Must-Haves for Mama!
I was not prepared for how difficult it was to care for yourself after a major surgery WHILE taking care of a newborn baby. Those little details are not covered in the books, so here is what I found the most helpful for those weeks following delivery.
- Peri Bottle-- This is a must-have! I used the ones given to me in the hospital. Another tip is to have at least 2 in the main bathroom you use and one in the other bathrooms you will use. Also take the extra 30 seconds to fill them up after you use them so you are not worrying about that the next time and the water is room temperature. I found that I always needed 2 bottles per use to minimize stinging and pain.
- Dermaplast spray- Can we say LIFESAVER! I sprayed this on my incisions prior to using the restroom each time and it majorly cut down on the pain. Stock up on multiple bottles!!
- Witch Hazel Pads- You can make your own witch hazel ice pads. This is super simple (my husband made them). All you have to do it soak a pad in witch hazel and freeze. I made a whole bunch so they were always ready to go.
- Nursing Bras- I found these to be the most comfortable if I wasn't leaving the house. I also liked these for a bit more support.
- Dairy Fairy All in one Bra- Once I started pumping, these were amazing! They unhook like a traditonal nursing bra, but also have slots to hold the pump so you do not need to change bras. What a game-changer! I did find these ran a bit small and I would have sized up for a little more comfortable fit post partum. I liked Ayla and Pippa. It also doesn't hurt that they are pretty.
- Nursing Friendly Pajamas- I lived in various Target pajamas that buttoned up the front for easy nursing. My pro tip here is to literally have like 7-10 options because well, with a baby, you don't get away with wearing the same pj's for multiple nights in a row anymore! These were my favorite: Long Sleeve & Nightgown.
- Nipple cream- I started using this in the hospital from day one and did not have issues with soreness.
- My Breast Friend or Boppy pillow- I preferred the My Breast Friend pillow for nursing, I thought it allowed me to sit in a more comfortable position and supported baby better. It also clips on so I would walk around the house with it attached lol. I would recommend having 2 of these, one in the main house area and one in your bedroom or where you and baby are sleeping.
- Dock-a-Tot- This was super handy for placing baby down when I needed a break. She also took lots of naps the first few weeks in this (with supervision of course!).
- Haakaa Hand pump- I didn't start pumping until 6 weeks, I didn't really need to, but the Haaaka pump was great for starting a let down and catching any leftover milk. I was able to collect enough with this pump for small bottles in the early weeks.
- Sitz bath- I was so confused as to what this was! Essentially, it is when you just soak in a warm bath to soothe the post birth wounds. The hospital will give you the bath that rests on the toilet. After the first couple of weeks, I would take a warm epson salt bath in the tub and that was wonderful!
Lessons I learned!
Here are a few things I wish I had known and lessons I learned postpartum:
- Take it easy the first 2 weeks. We started going on very short walks a few days after we got home, however I do think this slowed down my healing process because I was more sore (and bleeding) post walk.
- Do a sitz bath at least 1X per day! This is very important for healing and will relieve discomfort. It is difficult to make the time for yourself, but have someone watch baby for 20 minutes and relax.
- Take a shower and relax. This is important for YOU. You need me-time, even if it's just 10 minutes. You will think you hear the baby crying and she is probably fine, so try and take a minute and enjoy your shower.
- Find a show to binge-watch. The good news about newborns is they sleep a lot! Up to 15 hours a day the first few weeks, so find a show and enjoy during naps. I recommend 30 min episodes because the naps might not be long, but they will be frequent. Schitt's Creek was my go-to!
- You're going to be emotional. It's ok to feel all the feelings! You will feel happy and sad, you will cry. Talk to your support people and make sure that if you do feel depressed, you seek help. Don't be afraid to talk to your mama friends too. You officially join a new support network of women when you become a mom. PPD is a real thing and there is help out there!
I hope this can help you with your postpartum healing. Overall, my message is to take care of yourself, you'll want to focus all your energy on your baby and you will, but ask for help and take small breaks for YOU. If you need help navigating the newborn stage, I can most definitely help!
Nichole @ Little Peach Sleep