Even someone whose delivery is by-the-book will still feel like they've been hit by a truck afterwards (thankfully, the newborn makes it all worth it). While you're deciding on what to pack in your hospital bag, also think about some
postpartum recovery products and services worth splurging on to help you feel like yourself again. Or, as close to yourself as you can get.
Whether this is your first baby or your fourth, your body, mental health, and emotions are all going to need some time to settle down after the chaos of labor and delivery. This isn't exactly easy to do when you're also tasked with caring for a tiny human who barely sleeps and relies on you for literally everything (even holding their head up).
general exhaustion of caring for a newborn coupled with the physical pain of postpartum recovery is enough to make any mom feel desperate for anything to help her feel better again. But, with a market so flooded with unnecessary products and services, what will actually help? Several veteran moms shared the things they would have splurged on during postpartum recovery if they were to do it over again (or, if money were no object). 1 Someone To Help With The Toddler fotostorm/E+/Getty Images
Rachael B., mom of two boys, wishes she could have brought in a nanny when she had her second baby. The task of taking care of a newborn and a toddler
and trying to physically recover was so much harder than she realized. 2 Some Relaxation
"My back and body hurt so much after having my baby," says mom of one, Lori F. "I would have gotten regular massages to ease the added pain."
3 Help Around The House
Tiffany S., mom of two, says she wishes she could have brought in house cleaners after delivering her babies. There is enough work to be done just trying to keep everyone alive, so general cleaning gets put on the back-burner. Samantha G. says she'd have loved to have someone do things around the house for her, specifically laundry. Newborns spit up on everything, so there is no shortage of clothes to wash, and it's not easy to carry heavy baskets of clothes when you're still trying to recover physically. (Luckily, lots of cleaning services will tackle the laundry, too.)
4 A Way To Get Some Rest
"I would have hired a night nurse if I had the money," says Ashley N. "Those first few nights where your body is still trying to recover and trips to the bathroom take 10 minutes are brutal." An extra set of hands would have been so helpful.
5 Soothing Relief
A lot of moms are told to take sitz baths when they get home to help alleviate some pain from delivery. A high-end, luxury sitz mixture could help make the experience a little more enjoyable.
6 Food For The Family
Veteran mom Rachael B. says she would have spent money on "an in-home chef." Just because there's a high-maintenance baby in the house doesn't mean mom and dad don't still need to eat (but that's easier said than done).
7 Mom's Best Friend
Katy S. was gifted a postpartum doula from her dad and step-mom after she had twins and experienced postpartum complications. She said it made a world of difference because she helped with literally everything, down to helping Katy pack for the babies' first overnight trip to visit grandparents.
8 Low-Maintenance Food
If you're not going to have a live-in chef, a regular meal delivery kit is a close second. A lot of the kits have options for "fast" meals (ready in 30 minutes or less) that are still nutritious and delicious.
9 Postpartum Panties
As much as every mom loves those mesh panties the hospital provides, something with a little more structure would be nice. Recommended by OB-GYNs, these postpartum-specific panties were designed to support the deflating belly and protect C-section incisions using "targeted medical grade compression" to help reduce swelling.
10 Help With Sleep
Courtney S. says her first son had no trouble with sleeping, which made her restless second son a complete mystery to her. She says, "I would have hired a sleep consultant" to give her advice and, if nothing else, some peace of mind.
Coming home with a new baby, and a sore body, isn't going to be easy but the newborn snuggles really do help you get through it. If you're able to splurge on a product or service, pick one that will do the most for you personally, whether it will support your physical healing, mental health, or emotional well-being. If you can't afford a splurge, consider asking friends or family to help in some areas in exchange for some cute baby cuddles.
11 In-Home Pampering
One thing Katy S. says she would have loved to afford was in-home beauty treatments like pedicures, facials, and hair appointments. She says, "I didn't have time to go out and do that kind of stuff so I didn't feel like myself." It's not too hard to find in-home services for everything from manicures to facials to waxing in most areas, but it can't hurt to have some high-quality mom-specific pampering products on hand at home, too. At the end of a long day, spending a few minutes slathering your tired body with this duo — a rich belly butter and a fast-absorbing oil that calms itchy, irritated skin — will help you feel like a human being again... all while helping to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Bonus!
12 A Comfortable Mattress
Mom-of-three Allison P. says she wishes she'd invested in a better mattress after the birth of her third child. "That last pregnancy and birth really did a number on my back," she says. "Coming home from the hospital to sleep on my lumpy old non-supportive mattress definitely didn't help." A new mattress is definitely a splurge, but it's also a sensible purchase that will last you for years. The above model from Layla, for example, combines copper-infused memory foam with "Infinity Edge" coils, and it's flippable (with two sides to "suit every kind of sleeper"). The Layla Hybrid Mattress retails between $1,199 for a Twin and $1,799 for a California King, comes with a 120 night money-back guarantee, 10-year warranty, and free shipping (and you can pay in installments, if need be).