Updated August 28, 2020
Did you have a c-section and are looking to make a healthy recovery? Look no further than this postpartum and c section recovery kit! It has all the essentials you’ll need to feel healed in no time.
I have to admit, one of the things I was most nervous about with this baby was having another c-section. Major abdominal surgery is not easy no matter how you shake it, and I had a lot of nerves that it would be my third. I was especially worried about my c section recovery. I really hoped it would be a lot easier than I remember.
I was the most scared in the OR this time than the previous two times. Would everything go to plan? Would I have any complications? So many thoughts running through my head. Luckily, my surgery and delivery went smoothly. Baby Logan is perfect and wonderful, and everything in my surgery went to plan.
I’m almost two weeks out from my c section, and I have to say that this has been the easiest recovery of them all. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I had super realistic expectations, I have been taking it slow, I have a lot of support, and I have great c section recovery essentials.
If you’re having a c-section, I understand that it seems really scary. I was there. However, you can make the most of it by having a great postpartum and c section recovery kit. I have found some things that have been super helpful, and I hope they help you!
I’ll be going over everything I can think of that I’ve used these past two weeks, including items for breastfeeding and the comfy clothes I wear around the house.
Postpartum and C Section Recovery Kit
I’ve got a lot of really helpful essentials in this postpartum and c section recovery kit. I know it’s a long list, so don’t feel like you need every single item! However, this is what I’ve been using (some things I’ve used all three c-sections) so I am sharing every little thing!
Pain Management & Incision Care
Ibuprofen // You’ll obviously want to take whatever pain killers you were prescribed by your doctor. Please don’t try to be a hero and go without them. It’s not worth it. I was prescribed Norco and Motrin. While I didn’t feel like I needed the Norco, I have made sure to stay 100% on top of taking my Motrin (600mg) and have felt much more comfortable overall. In my previous c-sections, I had over the counter ibuprofen on hand to take once my pain killer prescription ran out. I rarely had to use it, but pain management is important!
Silicone Scar Removal Sheets // This is the first time I’ve used a product like this, but the reviews were great on Amazon and I thought it wouldn’t hurt anything. I waited until I was 11 days post c-section to put it on. The sheets are the perfect size for the incision, are made of medical grade silicone, and actually do feel really supportive on the incision. Do I think you need a scar removal sheet? Not really, especially since the c-section scar is not something you typically show off. I just really wanted to pamper myself and take care of my incision as best as I could. I will update this post in the future with results!
Stool Softeners // They gave me some while I was in the hospital and it really helps things move along. I continued taking them for a few days at home, and then started taking dandelion root (more on that below).
Little did I know that a really good compression garment will make a huge difference in recovery. My hospital slapped on the traditional abdominal binder right after surgery and my after my past two c-sections, I wore that and the Belly Bandit pretty religiously.
One thing the abdominal binders do not address (unless you wear them low on the hips) is support and compression on the incision itself. That’s when I decided to do a little bit of Amazon shopping and found some amazing compression garments that support not only the abdominal muscles, but the incision! The key is getting a panty/brief/shorts compression garment. I truly believe this has helped me feel better quicker. The main goal isn’t to flatten my stomach (it’s a nice side effect), it’s to really help keep everything supported and in place.
High Waisted Control Girdle Panties // These are my favorite out of the bunch! You pull them on like undies and they go all the way up to your bra line. I wear them over a pair of high waisted cotton panties. The best thing about this girdle is that the crotch has hook and eye fasteners so you do not have to take the girdle off to use the restroom. If you get one compression garment from this list, make it this one. Make sure to reference the size chart and read reviews to get accurate sizing. It can get a tad uncomfortable to wear all day, but I try to have this on for the majority of the time.
High Waisted Compression Shorts // These shorts have great compression, and will be fantastic to wear under dresses. I have a wedding to attend next month so I bought these with that in mind. The fabric is really stretchy with a little bit of boning in the sides. No hook and eye closures, so you have to pull these completely down to use the restroom. These run extremely small so make sure to read reviews and the size chart. I had to size up quite a bit.
High Waisted Compression Panties // I grabbed these at Kohl’s a few days before delivery and I’m glad I did! (Note: they got up past my belly button, unlike the photo on the product’s website.) I have found the best use for them is to wear them to bed. I need a bit of a break from the compression girdle, but these panties still provide support to the incision and abdominal muscles. They’re very comfortable for bed, especially since I’m up and down a few times during the night feeding Logan.
Hospital Abdominal Binder // I do think there’s something to be said for the traditional hospital abdominal binder. It provides great compression and support, but I hate having to always readjust it. I find that I will be using this more once my incision feels more healed.
One thing that happens and isn’t talked about much is how much swelling will occur after a c-section (or if you had a lot of IV fluids pumped through you during your vaginal delivery). I weighed more leaving the hospital not pregnant than when I checked in ready to deliver. (I refuse to worry about weight loss after a major surgery and delivery of a baby, but wanted to note exactly how bad I swelled.) This has happened all three times. It can be pretty shocking if you didn’t know to expect it.
My ankles, legs (seriously, my thighs were swollen), face, and hands swelled up terribly and it was just so uncomfortable. Plan on elevating your feet and drinking as much water as possible, but there were a few other things that helped aid in reducing the swelling.
Dandelion Root Capsules // Before I say anything else, please ask your doctor before taking supplements and do your research. One of my Instagram followers suggested dandelion root for swelling and after some pretty thorough research I ordered these capsules off of Amazon. They are “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA, and is also a galactagogue (helps increase milk production). There is no reason to believe that these will harm a breastfed infant. Anyway, dandelion root is a natural diuretic, and these really helped me reduce my swelling in a few days. Last two times it took at least a week to go down. These should be taken in moderation and are for short-term use. (One thing to note: I would not take stool softeners in conjunction with these.)
Electrolyte Powder // Drinking water is essential to help reduce swelling, but sometimes it’s hard to drink a ton. Putting in an electrolyte powder like this helps the water not only taste yummy, but increase your hydration. We’ve been using this electrolyte powder for a long time (it helps my migraines!), and it has been especially helpful post c-section. When taking dandelion root, you have to increase your water consumption.
Compression Socks // If the swelling is unbearable and painful, a pair of compression socks will help a lot. I swore by them after breaking my foot, and they also help a lot with postpartum swelling.
Nursing & Incision Friendly Clothing, Pajamas, and Loungewear
I want to feel pampered, comfy, and have functional clothing as I’m recovering and also breastfeeding. These have been my favorite pieces so far!
Barefoot Dreams Robe // I splurged and bought this for myself as a “push present.” I’m so glad I did, because it’s literally the best robe I’ve ever owned. So comfy, cozy, and luxurious. I wore this in the hospital and also around the house.
Barefoot Dreams Cardigan // I’m all about pampering myself postpartum – it just makes me feel good. (Remember, I’m a beauty blogger and makeup/beauty/pampering really helps me shift my mood.) I’m not exactly sitting down to get full glam, but a luxurious cardigan makes me feel good! This one is perfect for lounging around the house.
Seamless Nursing Bra // I wanted a pull-on nursing bra (didn’t want hook and eye closures on the back), and this is exactly what I was looking for. It’s very comfy and also supportive.
Navy Stripe Nursing Chemise // I avoid pajamas that are pants/shorts as to not bother my incision. I bought a bunch of nursing pajama gowns off of Walmart and Amazon, and these are my favorite! They’re very soft, cozy, the perfect length, and easy access for nursing.
2 Pack Nursing Sleep Bras // I need a light support sleep bra for nursing, and these have been perfect. I don’t want to fiddle with any snap closures, so the pull down style has been perfect for me.
Lounge Jogger Pants (not available anymore, this is a similar style) // After a few days, I felt good enough to put some pants on, but I need to stick to a really stretchy and soft waistband. These lounge joggers have been a staple during my pregnancy, and they are soft and stretchy enough post c-section. No irritation on that incision.
V-Neck Maxi Dress // I wore this maxi dress home from the hospital. The v-neck makes it easy for nursing, and it is a very stretchy and forgiving dress. Great to have on hand for those first few postpartum weeks where nothing fits and you still have to leave the house for doctor appointments.
High Waisted Brief Panties // An absolute must to have on hand. I wear a high waisted cotton panty underneath my compression girdle. I make sure to buy these a few sizes up (the more “granny panty” they are, the better) to have room for pads. Postpartum life is so fun, isn’t it?
The early days of nursing are hard enough, but add on a surgery recovery and it can be really physically exhausting. Here are some things I’ve loved in my early days of nursing.
Boppy Pillow // There are so many nursing pillows on the market, but I’m a fan of the boppy. I used it for my girls and am used to it, so I stuck with it for this baby. This is particularly helpful in the hospital when you are in the most pain, so do not forget to pack it with your hospital bag!
Boppy Pillow Cover // Every boppy needs a cover, and this is the one I’ve been using.
Lanolin Nipple Cream // A staple for breastfeeding and sore nipples, but also a fabulous lip balm! I feel weird about my baby nursing with lanolin, so I typically wipe it off before I let Logan nurse. I like having this stuff within arm’s reach at all times.
Washable Nursing Pads // Disposable nursing pads are so itchy and uncomfortable. These are way better and I love that they’re washable.
BumbleBee Silicone Manual Breast Pump // This little contraption is great for collecting let down. While nursing, you place this on the other breast that isn’t nursing and it collects any extra let down and you can save and freeze it. Genius!
So, there’s everything I’ve been using and loving this go around. I’ll be sure to update this list later on as I am further in my recovery!