POSTPARTUM ESSENTIALS

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Those first few days after you have your baby are something magical. You are beyond tried but beyond overjoyed. Your body hurts all over and your heart is just so happy.

To be honest, I miss those early postpartum days. My labor was long, hard, and scary. But those days following were pure bliss. I think the biggest help of my recovery came from being prepared. I was one of the last of my friends to have a baby. So I had an crew of ladies around me who knew what worked and what didn't. I was beyond fortunate to have all of their advice.

As soon as we arrived home from the hospital, I laid my sweet newborn on top of our bed and began to gather items into a small basket to keep at my bedside and one to keep in our master bathroom. My husband knew our master suite would be my oasis for the next several months and didn't cringe at the site of larger-than-life maxi pads overflowing the basket in the bathroom. He's a keeper.

Had I been more prepared, I would've had my two baskets already put together and waiting for me. But when your water breaks 8 days before your due date and it's your first kid...you're not always that prepared.

For the bedroom...or wherever you will be nursing baby the most during those first few weeks.
We're big fans of having baby sleep in the bedroom for 6 months - 1 year. USA Today published an article about this in 2016. Click here to read it. 

+ONE
Nursing pads. I love the Up & Up disposables from Target. They're less expensive than name brands and they hold a lot. I leak like a faucet, all the time, but especially did during those first few weeks of breastfeeding while my supply was still trying to figure itself out. I still recall my family coming to visit me in the hospital and I was wearing reusable nursing pads. After they left, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw huge milk stains on my beautiful silk robe. I asked my husband why he didn't let me know about said milk stains and he just shrugged and thought no one would notice. Since then, I've used disposable nursing pads, they just work better for me.
Click here to buy Up &Up disposable nursing pads.

+TWO
Lanolin. If you're anti-lanolin, I'm sorry. This is the best stuff ever created by a sheep. Slather it on ladies! It is seriously a life (or nipple?) saver. I love Lansinoh's lanolin because it's just lanolin, nothing else. And they guarantee high quality.
Click here to buy Lansinoh lanolin.

+THREE
Ibproufen. Yeah. Just do it. Don't be a hero. Take the ibproufen (as long as doc says it's okay). You just birthed a human being out of your body. You're allowed to have western medicine pain relief. I promise, none of your crunchy hippie mama friends will know.

+FOUR
Chapstick. Because dry lips are about to be your nemesis, especially if you're breastfeeding. Your child is sucking liquid out of your body, literally dehydrating you.
I really love Portland Bee Balm. Click here to buy it. 

+FIVE
Water. Hello, did you read #4? Dehydration? I have never been so thirsty in my life. I keep a Swell bottle by my bed. These bottles really do keep your water ice cold for several several hours. Target is stocking a ton of cute printed Sip by Swell bottles right now.
Click here to buy.

+SIX
Haakaa or as my husband affectionately calls it, the squeegee.  This is a let-down collection cup. You suction it to the opposite side while you're nursing. I get anywhere from .5 - 2 ounces each time. After I'm done nursing, I dump the milk into a bottle in the fridge and place that into a freezer bag at the end of the day. Although you may not get much each time, I usually add about 2-4 ounces to my stash if I use the Haakaa at each feeding.
Click here to buy the Haakaa.


For the bathroom...the less glamorous part of postpartum. I asked the hospital for extra supplies the day I was discharged and the nurses happily gave me enough to last about 1.5 weeks at home:

+ONE
New Mama Bottom Spray. The hospital provided us with a bottle of blue Dermoplast spray. I ran out of that the day after I got home from the hospital and could not find it anywhere in stores. Since I didn't want to wait 2 days for Amazon Prime to deliver it to my house...I gave this stuff a try. It's amazing. I love the smell and it provides the same relief as Dermoplast.
Click here to buy.

+TWO
Dry shampoo. Gimme all the dry shampoo. It's like manna from Heaven. Ain't no body got time for washing their hair every day immediately after giving birth.
My favorite is Dove Refresh.

+THREE
Hospital maxi pads. Yes, they're huge. Yes, they're amazing.

+FOUR
Mesh panties. Ah, the best thing you could possibly adorn post-birth is mesh panties. I was so nervous that my husband would make fun of me for wearing these. But he just smiled and said he was glad we had plenty of them. Plus, my undies weren't big enough to hold the giant pads that I had to wear.

+FIVE
Ice packs. I know there is varying beliefs about the length of time to use ice after you've delivered. I had an amazing team of nursing at our hospital that told me to use it for as long as I felt the need to. So I did! The hospital provided ones have an adhesive strip so you can secure them to your super sexy mesh underwear.

+SIX
Tucks pads. I had no clue what tucks pads were until right after I gave birth. My labor & delivery nurse helped me into my recovery room bathroom and helped me wipe myself off and make my mesh panty diaper. I had a 31 hour labor so I was dang tired and couldn't have done any of that without her. She handed me a container of tucks pads and said those would be my new best friend. She was right. I loved them.

+SEVEN
Normal sized pads. I bled for about 7 weeks postpartum. I didn't have any pads in the house before I gave birth so I picked some up once I ran out of the giant hospital ones. I wished I already had those on hand before I gave birth so I didn't have to make a trip to the store. Plus, it's not advised to use a menstrual cup or tampon until you get the go-ahead from your doctor.


What were your postpartum essentials? Leave them in the comments below!

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