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What to Buy for Postpartum (Recommendations from an OBGYN and mother) by Rachelle Keng, MD


Postpartum mom, recovery, vaginal delivery, csection, what to buy


What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN by Rachelle Keng, MD


As an OBGYN, I often get asked about "over the counter" items that can be helpful in postpartum. So the baby has now become the star of the show. But MAMA - you also matter too.

Let's talk about how to help you feel more like yourself again and what are some essential products that can help you recover quicker.


The following products have been tried and recommended by fellow OBGYN mamas, Labor and Delivery/Postpartum nurses, and myself.


DISCLAIMER: Please talk to your provider before trying these over-the-counter products. I am not paid to advertise any of these products and I wanted to offer this page as a resource so that you have more direction than just google searching for products. There may be recommendations specific to your situation, and these listed items are general recommendations.


So let's go! AMAZON LINKS are embedded in each photo:


Post-Delivery Recovery


After delivery, a sitz bath can do wonders for the recovery of vaginal tears. One week after delivery, you may experience more pelvic "heaviness" as the stitches can cause a normal inflammatory reaction. A daily warm water sitz bath can break down the sutures so that the healing occurs quicker. Hospitals typically provide a basic sitz bath. This is a more fancy version with a "manual bidet" function that acts like a "peri-bottle." The hospital version is fine, but if you want fancy, here it is:

What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

The hospital usually provides Dermoplast spray to help with perineal pain after delivery. However, this Earth Mama spray can also be helpful for soothing pain from a laceration or hemorrhoids as it contains witch hazel, lavender, peppermint, and cucumber. Dermoplast is more numbing than cooling. If you're looking for a cooling effect, try this spray.

Perineum spray: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

Hospitals provide "mesh panties" that will keep a bulky pad and an ice pack in place for the most part... until you start walking around. Then it feels like you're back in the 90's, walking with a waddle to keep your pants up. Hospital-grade mesh panties are made of a faux cotton blend that can be scratchy on the skin. But if you're looking for a softer alternative, these Frida Mom Postpartum Underwear hug at the right places to give you the most support while holding all of the postpartum gear in place.

Postpartum Underwear: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN


For the mom who has pushed for a long time and has a swollen perineum with hemorrhoids, these liners are nice because they're bigger than the typical Tucks Pad (which contains witch hazel). The shape and length keep the pad liner in place and bring. a cooling effect to all larger area than the smaller circular Tucks Pads (which are still good if you want the cooling effect on a specific area like hemorrhoids)

Tucks Pads: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN


After a vaginal delivery, an ice pack to the perineum for 24 hours will decrease the swelling and help with pain. Your nurses usually make an icepack for you but it can be bulky, unlike this smaller ice pack. This pack can also be heated to help with uterine cramping. Cramping/postpartum contractions can be worse the more children you have. This postpartum ice pack is probably a little small to help with uterine cramping, but if there is a particular area that is more sore, it has multiple uses as both a cold and heat pack.

Postpartum Ice packs: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

A lot of hospitals have stopped carrying heating pads due to the risk of burns. A comfortable heating pad can help you get through the first few days of postpartum cramping when heat is comforting.

Postpartum Heating Pad: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

Most hospitals also provide binders that can be helpful for core and abdominal support after a cesarean delivery. Most. of the time, the binder's pressure against a cesarean incision gives the support needed to get up from bed and move around. There's usually only one size for the binders at the hospital and it doesn't always fit every body shape. This binder has more user-control with multiple velcro straps for the user to decide where it is most comfortable. I've also been asked if binders can help restore abs and re-shape the waist. When I've talked to physical therapists about this, they do not recommend wearing these binders long-term to restore core support. The wrap can become a crutch instead of a core strengthener.

Postpartum Binder: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

If you're looking for a pillow that helps you get back up again, these memory foam donut pillows help relieve the pressure against a sore perineum and inflamed hemorrhoids.

Postpartum donut pillow for hemorrhoids: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

Postpartum bleeding gets less over a few weeks, but if you want to avoid wearing a pad or panty liner, period underwear is going. to be your best friend.

Postpartum period underwear: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

Breastfeeding Products


This is my favorite breastfeeding pillow. Unlike the Boppy, this breastfeeding pillow has. an adjustable clip that keeps the pillow next to your shrinking postpartum belly. If you are dealing with pain in your shoulders from leaning over the baby to breastfeed, then using a pillow like this one can bring the baby to you so that you aren't slouching and causing other neck and shoulder pain.

Best breastfeeding pillow, Brest Friend Pillow: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

Sore nipples? It's either these hydrogel pads or silverette silver cups. Even if you have a great latch, nipples can be really sore, especially during the first week. These nipple pads help restore the moisture on cracked nipples between feedings. They are washable and reusable.

Sore nipples: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

If you feel like "your nipples are on fire," these silverettes are great because they can be put in the refrigerator for cooling. They stick to your nipples when you apply breastmilk to the tip of the cup. The healing anti-bacterial properties of breast milk, help the nipples to heal between feedings.

Sore Nipples: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

The go-to hospital nipple ointment is Lanolin. But I've heard again and again (and personally have experienced) that lanolin doesn't provide the relief that women are looking for sore and cracked nipples. This Earth Mama organic nipple butter is non-sticky, it doesn't need to be washed off prior to a feeding. It's lanolin-free and they even have a vegan option!


Sore Nipples Cream: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

Breast Heating/Cooling Pads for breast engorgement and clogged ducts:

Breast engorgement usually occurs during the first week of breastfeeding. It can be extremely uncomfortable when the milk comes in or when there's an over-supply of milk. Cool down these breast pads in the fridge when you're having breast pain from engorgement. And if you're dealing with a clogged duct, heat these packs up to get that milk flowing again! Talk with a lactation consultant if you're dealing with these concerns.

Engorged breast ice pack, clogged duct heating pad: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN



Milk supply is one of the most stressful things for a mother especially when the supply doesn't seem like it's enough. Talking with your lactation consultant is really important to help triage what can help increase your supply. This tea contains fenugreek which has been shown to increase milk supply and production. This tea tastes herbal, so if that isn't your thing, you can always take a fenugreek supplement instead.

Low milk supply mothers milk tea: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

If heat isn't working to release clogged ducts, your lactation consultant may recommend sunflower lecithin, which thins out the milk and may help the milk flow through the ducts easier and releases the plug!

clogged duct, sunflower lecithin: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

Vanity Products:


Not all women experience hair loss. But for the women who experience the clumps of hair falling out in the shower, it can be really distressing. This is the result of telogen effluvium, which occurs a few months postpartum as the hormones drop after pregnancy. Each hair has a life-cycle, and different strands of hair are usually in different phases of the cycle. But the drop in estrogen after delivery causes the hair to sync into the same cycle so that clumps of hair "die" or are released at the same time. Telogen effluvium gets better with time. But if you want to "do something," it doesn't hurt to take extra biotin and zinc like the Baby Blues Vitamin. These vitamins have not been proven to improve hair loss, but anecdotally have been beneficial for women experiencing postpartum hair loss.

Postpartum hair loss, telogen effluvium, vitamins for hair loss after pregnancy, biotin, zinc: What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN


Silicone strips have been shown to help decrease keloid/scar formation. The silicone keeps the incision hydrated and prevents the skin from making. the inflammatory reaction that results in a thick scar. Used two weeks after a cesarean on the incision can help decrease the scar formation. Talk with your doctor before using this product as it will be important you don't have any skin infections before applying these scar patches.

C-section scar, cesarean scar healing, What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

The evidence does not show that cocoa butter can prevent stretch marks. However, Palmer's has crafted its own observational study with pictures of "Before" and "After" use of their cocoa butter lotion versus a competitor's lotion. Stretch marks are mainly genetic and related to skin elasticity. But if you want to try something, Palmer's is the tried and true brand that has the most reviews on Amazon.

Cocoa butter for stretch marks, pregnancy and postpartum, What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

The Extras


Your body's muscle fatigue (especially in your neck and upper back) adds up with all of the repetitive motions of rocking, bouncing, burping, etc! You may want to pamper yourself, but who has time? Introducing... the multi-tasking self-care. You can use this neck massager while you breastfeed, wash bottles, or fold laundry. It's time to care for moms while they care for others!

Neck massager for postpartum, breastfeeding neck pain, What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

One of the hardest parts of the day is in the morning, especially after a sleepless night. Most meal trains cover dinner but if you want to have a quick breakfast idea, make individual breakfast casseroles that you can pop out of the pan and heat up when needed, and then throw this silicone pan into the dishwasher. Here's a link to an easy breakfast casserole.

Easy Breakfast for postpartum moms, What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

If you're looking for daily encouragement from a mama in the trenches, I wrote this book with a section for postpartum mamas. The postpartum mama transformation can be a minefield as we learn to face ourselves. We face our insecurities, discouragements, and guilt- all amidst a postpartum hormonal change. "Woven in the Womb" was written from my own postpartum experiences as a new mother, and how I found peace during the anxieties of motherhood. You can purchase it here on amazon OR on this website for a signed copy.

Woven in the womb, encouragement for postpartum moms, postpartum depression, devotions, Christian book for postpartum, What to buy for postpartum as recommended by an OBGYN

I hope this blog is a helpful list as you begin this new journey with your little one! Congratulations!!

But just as your baby is precious, so are you!




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