Redditor Shares Her Bathroom Postpartum Kit and Healing After Birth Is No Joke

From a peri bottle to perineal cooling spray and how to use each of these postpartum survival staples, Reddit parents are providing pro tips to the expectant set with no filter.

post partum belly and baby's foot
Photo: Getty

I remember the first time I heard it was possible for you to tear down there, while giving birth. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to go through with having a baby—except I was like, 36 weeks pregnant, and, oh well. My too-late, terrifying wake-up call was only the beginning of the terrible truths that people learn during and after birth. Because words like "catheter," "stitches," and "hemorrhoids" are not just words—they are realities.

Take it from a mom of five: Having a baby is a humbling experience to put it mildly. So, if you are currently sporting hospital-issued super high-fashion half-pantyhose stacked with pads postpartum, icing, and spraying your private area with warm water because it's too sensitive to wipe, hear me when I say you are so not alone!

The intimate truths of life in the days after having a human were captured in concrete detail in a recent Reddit post. Warning: What's discussed here will be a bit, um, well, enlightening in a mildly anxiety-inducing way for those of you who have not yet given birth. Be strong! Meanwhile, for those who are familiar with wearing an ice pack in your underwear, we can feel you nodding along all the way over here.

The thread was kicked off by a poster who shared a photo of their postpartum arsenal, which included items like perineal cooling pad liners and spray, a peri bottle (for gently washing with warm water), and Tucks pads. Breathe parents-to-be. In the comments, experienced postpartum warriors shared their tips for caring for your body right after birth. "Don't wipe," cautioned one commenter, noting this action tore out their sutures. Indeed, patting the area dry is definitely more gentle. Another commenter advised placing Tucks pads in the fridge for extra cooling relief. "A cold can of soda can work as well as an ice pack. It's a good size & shape & level of coldness," one postpartum pro shared.

The super-helpful recommendations from birthers continued. A mom of four relayed her best tip, advising "very gently washing with a mild soap and blow-drying (on low heat) till the entire area (sutures and hemorrhoids) [are] completely dry." Taking the time to do a sitz bath was another suggestion from strong postpartum people, and for the uninitiated, this basically means sitting in warm water without washing.

From touting the benefits of stool softeners to recruiting some witch hazel into the arsenal, Redditors didn't disappoint with their constructive counsel, also advising that C-section patients would definitely want to be gentle with their stitches. Back to vaginal relief, one person suggested, "fill diapers with water and freeze them." The poster added, "Those things gave me such relief during my PP recovery."

Another practiced parent said, "I recommend bringing a Boppy pillow [to the hospital]. Not for the baby, but for you to sit on. I was super grateful I brought mine."

My favorite tip was this gem one commenter shared: "When I left the hospital, I asked for extra disposable underwear and their massive pads. I basically took every extra bathroom product I could, because they're expensive!"

Another huge takeaway from the experiences in this thread is that this too shall pass. As in, you won't be spraying lukewarm water between your legs and patting your parts dry with more care than you change your newborn's diaper, forever.

Bottom line (sorry, I had to): Birthing earns you a badge of honor, no doubt. The aftermath can be pretty, well, not pretty, too. But again, just remember that you aren't alone and tons of parents have come before you who can help guide you through the obstacle course of recovery. The most important resource is your doctor, whom you should consult before trying any of these postpartum management methods.

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