Recovering from childbirth is one of the toughest things I’ve done yet – postpartum recovery is no joke, and every mommy deserves three weeks in a spa to rest up after childbirth (but that is SO NOT HAPPENING, right?).
After two kids and a whole lotta of trial and error, these are my favorite postpartum hacks to make the process more bearable. (Still not exactly spa like, but more bearable for sure.)
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Postpartum Hacks Around The House
Postpartum Chore List
I think this new baby chore chart is one of the COOLEST postpartum hacks to help make your life a little easier.
The idea is to make a “chore chart” of everything you need done (i.e. laundry, dishes, etc.) and put it up on your refrigerator. People will come, and they will ask you what they can do to help. Point them to the list and let them pick something they can do to help you.
I know it can be hard to ask for help, but at least this is an easier way to go about it.
Red Light bulb Hack (otherwise known as my stay-sleepy hack!)
There are going to be those nights where your little one will wake up over and over again.
Diaper changes and getting-the-boob-in-the-screaming-mouth are both hard in the dark, especially for a first time mom.
Instead of turning on your normal light, consider replacing your white bulb with a red light bulb instead. A red light bulb emits dimmer light, so (hopefully) baby will stay in “sleep mode” (AND SO WILL YOU!) if you have to turn on some light during the night.
Use paper plates for the first two weeks. (No guilt! You just made a person. You deserve to not do dishes for a couple weeks.)
Using regular dishes is only giving you one more thing to do–and you shouldn’t stress yourself out with one more thing to do. (Pick up some paper bowls, cups, and silverware too.)
(Andrea, from Simplifying Mom Life shared this one with me!)
Bottle Storage Hack
Bottle storage can be rough–especially if you have the kind of bottle that uses a lot of parts. One brilliant idea circulating the internet is using a shower caddy as a bottle holder.
Not only can you store the bottles in a nice and upright position, but they’ll air dry quickly this way (as opposed to thrown into a drawer). You can keep all of the little pieces on the shelves underneath it! Love having everything easily accessible in one place.
Postpartum Hacks For On The Go
Postpartum Baby Car Kit
I know, you probably have a pretty nice diaper bag that you don’t mind toting around with you when you go out.
The problem is, you are going to have days where you forget things. Diapers, wipes, bottles, binky’s, and blankets can be critical items depending on your situation.
You are fuzzy, tired, and overwhelmed–and you need a backup. Mighty Moms Club has the baby car kit all laid out for you if you still aren’t sure it’s necessary, or don’t know what to pack.
(Know what I forgot all the time? My stupid peri-bottle. Put an extra peri-bottle in your baby car kit. Seriously, you need it for the first week if you have any “downstairs” damage. The 3$ you spend to have an extra one will be well worth it.)
Diaper Bag Hack
A brilliant Facebook mom came up with a space saving idea for the bare essentials you need anywhere you go. Use a baby wipe case to hold all of your diaper bag essentials. You can strap diaper wipes to the inside top of a empty plastic wipe container with a headband, which creates instant space for a change of clothes, a diaper or two, and a plastic bag for dirty diapers.
Padded Car Seat Handle Hack
Toting a car seat around is your new reality – and I actually got bruised up from doing it!
This pool noodle hack is a great way to make this a less painful experience.
- Measure a pool noodle against your car seat handle
- Cut it so that it is the length of the top of the ar seat handle.
- Cut a slit ⅔ of the way through the pool noodle
- Wrap the pool noodle around the car seat handle
- TA-DA – padded car seat handle!
Keep in mind, this may not be safe to keep on the pool noodle car seat handle while you drive, as many car seats require the handle to be down and locked–but it’s awesome for having to transport that carrier!
Postpartum Hacks for Easy Pain Relief
It can be painful every single time you sit down for the first little while. Pick up a cheap donut pillow to sit on, and carry it with you everywhere. You’ll want to sit a lot while you are recovering, so you may as well make sure you are as comfortable as possible while you do it. (I found – after my first, that standing made me feel like everything was going to… “fall out” due to pelvic floor damage. If you feel that way, there’s NO shame in sitting A LOT.)
Homemade “Medicated” Padsicles
Cold relief is totally necessary when you are trying to recover from delivery. Ice helps reduce swelling, which is key to speeding up healing postpartum. A padsicle is a clever way of combining different products that are known for relieving postpartum pain. You will need:
(Lavender oil is nice to have as it can help with the inflammation and swelling–not to mention it just smells good.)
● Unwrap the pad
● Pour witch hazel down the middle of the pad (2-4tbsp, you just want the middle saturated)
● Spread a bit of the silver gel over the middle of the pad
● Add a small amount of lavender oil over the layer of the silver gel, and spread
● Stick it in your freezer baggie and freeze it
DIY Ice Pack
While padsicles are great, for the first two-three days you just want full on ICE for swollen bits. You may have received some nifty ice packs from your stay at the hospital, and you don’t have to go out and buy more!
All you need to do is take a diaper, fill the crotch area up with water, and stick it in the freezer. Although eventually it will leak, diapers are designed to NOT leak which is an added perk. You can do this with adult diapers or pads as well.
DIY Sitz Bath (without buying a sitz bath)
Taking a postpartum sitz bath is one of the BEST thing I did to help with postpartum pain + discomfort. You can spend 10 bucks on one that you’ll throw away after, or you can DIY it and use your own bathtub. Which is what I like to do – here’s how to take a postpartum sitz bath in your own tub.
(Not only will it speed up healing and help with pain–but it also gives you a chance to have twenty minutes a day to yourself. This is SUPER important.)
Postpartum Health Hacks
Postpartum Hack for Finding Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
Perhaps you’ve never even thought about your pelvic floor muscles before? That’s about to change.
After having a baby, your entire abdominal area is going to feel foreign and like it’s not part of your body. It’s pretty normal for these pelvic floor muscles to be weak as they got pretty stretched out during pregnancy and childbirth. It can take some time to get this strength back, so it’s definitely a good idea to start working on getting that strength back now.
Katie, a postpartum expert, tells us that trying to stop the flow of urine is the first step to connecting your mind back to those muscles. It may take some time for this to work, but there are other methods you can use to find your pelvic floor muscles.
Skip the Pads AND the Underwear
Consider using depends instead of pads for the first few days postpartum. These are usually going to hold more (great for heavy bleeding), and they are typically more comfortable to wear (no bunching / moving)!
Postpartum Bed-Saving Hack
You will leak a lot during the postpartum period – from everywhere. It’s just a very messy time.
You don’t want to ruin a pair of sheets, so consider investing in a quilted bed pad. Stork Mama goes more into depth about the products she used (and all the ways / things you can expect to… leak), but this is the pad she said changed her postpartum life.
Drink Green Tea to get a jump on losing the baby weight
Although the reasoning is not well understood, a study has shown us that drinking green tea can reduce body weight. It will still be at least a few months before you should be at your pre-baby weight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be making mindful choices. (Not to mention green tea is super healthy otherwise.)
Postpartum uses of Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Did you know that red raspberry leaf tea isn’t only for pregnancy?
It can help balance those difficult postpartum hormones, potentially help heal the womb, and may slow your bleeding. Like any other herbal remedy, there is no scientific proof that backs it up–but many doulas and midwives still recommend it. Mama Natural has an awesome article with more information regarding the facts about red raspberry leaf tea.
Nipple Pain Relief Hack
Sore nipples are definitely a thing for a new mama. To get some DIY relief, fill a ziploc baggie halfway with Aloe Vera gel and stick it in the freezer. When you need some relief, pull it out and
put it on your breast for ten minutes.
Cabbage Leaf Trick for engorgement
Using cabbage leaves for engorgement is something many new mothers swear by. The reason it works is because the cabbage leaves can absorb fluid from the gland areas on your breast, and thus reducing the fullness in your tissue. Many women see positive results within twelve hours–so it’s definitely worth considering! All you need is some white cabbage, a freezer, a loose fitting bra, and a washcloth. When it’s time for your littles to eat, go to the fridge and peel off a couple of cabbage leaves for each engorged breast–don’t tear the leaves, they need to be whole.
● Put the cabbage in the coldest part of the freezer
● Do a complete feeding or pumping session
● Remove one leave at a time, break the veins, and place the leaf on your breast. Cover your entire
breast with the cabbage.
● Place your bra on to keep the cabbage in place, and remove cabbage once they are warm.
DIY Pumping Bra
It’s impossible to get anything done if you have to hold the bottles while you pump. Get an old bra, cut some holes in it where it sits over your nipples, and attach it to your pump. Now you have a hands-free pumping bra!
If you don’t have a old bra, you can pick up a hands-free pumping bra for pretty cheap.
Skip Expensive Nipple Creams and Use Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has a lot of neat benefits if you are a breastfeeding mama, and it’s one of those products that’s safe for baby.
Think about it–many infant formulas contain coconut oil as an ingredient. Ingesting coconut oil can help increase MCFA’s in your breastmilk, (which help support the baby’s immune system) as well! Use it topically on those sore nipples, and even as a diaper rash preventative.