Back before I had children of my own, I would naively bring my friends who just birthed a baby super cute clothes and toys for the baby…and nothing for the mom. Now I know better and realize that the baby has everything they could possibly need but that mama needs a New Mom Survival Kit!!!
I was absolutely clueless what I was going to need after birth. I saw a few blog posts with some ideas of things you may need but I was sure I wouldn’t need any of it. 😉
And then I had Roy. When my friends who had babies before started visiting they brought over bags of epsom salt, nipple cream, teas that encouraged milk production, good quality nursing tanks and more.
Those were the friends that knew I didn’t need one more cute outfit and that I needed some self care items!
If you’re pregnant yourself and wondering what you’ll need, or have a friend who’s pregnant, here’s a list of things that new mamas will likely want (or maybe need is a better word ha!) after having the baby!
Also, just a note. Each mom is different and each birth is different. Some of these things will be perfect, others won’t be needed. Regardless, they’ll appreciate the thought!
New Mom Survival Kit
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The Practical Items
1. Epsom Salt
Regardless of the birth, every mom should take some time for herself! If there’s any stitches or hemorrhoids involved, doing baths with epsom salt helps relieve any pain or itching associated with that.
I had one friend who did mini sitz style baths (she would just fill her bath enough to sit in water and do that for 15 minutes 3 times a day). She said it helped tremendously with her healing!
Even if there aren’t any stitches or anything, taking a bath will help relax you and give you a few minutes of peace and quiet – just what ANY new mama needs!
2. Lavender Oil (also for sitz baths)
Lavender oil can have both soothing and antiseptic qualities to it. I love adding it to my bath which also helps me to relax a little bit better!
I don’t do a ton of oils but I do love having lavender around the house to put on bumps and bruises or put in my diffuser to help calm me down on rough days. 😉
You’ll get some pads from the hospital but you’ll definitely want a few more as well as different sizes for when you get home.
I personally don’t do Depends but I have tons of friends who swear by them! If you choose to go the pads route, stock up on a variety of sizes of pads and a ton of panty liners. Nobody likes ruining underwear so a simple liner saves you from that!
4. Underwear you don’t mind throwing away (if you don’t want to get depends!)
I always pick up these when there’s a sale (always in dark colors ha!). They’re super comfortable, easy to use a pad with and inexpensive.
You could always just pick up something like these too!
These are especially useful if birth caused hemorrhoids or if you needed stitches. They’re an easy way to help heal from both of those!
I used a ton of witch hazel pads after birth with Roy since I had both stitches and hemorrhoids but I didn’t need them as much after Penelope. I did still love using them now and then after her birth though since they just help calm down any issues you may be experiencing!
6. Peri bottle
This may or not be useful to you depending on your delivery but it’s definitely something I wish I would’ve had after Roy!
Typically you’ll get a regular squirt bottle to clean yourself with (you’re not allowed to wipe normally if you have stitches – something I was clueless about!). These special peri bottles are SO much easier to work with!
I’m not sure why I had no idea that birth often times gives you hemorrhoids but I was. And when I got them I was so confused what was happening haha!
Depending on the size of your hemorrhoids, you’ll want to apply hemorrhoid cream for a while. I got a tube of cream from the hospital but still needed another one at home with Roy. Being over prepared for this is way better than being under prepared!!
The Not-So-Practical Yet Important
8. Coffee + Coffee Mug
Let’s face it. Being a new mom is exhausting. Caffeine (in a cute mug) helps. New mamas need their coffee!
9. Wine + A Wine Glass
New moms just spent 9 months not drinking. A glass of wine (in a funny glass!) is much appreciated to any new mama!
10. Lip Balm
A really good lip balm (this one is my favorite!) is a necessity for a new mom! This is ideal to have prior to delivery since hospitals can be really dry and is there anything more annoying than dry lips?
11. Makeup Remover/Face Cleansing Wipes
Sometimes you’re so tired there’s absolutely no way you’re taking the 2 minutes it takes to wash your face at night. Having these wipes in your bedside table will help keep your face looking and feeling fresh even when you’re not regularly washing it!
12. BB Cream
I discovered this BB cream this year and it’s amazing! It moisturizes and conceals in one.
Sometimes being a new mom means way less time to do things like put on a makeup so having a simple product you can literally just put on like lotion to make you feel a little bit more put together is amazing!
If you’re breastfeeding:
My sister-in-law introduced me to these and I was so glad she did! You’ll want (or need) to wear nursing pads while your body regulates your milk production. I would go through a few each day in the beginning so being able to just throw them in the wash instead of in the garbage was so nice. (And to be real, you’re doing so much laundry anyways with new baby spit up, poop, etc. that I did fine with 7-10 pads.)
You’ll also save money in the long run if you use reusable ones instead of throw away ones!
14. Nipple soft shells for sore nipples (I swear by these)
I never knew about these for Roy and had the WORST sore nipples in the beginning. When I was in the hospital with Penelope I mentioned immediately when they started to feel sore and the sweet nurse brought these to me. They helped me SO much that I wore them for weeks after birth and I had no issues with sore nipples!
Especially if this is your first baby you’ll want something like this to save your nipples! It’ll make a huge difference in your breastfeeding experience since you won’t be in pain every time your baby nurses those first few weeks!
15. This amazing milk saver (especially for those first few weeks while your milk is regulating!)
There’s so many things you go through and learn with your first child. I used to hold a towel to one breast while I nursed Roy on the other because I would leak SO much, especially in those first weeks and ESPECIALLY in the mornings. There were numerous times I would have to completely change both me and Roy because I soaked us both!
When I was pregnant with Penelope I found these milk savers and they saved me! You just slip them into your bra and it collects all of the milk you otherwise would’ve lost if you just let the milk leak out. You’ll want to mix it with other milk though because it doesn’t contain as much nutrients as fully pumped milk since most often it’s just foremilk.
Not everyone will need something like this but it definitely comes in handy if you do!
16. Nursing bras and 17. nursing tanks
Do yourself a favor and get a few good nursing bras and tanks to start with. I ended up wearing pretty much only nursing tanks (with cardigans and stuff over it) for the first few months so having good quality ones made a huge difference.
I bought some very inexpensive ones while in labor with Roy (literally – I went into labor early and headed straight to Target to get everything I had been putting off!!) and I hated them. They were uncomfortable and not flattering.
It wasn’t until my girlfriend brought over one of these tanks that I realized not all nursing tanks were created equal! 🙂 I highly recommend trying out a few different types to see what works well for you.
18. Pump bra
Another thing I didn’t have with Roy that I was kicking myself for not purchasing earlier. If you plan on pumping at all, not even just for you exclusive pumpers, get one of these pump bras.
It is literally the best $20ish you’ll spend. I tried the whole DIY using a sports bra thing or stuff them into my bra but neither were great options. Having a bra dedicated to pumping made it so much easier!
A Good Water Bottle
Something everyone says is that you get SO thirsty when breastfeeding. Honestly I thought people were exaggerating but they’re not! I have no idea why breastfeeding makes you so thirsty but it does!
I typically use water bottles with a screw on/off top except when I’m nursing and I love ones like this with the straw that I can do with one hand. We bought this one that locks when Roy continued to dump water everywhere when I forgot to put it out of his reach!
Milk Producing Tea
This is another thing that a friend dropped off after I had Roy. I never knew there was things like tea to help your milk production! If you’re worried about your milk supply or just want to ensure you have enough, this tea is amazing!
Those first few months of being a new mom can be a wild ride of emotions. Being able to have things to make nursing easier or the pain after delivery more bearable or even just to put a smile on your face are totally worth it.
I hope this new mom survival kit helps make those first few weeks a little bit easier!
Thanks so much for reading!