As a second-time mama, these are the 21 items I have for my postpartum recovery

Print Friendly and PDF

I'm nearing the end of my second pregnancy and have been finalizing all the details before I come home with two tiny babies—yes, twins! We already have their bassinets set up and I have my hospital bag packed so we can run out of the house with everything we need when the time comes.

But mamas can often forget about *their* recovery—you know, how you're going to heal postpartum. Being a second-time mom means that I have a better sense of what I will need to recover after birth. My first experience was a C-section and this one will likely go the same route, however I'm making sure to have some products to help if I do have a vaginal delivery since you never know how and when babies are going to arrive.

Here's what I have at home for my postpartum recovery:

High-waisted underwear

Kindred Bravely High Waist Postpartum Underwear

These undies are not only super soft and elegant, they are also high-waisted—an ideal cut regardless of how you gave birth since it keeps incisions covered and your softened tummy supported.


Witch hazel wipes

Frida Mom Perineal Medicated Witch Hazel

I love that these wipes come prepackaged, ready to be used. Sure, you can make your own witch hazel pads, but I learned quickly last time I had a newborn that I didn't have the energy to make anything. Witch hazel is great for healing vaginal discomfort and can really help with hemorrhoids, which can be common, regardless of your birth experience.


Super soft robe

Women's Softest Robe

When I was at home the first few days after having my first child, all I wanted to do was walk around with as minimum clothing as possible. This time around, I'm treating myself to a robe so I can be comfortable all day but still feel covered up in case guests drop by.


Compression garment 

Motif Postpartum Recovery Support Garment

This is one of the items I skipped after my first birth and still regret it. I didn't like the compression band I got from my hospital so instead of looking for alternatives, I just didn't wear one and it made healing and recovery take so much longer.


Absorbent underwear

Underwear for Women, Disposable

If you deliver at a hospital you will probably be sent home with mesh undies and pads, which are fine for the first day or so. However, for me, disposable underwear really made a difference because it stays in place and you don't have to worry about leaks.


Comfy lounge pants

The All-Day Jogger

You won't want to wear your regular clothes (plus, your body needs time to adjust) for a while so invest in a pair of comfortable pants you can wear around the house and maybe even venture to the supermarket in. No judgements from us, mama.


Washable nursing pads

Lansinoh Washable Reusable Nursing Pads

When my milk came in, it did so at full force and I was soaking through bras and shirts constantly. These nursing pads catch the extra milk so you don't have to worry about giant stains on your top.


A nursing pillow

If you decide to breastfeed, a nursing pillow is key to help you (and baby) stay comfortable and in the right position. It will help your posture now and then you can use it to do some tummy time with your baby later on.


Leak proof nursing bra

Leakproof Nursing Bra

You can also get a leakproof bra from Knix instead of the pads above. It comes with nursing clips, making your breasts accessible for baby at all times—and yes, it really does work.


Nursing hoodie 

Maternity top / Nursing top

One of the softest items I own, but most importantly, it gives you easy access to your breast for you to feed or pump easily if you choose to breastfeed.


Nipple butter

Organic Nipple Butter Breastfeeding Cream

Whether you are breastfeeding or pumping, your nipples will forever thank you when you put on some of this butter on them. Trust me when I say this: It makes everything easier and better.


Silicone scar gel 

Advanced Scar Gel Medical-Grade Silicone

If you have a C-section, I recommend using a silicone gel once your scar is fully healed (no stitches and after your postpartum visit) to keep the area moisturized and to help the scar fade away.


Colace stool softener

Colace Clear Stool Softener

File under: Items I didn't know I needed, but really needed. I'm not going to beat around the bush—pooping after childbirth can be... a lot. Have these handy to help you out when needed.


A mini fridge

Retro Personal Mini Fridge

This mini fridge is perfect to keep in your room so you have beverages around the clock while you rest. A bonus use for it is storing breastmilk you pump overnight so you don't have to get out of bed and walk all the way to the fridge, maximizing snooze time.


Peri bottle

Frida Mom Upside Down Peri Bottle for Postpartum Care

This upside down peri bottle helps mamas recovering from any type of birth. It makes cleaning down there easier without having to bend over or get in uncomfortable positions.


Nettle leaf infusions 

Organic Nettle Leaf

Nettle infusions are great if you have low iron, are tired or need some extra hydration. I drink them throughout my pregnancy and postpartum recovery. As with many herbs, we don't have many studies to confirm their safety during pregnancy or breastfeeding, so it's always a good idea to check with your provider before starting a new herb.


Bone broth

Water, beef bone broth, natural flavor, yeast extract, sea salt

Bone broth is incredibly nourishing and ideal for your postpartum recovery. I love that it helps me stay hydrated when I'm tired of drinking plain water.


Water bottle with a straw 

Ello Devon Glass Tumbler with Silicone Sleeve

It's so important to stay hydrated after birth so I carry around a water bottle with me at all times. I like this one because it's glass, which makes cleaning way easier.


A smart speaker 

Echo Plus (2nd Gen) - Premium sound with built-in smart home hub

I know this might seem extra right now, but when you are stuck under a napping baby and cannot reach the remote control and your phone is out of battery, you'll wish you'd have this at home. I used one to listen to the news, music, podcasts, anything to keep me entertained.


A subscription service

Netflix streaming

You'll be spending a lot more time at home and on the couch so what better time than now to catch up on all the shows you've been meaning to watch?


Bodily recovery kit

support healing in the days and weeks after a cesarean birth

If you find that getting all these items separately is a bit overwhelming, you can get one of the many recovery kits Bodily offers to make sure you have the basics covered for when you come home.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

The very best of Motherly — delivered when you need it most.
Subscribe for inspiration, empowering articles and expert tips to rock your best #momlife.

Subscribe for inspiration, empowering articles and expert tips to rock your best #momlife.

Thanks for subscribing!

Check your email for a confirmation message.

There are few kids television shows as successful as PAW Patrol. The Spin Masters series has spawned countless toys and clothing deals, a live show and now, a movie.

That's right mama, PAW Patrol is coming to the big screen in 2021.

The big-screen version of PAW Patrol will be made with Nickelodeon Movies and will be distributed by Paramount Pictures.

"We are thrilled to partner with Paramount and Nickelodeon to bring the PAW Patrol franchise, and the characters that children love, to the big screen," Spin Master Entertainment's Executive Vice President, Jennifer Dodge, announced Friday.


"This first foray into the arena of feature film marks a significant strategic expansion for Spin Master Entertainment and our properties. This demonstrates our commitment to harnessing our own internal entertainment production teams to develop and deliver IP in a motion picture format and allows us to connect our characters to fans through shared theatrical experiences," Dodge says.

No word on the plot yet, but we're gonna bet there's a problem, 'round Aventure Bay, and Ryder and his team of pups will come and save the day.

We cannot even imagine how excited little PAW Patrol fans will be when this hits theatres in 2021. It's still too early to buy advance tickets but we would if we could!


In the middle of that postpartum daze, the sleepless nights, the recovery, the adjustment to a new schedule and learning the cues of a new baby, there are those moments when a new mom might think, I don't know how long I can do this.

Fortunately, right around that time, newborns smile their first real smile.

For many mothers, the experience is heart-melting and soul-lifting. It's a crumb of sustenance to help make it through the next challenges, whether that's sleep training, baby's first cold, or teething. Each time that baby smiles, the mother remembers, I can do this, and it's worth it.


Dayna M. Kurtz, LMSW, CPT a NYC-based psychotherapist and author of Mother Matters: A Holistic Guide to Being a Happy, Healthy Mom, says she sees this in her clinical practice.

"One mother I worked with recounted her experience of her baby's first smile. At eight weeks postpartum, exhausted and overwhelmed, she remembered her baby smiling broadly at her just before a nighttime feeding," Kurtz says. "In that moment, she was overcome by tremendous joy and relief, and felt, for the first time, a real connection to her son."

So what is it about a baby's smile that can affect a mother so deeply? Can it all be attributed to those new-mom hormones? Perhaps it stems from the survival instincts that connect an infant with its mother, or the infant learning social cues. Or is there something more going on inside our brains?

In 2008, scientists in Houston, TX published their research on the topic. Their study, "What's in a Smile? Maternal Brain Responses to Infant Facial Cues", takes data from the MRI images of 26 women as they observed images of infants smiling, crying, or with a neutral expression.

The images included the mother's own infant alternated with an unknown infant of similar ethnicity and in similar clothing and position. In each image, the baby displayed a different emotion through one of three facial expressions; happy, neutral, or sad. Researchers monitored the change in the mothers' brain activity through the transitions in images from own-infant to unknown-infant, and from happy to neutral to sad and vice versa.

The results?

"When first-time mothers see their own baby's face, an extensive brain network appears to be activated, wherein affective and cognitive information may be integrated and directed toward motor/behavioral outputs," wrote the study's authors. Seeing her infant smile or cry prompts the areas of the brain that would instigate a mother to act, whether it be to comfort, care for, or caress and play with the baby.

In addition, the authors found that reward-related brain regions are activated specifically in response to happy, but not sad, baby faces. The areas of the brain that lit up in their study are the same areas that release dopamine, the "pleasure chemical." For context, other activities that elicit dopamine surges include eating chocolate, having sex, or doing drugs. So in other words, a baby's smile may be as powerful as those other feel-good experiences.

And this gooey feeling moms may get from seeing their babies smile isn't just a recreational high—it serves a purpose.

This reward system (aka dopaminergic and oxytocinergic neuroendocrine system) exists to motivate the mother to forge a positive connection with the baby, according to Aurélie Athan, PhD, director of the Reproductive & Maternal Psychology Laboratory (a laboratory that created the first graduate courses of their kind in these subjects).

These networks also promote a mother's ability to share her emotional state with her child, which is the root of empathy. "A mother cries when baby cries, smiles when baby smiles," Athan says.

While there's a physiological explanation underlying that warm-and-fuzzy sensation elicited by a smile, there may be other factors at play too, Kurtz says.

"In my clinical practice, I often observe a stunning exchange between a mother and her baby when the latter smiles at her. A mother who is otherwise engaged in conversation with me may be, for that moment, entirely redirected to focus on her little one," Kurtz says. "This kind of attention-capturing on the part of the baby can enable and cultivate maternal attunement—a mother's ability to more deeply connect with her infant. The quality of attunement in early childhood often sets the stage for one's relationship patterns in the future."

Whether a physiological response, a neural activation, simple instinct, or the tightening of emotional connection, the feeling generated by babies' smiles is a buoy in the choppy ocean of new parenthood.

And while the first smile may be the most magical by virtue of its surprise and the necessity of that emotional lift, the fuzzy feeling can continue well into that baby's childhood and beyond. It keeps telling parents, you've got this!

[This was originally published on Apparently]


Chrissy Teigen is one of the most famous moms in the world and definitely one of the most famous moms on social media.

She's the Queen of Twitter and at least the Duchess of Instagram but with a massive following comes a massive dose of mom-shame, and Teigen admits the online comments criticizing her parenting affects her.

"It's pretty much everything," Teigen told Today, noting that the bulk of the criticism falls into three categories: How she feeds her kids, how she uses her car seats and screen time.

"Any time I post a picture of them holding ribs or eating sausage, I get a lot of criticism," she explained. "Vegans and vegetarians are mad and feel that we're forcing meat upon them at a young age. They freak out."


Teigen continues: "If they get a glimpse of the car seat there is a lot of buckle talk. Maybe for one half of a second, the strap slipped down. And TV is another big one. We have TV on a lot in my house. John and I work on television; we love watching television."

Teigen wants the shame to stop, not just for herself but for all the other moms who feel it. (And we agree.)

"Hearing that nine out of 10 moms don't feel like they're doing a good enough job is terrible," she said. "We're all so worried that we're not doing all that we can, when we really are."

The inspiration for Teigen talking publicly about mom-shame may be in part because of her participation in Pampers' "Share the Love" campaign. But even though Teigen's discussion coincides with this campaign, the message remains equally important. Advertising can be a powerful tool for shifting the way society thinks about what's "normal" and we would much rather see companies speaking out against mom-shame than inducing it to sell more stuff.

Calling out mom-shame in our culture is worth doing in our lives, our communities and yes, our diaper commercials. Thank you Chrissy (and thank you, Pampers).


Dear fellow mama,

I was thinking about the past the other day. About the time I had three small boys—a newborn, his 2-year-old brother and his 5-year-old brother.

How I was always drowning.

How I could never catch my breath between the constant requests.

How I always felt guilty no matter how hard I tried.

How hard it was—the constant exhaustion, struggling to keep my home any kind of clean or tidy, how I struggled to feed my kids nutritious meals, to bathe them and clean them and keep them warmly dressed in clean clothing, to love them well or enough or well enough.


Those years were some of the toughest years I have ever encountered.

But mama, I am here to tell you that it doesn't last forever. Slowly, incrementally, without you even noticing, it gets easier. First, one child is toilet trained, then the bigger one can tie his own shoelaces, then finally they are all sleeping through the night.

It's hard to imagine; I really really get it.

It is going to get easier. I swear it. I'm not saying that there won't be new parenting challenges, that it won't be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life. It will be. But it will get easier.

These days, all of my kids get the bus to school and back. Most of them dress themselves. They can all eat independently and use the toilet. Sometimes they play with each other for hours leaving me time to do whatever I need to do that day.

I sleep through the night. I am not constantly in a haze of exhaustion. I am not overwhelmed by three tiny little people needing me to help them with their basic needs, all at the same time.

I can drink a hot cup of coffee. I do not wish with every fiber of my being that I was an octopus, able to help each tiny person at the same time.

I am not tugged in opposite directions. I don't have to disappoint my 3-year-old who desperately wants to play with me while I am helping his first grade bother with his first grade reading homework.

And one day, you will be here too.

It's going to get easier. I promise. And while it may not happen today or even next week or even next month, it will happen. And you will look around in wonder at the magnificent people you helped to create and nurture and sustain.

Until then, you are stronger and more resilient than you can even imagine.

You've got this. Today and always.


A fellow mama

Motherly provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by our  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Information on our advertising guidelines can be found here.