Welcome back, my friend! Wondering what’s essential in the postpartum period? Take the guesswork out of your post-pregnancy planning – here are the postpartum essentials you’ll want to stash at home and pack in your hospital bag in the UK.

As an experienced mum of four children, I love sharing what worked for me postnatally. I took so much needless stuff to hospital with my first child – I wish I knew then, what I know now!

The postpartum period is such a beautiful and special time. But it can be overwhelming, too – especially as a first time mum. After all, not only have you just given birth – whether vaginally or via c-section, you’re experiencing huge physical changes too.

A drop in hormones often leads to mood swings – baby blues are a real thing! And not to mention – you now have a brand new little one to care for! Getting to grips with sleepless nights and breastfeeding can be a challenge.

When it comes to physical recovery, rest is the most important aspect.

Resting easy – what is the 5 5 5 postpartum rule?

The 5 5 5 postpartum rule says you should spend 5 days in bed, 5 days on the bed, and 5 days around the bed. Following this rule can help you and your little one to bond and recover, and it helps with breastfeeding, too. If you already have children, it’s important to get as much support as you can. It makes a huge difference!

Self care during the postpartum period

Prioritising eating well and getting gentle exercise outdoors can make all the difference to your health and mood in the postpartum period. Consider creating a freezer stash of healthy food that’s easy to reheat so you don’t have to cook or depend on takeaways and ready meals. Short walks with your baby in the carrier or pushchair will help you to keep mobile, and get some much-needed fresh air and sunlight.

It takes a village

Having a postpartum support plan in place is so comforting before your baby arrives. For instance, researching local baby groups, arranging childcare for older children and getting in touch with a local breastfeeding specialist such as an IBCLC. These little steps can help you feel well supported and able to find help when you need it most.

Postpartum essentials

These are the postpartum essentials I always use to help me recover after labour and in the postpartum period. If you’re pregnant, I really hope you find my essentials helpful! And don’t forget to see my labour bag post for the labour essentials I swear by.

Here’s my postpartum essentials checklist:

  • Maternity pads
  • Maternity knickers – disposable, reusable or maternity pants or just old knickers
  • Dressing gown and slippers
  • Several changes of clothes
  • A towel for your shower – although some hospitals will provide one
  • Perineum care – a peri bottle, perineal spray, aloe vera spray, cooling pads, and a healing balm
  • Nursing bra
  • Nipple balm
  • Nursing pads – reusable or disposable
  • Feeding pillow
  • Facial wipes
  • Magnesium oil
  • New mum moisturiser or balm
  • Postpartum body wash
  • Unscented natural deodorant
  • Aromatherapy products
  • An easy to open water bottle
  • New mum multivitamins
  • Wash bag essentials including toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, hairbands
  • Bathing products – with the okay of your doctor, e.g. epsom salts
  • If you want to breastfeed, then researching breastfeeding products is a good idea
  • And see my labour essentials for everything you need during labour

Let’s take a closer look at some of my favourite postnatal products.

Maternity pads

There are so many maternity pads to choose from. Being an eco-conscious mum, I like Natracare – these plastic-free and biodegradable pads offer secure protection for postpartum lochia. A certified organic cotton cover and no perfumes make them a good choice. Team maternity pads with some regular knickers in a dark colour for an easy and comfortable postpartum period.

Maternity pants

Personally I’ve always found those crinkly paper maternity pants supremely uncomfortable. Upgrade them to these sleek postpartum pants, which of course can be used for period pants later down the line.

Perineum care

Perineal spray helps to relieve and soothe the tender perineal area after birth. These cooling sprays contain natural numbing ingredients like witch hazel and lavender. Use them liberally wherever it hurts including stitches, tears, and haemorrhoids. I like Natural Birthing Company Pure Bliss Postnatal Compress Solution. It really is bliss for bits!

A perineal balm containing calendula applied to the perineum helps to heal this delicate area. There’s evidence that using calendula with aloe vera can help speed the healing of an episiotomy. Calendula is an incredibly healing herb – I love Lyonsleaf Calendula and Marshmallow Balm. As for aloe vera, choose Seven Minerals Aloe Vera Spray as it absorbs rapidly and has a clean ingredients list.

A peri bottle and cooling pads are items to consider, too.

Nursing bra

A good quality nursing bra is a true postpartum and breastfeeding essential. If you can stretch to £40, consider a Freya nursing bra – I absolutely love mine. It’s so supportive and comfortable, and they last for years.

Freya nursing bra is pretty and practical

A lounge bra without clips is lovely in the very first days with baby when you’re engorged and sore, and for nighttime use to keep your nursing pads in place.

Nipple balm

A healing nipple balm is a lifesaver in the early days of breastfeeding to help heal cracked and sore nipples. My favourite is Weleda Nipple Balm, since it contains calendula (full review). Lansinoh is also a good nipple balm, made with only pure medical grade lanolin. Looking for vegan nipple balm? Try Evereden All-In-One Balm – a true mama and baby multipurpose hero.

Nursing pads

Whether reusable or disposable, nursing pads are an essential product in the early days of breastfeeding. These soft organic cotton breast pads from Organyc are comfortable and breathable. But reusable breast pads – like these from Close – make a better long term choice as they can be washed and worn repeatedly.

Feeding pillow

Whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding, it’s worth investing in a good quality feeding pillow. We bought ours from Mamas & Papas and it’s still going strong over 7 years later.

Facial wipes

Facial wipes get a bad rap in everyday skincare, but you’ve just had a baby! You’re allowed to cleanse lazily and wipes are lovely for a refresh without having to leave your bed. Just make sure you choose biodegradable cleansing wipes, like Benecos Cleansing Wipes.

Magnesium oil

If cramping was a problem for you in pregnancy, it’s worth investing in a bottle of BetterYou Magnesium Oil since cramping can persist in the postpartum period.

A new mum balm to return the glory to your skin

Pregnancy stretches the skin to its limits, so help it to bounce back with a balm or moisturiser that targets skin elasticity and stretch marks.

Neal's Yard Remedies Organic Mothers Balm is a postpartum essential for better skin

Try Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Mothers Balm – it’s clinically proven to increase skin’s firmness and elasticity.

Postpartum body wash for your first shower

That first shower after giving birth is a delicate but lovely one! A creamy body wash – fragrance-free and especially for sensitive skin is your best bet. This creamy Weleda Almond Nourishing Body Wash is the perfect choice.

Unscented natural deodorant

This might be a personal preference, but I want to remain unscented during the first few weeks with my newborn – especially as breastfeeding mum. I’m currently crushing on the hugely effective and clean AKT natural deodorant balms – they do a lovely unscented deodorant balm too.

Aromatherapy products

Whether it’s to energise or relax me, I always keep aromatherapy products close by in the postpartum period. A gentle and relaxing pillow spray brings huge comfort, especially on the maternity ward when the constant noise makes it hard to sleep.

Aromatherapy rollers help to soothe, energise, or relax after your baby's birth

Aromatherapy oil rollers are great to bring about a moment of relaxation or a burst of energy. I like Ila Spa and Pretty Special Beauty.

Best water bottle for breastfeeding mums

Hydration is essential in the postpartum period – breastfeeding or not. A water bottle for a new mum must be light and easy to open one handedly, especially if you’re breastfeeding and nap trapped! I love my Brita Water Bottle as it ticks all these boxes – plus it has a built in filter for better tasting tap water.

New mum and breastfeeding multivitamins

It’s time to replenish those lost nutrients! The well-trusted Pregnacare brand offer new mum and breastfeeding multivitamins. Also look into postpartum vitamins to support hair growth, since hair loss in the postpartum period is the reality for most mums.

Bathing products

If you get the okay from your doctor or midwife, epsom salts for a sitz bath are amazing in the postpartum period. I also really love MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion in the months following birth – it’s so good for aches and pains!

Final thoughts on postpartum essentials

Have you enjoyed learning about my postpartum essentials? I hope my list has given you some ideas to ease you into this new chapter in your life and aid your labour recovery.

Let me know what you think in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time!



  1. Loved this! So many of my personal faves in there like natracare en Tabitha and you know i am a big weleda fan too! But i didnt know they had nippel Cream! Thats amazing! Loved this series so much mama! Good luck 🙏🏻 Youve got this ❤️

    • Thanks so much, Kari! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 I love your blog and Instagram they’re so inspiring! Xo

  2. Is it bad that I want that calendula and marshmallow balm just because I like the ingredients? I mean, there’s no baby coming from me anytime soon.

  3. All these products look wonderful! One of my besties is having a baby in Nov so I will get her these items as a gift! 🙂

  4. Oh how I wish I saw this before I gave birth 4 months ago! This is absolutely the best organic hospital bag list I’ve come across. Will definitely bookmark this for my friends giving birth soon. I am all about the pads and calendula!!

    • Oh congratulations! I hope you’re all doing well! Thanks so much, I’m so pleased you enjoyed my post!

  5. There are a lot of products on this list that I would have really liked to have had. I will share this with expectant friends.

  6. Natalie Hansford Reply

    Great list! My little one arrived 6 days ago so will certainly look at some of these products. Do you have any recommendations on nappy cream? X

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