Dry hospital air and frequent hand-washing do a real number on skin, so look for a rich unscented moisturizer. For sore nether regions, I swear by New Mama Bottom Spray from Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics and Tucks pads. If you live nearby, you can stock her freezer with ice diapers. Recovery from a scheduled or emergency c-section comes with its own unique challenges, and a Boppy can make it easier to hold a new baby while the c-panty provides support where post-op mothers need it most. For the aforementioned poop issues, help the new mom start a movement with high fiber treats like dried fruits and bran muffins.
Women who are nursing will appreciate breast pads, gel pads and nipple cream. I like to bake a batch of these lactation cookies to ship to friends; the cut oats and brewers yeast are great for women looking to establish their supply and they are delicious. A dear friend gave me a beautiful glass carafe that stacks with its own cup, like this one from CB2, and I kept it filled in the nursery to stay hydrated around the clock.
What other well-kept secrets and godsends do you like to share with rookie moms?