What To Buy

The Ultimate C-Section Recovery Shopping Guide

To make the first days and weeks a bit more comfortable.

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Whether your C-section procedure was planned or unexpected, the recovery can be a beast, physically and emotionally. We asked around, and here are some things moms used religiously, had overnighted, and splurged on (or wish they had) to get to the other side.

In The Medicine Cabinet

Painkillers (OTC and doctor-prescribed) for your pain and sanity.

Triple Antibiotic Cream, in case of infection.

Preparation H and Tucks for unwelcome hemorrhoids.

Pads. As maxi as they come.

Before You Poop

The first postpartum poop, after a C-section or vaginal birth, is a doozy. Stock up on stool softeners to help reverse the constipating effects of pain meds, and green juices and/or smoothies to help move things along.

The Undergarment Situation

Disposable mesh undies and regular underwear in a larger size. Now is not the time to rock your cutest options.

An abdominal support band.

The bra: One that comes on and off easily (consider a front-clasp) and is nursing-friendly if you’re breastfeeding.

What To Wear While You Heal

A comfy nightgown you will literally never take off.

Soft pajamas you’ll still be wearing when your child is well past the toddler years.

Roomy maternity sweats for lounging.

A robe, if you’re a robe person.

Real Clothes???

This isn’t the movies. Yes, your baby has vacated your body, but that doesn’t mean you will morph back into your pre-pregnancy shape overnight — or ever (it doesn’t really work that way). Hold onto those maternity clothes for a while longer and buy or borrow at least a few non-maternity staples that fit you today.

Protecting Your Furniture

The chances of leaking from your incision site, vagina, and breasts are high. (See our Guide to Healing for more on that.) Cover your sheets and furniture with mattress liners, disposable waterproof pads, or towels to protect them from postpartum body fluids.

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The Multi-Purpose Breastfeeding Pillow

A nursing pillow keeps the pressure off of your midsection when breastfeeding and is convenient for propping books, your phone, snacks, and most importantly, the TV remote.

A Well-Stocked Caddy

Stock a caddy with your essentials to tote around from room to room.

Here’s a basic checklist: phone, charger, water bottle, drugs, nipple cream/pads, and a notebook and pen (to jot down when you took your meds and when your baby was last fed).

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Staying Nourished

A cute water bottle (with goals!) will help you stay well-hydrated. Stock up on your favorite snacks so you have them on hand.

If you have the time, freeze some of your comfort foods well before you go into labor. You can enjoy them as soon as you get home.