That big day is almost here and you can’t wait…or can you? You have been preparing for the big event for months, right?
No matter what kind of birth you have – vaginal, cesarean, medicated, unmedicated, etc. – there are certain things we all experience after birth. I am about to have my 7th baby and have been pulling together my must haves for postpartum myself, so I thought I would share my favorites with you all.
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Tips and Essentials for Postpartum Recovery
My first tip is to take everything you can from the hospital or birth center. Seriously. I know my hospital gives me a lot of things before I leave and I take everything. Every place will be different, of course. However, if your hospital offers you pads, diapers, wipes, creams, mesh underwear…take it all! I promise you will use the majority of it, and it is nice to be able to use the hospital provided items before soiling your own.
Here is my list of Must Haves Items for Postpartum Recovery:
This cream is a must if you plan on breastfeeding. Breastfeeding does not come naturally to everyone, and even when it does, there is almost always pain involved. Your nipples will be sore, dry, cracked, they may even bleed. Putting this lanolin on between feedings will be a lifesaver.
Like I said above, breastfeeding often comes with some pain in the first couple weeks. These are my go to nursing pads for the entire time I am nursing. They are soft and comfortable, unlike others I have tried, and they don’t show through your clothing. I tend to leak for the first 9 months of so of nursing, so I keep these well stocked.
Ok, now here me out, mamas. I am about to give birth to my seventh baby. I have used all kinds of feminine products after delivery, with varying levels of success. I do take the pads that the hospital offers me, and end up using them at some point. However, Depend FIT-FLEX are my must have underwear in those first six weeks. They absorb well, even overnight, so I don’t have to worry about anything. They are comfortable, convenient, and are literally delivered to my doorstep. I am so thankful that Amazon makes it simple and discreet to buy my Depend online. It is one less thing I have to think about when preparing to have a baby. You can shop here for these and save $6 on your purchase. If you sign up for Subscribe and Save, you’ll end up saving even more.
Bravado Nursing Bras are hands down my favorite nursing bras. They are a bit on the pricey side, but I promise they are worth the extra expense. They are so comfortable and have lasted me through multiple nursing babies. I used cheaper nursing bras with my first couple children and had so idea that there were other options. When I finally splurged on these, I knew I would never go back to the cheap ones. You really only need a couple and if you plan on having more children, the cost really evens out. These are my go to tanks for nursing as well.
After you give birth, you will likely be pretty sore down there…but you still need to keep clean. A peri bottle is essential in the first week or two, until you start to feel better. The hospital may provide this for you and if they do, be sure and take it!
I am not one to use a lot of baby gear, if you haven’t noticed yet. However, a Boppy is a must for me because it is so versatile. I use it to assist with nursing positions for the first couple months. When they baby gets a bit older, I use it to prop the baby up or to help with tummy time.
Another one of those fun things we get to talk about as new moms, right? Hey, it’s better to actually hear it from someone who has been there, than to be surprised that no one told you! After delivery, your system has to figure out how to work again, and your body will likely be pretty sore. You may have trouble going to the bathroom. Again, your hospital may provide stool softeners for you. Either way, you’ll want to have these on hand for a few days to make things easier on yourself. These and lots of water!
Everything is likely to be pretty tender and sore for a little while, depending on how your delivery went. I have had deliveries where I felt pretty normal after a few days and others where it took a few weeks. This spray is great for after delivery, when you are tender and recovering.
Another lovely after delivery reality… You may be fortunate enough to escape hemorrhoids after delivery, but have this on hand just in case. After my six deliveries, I have only experienced this one time, but that was time was more than enough for me! Have this and use this cream for instant and ongoing relief.
A FEW TIPS FOR YOU:
Night Sweats– After delivery, your hormones will fluctuate dramatically. I am sure this isn’t a surprise. One thing that did come as a surprise to me was experiencing night sweats…I literally sweat through my pajamas and sheets. So, you may want to consider having an extra set of pajamas handy and possibly even a towel or change of sheets nearby.
Bodily Fluids– You have this new bundle of joy beside you and you are elated…but you may feel pretty gross, physically. You will be bleeding for a few weeks, leaking breast milk, discharge, and sweating like you didn’t think possible. It’s all normal and will subside, but take advantage of showers as much as possible. Not only will it help you feel better physically, but there is something about a hot, solitary, shower in those first few weeks that helps you feel a little bit more like yourself.
Hunger and Thirst– If you are breastfeeding, you will be shocked at how hungry and thirsty you are, especially in the first couple weeks. I am talking famished. I feel like I could eat all day and night after I have a baby. The important thing to note is that your body is still going through some drastic changes, so you want to treat it as well as possible. You are also nourishing another human. Try to keep some healthy snacks available at all times, along with a water bottle. I have a glass or two of water during each nursing session, which adds up to a lot in the beginning weeks. I am truly that thirsty. I make sure to keep a water bottle and some healthy snacks beside my bed for those late night nursing sessions too.
Delegate– Remember…during those first 6 weeks, your priorities are yourself and your new baby- so delegate! Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether that be for the baby, someone to do your laundry or bring over a meal so you don’t have to cook. Let non essentials go for a little while and try not to stress about it. You will feel better and get back to a routine soon enough, but it will and should take some time.
Congratulations, sweet mama!