These are just a few of the items I found I loved and needed as soon as I got home from the hospital. Of course, as with everything else these may not be the same for every mama, and a number of these items were helpful due to the type of delivery I had and the physical road to recovery ahead for me (some graphic/explicit details below).
1) Lanolin (aka nipple cream) – Pregnant ladies, I have yet to meet a first-time mom tell me that breastfeeding did not hurt in the beginning. It is a beautiful experience, but I am sorry to burst any bubbles here — it can be very painful. After being sucked on multiple times (sometimes 10 times) a day, your nipples can become raw and may even crack or bleed. In the first few days, I used the nipple cream quite a bit to alleviate the pain, and it helped. Once my milk came in and I became a little more comfortable with nursing, I was able to use breast milk to ease the pain in that area, but the cream was very helpful early on.
2) Dermoplast - I stole this from my hospital room. You should too. This spray will numb your lady parts after you go to the bathroom, and it feels heavenly.
3) Nursing Tanks - I found these to be so much more comfortable than nursing bras. Since I wasn’t going out of the house much in the first month, I basically lived in nursing tanks. The ones I purchased from Target seemed to be the most cost-effective (for good quality).
4) Lounge pants – Pajama pants, yoga pants, lounge pants, whatever you’d like to call them. I sent Mr. Checkers out to buy me a few pairs of loose-fitting pants with an elastic waistband. This was the other essential postpartum clothing item. On any given day (at any time of the day) when I was home in those first few weeks, you could find me in a nursing tank and a comfy pair of pants!
5) Tucks Witch-hazel pads - I think this was also combined in my loot from the hospital. These are great to line your big thick pads with when you’re feeling pain in your nether regions and/or you are suffering from hemorrhoids postpartum.
6) Breast pads - If you plan on breastfeeding you will definitely need breast pads! I didn’t realize this until my milk came in and woke up with a soaking wet shirt at 2 AM. I was confused (I thought I was just sweating excessively, which was not abnormal since I was sweating like a pig postpartum). Just once I sniffed my shirt I realized it was milk. I would get at least a box of these prior to delivery and have them ready at home.
7) Nursing pillow - Based off of the recommendation of a few friends, I registered for a Brest Friend pillow and I found it did help support me during breastfeeding. I have heard a lot of comments re: Boppy vs. Brest Friend, and it seems they both have some pros and cons. A number of moms I know swear by the Boppy, whereas others love the Brest Friend pillow. I think it is really personal prefer
8) Overnight pads – My mom friend recommended I buy a pack before I deliver since I would be bleeding for awhile post-delivery. I asked her if the Ultra Thin Overnight pads would do, but she encouraged me to get the Extra Heavy Overnight pads. I put these to good use, although I didn’t need the entire package. The bulk of the heavy bleeding probably only lasted about a week, and then I was able to switch to the thinner pads.
9) Free Meals - Any new mom will be ecstatic if you can create/organize a Meals on Wheels system for her postpartum. I know many churches do this, and this has been the norm for most of my mom friends, where someone will organize a weekly schedule of meals for a number of weeks so the new parents do not have to worry about going out or cooking (especially when no one is sleeping). There are convenient websites like www.takethemameal.com that make it easy for friends to sign up for a date and say what meal they plan to bring. The organizer can add the dates for the meals, address, time of drop-off, food restrictions, etc. We had meals coming for weeks on end and we are so grateful for all the friends who provided this for us!
10) Preparation H Medicated wipes -If you were afraid to go Number Two post-delivery, raise your hand! I was no exception, and I have my ‘rrhoids to thank for that. These medicated wipes made the experience much less painful, and they really were a lifesaver. I used them for about four to six weeks postpartum.
What other items would you add to this list?