Postpartum Recovery Kit Essentials

by Meghan Yost

Giving birth is by far one of the most incredible experiences of my life (you can read all about Grace’s birth story here). After carrying my daughter for nine-plus months, I couldn’t wait to lay eyes on her. But at the same time, I wasn’t quite excited about the whole pushing, labor, and recovery part. That’s why having a postpartum recovery kit ready to go is critical for any mama-to-be.

I went into labor three weeks before my due date so it’s a good thing I prepared my kit early. When I got home from the hospital, I had (mostly) everything I needed to start healing from the whole ordeal.

And heal I did — surprisingly fast. After two weeks I felt almost like myself again.

So from one mama to another, here’s everything I put into my postpartum recovery kit. While all of these things are helpful, those marked with an asterisk are must-buy items.


After giving birth, my lower back was incredibly sore. It hurt every time I leaned over to change my daughter’s diaper or her clothes. Thankfully, the Thermacare Heat Wraps (Back Pain Therapy) deliver a nice dose of warmth to the area to soothe it. They work for eight hours and become hot upon contact with your skin. It’s really helpful they don’t require a wall outlet like traditional heating pads.


This is one item I didn’t have on hand before labor. I wish I did because it is an absolute must in a postpartum recovery kit. I still remember hobbling into the pharmacy to purchase Dermoplast Pain & Itch Spray with my husband and newborn baby waiting in the car. In the hospital, I received a cream to numb the nether regions so I didn’t feel as much pain. It was a prescription strength cream and they only sent me home with so much of it. Thankfully, the Dermoplast Pain & Itch Spray did just the trick, offering temporary relief to my discomfort. I used it after every time I went to the bathroom for the first two weeks. I can still smell it when I think back to that time.


The Newgo Perineal Ice Packs are specifically made for recovering women. The package comes with two extra long ice packs as well as three fabric sleeves to cover them. I only purchased one set of these ice packs but recommend getting two (so four total). I used the Newgo Perineal ice packs constantly because they really helped to relieve the pain. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I even wore them out of the house (which my husband and I had some good laughs about). It’s not easy to walk while using the ice packs, but then again, it’s not so easy to walk anyways after giving birth.


I was lucky enough to be sent home from the hospital with some post pregnancy disposable underwear. However, I also purchased some extra ones just in case. If you’ve never seen them, they are like meshy boy short underwear. They’re pretty comfortable (considering you just gave birth) and you won’t care about getting them messy since they’re disposable. You can actually wash them a few times before disposing of them. I also cut some up to make extra fabric sleeves for my perineal ice packs. I basically lived in these undies in the hospital and also when I was discharged home.


You can find lots of peri bottles on the market, and will in most cases even get one from the hospital to take home. Those bottles will do the trick, but the Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle will do an even better job. The neck of the bottle extends so you can reach, ahem, certain areas. If you’re not sure what a peri bottle is for, you fill it with warm water and spray it while you’re going to the bathroom. It makes things a bit more comfortable. I would actually fill both of my peri bottles and use one while going and one afterwards (because you can’t wipe like you normally would while healing).


If you want to up your peri bottle game, buy a bottle of witch hazel and add a few drops to the warm water. The naturally derived astringent helps calm inflammation and bleeding. There are some witch hazels on the market with various scents, etc., but I would stick with the Thayers original version.


Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads are a must buy item. No joke. Buy them. Like right now. I used them all the time until I healed. Don’t just buy one tub. Buy three! They really helped with the pain and I also think they aided in my recovery. The witch hazel soaked pads are actually designed for hemorrhoids, but I found them to be perfect for my postpartum recovery kit.


If you’re not familiar with sitz baths, they sit on top of your toilet seat. You fill them with warm water (and see below), then plop down and enjoy the relief. I would purchase a simple one like this sitz bath on Amazon, which is also collapsible for easy storage. There are also sitz baths that come with a pump that allows you to spray water or a bag for what I think is to store extra water. But I just didn’t find that necessary. After all, as a new mom, you don’t have too much time to set it up or sit on it, so I would make it as easy as possible.


I’m a big fan of the Earth Mama brand. I like that their products are natural, safe and organic. Their Organic Herbal Sitz Bath Pads are basically giant tea bags with soothing ingredients that you can steep in your sitz bath. You can also steep them in a bowl of water, then dip a regular pad into it and pop it in the freezer. The result is a refreshing ice pack for your nether regions, a.k.a. a “padsicle.”

Other notable postpartum products from the Earth Mama line include their perineal spray and perineal balm. I’m not listing them separately because although I purchased them for my own postpartum recovery kit, I didn’t end up using them all too often.

Also, if you plan on breastfeeding, I also recommend the Earth Mama Nipple Butter to soothe — what else? — sore nipples.


You will probably get some pads from the hospital to take home, but I recommend purchasing extra as you will need them. I recommend getting the Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Overnight Maxi Pads, which are super absorbant and free from fragrance or chemicals.


Yes, Boppy Pillows are for breastfeeding, but with it’s “u” shape, they’re also a great pillow to sit on after giving birth. I used it in the car (the few times I left the house) and at home. I bought the “barenaked” Boppy Pillow which comes sans cover because I wanted to pick one I liked on Etsy (they have cuter options).

Shopping List

  1. Thermacare Heat Wraps Back Pain Therapy | Amazon
  2. Dermoplast Pain & Itch Spray | Amazon
  3. Newgo Perineal Ice Packs | Amazon
  4. Disposable Postpartum Underwear | Amazon
  5. Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle | Amazon
  6. Thayers Original Witch Hazel | Amazon
  7. Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads | Amazon
  8. Sitz Bath | Amazon
  9. Earth Mama Organic Herbal Sitz Bath Pads | Amazon
  10. Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Overnight Pads with Wings | Amazon
  11. Boppy Pillow | Amazon

Is there an item you found useful postpartum that isn’t on my list? Share it in the comments below!

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