Delivering a baby is not easy and neither is the recovery. What many of us don't know before having our first baby is what we need to help with the recovery and what we'd need at home to help us not only in the nether region but our entire body. Our bodies go through a lot when having a baby and it's important we have everything we need to stay relatively sane when raising a newborn and feel better about ourselves. I've made a list of things I found were necessary for me and what other moms have told me they used as well. Don't let the list frighten you but let it help you along the journey of motherhood!
1. Nursing Essentials
Nipple shields - These help with several things such as prevention of cracking your nipples when baby feeds, bringing your nipples out if they’re flat or inverted, helping your baby latch on, or if you have an overactive let-down.
Milk collection shells - These milk collection shells have an opening for your nipple to protect your nipple from being touched, letting them breathe & heal, and prevent you from leaking on your clothes because it catches the milk in there. Amazing invention let me tell you!
Nursing bras - I ordered a bunch from AliExpress and they work wonderfully especially for the price. So easy to work with when you’re out and about.
Nursing pads - You will get leakage in between feedings so breast pads in your bras will prevent you from soaking your clothes. I kept reading about women going through nursing bras left and right but these saved me from having to constantly wash my bras after each use. You can go eco friendly and get washable nursing pads or get disposable nursing pads.
Breast pump - I got the Medela Swing Maxi double electric pump so I can have my hands free along with the breast pumping bra to hold up the breast pump.
Nipple cream - Trust me when I say you will need this and start using it right after the first feeding and after every feeding. The Medela Lanolin ointment works wonders.
2. Pads or "sexy" diapers
Prepare for heavy bleeding. You will bleed a ton your first week and a half like the heaviest day of your period or more. TMI but so true and you will continue to have light bleeding for another couple weeks. I thought I was done by week two, but then I was spotting here and there for another two after that.
3. Breastfeeding approved pain meds
Your body is going to be in a lot of pain from your nether region, your uterus cramping every time you breastfeed because it helps contract the uterus into place, your breasts being sore, and even your hips. I didn't realize this would be an issue but my hips were in so much pain from stretching during labor. Women's bodies go through a lot but I find it pretty amazing to be honest.
4. Medicated Cooling pads
I got Tucks hemorrhoid cooling pads as part of a recovery care package and was so lucky I didn't have hemorrhoids. I can't imagine what that pain is like on top of everything else. However, I used these pads to cleanse with and soothe the perineum. They feel refreshing and alleviating.
5. Ice packs
A lot of women use ice packs and leave them in their underwear for 10-15 minutes, but I personally didn’t like the way it felt even though it’s supposed to help alleviate soreness and reduce inflammation. I preferred showers and cooling pads to help with that.
6. Loose clothing
The last thing you want after having a baby is tight or warm clothing. Forget about your cute yoga pants. The first few days you'll want to wear boxers or a night gown because you want nothing near your private parts that could cause extra pain. Friction is your enemy!
7. Stool softener
This is one I had no idea about pre-labor but it was much needed. For one, you feel like your stitches are going to come undone when you have to go, but I promise you they won't. Two, your stool is super hard so then you don't even want to go because why put yourself in more pain? But I promise this helps so much. You’ll thank me and your nurses later. I sure did! 🙈
8. A donut pillow or inflatable to sit on
It hurts to sit everywhere you go. I hated the feeling of sitting down or getting in bed, because I felt like a breakable old lady. This takes some pressure off.
9. Postnatal Vitamins
Our bodies go through a lot and lose a lot of nutrients we had gained during pregnancy. As to not lose so many nutrients, it's essential to take daily vitamins. Plus, it helps bring in nutrients for the baby as well if you’re breastfeeding.
10. Baby Nursing App
With all the doctor visits and lack of memory you'll have from being so tired, you're going to need to monitor when and how much you’ve fed & changed your baby and add notes during check ups such as weight, medicine, vaccinations, etc. I use the Sevenlogics Baby Nursing app and it's made things so much easier and help put me in somewhat of a routine.
11. Parenting App
This one's not as crucial, but it's nice to be up to date on parenting tips and check off baby milestones as your baby grows. I use the Ovia Parenting app since I was using the Ovia pregnancy app while I was pregnant. It's pretty useful!