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Diapers? Check. Onesies? Check. Car seat? Check. Things to help you take care of your postpartum body? Umm…
When I was pregnant with Grace, I came up with a list of questions for all of my mom friends. I asked for advice about different registry items, handling guests at the hospital, favorite pregnancy books, and more. The very last question was, “What else do I need to know? What did I forget?” Again and again my friends pointed out that I had forgotten about me.
If you are expecting your first baby, don’t forget to add some must needed mommy items to your pre-baby shopping list!
14 Things You Need For Your Postpartum Body
1. Maxi Pads - You’ll bleed for several weeks after having a baby. Go out and buy some pads to have on hand. You can’t use tampons and honestly, you wouldn’t want to anyway. I tried out the newer Always Infinity pads and really liked them. You could also go the cloth route.
2. “Big” Underwear - I had to have a c-section with Noah and my underwear went right across my incision in the hospital. Ouch. I wish that I had bigger underwear that would have been more comfortable for the ride home. Sadly, you don’t always know before hand if you’ll be having a c-section, so plan accordingly.
3. Nipple Cream - If you breastfeed, your nipples will be sore at first. Nipple cream (and a good latch!) will help. With Grace I used lanolin. It worked well, but for Noah I switched to Earth Mama Angel Baby’s natural nipple butter and I liked it even better.
4. Nursing Pads - When you nurse a baby you’ll experience “let down.” That is when the milk is “released” and becomes available to the baby. The tricky thing is that let down happens in both breasts at the same time, not just the one the baby is feeding from. So that means that you’ll leak a little (or for some, a lot) from the breast that the baby isn’t feeding from. A nursing pad will be your friend.
Some women are “leakier” than others. You might leak at night when when your baby starts sleeping longer, if you have pressure on your breasts (like if you are carrying something heavy against your chest), or even from hearing a baby cry. Even if you don’t want to breastfeed, you might want to pick up a small box to use until your milk dries up. There are several different brands and you’ll find out which kind you like the best, but Lansinoh is my favorite because they are thin and discrete.
5. Nursing Bras - My girlfriend used to work in a bra shop and she recommended getting a bra fitting as close to your due date as possible and no sooner than 6 weeks before your due date. Your breasts are going to get bigger when your milk comes in, so leave some extra room in your new bra to accommodate for that! Here are 3 nursing bras that I have and recommend:
Sports Clip Down from Motherhood – This is a nursing sports bra and I liked it because it offered a lot of support. I never did anything athletic in it because I prefer to sit on the couch and eat Oreos, but it offered plenty of support for that. :)
Original Nursing Bra from Bravado – This bra was super comfy for sleeping.
Wireless Jacquard Nursing Bra from Motherhood - This was my go-to bra for when I was leaving the house. It offered enough support for me, I liked that is was lightly padded enough to hide the nursing pads, and it was prettier than my other nursing bras. One thing I didn’t like was that it came up kind of high and sometimes it would peek out of the top of some of my lower cut shirts.
6. Nursing Tanks - Run. Do not walk. Run to the closest store to buy some nursing tank tops today. They make nursing around other people so much easier. I have practically been living in nursing tank tops ever since Grace was born 4.5 years ago. There are two different ones that I recommend:
Gilligan & O’Malley from Target: This is a cheaper tank top with a simple shelf bra. They cost about $20. I own 5.
Essential Nursing Tank from Bravado: This is the Cadillac of nursing tanks. It costs about $50, but the bra support is much better than the Target tanks. I own one and used to save it to wear when I was going out in public.
7. Insulated Cup with Straw - Nursing mothers need to drink a lot of water to keep up with their milk supply. Even if you aren’t breastfeeding, you may find that having an extra large cup of water by your side helps you stay hydrated during this time when you are focused so much on your little one’s needs. My hospital gave me a nice cup with a straw, so you might not need to purchase one yourself. This one is really nice though because it has “freeze stick” in it that will help keep the water cold all night.
8. Special Soap for Your First Shower - Your first shower after giving birth is a big deal. It might be one of the first moments that you are away from your newborn and focusing 100% on you. You will definitely want to freshen up and having special, fun soap makes the experience even nicer. Of course this is totally optional, but why not pamper yourself? You just gave birth after all! My favorite handmade organic soap comes from Sweet Sally Soaps.
9. Breastfeeding Friendly Pajamas - You don’t have to buy official nursing pajamas, but you will want to be sure you are wearing something that is easy to breastfeed in. I own a nursing gown that I wore in the warmer months and in the winter I wore regular pajamas, but I made sure they buttoned down the front.
10. Stool Softener - After my vaginal delivery, I wasn’t too excited about the idea of letting anything else “pass through” down there. Thankfully, the stool softener I took in the hospital was effective enough for me and I didn’t need to take anymore after I got home. If you are prone to getting constipated, I would have some stool softener on hand at home waiting for you. If not, then just make a mental note and have someone run out and get some for you only if needed.
11. Tucks Witch Hazel Pads - It is very common for women to get hemorrhoids from all the pushing during labor. Tucks medicated pads are made to help relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoids. It isn’t guaranteed that you will get hemorrhoids (I didn’t), so don’t buy them ahead of time unless you already have hemorrhoids. You can always ask someone to run out and get them for you.
12. Tummy Splint - Some women experience a separation in their abs during pregnancy called, diastasis recti. The separation can make it look like you have a belly pooch that just won’t ever seem to go away. Crunches and sit-ups only makes it worse. I don’t know much about diastasis recti except that is can be corrected and a tummy splint can help.
13. Snacks - Trail mix, granola bars, almonds, chocolate… You’ll be thankful to have some snacks on hand.
14. Convenient Meals - Stock your freezer and fill your pantry with easy, convenient meals! A simple frozen pizza or spaghetti will do, but if you are up for it then I recommend trying to fill your freezer. Here are some of my favorite freezer friendly recipes:
The birth of a baby is such a special time in life. Enjoy it and don’t forget to take care of your postpartum body!
Moms, what have I forgotten? Have you used any of these products?
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