What You Really Need for Postpartum the Second Time Around
The first month of postpartum is filled with emotions and gear. Momma needs nearly as much as the newborn. You might remember my postpartum essentials list from Brody’s birth.
This time, my birth was quite different and so were my essentials. To put it simply, healing down there was a hell of a lot easier. No stitches, no abrasions, no hemorrhoids=a lot less supplies. If you are expecting your first little one, my original list will probably be helpful—a lot of the products on there I was not familiar with before becoming a momma.
This time around, I also discovered some really helpful new products to make the postpartum month a little easier—especially while chasing a toddler around.
Solly Baby Wrap: One of my favorite parts of the newborn stage is baby wearing. The Solly Baby Wrap was my go-to with Brody and it has become my go-to even more so with Isla. Most of our day at home is spent with Isla wrapped up on me. Free hands mean I can read books to Brody, wipe his bottom when he goes to the bathroom and prep lunch for him. This has always been my number one product recommendation for new moms and with two kiddos it is even handier. I keep one wrap in the living room, one in the car and one upstairs.
Silicone Breast Pump: This Silicone Breast Pump was a new find for me. I bought it on a whim with low expectations, but it has proved to be pretty awesome (buy the Pump Stopper too)! This under $20 item can be used as a manual breast pump or collect milk from one side as you are nursing on the other. Sometimes when I have been nursing Isla, I’ve been able to capture 3oz of milk on the other side with this. It is an easy way to start a freezer stash of milk—especially in the first few weeks when your milk is coming in and your supply is going strong.
Stool Softener: One of the few things I ended up having to run out to the store for in the first days postpartum was stool softener. Pooping after a baby is no joke. Do yourself a favor and buy some ahead of time.
Backrest: I debated about buying an expensive back support for breastfeeding. I remember how uncomfortable those late night feedings were with Brody. I decided to try an affordable bedrest first and it has proven to be a great purchase! It is stiff enough to support my back and I usually toss a pillow behind for a little extra cushion. I use this every single night and it is under $20.
Breast Pump: I only ever used my breast pump once with Brody. The thing intimidated me. This meant declining invitations for anything that would take me away from Brody for more than a few hours. Very little me-time made for a rough first few months. This time, I vowed to pull out the pump and build a milk stash. Most of the time lactation consultants recommend waiting until your milk regulates (around 5-6 weeks) before starting to pump to reduce issues like oversupply. Between wanting to start a freezer stash right away and Isla’s little health scare that could have potentially jeopardized our nursing—I opted to pump during our first month. I used the Medela Pump In Style Advance about once a day (in addition to the silicone milk catcher) for the first three weeks. I have not pumped as regularly the past couple of weeks, but it is a relief having a freezer of milk, especially with a much needed mom’s night out coming up!
Ibuprofen: Three words: After labor pains. With Brody, I remember a few contractions when he would first latch on the first day or so after he was born. I had heard the mention of after labor pains for sequential pregnancies being much stronger and boy were they! I was not prepared for the toe curling pain. The max dosage of ibuprofen took the edge off slightly. Make sure you are stocked up. We ended up running to the store our first night at home to buy a bottle.
Heating Pads: Besides Ibuprofen, the only other thing that offered slight relief to the after labor pains was heat. The moms in the Momma Society Facebook group tipped me off on this trick after I desperately pleaded for some solutions. When I would nurse Isla, I would be sure to have a heating pad nearby to put on my abdomen. The disposable heating pads work great. If you do not have one, you can always fill a tube sock with rice and microwave it for a minute or two to warm it up. After four days, the after labor pains went away.
Nursing Leggings: Feeding on the go has become a daily occurrence with Isla. My favorite pair of supportive pregnancy leggings has transitioned into an awesome pair of nursing leggings. They cover most of your postpartum belly, so when you pull your shirt up to feed your little one, everything else stays covered.
Vitamins: With breastfeeding, I am adamant about taking my vitamins. SmartyPants is one of Megan Garcia’s recommended prenatal brands, so I’ve been taking the SmartyPants women’s complete multivitamin gummies postpartum. I am also going to be adding a probiotic to my routine per Megan’s suggestion.
Nursing Pads: I’ve been wearing these 24/7. I prefer the Disposable Nursing Pads because our laundry already quadruples in size with a newborn around, so being able to toss them is handy.
Mesh Undies: I will be honest, postpartum is not glamorous and mesh undies are your best friends. The first time, I left all of the mesh undies at the hospital when I left. This time, I made sure to ask for some to bring home. They gave me 4 extra pairs, but a few more would have been even better. Buy some on Amazon before birth--you won’t regret it.
Undies: The next step after the lovely mesh undies is always granny panties and pads for me. I stocked up on a new pack of comfy undies right before Isla arrived.
Water Bottle: Between nursing and the Arizona summer, I have been so parched. I have taken over my husband’s Hydro Flask and have kept it filled with ice water. It is always within arms reach during the day—especially when I am feeding Isla.
Pads: You know those giant pads they give you at the hospital postpartum? Well you can buy them on Amazon! Stock up in case your hospital doesn’t send you home with enough. They don’t sell pads like this at the store! These are perfect to put inside the mesh undies during your first days at home. After the first week or so, I switched to L. Organic regular pads--their packaging is on point and they worked great!
Nursing Bras: I have tried quite a few nursing bras. One of my go-tos has been this super soft Bravado Nursing Bra—I wear it pretty much day and night because the material is so comfortable. If I am going out or wearing something a little tighter, I’ll opt for this underwired Nursing Bra. It is the same bra I wore in my milk bath maternity pictures. Both are well made and comfortable.
So there’s my list of postpartum gear from the past month! I am still working on a post answering all of your questions on Isla’s birth, postpartum and adjusting to life with 2. I will be posting it in the next few days. You guys had lots of great questions!
What were your postpartum essentials? Was there anything you could not live without in those first few weeks at home?