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How to Create a Postpartum Recovery Station

Congratulations on becoming a new parent! As you transition into your postpartum phase, it’s important to remember that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your little one. In doing so, you can help ensure that you’re ready and able to do whatever your newborn needs. One great way to help aid in your success is to give your body the time and attention it needs to recover physically. To help, consider the following information on how to create a postpartum recovery station.


What to Know About Postpartum Recovery

Postpartum recovery is a crucial time for new mothers. You’ll be adjusting to your new role as a parent, but your body is also working on healing after pregnancy and childbirth. While each woman's postpartum experience is unique, there are a few things that every new mom should know.

First and foremost, postpartum recovery is not a linear process. It can take weeks or even months for your body to fully recover from childbirth. You may experience a range of physical and emotional symptoms during this time, including bleeding, soreness, fatigue, and mood swings. Give yourself plenty of time to rest and recover and be patient with yourself as you navigate this new stage of motherhood. Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish—it's essential for your wellbeing and the well-being of your newborn.

Finally, remember that postpartum recovery is a unique and personal experience. You may hear stories from other mothers about their postpartum recoveries but your own experience will be different. Trust your instincts, take things at your own pace, and remember there is no "right" or "wrong" way to recover from childbirth. With time, patience, and self-care, you will find your way through this new chapter of motherhood.


What is a Postpartum Recovery Station?

A postpartum recovery station is a designated space in your home where you have everything you need to take care of yourself during the postpartum period. It typically includes items and supplies that can help you manage the physical and emotional symptoms of postpartum recovery.

Creating a postpartum recovery station is a proactive way to prepare for the postpartum period and ensure everything is within reach. It can also serve as a visual reminder to prioritize self-care and take the time to rest and recover.

Your postpartum recovery station can be as straightforward or as elaborate as you like, depending on your needs and preferences. For example, some women choose to set up a designated area in their bedroom or bathroom, while others may use a spare room or corner of the living room. Whatever space you choose, make sure it's comfortable and accessible so you can easily take care of yourself throughout the day.


15 Essentials for Your Postpartum Recovery Station

Although many of these essentials are helpful, some may be used more out of convenience rather than an absolute need. Consider the following list and what you personally want to include in your postpartum recovery station.


1. A Container

A container, whether it be a bin, tote bag, or dresser drawer, is a great way to keep all of your postpartum recovery supplies organized and easily accessible. Having everything in one place makes it easier to take care of yourself during this time, when you may have limited energy. Plus, you can easily tuck it away on a shelf, next to your favorite lounge seat, or in the bathroom for easy access that’s out of the way.


2. Pads

Postpartum bleeding or discharge, known as lochia, can be heavy and last for several weeks after delivery. To help manage the flow and protect your clothing and furniture, have plenty of heavy-duty pads on hand. It's important to note that tampons should not be used during this time as they can increase the risk of infection. If you have any questions or concerns about your postpartum bleeding, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor.


3. Extra Underwear

You'll also want to have plenty of comfortable underwear on hand to wear with your pads. Opt for breathable, high-waisted cotton underwear that's a size larger than your pre-pregnancy size for added comfort. Some women prefer disposable underwear, which can be helpful during the first few days of heavy bleeding. Again, it’s up to you and what you feel comfortable in.


4. Tissues

Between hormonal changes and sleep deprivation, you may find yourself tearing up more often than usual. Having a box of tissues within arm's reach can make it easier to manage these emotions—or at least help you keep clean while experiencing them.

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5. Pain Relief

Whether you had a vaginal or cesarean delivery, you may experience some discomfort postpartum. If you’re breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about safe pain relief options, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help manage any pain or discomfort.


6. Stool Softeners

Straining during bowel movements can be painful postpartum, especially if you have a perineal tear or episiotomy. Taking a stool softener can help make bowel movements more manageable and less painful. If you’re still struggling with postpartum bowel movements, talk to your doctor about available options.


7. Balms, Creams, and Tinctures

Your perineum will likely be sore and tender after delivery. Using a perineal balm or cream can provide relief and promote healing. Nipple balm can also be helpful if you plan on breastfeeding to soothe and protect your nipples. Stock up on all of the lotions, creams, and tinctures you want to use, or try to make sure you can find relief in case of any discomfort.


8. Peri Bottles

A Peri bottle is a small, handheld device that allows you to clean your perineal area with warm water after using the restroom. It can be a game-changer for postpartum comfort, especially if you have a perineal tear or episiotomy. Stock up on a few peri bottles and use them as needed.


9. Sitz Bath

A sitz bath is a shallow, warm water bath that can help soothe and heal the perineal area. You can purchase a sitz bath kit or make your own using a shallow basin and warm water. Sitz baths can help reduce swelling, promote healing, and provide relief from perineal discomfort.


10. Postpartum Compression Gear

Postpartum compression leggings, socks, or underwear can help improve circulation and reduce swelling in the legs and feet. They can also be helpful if you had a cesarean delivery as they can provide added support and comfort for the incision site.


11. Water and Snacks

Staying hydrated and well-fed is vital for postpartum recovery. Keep a water bottle and some healthy snacks within reach to help keep your energy levels up and promote healing. Just try to limit processed foods or things with added sugar to keep your body functioning at its best.


12. Breastfeeding Supplies

If you plan on breastfeeding, having some key supplies on hand can make the experience more comfortable and successful. Nursing pads can help absorb leaks, nipple shields can help with latch issues, and a breast pump can help you establish and maintain your milk supply. Breast pump accessories are also great to have on hand.


13. Baby Gear

Your little one will need some supplies in your postpartum recovery station too. Keep a stash of diapers, wipes, and extra clothes nearby so you don't have to go far for a quick change. Having these newborn essentials on hand can make it easier to care for your baby during those early days when you're still recovering.


14. Some Entertainment

Postpartum recovery can be a time of rest and healing, but it can also be a time of boredom and isolation. Keep some entertainment options within reach to help pass the time and keep your spirits up. This could include a good book, a tablet or e-reader, or your favorite streaming service.


15. Cozy Clothes

During the early days of postpartum recovery, you'll want to prioritize comfort over fashion. Opt for loose-fitting, soft clothing that's easy to move in and doesn't put pressure on your incision site or perineal area. Cozy pajamas, leggings, and oversized t-shirts are all great options.

To support your postpartum recovery, order an insurance-covered breast pump from Byram Healthcare. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, all new and expecting mothers are eligible to receive one at zero out-of-pocket costs. To learn more about your options and get started with the ordering process, check out our product selection guide today.