The Ultimate Postpartum Survival Kit

It wasn’t until I was lying in the hospital bed after giving birth to my first child that I realized that I had everything I needed for my baby when we got home… But I didn’t have any of the postpartum recovery essentials I would need to take care of myself!

Pro Tip: Thank goodness for Amazon Prime. I ordered everything I needed right from my hospital bed, and it showed up in two days on my doorstep before I got home ?.

I created this list so you can make your own DIY Postpartum Survival Kit before your new baby comes.

Medical Tip: This list of items is intended for moms who have uncomplicated vaginal deliveries, but since you’re buying things in advance, I’ll show you how these products can be used regardless of the delivery you have.

woman wearing an adult diaper from her postpartum survival kit

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Pro Tip: Get a bathroom caddy (or a basket) for your postpartum bathroom station. That way, you can easily take your kit around your house if you have more than one bathroom or take it with you in the car if you are going out.

The Frida Mom Postpartum Recovery and Essentials Kit

This has so many useful products all packaged into one. If you are starting your kit, this is a great place to start. Note: many of the items in this kit are listed below, so check off your list of what comes in this kit.

Kit includes:

  • The travel caddie
  • Disposable underwear
  • The instant ice maxi pads
  • Perineal witch hazel cooling pad liners
  • Perineal healing form

Stool softener

There is a good chance that you will be offered a stool softener at the hospital after you deliver. Take it.

Taking a stool softener will help make the first bowl movement more comfortable after delivery. You can continue to take a stool softener postpartum for a few days after you get home.

Note: Make sure you clear any medication–even over-the-counter medication like a stool softener–with your doctor before using.

Peri Bottle

A peri bottle is just a water bottle with a special nozzle to squirt water in your vaginal area to clean yourself when you use the restroom. You don’t want to use toilet paper and wipe right away because you could irritate any tearing or pull out your stitches–no, thank you.

You will most likely get a Peri bottle from the hospital. Don’t forget to pack it when you are coming home!

Nipple Cream

This will be your best friend because there are many uses for nipple cream on your postpartum body.

  • Relieve dry, cracked, chapped, or sore nipples.
  • Moisturize your lips, cuticles, dry skin patches.
  • Use it on any scratches your baby has from those razor-sharp newborn nails.

Sitz Bath

My hospital gave me a sitz bath to take home. I’m not sure if this is common, but if you are offered one, definitely take it.

A sitz bath fits on your toilet seat and is a soothing water fountain for your lady bits. You can’t take a bath after delivery, so the sitz bath is a great option to get warm water relief to reduce pain and inflammation.

Adult Diapers

I’m about to go on a rant here… Feel free to move on to the next item ?.

I loved the hospital’s disposable and mesh underwear, but you only get to take home a few pairs, and if you’re like me, your postpartum bleeding will last a few weeks.

In my first pregnancy, I really didn’t want to wear Depends. I don’t know why… But alas, I ruined many good pairs of underwear because of it!

With my second, I opted for Depends right away. I feel they are cheaper than buying mesh underwear and maxi pads. I also felt completely secure in them: no leaks, no riding up, no pads sliding around. Most importantly, no sheets or underwear ruined!

? If you want a more sustainable option, consider reusable postpartum underwear.

Disposable postpartum underwear

If you decide not to use adult diapers because your bleeding isn’t as heavy, you can get disposable underwear that is really stretchy and comfortable and not have to worry about the occasional leak.

My hospital sent me home with a couple of pairs of mesh underwear, so it doesn’t hurt to ask them for some, either.

Maxi Pad

You are likely going to have a heavy flow of blood in your first days postpartum.

I would buy super-mega-ultra absorbent pads. You will most likely experience extra blood than your regular period.

Make sure to buy unscented pads. Even if you traditionally buy scented pads, the fragrance might overwhelm your senses immediately postpartum. Some people even find the scented pads irritating, and that is the last thing you want!

Pro-Tip: Overnight pads are much longer and cover more surface area than regular pads.

Ice Packs

If your hospital has disposable icepack pads, take home as many as possible! They are a lifesaver.

The Frida Mom Postpartum Recovery Kit includes a few ice packs. You can also take a DIY padsicle approach and make your own.

Pain Reliever

Make sure you check with your doctors at the hospital for the pain reliever and dosage you should be using.

Toilet Paper

You are probably not going to use toilet paper in the near future (the peri bottle is the way to go).

But, once you are ready to use it, now is not the time to have 1-ply in the bathroom. Spend the slight additional cost and get yourself some ultra-soft TP.

Trail Mix (Or Other Snacks)

Get yourself some trail mix, granola bars, or other snacks to help with the sleep deprivation of a new baby.

I kept a little stash next to my rocking chair for when I was nursing or my husband gave my son a bottle. A little sugar, carbs, and protein go a long way in helping you stay awake.

Water Bottle

Make sure you are staying hydrated after giving birth. Bring a reusable water bottle in your hospital bag, and remember to use it when you get home.

Dermoplast spray

My hospital provided this item, so ask if they have any available.

Dermoplast is a spray that relieves pain and itching, especially if you have tearing or stitches. Dermoplast can also be used for bug bites, sunburns, and more, so it won’t go to waste if you buy it and don’t need it after delivery.

Nursing Bra

You will want to pack nursing bras… everywhere.

Have a few in your hospital bag, a few in your postpartum care kit, and a few in your breastfeeding kit, and make sure to take one wherever you go because you never know when you will spring a leak.

Even if you are not breastfeeding, nursing bras are great during the postpartum phase because they are typically wireless and have some stretch (while still supportive) to accommodate fluctuating breast sizes as your milk supply adjusts.

New mom care package. Collage of adult diapers, ice packs, peri bottle, nipple cream, sitz bath, and stool softener.

Witch Hazel Pads

Tucks (Yes, they are technically for hemorrhoids, but they are a great postpartum product, too!). They can help heal your vaginal stitches after delivery.

Tucks are medicated (witch hazel) pads that are used to relieve pain associated with hemorrhoids. I actually didn’t have hemorrhoids, but my labor and delivery nurse suggested that I use them as a liner on top of my ice pads to keep everything moist and prevent irritation from friction.

These pads really provided relief during the first few days postpartum while my stitches were healing.

If you had hemorrhoids during your pregnancy or develop them postpartum (usually as a result of pushing during labor), witch hazel pads are perfect for relieving the burning and itching.

Postpartum Clothing

Make sure that you have comfortable postpartum clothing at home and for your hospital bag. The first few weeks postpartum don’t require a fancy wardrobe. A few pairs of supportive leggings, some nursing bras, and supportive tank tops are all that you need.


The Haakaa is technically a breast pump, but it really does so much more.

A friend gave this to me at my baby shower, and I wasn’t too sure what to do with it, but a few days after delivery I was so happy to have it on hand.

Even if you are not planning on breastfeeding, the Haakaa is a must-have to relieve engorgement and clogged ducts.

If you are planning on breastfeeding, the Haakaa allows you to collect your letdown from the opposite breast that your baby is nursing on… preventing you from leaking all over the place, or losing precious milk in your nursing bra or pad.

A Mild Body Wash

Pro tip: buy a wash that both mom and baby can use to cut down on cost.

A gentle and moisturizing soap is a must-have for new moms and babies. I like Aveeno Baby Wash and Shampoo

When you come home from the hospital you will be spending so much time skin-to-skin with your baby. My son had super-sensitive skin and was irritated by my body wash that had a heavy fragrance.

Not to mention, if you are breastfeeding, think about the taste that a heavily fragranced body wash or lotion would leave behind.

A Natural Deodorant

I chose a natural deodorant because I was breastfeeding and didn’t want my son to be exposed to harsh chemicals and fragrances. I used Native products.

I know some moms choose to go deodorant-free, but that was not an option for me. In my first few weeks postpartum I was stinky ??!

Postpartum Belly Wrap

A postpartum belly wrap or postpartum girdle can help you get back to your pre-pregnancy shape by returning your organs to their original shape and size from gentle compression. There are many other benefits of wearing a postpartum girdle, like helping to heal your diastasis recti.

Medical Note: Always check with your healthcare provider before wearing a postpartum girdle. Mine was so happy I checked first!

Baby Shower Gift Idea: Postpartum Survival Kit

You could also do a postpartum care package as a baby shower present for first-time moms. Post-delivery recovery baskets or gift boxes are perfect gifts for new moms.

You can make your own using my list or find pre-made postpartum survival kits.

Jacqui headshot



I am the founder of Mommy Maker Teacher and a mom of two toddlers. With a degree in education, 12+ years of experience as a K-12 teacher and curriculum developer, and courses in childhood psychology and language acquisition, I share research-backed parenting tips and advice. I provide helpful content for moms on all stages of motherhood—from trying to conceive and pregnancy to postpartum, breastfeeding, and parenting.