Bodily's postpartum care kits make recovering from birth easier
The kits provide all the essentials new moms need.
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
Pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic has been an adventure, to say the least. I have a 4-year-old at home, so I was grateful to have some knowledge already tucked in my back pocket, easing the stress of virtual OB appointments and questions about aches, pains, and weird changes in my body.
However, recalling postpartum needs was a bit hazy. I must have blocked out those joyous few weeks after baby arrives, which is why Bodily—a collection of curated boxes and products for all your postpartum needs—is perfect for removing the stress of caring for yourself after birthing your little one.
I received Bodily’s Care for Birth Gift box, a collection of comfort and recovery care items ranging from comfy cotton socks to replace those scratchy ill-fitting hospital versions, to stool softener pills. Items are categorized in packaged bundles, making them perfect to stow in your hospital bag while keeping everything organized by specific need: Vaginal Birth Recovery, Pregnancy Recovery, Breastfeeding, and Comfort.
What is Bodily?
Bodily is a line of products designed to support new parents through birth, recovery, the postpartum period, and breastfeeding. It offers a line of curated boxes that contain both products and educational content designed to make new parents feel supported. At the heart of the company is the mission to "break down long-stigmatized female and reproductive health topics."
What comes in a Bodily box?
Bodily's standard Care for Birth box includes items mainly tailored to a vaginal birth. However, if you have a scheduled cesarean section, you can opt for the Care for Cesarean box. Here's what was included in my Bodily Care for Birth box:
Vaginal Birth Recovery Bundle
What it comes with: Peri wash bottle and inflatable cushion
When you need it: Immediately after birth. A perineal irrigation bottle is essential for cleansing after vaginal births. It’s not the most glamorous pampering item, but is crucial for relief and hygiene. An inflatable cushion is magic if you have extensive tearing or hemorrhoids.
Why this bundle is great: While the hospital has peri wash bottles you can certainly tuck in your bag when packing to go home, they’re like squirt bottles vs. the ergonomically designed version Bodily offers. And the cushion is especially useful to ease any pain from sitting directly on a hard surface, but I found I never used it when lounging on my couch or bed, only when sitting on the floor in my 4-year-old’s bedroom.
Necessity? The peri wash bottle is definitely a necessity, while the inflatable cushion seemed like more of a bonus item.
Pregnancy Recovery Bundle
What it comes with: 14 giant maxi pads, three-pack of mesh undies, stool softeners
When you need it: Immediately after birth. Moms can bleed anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks after vaginal or C-section birth, so maxi pads are essential. Mesh undies are also a mom favorite since they’re lightweight and breathable, plus they hold all those cumbersome pads and ice packs securely in place. Stool softeners are key in helping you comfortably pass that dreaded first bowel movement post-birth.
Why this bundle is great: Again, the hospital will provide mesh undies, but they’re flimsy, disposable, and reveal literally everything when walking around your hospital room with an unreliable gown. Bodily’s are softer, more durable, one-size-fits all, and black, so they discreetly cover your undercarriage.
Stool softeners were another item that slipped off my planning radar, so it was nice to see them included—one less thing I needed to plan a grocery store run for when recovering.
I’d opt to use the hospital’s giant pad stash instead of packing Bodily’s. Bleeding can come in waves, so having multiple sizes and absorbencies of pads on hand at home is helpful. I found I didn’t need that many giant pads, so having only 14 on hand worked out well. That said, 14 pads are not enough for the entire stretch of bleeding, so definitely plan on having regular and light absorbency pads for lighter days.
Necessity? Yes! All items are musts for after-birth care.
What it comes with: Nip Nourish and Nip Protect balms, two cooling gel pads, one silicone nipple shield, two organic reusable breast pads
When you need it: Within the first day of giving birth, if you plan on breastfeeding. Balms and cooling pads provide relief from cracked skin and sore nipples, while a nipple shield will help ease pain and may also help your little one latch. Once your milk comes in, the reusable breast pads help absorb any leakage.
Why this bundle is great: If you’re new to breastfeeding and have decided to wing it (my approach for the first kid), you may overlook balms and cooling pads as essential items in your breastfeeding venture. But when that first night of cluster feeding hits, you’ll be grateful that Bodily has you covered. The balms will help with dry skin, while the cooling pads offer a welcome relief to stinging, aching nips. I didn’t use the nipple shield, but I know many moms who swear by them as they help with pain and may aide with latching difficulties. I also appreciated the reusable breast pads as environmentally friendly, more comfortable alternatives to disposables.
Necessity? Yes to the gel pads, breast pads, and nip nourish and protect balms. The balms are travel-sized, making them easy to pack—perfect for the hospital or future trips. They’re also a good option if you’re looking for creams that are free of lanolin, an oil derived from sheep’s wool. A nipple shield can be useful, but there is debate regarding efficacy, and some lactation consultants suggest steering clear of them for a few weeks post birth to establish proper latching. It’s a nice product to have should you need it, but not necessarily essential for a breastfeeding mom.
What it comes with: Cozy socks and organic maple brown sugar oatmeal
When you need it: In the hospital. Socks with treads are great for padding around your room, and the oatmeal is intended to ease exhaustion from giving birth and also promote breast milk production.
Why this bundle is great: Bodily’s socks are soft, cozy, and well-made. I’ve been wearing them practically every day since I left the hospital. While the oatmeal was tasty, I was perplexed by its inclusion in the bundle only because I don’t envision being in a headspace to make oatmeal in my hospital room post-birth.
Necessity? I honestly loved the socks most of any product in the kit, likely because they were purely a comfort item and hospital socks are the worst. Plus, they last beyond the postpartum period. I thought the oatmeal was a little gimmick-y.
The box also includes two pocket-sized guidebooks for you and your partner that detail post-birth recovery, which are great additions for those that are intimidated by thick baby books (ahem, me). I also appreciated that each bundle was packaged in its own pouch, so picking and choosing what goes in your hospital bag is a cinch. You could also repack the bundles, tailoring to your specific needs. For example, the hospital will provide loads of pads and stool softeners, so you may opt to keep those at home.
How much does Bodily cost?
I thought the price was budget-friendly—12 items in a gift box for $115 (note: the same kit can be purchased sans fancy magnetic-closure box for $105), though I could do without the oatmeal and didn’t use the nipple shield. I also appreciated the upgraded quality of products compared to hospital-grade, particularly the peri wash bottle, socks, and mesh underwear. These seemingly little luxuries can make a world of difference when recovering.
Is Bodily worth it?
At first, I thought “this would definitely make a great gift, but not something I’d buy for myself,” but after trying it out I’ve done a 180. Shopping and preparing your hospital bag for after birth can be daunting, and if you’re more comfortable bringing your own items vs. relying on what’s in the hospital room, the Care for Birth box is a perfect option to “pamper” yourself postpartum. The company also offers an array of other kits as well as products like apparel so you can mix and match.
If you’re looking for a gift that focuses on mom and not baby, this one is a winner. Just be sure to ask if mom-to-be is planning on breastfeeding or having a C-section or vaginal birth so you can buy a tailored kit. And if you’re a checklist gal like me, it’s worth the splurge for worry-free planning.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.