Water bottle with straw, pillow to position baby, burp rags, snacks that can be eaten one handed, and avoid peppermint anything and cabbage leaves, as they can reduce milk supply. If you are super engorged at first, you can certainly use cabbage leaves a little bit here and there for relief, but it can definitely reduce milk supply. In fact, after exclusively pumping for my own food aversion baby, for 15 months, I used cabbage leaves to wean. and, it’s nice to have even non-professionals to reach out to. Other mamas especially. Don’t know if you have a lot of mama friends, so feel free to reach out if you need anything or just need to have an emotional outburst! New motherhood can be incredibly lonely.

  26. Um….when can you have wine again? ;) I could be wrong because I’m not yet a mom, but I would think self-care in the area of soothing yourself emotionally, as well. Maybe audiobooks or soothing music playlists for mommy quiet time (which I hear doesn’t happen too often).

    • lol someone on IG just recommended wine as well hahah! It’s ready and waiting on our bar cart! But I think I’ll be going for the margaritas instead!

  27. A few things…

    Be careful with cabbage leaves if you decide to use them. They can actually lower your supply!

    Take ALLLLL of the mesh underwear/pads that they have at the hospital and then some. Those mess undies are ugly but SO awesome.

    And also, because I wish somebody would have told me this… breastfeeding is HARD! I know we hear that, but until you are in the thick of things, you don’t necessary “get it.” Hopefully you will be one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have difficulties, but try to prepare yourself just in case :) I just wrote about my experiences if you are interested!

  28. Currently nursing my 3-week old as I type! Snacks, water bottles, chargers, kindle, iPad, headphones… these are the things I constantly have around me!

  29. It sounds like you’ve got it covered! I have a 10 week old and wish a blog post like this existed before baby girl arrived. I’d say grab as much from the hospital as you can for yourself (pads, mesh undies, etc) and lots for baby (diapers, wipes, cream, etc) since the hospital charges you for the items whether you take them or not. Another tip – use the nurses as much as possible, they are pros! They helped me with breastfeeding, infant care, soothing, and had lots of useful recovery tips. Having lactation cookies made and waiting was one self care item I prepped. I’d also have lots of comfy clothes ready for the first few months. Recovery is a process and birth is amazing but a lot on the momma..I had to really give myself permission to ask for help, rest, and be kind and honor my body during the first 6-8 weeks and even now!

  30. I haven’t had a baby, so I’m not much help, but I figure a funny podcast might be nice to have on hand. Recently, I’ve been listening to Grownups Read Things They Wrote as Kids. It’s lighthearted and a good reminder that things will pass and what seems overwhelming at the time, you will look back on and smile.

  31. I notice you got the ultra thin pads. I needed the super-duper thick pads for a few days! That was just my experience though! They also came in handy when my water broke and I had a pretty good stream flowing for a few hours! Maybe a package of big, cheap underpants too. Delightful, I know.

    I’m glad you have phone numbers handy! Make sure you also have the number for the birth center close by. I had to call a few times over the first week to make sure my bleeding was normal.

    • I ordered the pads from Amazon and just saw that they said “extra heavy overnight”…didn’t even read that they were super thin. Then they arrived and I was like…fail LOL. I haven’t bought pads in forever!

      Thanks for the tips, Molly <3!!

  32. When you are being discharged ask for extra pairs of the undies that they give you. I mean ask for lots of extras! They will really help when putting everything down there!

  33. Someone may have already said this but my mom got me a donut seat to sit on and it was a life saver! Think she got it at Walmart.

  34. I love, love, love this idea! I will definitely need to make one in a few months. My go to recommendation for postpartum is always lots of chapstick! My lips were soooo dry, cracking and bleeding. This time (due in February, I’m packing some for the hospital and will put some in my self care basket.

  35. Have you considered an abdominal binder to help compress everything and help it heal/return to normal? I got a few on Amazon and put them in the self-care baskets I created for myself this week (along with many of the same things you did!) It’s funny and reassuring to see another soon-to-be mom on the same page – thank you for sharing <3

    • Hey Amy! Funny you should ask! I hadn’t really looked into any abdominal binders because I actually thought they were used for aesthetic reasons, were to be used to “get you body back asap”, or were recommended because they were “slimming”. But then my chiropractor recommended I look into them and I was like, “wait…they actually have a purpose that helps my body!?” So now I want to look into them a bit and see if I wanna get one. I’m planning on continuing wearing maternity yoga pants after baby comes with the maternity panel because I think the support will feel nice on my tummy area.

      Thanks for commenting!

      • I thought the same thing but then read that after your baby is born the nurses will come and apply pressure to your tummy at regular intervals to help encourage healing, so I ordered one to continue the process at home!

  36. Slippers or flip-flops that are washable or disposable…you never know what might drip when you stand up those first few days (sorry it’s true!). Comfy feet are a must and especially in the hospital you won’t want to go barefoot! I’ve always had winter babies so slippers are nice for staying warm or cooling off quickly with hormone surges and if they are slip-ones then you don’t have to bend over like you would for socks…also key for recovery and when your hands are full. I’m 32 weeks with #3 and plan to get 1-2 pairs for the hospital and at home from tjmaxx or the like so if they get ruined I can toss them without being too upset about the $. Sounds like you are as prepared as anyone ever is :). And I echo everyone else…so hard and so good…ride out the hormone swings and reach out when you need help! Congtats!

  37. I really love this idea :) If you don’t have it on your list of resources, I would add a lactation consultant just in case you need one because it can be overwhelming to try to find one at the time.

  38. I have zero experience in the mommy/birthing process, but I think this is such a brilliant, necessary thing. I like the idea of anticipating the areas of need and then prepping yourself, so it feels maybe a little less overwhelming when you’re in the midst of it.

  39. I think this is the loveliest, kindest thing to do for yourself. To remember you’ll have unique needs for the totally unique time of postpartum. So cool.
    I fifteenth the water bottle advice- nursing made me thirstier than I’d ever been in my life, and crazy thirst would always hit right after she latched and milk let down.
    The second time around I brought the big 48oz cup with straw home from the hospital. Enormous and best thing ever.

    One thing I don’t know if was mentioned was the disposable stretchy mesh undies they give you at the hospital- I asked for an extra dozen pairs for my second postpartum experience because 1.) they are super soft and hold the gigantor pads in place, 2.) because I didn’t want to risk any of my own underwear to staining, and 3.) because I wanted a couple weeks off laundry anyway.

    One other thing that I found really,really nice and caring my first time around was a heated neck wrap, you know those ones filled with rice and lavender bits that you warm up in the microwave. I tended to get really tense and anxious with nursing(we had a troubled latch) and it would keep my milk from letting down. Wrapping one of those around my neck and shoulders helped me feel more relaxed and comforted. (Now anytime I use it the aroma immediately transports me back to those infant days💛💛💛)

    I think you’re doing a beautiful job of preparation💛

  40. Such a great idea. Have you tried Natural Calm? I’ve been drinking a warm mug of the lemon raspberry flavor in the evenings and love it! Definite self-care practice for me :)

  41. Warm packs…the hospital should have them but they are useful for back pain, engorgement pain, shrinking uterus contraction pain, etc! Drink a beer if it helps you relax and get through the excruciatingly painful part of breastfeeding that maybe you will avoid but I’m 0/3 on painless breastfeeding at least initially. Pads in a variety of sizes and lengths. Nobody seems to warn you that you feel like you’re going through menopause after delivery. I seriously wake up drenched in sweat every night so a fan is a must for me😑 Button up PJs are nice too for easy access!

    • Thanks for the tips, Andrea<3 My mom said her and your mom are all excited about having grandkids the same age lol

      Hope your sweet family is doing well!

  42. This is going to sound ridiculous but Depends were way easier the first week or two than pads…and most of that stuff they’ll give you at the hospital: the peribottle, pads, colace, Motrin.

    Something you can do for your pup is have someone take one of the baby’s blankets home for her to smell the baby before you bring her home.

    • Hey Allison! YES! Love that idea for Maggie. My mom sent me some info that recommended doing the same! Thanks for sharing that! We have also been playing youtube videos of baby’s crying and seeing how she reacts/getting her used to the sound.

      I’ve heard mixed reviews on the hospital peribottle, so was happy when I received the angled head one as a gift!

      It’s just so interesting/ridiculous to think about buying Depends, but so many people recommend so I should probably just go for it!

      • I think the reason why some moms choose Depends over regular pads is so they stay better and can hold a lot. Rachel Earls on YouTube used them recently.

  43. Fruit! People are so sweet to drop off dinners and I was so ravenous while breastfeeding that I ate anything and everything brought to my door. But sometimes I just wanted something fresh and healthy. By baby #3 I stocked up on like three dozen apples a few days before she was born:)

  44. A lot of this is provided by the hospital including the Tucks pads which are a necessity. I would say include your favorite book…something to read in those weird hours when you are so tired but can’t sleep. If you have a Kindle, load up on pokes because you can read while you nurse!

  45. Add your favorite kind of chocolate and scented candles that make you nostalgic and or happy. You’ll have good and bad days as a mother (as I’m sure you know). Even 7 months postpartum, I’m still struggling with hormones and random bouts of depression. Put things in that basket that make you smile because you’ll need to smile so you don’t cry (at least most of the time 😉) I hope and pray everything goes smoothly for you with your delivery and postpartum. Also, maybe add a list of people who are your support system? Having a list of those people when you’re stressed or in tears to look at could be helpful

  46. netflix/hulu/amazon subscription, easy snacks to eat with one hand, yummy frozen meals that you can heat up quickly. being able to eat actual meals got really hard sometimes especially if your baby is colicky/ needs to be held a lot. and i ended up just eating lots of chocolate all day long sometimes and would’ve really loved a meal.

  47. Maybe some energy balls of some sort. I’ve heard nursing requires a lot of calories. Even if you’re not going to be nursing, I’m sure a pre-made snack will be nice.

  48. ahh….this is so exciting and you are so prepared! you will be amazing.
    all the “stuff” can be so overwhelming, so here are my tips:

    – shower daily. it sounds nuts, and can be hard (or not!) but with both of my pregnancies, it make me feel like ME, and those minutes of alone time were golden.

    – join a mommy & me when your daughter (AH!) is a couple months old. i thought i had enough friends and the idea of a mommy & me sounded super lame to me, but it was life-changing. getting to hang out with other moms/babes that are the same age and going through the same stuff – the amazing and the tough – was THE BEST. my oldest is almost 5 and i still talk to my mommy & me peeps at LEAST a few times a week. we went through a huge life change together and are bonded forever, you know?

    – know that all that baby girl really needs right now is to be fed, changed and loved.

    you so got this. x

  49. Brewers yeast and fennel seeds are great for promoting lactation. There are lots of lactation cookie recipes around (savoury and sweet) We also made lots of bliss balls full of nuts, seeds and dates for my sister for when she came home from hospital and was breast feeding. Easy to eat and grab from the freezer or fridge.
    Anything lavender too-essence, dried or fresh are great for promoting calm during labour or back home.
    You will be amazing :)

    • Never say never…but I would have to be in such a desperate situation to eat fennel seeds haha. My tastebuds HATE fennel lol. Thanks for sharing that lactation cookie recipe :) If I make ’em I’ll just leave the fennel out :)

      • Haha, yes fennel can be strong…..Brewers yeast is great and has a cheesy kind of taste. I know people who like it with butter and avocado on toast. Add it to anything 😊

  50. I haven’t read the other comments but instead of pads I would definitely recommend Depends! Go up a size at first (if I remember correctly…) for more comfort. They were so great and you don’t have to worry about sticking a pad anywhere! So excited for you :)

  51. I’m currently pregnant myself (only 9 weeks) but I’m finding your posts so inspiring. I listen to pregnancy podcasts as well but sticking to just one person to get ideas form has helped me a lot. So thank you for sharing this post. Love the idea and I’ll for sure make myself a postpartum basket as well :)

  52. I’m 2 weeks postpartum with baby #2 and I have loved following along during your pregnancy! The first pregnancy/newborn stage is such a learning experience. So many new and awesome things come flying at you…when my first baby turned one I felt like I’d learned and accomplished so much!

    The postpartum things that have been helping me:
    –mom friends you can call/text with your millions of questions…you’ll find that this tribe of mamas is so important, and you’ll quickly bond with women who have kids the same age as yours
    –Amazon Prime subscription to order that specific pacifier/different size nursing bra/random breast pump parts at 3am
    –grandparents/family/friends who will come over and hold your baby for a couple of hours while you nap/shower
    –people to bring you dinner. If someone offers to make you a Meal Train or to bring dinner, SAY YES. Tell them what time to come by and let them know any ingredients you can’t eat. People want to help, and having a meal delivered to your door is so welcome in those hungry postpartum days!

    Both of my pregnancies went to 41 weeks and I know it definitely feels like you’re going to be pregnant forever. The good part for me about being SO ready to deliver was that when the contractions started, I was actually EXCITED to be in pain because it meant baby was finally coming :) haha

    Good luck! This is such a special time.

    • Thank you for these tips, Lee<3 I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for going past my due date since I hear new mom's typical go 3-7 days late. Fingers crossed I'll have an excited, empowered feeling when contractions do start!

  53. My coworker said slippers are an absolute must! We got her a new set for Christmas before she had baby #2!

  54. Snacks on snacks on snacks. I was starving all the time when my milk supply was being established! A water bottle is also a good idea because I was constantly thirsty. Also, consider making “padsicles” to help your downstairs heal post vaginal birth. I tore and it was incredibly sore for a few weeks. Cold aloe and witch hazel helped a lot.

  55. SO YOU may think I’m crazy but… get yourself a pack of depends for immediate post partum. Life saver and so much more comfortable (for me at least) than the big bulky pads that don’t a always catch all of the post-partum bleeding. I’ve had two babies (and am pregnant with #3!) and used then wth both!! 

  56. So I have a 5 month old so this is pretty fresh in my mind. That said all delivery and recovery is unique so take this with a grain of salt!

    One thing no one told me about the postpartum recovery is that breastfeeding makes your uterus contract. I did not know this and it scared the crap out of me. Also, epidurals (I was so happy to have mine!) can give you some funky ocular migraines. That said, the physical recovery was really not that bad (and I had a 3rd degree tear). I felt almost like myself by week 4ish.

    I second the mother love nipple cream! It really was the best!

    I would recommend several nursing bras you can sleep in because the first few weeks you just don’t know when you’re going to leak… I remember going thru like 5 a day. Also easy to lift/unbutton/pull down shirts.

    A nice comfy pillow to lean on and use to feed the babe. Doesn’t have to be a boppy but I did find a pillow helped support the baby and help with neck pain while trying to figure it all out.

    I also second snacks and easy food. I ate a ton of bran muffins, apples, English muffins with peanut butter or turkey and cheese, cheese sticks, and anything you can eat with one hand. We also ate a huge casserole for like two weeks and rotisserie chickens for several months. And coffee. SO MUCH COFFEE.

    Make a list of all the things you can use help with. That way if someone asks you can actually tell them something! People really DO want to help! I would also make a list of people you can call when you’re lonely or sad or overwhelmed. Motherhood is a beautiful thing but it can be hard and isolating. Don’t go into it with any expectations and don’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect!

    You are going to be an awesome mom!!!!

  57. Your list is looking good! Second time mom here 🙋🏽Just had my second in May! This doesn’t really “fit” in the basket… but what has really helped me this time around is podcasts! My absolute favourite one of the moment is “Risen Motherhood” – usually only 20 minutes long on topics on intentional Motherhood including writing a birth plan (and when your birth plan doesn’t go as planned), postpartum depression, transitions, etc… and will also help you start thinking about topics as your kiddo starts to get a little older. They pass the time if you need to during long feedings and keep your thoughts positive. I found that form of self-care helped way more than my first pregnancy when I used to just Netflix binge during feedings. They are also good people to find on Instagram as they are always posting encouraging content! Best of wishes as you prepare for your baby!


    Side note: Wanted to thank you for all your awesome HAES posts! Currently working on the Intuitive Eating Certification and praying that God would use me to help women in this way too as I heal from years of diet culture!

  58. This is such a great idea… I’m going to have to make one for myself!!

  59. Great list! For breastfeeding, I highly recommend an organic nipple balm. I liked Honest Company brand. I’d bring it to the hospital and start using right away. I used it after nearly every feeding for the first two months with my first baby. Also good to have is some purified lanolin (find on Amazon, Target, etc) in case of extreme nipple pain/injury. That stuff is super thick and a pain to use but it works so well it is unbelievable. I never froze my booby tubes – they are a great product though! Zap in the microwave and then put in your bra before feeding to treat blocked ducts. I have some preparing for baby posts on my blog if you’re interested :-)

    • You are so organized! I agree with all the suggestions/ideas especially all the one handed snacks! I wasn’t prepared for how starving I would be ALL the time. A friend also set up a meal train for us:
      It was a great way to spread out meal drop offs and visitors over the first few weeks. Ask someone to set this up after you’ve delivered and send out to all your people 🙂

  60. Pingback: Postpartum Hormones: what's happening in your body and how to care for yourself - The Real Life RD

  61. I too had an ectopic pregnancy and lost my tube. For all the women out there who’ve had a similar experience, I’ve just read a very detailed blog about ectopic pregnancy Thanks for being so open and sharing!

  62. Hi there! Thanks for a good article! I also use a postpartum pads, I read reviews abot them here –

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