The Eco-Conscious Postpartum Guide

The Eco-Conscious Postpartum Guide

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 It’s so easy to overlook your own postpartum recovery needs. Many parents thoughtfully prepare a baby registry, but totally forget to think about the products they’ll need for postpartum healing. The hospital will provide some of what you need, but disposable products create a ton of waste. Maternity pads, mesh undies, breast pads, Tucks pads, bed protectors, milk storage bags… the sheer amount of plastic in disposable postpartum products is overwhelming. Thankfully, there are more environmentally friendly (and comfortable!) options for new moms. In this eco-conscious postpartum guide, we’ll share our favorite green products for postpartum healing. 

Postpartum Lochia

Postpartum bleeding, otherwise known as lochia, can be expected to last up to six weeks after birth. The first few days are typically like a heavy period, followed by a lighter pink/brown discharge up until the first month postpartum, and finally a lighter whitish discharge for a couple of weeks after that. It’s important to use pads, not tampons or menstrual cups, during this time.

Needless to say, using disposable maternity pads for the entire course of your postpartum lochia adds up to a lot of waste! A more eco-conscious postpartum bleeding option is cloth maternity pads like these. You can also use heavy flow period underwear, though you will want to steer away from tight waistbands – especially if you have a c-section incision. To protect your mattress, try washable waterproof mattress pads.  

Perineal Healing

Now that you’ve got your postpartum flow covered, it’s time to think about perineal healing. Even if you experience no tearing, a vaginal delivery or a long pushing stage followed by a Cesarean can result in perineal swelling and discomfort. In the first 24 hours, many women appreciate ice to reduce inflammation. Sitz baths are a wonderful way to promote perineal healing postpartum, too. Here are our favorite eco-conscious postpartum products for perineal healing:

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone. It is the most eco-conscious feeding option, however it can easily come with a lot of disposable products such as breast pads and plastic breastmilk storage bags. Here are our favorite eco-conscious breastfeeding products:

Reusable Water Bottle 

No eco-conscious postpartum guide is complete without a quality reusable water bottle. Staying hydrated is so important after birth, and you’ll want to always keep a water bottle within reach. A straw option is preferred by most so you sip easily from different positions. 

Eco-friendly postpartum = Less waste, more comfort

There’s nothing wrong with using disposable products after birth. This is a really intense time in your life, and it’s totally okay if you choose the convenience of less eco-friendly options! That being said, many parents are dissatisfied with traditional postpartum products for reasons other than environemtnal impact, too. Many disposable products like maternity and breast pads are scratchy and uncomfortable, or have weird plasticy smells. Other parents are frustrated with the quality of disposable products like breastmilk storage bags that might have a tendency to tear and leak. Furthermore, while reusable products have more up-front cost, they pay out in the long run. And remember, you don’t have to be a purist! It’s okay to use cloth pads only at home or use your reuable water bottle most of the time, but pack a plastic water bottle in your diaper bag for emergencies. Choose postpartum healing products that fit with your values and lifestyle.