Pregnant? Think About Ordering These Postpartum Essentials Now

Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
11:45 am

Being pregnant during the COVID-19 crisis can bring its own brand of stress and plenty of unknowns. One thing you can prepare for, however, is making sure you have your postpartum essentials waiting for you at home once baby arrives. We’ve recently asked a group of friends who are currently or recently postpartum to share their post-birth must-haves with us—a.k.a. the stuff they wanted ASAP once they actually needed it. Naturally, many of their top picks overlapped, resulting in the list below.

Because of unpredictable shipping delays and in-shop shortages from many retailers right now, we suggest you comb through our list, narrow down your own “musts,” and then place your orders (just for what you need, being careful not to hoard, and avoiding WIC labels when possible). Consider doing this sooner rather than later to make sure you have important items on hand once baby arrives. Anything you purchase that remains unused can often be returned later (be sure to check the return policies before you buy). As our own mamas have often told us: Better to be safe than sorry!

Diapers, Wipes, & Diaper Rash Cream:
Diapers. Of course, the basics are key! One suggestion we received was not overbuying diapers in one size, as babies often outgrow them faster than you might think. We’re noticing that many diaper brands on Amazon have a one-week wait time to receive, and Target is also showing delays in shipping due to high demand. If you’re going the cloth diaper route, you can plan ahead with your shopping there, too.

Baby Wipes. Same goes for baby wipes. Here are the options at go-to retailers Amazon and Target. One of the mamas we interviewed for this list swore by the gentle Water Wipes for her daughter’s diaper rash.

Diaper Rash Cream. That same mother recommended Desitin Maximum Strength Diaper Rash Cream for helping clear up her newborn daughter’s rash. But there are plenty of other brands and options out there.

Breastfeeding & Formula Feeding:
Formula & Bottles. There’s no telling if breastfeeding will work out for you until you actually get home and try it. Therefore, the mamas we talked to recommended having some formula (and bottles!) at home, especially harder to find brands, which often have lengthy waits to receive. Pediatrician offices will often have formula that you can take home to tide you over free of charge. When shopping in-store for formula, be sure to avoid brands that qualify for the WIC program (signified by the word WIC with a red circle around it). These products should be reserved for women and their children who qualify for WIC by being at or below the poverty line.

Nipple Cream. If you have the means, our mamas recommend trying two different nipple ointments to see which you prefer. One of them also had a specific endorsement for the Nursing Balm by Erbaviva.

Nursing Bra. Try buying one or two nursing bras (and/or nursing tanks) in advance of the birth of your child to see what fits most comfortably. We have heard great things about the options from Storq and Hatch, and of course there are numerous choices via Target, Amazon, and other big retailers.

Pumping Bra. There are decidedly less options out there for hands-free pumping bras. However, Hatch has recently debuted a good-looking version and there are also these standbys (and Target has a few, too).

Nursing Pads. Used to stick into your bra and soak up milk from leaky breasts, nursing pads are key for those early postpartum days. Our mamas recommend the thin and super absorbent Latch pads by Munchkin. For an eco choice, there are also several kinds of washable, reuse-able pads.

Pump. There are lots of pump models out there, from hands-free versions, to our current favorite plug-in option: the Motif Luna. Make sure you do some research beforehand to see if your insurance will cover a hospital-grade pump for you.

Lactation Tea & Supplements. We love the tasty lactation tea blends from Oat Mama, as well as the Slay Mama lactation capsules, but there are plenty of other brands that aim to boost milk production, too!

Heat Pads & Ice Packs. Straight from the mouth of a new mama: “I use a heat pad pre-nursing to help milk let down. I use cold compress after for soothing.” Personally, we are fans of the brand Beloved, which makes simple rice packs that can be heated up in the microwave and cooled in the freezer for a 2-in-1 option.

Down There Care:
Pads. Look for overnight or postpartum specific options. Our mamas preferred Lola Organic pads, and dye-free organic versions via Target, but most any brand will do!

Peri Bottle. Designed for perineal recovery, a water bottle with an angled spout is key. Frida Mom recently designed one that gets the job done.

Postpartum Undies. There are often two things you might fall in love with in the delivery room—your baby, and the incredibly stretchy and utilitarian giant mesh undies they give you. Stock up on a few pairs of similarly roomy and supportive panties for your home to keep your postpartum comfort at a maximum. Frida Mom has an 8-pack of disposable postpartum undies and Knix has a leak-proof version you’ll want to keep forever. You can also go the “adult diaper” route. Hot tip: at the hospital or birthing center, ask the nurses to send you home with some extra undies (same goes for pads, pacifiers, formula, etc.).

Healing Pads & Hot/Cold Packs: For more down-there relief, look into gel healing pads and perineal cold packs with witch hazel (there are both disposable and reuseable options). You can buy these online and there are lots of online recipes to DIY your own.

Soothing Spray. For additional relief, try scooping up a soothing/cooling spray that contains witch hazel to make your first week in the bathroom more tolerable.

Sitz Bath Supplies. Speaking of the bathroom, invest in some sitz bath supplies to sooth your hard working body. One of our mamas suggested Thena’s Sitz Bath Soak, which you can put straight into your bathtub or over-the-toilet soaking tub.

General Meds & Other Comforts:
Shower Chair. For women dealing with c-section recovery, this adjustable bath and shower chair is recommended for less painful bathing.

Medicine Cabinet Staples. Double check that you have your medicine cabinets must-haves in place. Our mamas suggested Advil for pain relief, multivitamins, and stool softeners like Colace and Miralax.

Water Bottle. For breastfeeding and beyond, staying hydrated is key.

Comfy Clothes With Easy Boob Access. The options are endless!

Snacks (& Prune Juice). Be sure to have plenty of snacks packed with fiber and protein (bonus points if they can be eaten with one hand—think: granola bars!). Also, prune juice to keep things moving easily and with less pain post-birth.

Pillows. A nursing pillow for the baby and also wedge pillow to prop mama up while breastfeeding can be great sources of comfort in the early weeks and months postpartum.

Things For Baby:
Thermometers. Ideally you would invest in a digital forehead version and a rectal option.

Nose Frida. Also known as a snot-sucker. If you don’t use your Nose Frida in the early infant months, it will most definitely come in handy for the toddler years.

Baby Meds: The mamas we polled recommended having infant pain-reliever, saline drops, and Vitamin D drops on hand. However, each baby’s needs are different and—beyond the pain reliever, which often can’t be used until a newborn’s later months—we recommend picking up any other baby meds on a case-by-case basis once you need them.

Changing Pad. This one is easy to wipe down, and—we’re told—worth every penny.

Baby Seat or Bouncer. A good one for your registry (along with your crib, clothing, toys, and all of the other trimmings). Something like this will buy you time in the early days to take a shower or do other hands-free deeds.

Pacifier. While many moms are anti-paci, it might make sense to have a binky on hand for when the going gets rough (granted that your child will even accept one!).

Did we miss one of your favorite postpartum essentials? Let us know your newborn days must-haves in the comments below!

For more pregnancy-related content, check out our Guide To Pregnancy During The COVID-19 Crisis, as well as our list of The Best Minimalist Pregnancy Essentials

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THANK YOU! I’ve been stressing about this recently.


I don’t see the link for the stretchy shorts.