Our little Brody Parker is officially two weeks old today. Between diapers, baby clothes, rockers and baby gear, I nearly forgot about preparing myself for postpartum. Momma requires nearly as much gear as baby! Two weeks later, I am feeling almost 100% healed and back to normal thanks to the essentials below.
Nursing Bras: One thing that caught me off guard postpartum was how messy breastfeeding would be and how leaky my breasts would become. Prior to Brody, I'll admit I was the person who would wear the same bra two days in a row. I assumed the same would be possible post baby. Boy was I wrong! I'm lucky if my bra makes it until afternoon nowadays. Be sure you stock up on 5-7 nursing bras and plan on doing laundry frequently. My favorite nursing bras have been this Underwire Free Bra from Target ($18) and the Racerback Sports Bra from Macy's ($22). Both are supportive and very comfortable to sleep in!
Numbing Spray: It should come as no surprise that birthing a baby leaves everything quite a bit sore between the legs. I used Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray multiple times a day to help heal. It's slightly numbing, easy to use and offered instant relief.
Nipple Shield: Our little guy's bottom lip loved to curl under when he was breastfeeding. This made the first few days of breastfeeding a bit frustrating for both of us. A lactation consultant at the hospital had me use a Medela Nipple Shield to help Brody learn to latch properly. It has helped immensely with and protected my nipples from getting dry and cracked. I'll probably try to wean him off the nipple shield soon, but for now it has been a lifesaver.
Nursing Pads: When my milk supply came in, it came in full force! Just hearing Brody cry would have me leaking. I tried a few different brands of pads and have liked the Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads best. They say they last day and night, but I end up changing them twice a day. They have an adhesive side, however, I've found it easier to not use the adhesive and simply slide them into my bra. Buy a big box of these, I'm already on my second package.
Disposable Underwear: After giving birth, you bleed pretty heavily for a couple of days. The hospitals usually provide you with massive pads that are held in place by disposable mesh undies (your husband will love them). A friend of mine had told me to buy adult diapers instead. They were a bit easier to use, as you could just toss them instead of switching out pads. I'll admit I was too embarrassed to buy these at the store, so I ordered a package of Tena Women's Disposable Underwear from Amazon. They worked great and weren't bulky. Plus, they are good to have on hand incase your water breaks at home!
Maxi Pads: The next step after the disposable underwear are reliable maxi pads--something I hadn't bought since middle school. Who knew there were so many choices nowadays! I bought a package of Always Overnight Maxi Pads and they seem to do the trick. Stock up on a package of these before your little one arrives to avoid an unnecessary trip to the drugstore.
Stool Softener: I'll be honest, going to the bathroom for the first after birth is a little like giving birth all over again. It's painful and uncomfortable. Do yourself a favor and start taking a stool softener like Colace immediately after your little one has arrived. I would recommend continuing to take it for a week or so after, along with eating lots of easy to digest foods.
Peri Bottle: For the first week or so, peeing stings (especially if you have had stitches). Having a peri bottle handy and filled with warm water each time you go to the restroom helps lessen the burn. The hospital usually gives you one of these to bring home.
Nursing Gowns: I lived in nursing gowns our first few days at home. My days went a little like this: stare at baby, feed baby, change baby, repeat. Nursing gowns made it easy to breastfeed and recover. One of my favorites has been the Gilligan & O'Malley Gown from Target. Like the nursing bras, stock up on quite a few of these because they will get used and abused.
Comfy Undies: Your sexy bikini cut undies, thongs, and lingerie will temporarily be thwarted to the back of your dresser drawer in lieu of a more comfortable replacement. Do yourself a favor and stock up on a package of Hanes Briefs. Comfort is key as you heal.
Nipple Cream: Whether you are using a nipple shield or not, your nipples will get sore after feeding your little one 8-12 times a day. A little dab of Lansinoh Lanolin Cream between feedings offers quite a bite of relief.
Witch Hazel Pads: Witch Hazel is one of my favorite drugstore items. I use it as an astringent on my face, I use it on cuts and bites, I use it postpartum. Hemorrhoids can be common from pushing during labor and Tuck's pads, or any similar witch hazel pads, can offer some relief. Thankfully, I did not have any hemorrhoids, but I still placed a few witch hazel pads in my underwear for the first few days after birth. They are great for soothing any burning or itching.
Baby Wrap: If you have seen me since I've had Brody, I've most likely been baby wearing with the Solly Baby Wrap. This has been one of the best investments I made. If Brody is cranky, he will immediately calm down (and usually fall asleep) when he is in the wrap. Without it, I wouldn't stand a chance at getting anything done. The wrap frees my hands to do the dishes, throw in a load of laundry, go grocery shopping etc.
Feeding App: Another tool that has been a lifesaver these past two weeks is the MammaBaby app. The first few visits to the pediatrician are filled with the doctor asking how many times a day baby pees, how many times does baby poop, how often does baby eat, how long does baby eat etc etc. The lack of sleep and exhaustion of having a newborn make it hard to track these items. With the app it has been easy for me to log eating and diapering. There are so many times when I have had to open the app just to see when I last fed Brody or which side he last ate from because I simply lose track of these details. It's also great for storing your little ones measurements each time you are at the pediatrician's office. It's well worth the $3.99 for the full version!
Nursing Pillow: The first few days with Brody, I cradled him in my arms as I fed him. It was a great arm workout, but it was exhausting. I started using the Mombo Nursing Pillow and have been using it at almost every feeding since. Unlike some of the other nursing pillows, this pillow offers a firm side. The firm side keeps the baby from sinking down into the pillow as he or she feeds. Plus, it's a great price!
Who knew mom needed almost as much gear as baby!? What helped you heal postpartum?