One of my girlfriends is pregnant with her first baby, so naturally I offered to put together a list of essentials she should buy before her little one arrives. At first my selection included baby gear, but after some thought I decided to curate a list of things a new mama would love and actually use after giving birth. As new moms we tend to focus on what we will need for the baby, but today I want to focus on the products a new mama needs for herself. Something I wish was around when I first had my son six years ago.
I'm so excited to share these brands with you (hint, hint — many of them are women-owned).
Keep scrolling to see and shop my picks:
1. Bras and underwear designed to make moms feel comfortable after giving birth. I wish Nyssa Care and Davin & Adley were around when I was pregnant and gave birth to my boys. Nyssa Care's FourthWear postpartum underwear accommodates a heat or ice pack in the vaginal/perineal area or at the site of a caesarean incision. Remember the white mesh underwear we were given at the hospital? You do? I do, too! Let's not allow another pregnant mama experience it first-hand.
Davin and Adley' nursing and pumping-friendly bras are stylish, modern, and fashion-forward. Amanda—who is a mom of two, designer, and the force behind the brand—came up with a genius one-piece washable bra liner which offers leak proof protection and full coverage. No more frantic searching for that missing bra pad or both!
OKKO is not a maternity brand, but they make body wear that's versatile, reliable, comfortable, and can be worn 24/7. Their bras come in beautiful neutral shades and adapt perfectly to women's changing bodies during pregnancy and postpartum. So soft and breathable you will actually forget you are wearing underwear.
(1) Nyssa Care FourthWear Postpartum Underwear (2) OKKO Signature Bra and Brief Set in Black (3) Davin & Adley Paisley Nursing Pad.
2. Diaper bag that's stylish and functional. The choice of a diaper bag really depends on the mom's lifestyle, but I recommend a separate bag for everything-baby (diapers, change of clothes, wipes, snacks, toys). I actually had two diapers bags—a bigger one for longer outings and a smaller one for quick walks around the neighborhood.
I love the minimal design of the Kibou diaper bag—think a well-designed and stylish fanny pack, but for diapers and wipes. You would be surprised how much you can fit into your Kibou!
(1) Lily Jade Convertible Diaper Bag/Backpack (2) Hi Aria Diaper Bag (3) Kibou Diaper Fanny Pack.
3. Loungewear for that first month at home. There's no denying that those first postpartum weeks (even months) are emotionally and physically draining. I'm a nicer human and a better mom when I put effort into my daily outfit. I think it's important to invest in wardrobe pieces that make you feel your best, especially postpartum.
Francis and Henry is one of my favorite European brands (they ship worldwide). They carry luxuriously soft hospital bag essentials for moms and newborns.
During those first few days at home I lived in high-waisted leggings and a T-shirt. The leggings provided round-the-clock support my recovering body needed and made me feel comfortable. I've read wonderful reviews about innovation-led maternity leggings from the Glowe Collection. Blanqi Girls brand is always a solid choice.
If you are looking for a hoody, a T-shirt, or a pair of sweatpants, Shannon of House of Shan created the perfect Live What You Love loungewear collection. Every piece of clothing has an imperfect heart stitched over your heart as a daily reminder to live your passion, laugh every day, love others and never quit your daydream. It's a purchase that will make you feel amazing inside and out. Shannon donates $5 from every purchase to a local charity.
(1) Glowe Collection Pregnancy Leggings (2) Francis & Henry Nursing Dress and Cardi Bundle (3) LWYL Collection by House of Shan.
4. Baby clothes that are both adorable and functional (no snaps here!) Cole and Cleo organic and GOTS certified baby wear features the cutest gender neutral tiger print. Their pieces are thoughtfully designed by a fellow mom in Chicago. If you are looking for solid colors and great quality pjs that can be passed down to younger siblings, you will love Kyte Baby's wide selection of products (pjs, footies, swaddles, sleep sacks).
(1) Kyte Baby Footies PJs (2) Kyte Baby Sleeping Sack (3) Cole and Cleo Signature Tiger Print Small Batch Collection.
5. Gifts for the mama. Okay, I had to goggle to make sure a "push gift" was even a "thing" in the U.S., but according to The Bump it is! In Poland new moms are often treated with a special gift for growing and birthing a baby. Since my dear friend is Polish and she's about to do something amazing, I thought I'd share a few ideas:
- A good book (my current fave is Not So Mumsy by Marcia Leone) or an audio book;
- Jewelry and accessories (Abby Alley has been my long time favorite and I'm currently eyeing Amarilo Jewelry);
- A box of chocolates (I'm obsessed with these vegan milk elderberry boob truffles from DADA Daily!).
(1) Not So Mumsy by Marcia Leone (2) Boobs Truffles from DADA Daily (3) The BEA Pearl Studs by Amarilo Jewelry.
Ok, now your turn, mama! What would YOU add to this list? What's your number one must-have item for expectant and first time moms?