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Postpartum Essentials

There is often little time dedicated to planning for postpartum, which often can feel like the unknown. A well planned postpartum can help make the early days of motherhood even more sweeter and blissful, by

creating the space to just be a mother. Planning for postpartum starts with education and awareness about which will help guide your decisions, perspectives and behaviours. A little introduction into postpartum in included in the below summary of what I consider to be essentials in postpartum. I hope this helps inspire and guide you towards envisioning and planning for your dream postpartum.

Postpartum Meal

Image: Beautiful postpartum meal by The Village Mumma

  1. Support - if planning only one thing, it should be an organised network of support. Whether it is help from family members, close friends, a doula, an organised meal train, mobile massage and bodywork appointments, planning and organising for support during the first 6-12 weeks of postpartum will allow you to rest, recover and replenish while having the space to discover yourself as a new mother.

  2. Food - The first few weeks after baby is born should be dedicated to rest, recovery, bonding and establishing breastfeeding. The physical and emotional demands of recovering from pregnancy, birth and producing breastmilk leave little to no time for food preparation. Considering food as medicine and prioritising nourishing meals during the first few weeks of postpartum will support the healing and replenishment of the body while restoring and preventing key nutritional deficiencies. Having nourishing meals prepared in advance and frozen can a a life saviour for the first few days. Other options include an organised meal train with friends, postpartum meal delivery or meal drop offs from family members.

  3. Fluids - During birth, a significant amount of fluid is lost, leaving the body in the vulnerable and dry state. In addition, the production of breastmilk requires large amount of fluids and nutrients which often results in unquenchable thirst. Having plenty of fluids including nutrient rich elixirs, herbal teas and soups will help nourish, restore and sustain the body while supporting and promoting breastmilk production.

  4. Period underwear or maternity pads - Postpartum bleeding or Lochia, is essential is the healing and cleansing of the uterus after birth. Bleeding can last anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks after the birth and is often exacerbated with physical movement or activity. Prioritising rest and lying horizontally in the first week or two can significantly help reduce bleeding and promote healing of the uterus, pelvic floor muscles and tissues. Maternity nappies can be a great option for the first 2-3 days postpartum when bleeding is the heaviest after which maternity pads of period underwear can be used.

  5. Comfortable loose fitting clothes - It is important to wear comfortable and loose clothing that will allow for movement, warmth and breathability. Fluctuations in hormones can cause variations in body temperature and wearing natural fabrics can help maximise breathability and warmth. Wearing loose fitting clothes will allow for a better flow of energy throughout the body and will support ease of breastfeeding.

  6. Socks - Warmth is an integral part of postpartum healing and preventing loss of heat through the feet is one of the easiest ways to retain warmth in the body. Wear comfortable warm socks during the colder months and light breathable socks during the warmer months.

  7. Red light for nighttime - Sleep should be a priority for the first 12 months postpartum. Using red lights around the home or in your bedroom can help prepare the body and mind for sleep by reducing the effect of bright light on melatonin. Keeping a red light by your side during night feeds can help you and your baby remain in a sleepy state and return to sleep more easily. Our favourites are from Block Blue Light.

  8. Belly binding, rebozo or tubi grip - Belly binding is used a many traditional cultures around the world to help support the abdominal and pelvic muscles and organs after pregnancy and birth. There is a variety of belly binding options from the traditional Indonesian Bengkung belly wrap, Mexican Rebozo or modern Tubi grip which all achieve the same purpose of supporting and healing the body. You can also use tight high waist bamboo or cotton leggings to provide support if belly binding is inconvenient.

  9. Baby carrier - It is best to rest and lie horizontally for as a long as you can in the first few weeks after birth, however, as you start to include more physical movement and activity into your routine, wearing your baby can help maintain and sustain co-regulation, optimal breastfeeding and emotional health.

  10. Baby essentials (newborn clothes, nappies, sleep suit, swaddles, wraps, blankets, breastfeeding pillows) - Having newborn essentials ready and organised before the birth will help make the first few weeks smoother. A newborn doesn't need much more than your unconditional love and care, but it does make it a little easier to have all the essential items within hands reach for when you need them, allowing you and your partner to remain in your cocoon at home.

Traditional belly binding

Image: Traditional Indonesian Bengkung wrap from Ibu Ayurveda

May your postpartum be slow, nurtured & nourished. Find out more information about postpartum planning here.


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