When you just brought home a bundle of joy, it can seem strange to feel mostly miserable for the first weeks of your child's life. However, that's pretty much exactly how every mom I've ever known, myself included, felt more often than not as new moms: Miserable. Even if you don't have postpartum depression (which so many, many women do), you're exhausted and probably in pain and did I mention really, really tired? In many ways, time is the best healer... but there are also some genius products that make the first postpartum weeks less miserable. So whether you're expecting or know someone who is, take heart: You'll get plenty of joy from that little bundle yet.
I was the first of my friends to have a baby, so I didn't have anybody advising me about the latest inventions and offerings to make early motherhood easier. (Well, I had my mom and my aunts, but none of them had been in the baby business for awhile and their counsel was a little on the outdated side.) I was definitely left to my own devices when it came to navigating those bleary, hormonal weeks — I didn't even know what a peri bottle was until a solemn-faced midwife handed me one to take home with my new baby — and I made my share of mistakes, to be sure. But with knowledge comes power, and the next two kids were easier. And not only did I know which products would help to ease my postnatal plight, but as the years passed, more and more amazing items were introduced specifically for new moms.
In short, if you're in the market for postpartum supplies now? Well, you couldn't have chosen a better time in history. Just be sure to check out the list below before you shop.
1. For the C-section mom
2. For the breastfeeding mom
With a soft inner layer that won't irritate sensitive skin, these washable nursing pads are up to nine times more absorbent than other brands. Plus, the tear-drop shape "conforms to the breast for a comfortable fit with no noticeable lines" (not many nursing pads can say the same, unfortunately). Includes two pairs of pads and a mesh washing bag.
3. For the mom who thinks hospitals are depressing
Available in 100 percent cotton or flannel cotton, you can swap out the standard issue gown for this comfy version at the hospital — then wear it at home for the fourth trimester. Features snap buttons down the back and shoulders for easy access for feeding or skin-to-skin time, and best of all? It. Has. Pockets.
4. For the mom who needs a nutritional boost
Formulated with a blend of botanicals to support the health of new and nursing moms, including moringa and organic fenugreek and fennel seed, these vitamins also promote infant growth by supplying breastfeeding mothers with iron, folate, choline and lutein for baby's brain and eye development.
5. For the mom who's still hurting, thanks
6. For the mom who's ready to transition out of the hospital gown
7. For the mom who's a little stressed at the moment
8. For the eco-conscious mom
9. For the mom who needs another snack
10. For the mom who honestly is still pretty sore
11. For the mom who misses that mesh underwear
Even if you didn't have a C-section, you'll still want the most comfortable underwear ever made following your baby's arrival. These super-stretchy undies are the "ideal transition from your mesh hospital underwear," according to the Kindred Bravely website, with "plenty of room for pads" and a wide waist that won't dig into your skin. Five assorted patterns included in this pack.