20 Things Mom Absolutely Needs For Herself After Having a Baby

Kelly Bryant | Aug 28, 2018 Being a Mom
20 Things Mom Absolutely Needs For Herself After Having a Baby
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bowdenimages/iStock.com

Being pregnant and giving birth is no easy feat, regardless of whether the experience was textbook or fraught with complications. Gestating life is hard work, and then as mothers we're faced with the overwhelming task of raising our newborns and hoping we get each and every decision "right." It's easy to feel like we've just been handed a job we're severely underqualified for without even an internship under our belts. At the same time, the term "self-care" is thrown around and while it's important for own own emotional, physical, and mental well-being, it can also feel like just another thing added on the to-do list of life.


Frankly, new moms deserve a registry of their own. After all they are they ones doing all the work -- and the one's whose lives and bodies will be changed forever. The wipe warmer, swing, and other assorted gear that generous and thoughtful friends scoop up for baby is wonderful, but for day-to-day mama survival, there's a lot that can calm our exhaustion and fussiness, too. Some of it is good, old-fashioned human connection, knowing we have the necessary village to succeed at this thing called parenthood. Other things will likely feel frivolous, possibly even selfish, but, hey, does the kid really need warm wipes? No. Do they like warm wipes? Sure. Similarly, does anyone really need a new lipstick? No. But will it make them feel a little more like their old self when they actually have a minute to apply it? Definitely.

From the necessities to the nice-to-haves, think of this as the ultimate new mom registry for everything we need after baby ... for ourselves.

  • Friend Time

    1

    It doesn't matter if the house is a mess or a shower hasn't happened in days, let friends in because this is the time when new moms need them the most. Whether they're also a parent or flying solo, having a connection to the outside world can help promote feelings of well-being and love. 

  • A Good Cup of Coffee

    2

    Even if a new mama is staying away from caffeine while breastfeeding, it's the simple act of taking time for a delicious cup of joe or tea that can actually feel like a luxury. Five minutes of peace and quiet while the baby naps to enjoy a warm beverage -- a new mom should do it for herself.

  • Eye Cream

    3

    Those (mostly) sleepless nights caring for a newborn take their toll, and it's not exactly like there's free time to correct and conceal the resulting under-eye bags. Give mama the gift of a luxe eye cream to dab on when the goal is simply to avoid looking like an extra on The Walking Dead.

    Revitalite Eyelid & Dark Circle Corrector, Professional Strength ($59, Dermelect)

  • Real Food

    4

    We become so consumed with feeding and caring for our babies that our own nutrition can easily fall by the wayside. If possible, get a meal subscription service. It may feel like an indulgent expense, but there's something to be said for knowing that all of the ingredients needed (plus an easy-to-follow, quick cook recipe) are there for at least two meals each week. Green Chef accommodates a number of different diets (veggie, keto, gluten-free) for those sticking to a certain meal plan. 

  • Emergency Childcare

    5

    Whether that emergency is that an hour out of the house is needed to save mama's sanity or there are last-minute situations that needed tending to, having a reliable sitter or sitters just a phone call away is a must. And, hey, it doesn't have to be someone who charges $18 an hour. If there's a family member nearby who loves babies, keep them on the list (and drop off treats to show appreciation).  

  • Wellness Support

    6

    Postpartum feelings come in all shapes and sizes. Not all may feel like they require professional help, but talking to a therapist if any feelings of anxiety or sadness are occurring can be highly beneficial for new (and veteran) moms.

  • Comfy, Stylish Sweats

    7

    Forget the yoga pants, which can feel so binding after baby. Get soft, stylish sweats that actually offer room to breathe.

    Cedar Slouch Sweatpants ($165, Anthropologie) and Howie Slouch Jacket ($182, Anthropologie)

  • The Outdoors

    8

    Taking a walk may be the furthest thing from one's mind during the early days after birth, but getting outdoors can do wonders for the soul. Pop baby in the stroller and take a short walk around the neighborhood for some much-needed fresh air.

  • Vitamins

    9

    The baby may have vacated the uterus, but that doesn't mean it's prime time to ditch the vitamins that have been assisting the body for the past 40 weeks. Keep taking prenatal vitamins after giving birth and consult with the doctor about how long to continue use.

    OLLY Essential Prenatal Gummy Vitamins ($14, Amazon)

  • A Bold Lip

    10

    Call us crazy but sometimes a bold red lip perks us up and makes us feel like we have an ounce of style again (even if we're in sweats and a ponytail). If Gwen Stefani can rock on a red pout day-to-day, then we're following in her footsteps. Find a bold shade and keep it handy for those moments when it's good to be glam.

    Sephora #LipStories Lipstick ($8, Sephora)

  • A Comfy Bed

    11

    OK, so it may not be possible to outfit the whole home in brand new stuff (we aren't Rockefellers, either) but for those in the market for a new bed, check out one with an adjustable base, like a Reverie power bed. Being able to make adjustments in a pinch to suit changing needs (particularly for new moms recovering from a C-section) can make quality of life so much better. When zzz's are a hot commodity, mamas might as well grab them in style. 

  • C-Section Recovery Undies

    12

    And here, friends, is where we start to get into the less glamorous side of postnatal life, the nitty-gritty that we need to survive once we're home from the hospital. If a c-section was in order, UpSpring's panties are a lifesaver with a safe level of compression to help speed recovery.

    UpSpring's C-Panty High Waist C-Section Recovery Panty ($40, UpSpring)

  • Nursing Pads

    13

    The cold hard truth about postnatal care is that even for those who don't plan to breastfeed, there will be leaks. A box of nursing pads will help protect bras and clothes from those leaks.

    Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads 100 Ct ($12, Target)

  • Disposable Underwear

    14

    Possibly the least sexy but most necessary underwear a woman can buy, disposable underwear is an essential during those postpartum days. While the hospital may send new mamas home with a few pairs, it never feels like enough. Order some online to avoid a last-minute trip to the drugstore.

    Hasocare Disposable Moisture Wicking Briefs ($5, Amazon)

  • Nipple Cream

    15

    Breastfeeding can be a beautiful thing, but it can wreak havoc on the nipples as they adjust to their new job. Find a creamto help maintain their health and soothe any irritation.

    Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter ($8, Amazon)

  • Pads

    16

    Oh, so many pads. Bleeding will go from heavy to light but it's wise to stock up on pads that offer the maximum sense of security so there won't be any leaks. It may feel like a diaper, but the more absorbent, the better.

    Curity Maternity Pad ($11, Amazon)

  • Peri Bottle

    17

    Using the facilities is a different experience following birth, and a peri bottle can be a wonder helper in terms of making sure the nether region is clean as a whistle. It may sound silly, but once used, its value will be completely understood.

    Fridababy Fridet, The Mom Washer ($15, Amazon)

  • Lidocaine Spray

    18

    If tearing or hemorrhoids are part of the birthing experience, a lidocaine spray can help make going to the bathroom during the postpartum period a lot more comfortable. Hospitals will likely offer up the spray after labor, but keep a can handy in the bathroom, just in case.

    Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray ($11, Amazon)

  • Soothing Gel Pads

    19

    Breasts will likely feel sore and uncomfortable after baby, or mastitis can occur if one is breastfeeding. Keep warm or cold compresses on hand to help relieve discomfort.

    Breast Soothing Gel Pads, Hot or Cold Pain Relief for Nursing Mothers ($17, Amazon)

  • Compassion

    20

    There's no price tag on compassion, but new mothers need it in spades. A new mama needs to be kind to herself and not afraid to ask for help. Remember: there's a village out there waiting to help a new mama make it.

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