Congratulations, new mums-to-be! Perhaps you’re well into your second and or third trimesters, which means that soon you’ll be welcoming your little bundle of joy into the world. While your anticipation grows, it’s essential to remember that a mum’s self-care should remain a top priority. In this blog post, we’ll share our favourite products for both postpartum recovery and newborn baby care. We’ve got you covered, from bigger than benhur maternity pads to nappy rash cream, and everything in between!
1. Stretch Mark Creams and Oils
As your baby bump grows, so does the likelihood of stretch marks appearing. And guess what, they’re a completely natural part of pregnancy! There’s definitely no harm in giving your skin a little extra TLC along the way, look for creams and oils enriched with ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, or vitamin E to keep your skin supple and hydrated. Plus, a gentle belly massage can be a relaxing self-care ritual for you and your growing baby. There’s a multitude on the market (enough to make you go cross eyed if you overthink it!) however our pick of the bunch would be Bio Oil Skincare, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks and Willow by the Sea Belly Butter.
2. Postpartum Recovery Must-Haves
It will generally take your beautiful, amazing body about 6 weeks to return to its pre-pregnancy state. If there were pregnancy or birth complications, recovery may take longer. Postpartum is a time when your body is working hard to recover from pregnancy and childbirth – it's important to go gently and remember to thank your body for what it has done for you and your baby. While you’re navigating this healing process, adapting to breastfeeding (if that’s your choice), and adjusting to night time newborn feeds it’s a good idea to have a postpartum recovery kit at the ready so that you’re on top of what your body needs to feel as comfortable as possible.
After a vaginal birth, which might involve stitches from a tear or episiotomy, you may experience soreness for a few days. To alleviate discomfort during this period, applying ice and taking pain relief medication like paracetamol can really help. Maintain hygiene by washing the area with warm water and patting it dry. When possible, opt for gentle sitting and side lying to reduce discomfort. This is all completely normal, and there are easy ways to soothe any discomfort. Some essentials for this are:
- A Peri Bottle: After childbirth, to help avoid excessive wiping, a peri bottle filled with warm water can provide soothing relief.
- Maternity Pads: Stock up on absorbent, extra-long pads designed for postpartum use. Most women will bleed after birth (from light spotting to heavy bleeding) for up to six weeks. Make sure to invest in some really comfy, breathable pads and bring them to the hospital with you.
- Sitz Bath: After childbirth, a sitz bath is a real life-saver. It is a warm, soothing bath soak that eases discomfort in the perineal area. Adding Epsom salts or chamomile tea to the warm water can enhance its effectiveness by reducing swelling, muscle tension, and irritation, making postpartum recovery more comfortable and assist the healing process.
- Perineum gel bead packs: are great for freezing and using to ice your wounds should you need relief of postpartum perineal pain directly after childbirth. You literally put these in your highwaisted knickers and sit on them! Yes! Giggle all you want now, but you just may need to pocket these ideas for later. You can purchase these perineum gel bead packs online. One of my midwives literally wrapped a 'Zooper Dooper' icy pole up in a towelette to use post birth and this also worked a treat for a fraction of the price!
- High-Waisted Underwear: Opt for soft, high-waisted, and breathable underwear that won’t irritate your incision or stitches if you had a C-section. Stock up girls! You'll need them for a little while post birth and the softer the better. I was fine with these ones from Kmart, or Bare Mum make a really cool specially designed postpartum brief here. Boody also make a beautiful bamboo organic full brief that you might want to take a look at here.
3. Comfortable Loungewear
You’re going to spend a good amount of time resting and recovering post-birth. Invest in comfortable, loose-fitting loungewear that allows for easy breastfeeding and won’t make you feel constricted. Think soft cotton PJs, nursing-friendly tops, and cosy robes. Some local Australian brands to look at for supportive and practical postpartum wear are: Peachy Mama, Bae the Label, Bonds, Boody, Cotton On and Target.
4. Baby Skincare Basics
Newborns have delicate skin, so opt for mild, fragrance-free baby skincare products. You’ll want:
- Baby Shampoo and Wash: Look for a gentle formula that won’t irritate your baby’s eyes or skin. We loved and used these brands Aveeno, QV Baby Wash and Weleda. All available at Chemist Warehouse.
- Nappy Rash Cream: A must-have to prevent and soothe nappy rash. Our go-to was Sudocream, worked a treat.
- Baby Lotion: Keep your baby’s skin moisturised, especially in dry climates – again QV Baby, Aveeno and Weleda.
- Soft Baby Towels and Washcloths: These are perfect for gentle bath time, our baby wash cloths and hooded towels are the perfect blend of cotton and bamboo and very gentle on the skin.
5. Breastfeeding Essentials
For mums planning to breastfeed, having the right tools can make a world of difference. Your breastfeeding checklist should include:
- A Supportive Feeding/Nursing Chair: You’ll be spending a lot of time in your Nursing Chair, caring for that adorable baby of yours! Finding the perfect feeding chair that combines comfort, practicality and style should be a high priority. Explore our exclusive range of specialty Nursing Chairs, rocking chairs, and electronic gliders, all meticulously designed in Australia and Greenguard Gold Certified - which means they're sustainably crafted and so much safer for you and baby. Our stylish selection includes rocking chairs, swivel gliders, recliners, and nursery chairs, each thoughtfully designed for extreme comfort and practicality during those precious moments of nursing.
- A Safe and Supportive Nursing Pillow: These can provide much-needed support for both you and your baby. Shop Nursing and Breastfeeding Pillows here.
- Qiara Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Probiotic: This can help reduce the recurrence of mastitis and improve healthy digestive system function, before, during, and even after pregnancy. And after getting mastitis with my first baby I highly recommend using this product (available across Australia) as a preventative during the postpartum period until your milk supply has well and truly settled. It’s actually my favourite top tip!
- Sleepwear with Easy Nursing Access: This makes our Breastfeeding Essentials list because, during the first 6 weeks after baby is born, you’ll spend a LOT of time in your PJs or lounge wear, so having comfortable breastfeeding sleepwear with easy breastfeeding access is important! Similar to the nursing bra, look for natural fabrics and easy breastfeeding access. Some local Australian brands to look at for supportive and practical postpartum wear are: Peachy Mama, Bae the Label, Bonds, Boody, Cotton On and Target.
- Nipple Cream: Soothe and protect sore nipples. My go to nipple care products were Lansinoh Lanolin (available at Chemist Warehouse).
- Multi-Mam Compresses for Sore Nipples are the best for the first few weeks too. I discovered these with my second baby and wasn’t turning back! Used these from when my milk came for about 2-3 weeks.
- Breast Pump: For when you need to express breast milk or build a future supply for the fridge or freezer. With my first baby I hired a commercial grade expressing machine from our local chemist however with my third bub I purchased a really good double electric breast Spectra pump online that worked quietly and effectively. A friend of mine who has just had a baby is swearing by her wearable breast pump – The Ella Breast Pump by Mumilk.
Breastfeeding can be a beautiful bonding experience and having the right gear can make it even more enjoyable and comfortable for both you and your baby. Make sure you’re well-prepared for those newborn nursing sessions with these essential items.
6. Hydration and eating well!
We’re big fans of stocking up the fridge with some healthy nutritious meals for your postpartum period. It’ll be pure GOLD when you need it the most. Don’t forget to lean in on your support network too to provide you with some additional meals when you return from hospital. Family and friends will offer support so don’t be shy in saying that all family meals will be gratefully accepted!
Staying hydrated and eating well postpartum is crucial—it’s about giving your body the super fuel it needs to recover and take on the important journey of nurturing your little one. Adequate hydration keeps your energy up and helps with milk production, while balanced nutrition provides the essential nutrients for both you and your baby. I arranged a nice stool right by our Babyletto Kiwi Nursing Chair set up in the Nursery and always kept a large jug of water there with a glass. Before and after each feed it would be a reminder to top up on my aqua!
7. Getting that Nappy Changing Table Sorted!
Prepare for the nappy marathon! Stock up on both newborn disposable nappies and cloth nappies (for spills and thrills!) as well as baby wipes – we were Huggies Nappy fans with our three girls – I particularly liked that I could just buy these in bulk. We discovered Babylove with our fourth bub and were suitably impressed particularly with their toddler pull-ups range. Having an organised changing station / baby change table makes this task feel much more manageable. Having a dedicated baby change table space for nappy changes makes this part of your daily baby routine more comfortable and convenient. Setting up a well-designed changing area, organising it efficiently and stocking it with everything you need (as listed below) changing your baby can be a pleasant and stress-free part of your day.
In addition to nappies and wipes, here are some other essential items to add to your newborn care shopping list:
- Baby Thermometer: A digital thermometer can help you monitor your baby’s temperature and is a top tip of ours for your baby change station drawer.
- Baby Grooming: Baby Hairbrush & Baby Nail Clippers, not essential to begin with but good to have along the way.
- Baby Room Thermometre: The Tommee Tippee Groegg changes colour to indicate the temperature of the room so you can adapt your child’s clothing or room environment accordingly. It’s very handy in the middle of winter and height of summer to help determine the best clothing choices and layering of blankets and sleeping bags or swaddles.
- Swaddle Blankets: Swaddling can help your baby sleep more soundly. We have a cool selection of organic baby swaddles here.
- Baby Clothes: Stock up on baby onesies, baby sleeping bags and outfits suitable for the season.
- Newborn Baby Bibs: These are handy if you are looking to have a helper bottlefeed your baby to help out at a dreamfeed (night time) to give you a break from breastfeeding. If you choose to bottlefeed entirely you might need a few more of these in your baby cahnger / dresser drawer.
- Baby Monitor: A baby monitor can provide peace of mind, allowing you to keep an eye (and ear) on your baby from another room. If your baby’s nursery is far from your own bedroom or living area it’s probably a good idea to invest in one of these.
- Bottle of Hand Sanitiser: After a nappy change, you might not be able to wash your hands with soap and water straight away. Having a bottle of hand sanitiser nearby means you can easily disinfect your hands after you change your little one.
- Cotton Pads: Cotton pads are useful at change time as they can be used for gentle cleaning of the baby’s delicate areas during nappy changes, providing a soft and absorbent surface that is safe for their sensitive skin.
- Nappy Bin: A nappy bin and nappy bin liners is a top tip of ours. Handy to have right in the nursery and keeps the odours inside the bin! If you're choosing not to get a nappy bin then you'll need a packet of disposable nappy bags for getting rid of soiled nappies. In fact either way you'll need disposable nappy bags, as they're handy to keep in your other travel 'Nappy Bag' when you're heading out!