When you’re getting reading to have a baby, it’s fun to look at all the baby gear and stock up on little onesies and blankets. But what about the Mommy? If you haven’t been there before, I hate to break it to you but the postpartum period is often one of the most challenging times in your life, especially with your first baby. Not only are you up all hours with a little bundle of hungry, but your body has been through quite a bit between the labour itself, and just all the shifting around that has to take place inside (my stomach used to be where?). Not to mention the nipple pain for nursing mommies. Good pep talk, yes? The point is, it’s worth getting a few things ready for yourself before the baby comes. Everyone will have a bit of a different list, but this is what I found helpful postpartum:
1) Booby Tubes by Earth Mama Angel Baby These are pretty much little wheat bags, like the ones you throw in the microwave when your back is sore. Only these are shaped for your boobies (with space to not hit your sore nipples). You can put them in the freezer for relief when you’re engorged, and you can microwave them to help with plugged ducts. My first time around I used a sock full of rice for plugged ducts; it totally worked, but these are much nicer!
2) New Mama Bottom Spray by Earth Mama Angel Baby Yes I love this brand (they also make an awesome cloth friendly diaper cream!). This is an herbal spray to help you heal up…you know…down there. They made it so that you can spray it upside down. Pretty smart if you think about it.
3) Lanolin For the breastfeeding among us. Good for sore nipples, safe for babies. Have a bottle on hand.
4) Cloth Pads Some of you are thinking “Eeeeew”, but hear me out. If you end up with stitches in your girly bits, cloth will feel much better. With Toddler Girl I was in so much pain I could hardly walk for the first couple weeks (again with the pep talk!), but when I switched to cloth pads I felt about 75% better. They chafe less.
5) Advil For all the pains. I took painkillers (advil and tylenol together) for my stitches with Toddler Girl, and then for breastfeeding for about a month. It was way longer than I would have preferred (unmedicated birth here), but I was in serious pain. With Wonder Baby I took advil just before a feed for a couple days after my milk came in. If you’re sore, it’s better to take a pain killer than flinch and pull the nipple away while they try to latch, which is what I was doing.
6) A Water Bottle Drink lots of water! Keep somewhere you nurse. I had marathon nursing sessions with Toddler Girl at night, so I made sure I always had water on my bedside table and some granola bars and dried fruit. Eat lots of fruit and you won’t need the fun stool softener pills!
7) Entertainment Prepare yourself for a lot of down time. The baby will consume your life, but isn’t great company. Pick a show to watch (I watched about 5 seasons of Gilmore Girls), save some good books to read, download Tetris onto your ipod/phone, buy that e-reader you have your eye on. Get comfy on the couch; you’ll be there for a while.
8) Disposable Nursing Pads Surprised after the cloth pad suggestion, aren’t you! I would love to say that the cloth ones work just as well, but they didn’t for me. The disposables were the only ones to do the trick for the first couple months, as I had a huge oversupply. If you have a small amount of milk, cloth might work (and they will work down the road, just not at first).
9) A Breast Pump Some people say to just suck it up if you have an oversupply when your milk just comes in, but I pumped it off. Wonder Baby couldn’t even latch and she was half drowning in milk. Even with serious block feeding, I still had to pump. You might not need one, but it sure came in handy for me. I love my Ameda pump.
10) Nursing Tanks My postpartum uniform was nursing tanks and yoga pants. The bravado ones are pretty cute, and seem the best for busty girls like myself. In fact, I’m probably going to keep buying them when I’m done nursing, because I’ve never found another tank with enough support! Get one a size up for your first month or so; you will likely be more busty than normal.
11) A Belly Wrap I’m not sure if my belly bandit made my tummy shrink in faster after Wonder Baby (sadly, it still is far from flat), but I loved that it made me feel more comfortable. Some people hate belly wraps, but I found that it helped with the empty inside feeling you have as your organs move back into place and your uterus goes back to normal. I especially liked sleeping in it, as it made my tummy stay in place while I slept on my side. And while it gives you a bit of a sausage torso, it does compress the tummy and hide the muffin top. I liked it best for the first 2 weeks.
12) A Pretty Robe If you’re going to be up all hours of the night, you might as well feel pretty. I have this robe by Plum Pretty Sugar and it makes me feel like a sexy bohemian geisha, even when I haven’t slept (or showered) recently.
So that’s my list! Do any of you experienced mamas have a recommendation for the mamas to be?
Postpartum Care Essentials part 3 of 111. Postpartum Pain Relief by Checklists
2. Postpartum Essentials for Mom by Mrs. Checkers
3. Postpartum Survival Kit by Mrs. Superhero
4. New Mom Tips by Mrs. Bee
5. Post Vaginal Delivery Recovery - Day 6 by Mrs. Bee
6. Postpartum Essentials by Mrs. Pen
7. Postpartum Survival Kit by Mrs. Oatmeal
8. How to Survive the Early Days of Motherhood by Mrs. Tea
9. Things I thought were invaluable during the first month by Mrs. Chipmunk
10. Postpartum wardrobe - Where to Splurge and Where to Save by Mrs. Confetti
11. 5 things I wish I had known. by Mrs. Owl