To say my delivery at 27 weeks pregnant was completely unplanned would be an understatement. I hadn’t thought through anything I would need at the hospital or postpartum when Weldon decided to make his way into the world. With that said, I quickly figured out what’s REALLY essential to have on hand after giving birth, specifically via cesarean section.
I dropped a pretty penny that first week after having Weldon on Amazon Prime purchases and Target curbside orders. I’m excited to share a list of my C section postpartum essentials for any expecting moms out there who have a bit more time to prep than I did! And if you end up in an emergency, early delivery situation like I did, you can hopefully use this post as a resource when you’re panic Prime-ing packages to your house like I did! 😉
As a preface to this list of essentials, keep in mind that I had an emergency C section at 27 weeks. I exclusively pumped my breast milk postpartum since he was so early and unable to breastfeed. If you have a vaginal delivery and/or are nursing immediately postpartum, your list of essentials will be different than mine.
Confession: I didn’t know there was a difference between a pumping bra and a nursing bra. I quickly learned that there’s a big difference. Most hands free pumping bras have slits in the bra so that you can easily slip the pump flanges in to pump. Not all maternity bras have this feature.
I WISH I would have had a hands free pumping bra at the hospital. I had to start pumping while still in the hospital and it just added to the learning curve having to hold the flanges in place while pumping. I have several of these pumping bras. They’re my go-to everyday, daytime bras.
These bras aren’t actually meant for pumping, but I accidentally ordered them prior to realizing the difference between maternity bras and pumping bras. They’re really comfortable though! So I end up wearing them at night to sleep in and make them work for the middle of the night and early morning pump sessions.
While the hands free pumping bra I included above is definitely my favorite daytime bra, I’m not particularly fond of the material for sleeping. That’s why I tend to wear the maternity bra at night.
I didn’t end up ordering any of these on my own because the hospital sent me home with 5ish pairs. Hot tip – You can wash these! I washed mine in the washing machine and laid flat to dry. They eventually fall apart, but they lasted me long enough. These are AWESOME for postpartum. They’re soft, stretchy, and super high waisted (perfect for not rubbing on your incision!). They’re great for c section recovery.
TMI? I didn’t bleed that much postpartum. I used the pads that the hospital sent home with me for the first week or so postpartum. After that, I wore these organic cotton pads for a couple of weeks (much better than the GIANT hospital pads). My bleeding completely stopped by three weeks postpartum.
Real talk, I might take Colace for the rest of my life. Ha! You’ll likely be given a stool softener and iron at the hospital after delivery. Obviously consult your doctor, but I continued taking both after I was discharged and 7+ weeks postpartum, I’m still taking both.
No one warned me about how sore my nipples would be those first couple of weeks after starting to pump (I’m assuming this is the same for nursing too). These gel pads saved me! I Primed packages of them at a time to my doorstep. I wore them inside my bra for the first couple of weeks postpartum.
When I wasn’t wearing the gel pads, I applied lanolin cream. It’s soothing and helps with the irritation and pain.
I LOVED these gel packs during my first few weeks postpartum. I heated mine in the microwave before and after pumping sessions. They fit inside my bra – definitely not something you can wear out in public, but totally fine for around the house. Warning: Microwave in 10-second increments to avoid busting the gel inserts.
Using them before pumping helps with stimulating let down as well as soothing sore nipples.
This is random, but I go through so many washcloths each day! Mostly due to pump parts and pumping. I always have a few stacked next to my pumping station. These are super soft and made of organic cotton.
Since Weldon caught us off guard while we were in Shreveport for Thanksgiving, I didn’t have my robe with me. The photo above was actually snapped on one of the first days I was home from the hospital (at my parents’ house) – I was using a long cardigan as my robe. I ended up ordering this one from Target, and it’s great! I’ve worn it every single night and morning since being discharged from the hospital. I would have worn it there too if I would have had it! It’s great for throwing on for middle of the night pumping sessions too. It fits TTS.
I hope this list of postpartum essentials was helpful! These items helped me get through those first few weeks and beyond!