Between getting the nursery ready and thinking of baby names, who knew that the nine months could fly by so fast. Of course, you have all the basics (and more) covered for the baby but who knew that there was so much more involved in your own postpartum care. Here are my top ten items that I couldn't live without right now. Hope it helps some of you new moms in search for things to stock up before you give birth. Trust me, you do not want to make a Target run on the way from the hospital.
Nursing Tanks & Bras- I've tried couple different brands and by far these are my favorite. I always size up and buy few of the same color so it's easier to wash them. There will be plenty of leakage and you will change them very often, so get a few.
For the times when you will actually want to feel like a human being and leave the house, you will need a little more support than a tank. For easy access you still want to wear your nursing undergarments but the ones that have a little lace and look sexy.
Nipple Cream - When the breastfeeding starts, it's uncomfortable at the very least and very painful at most. Yes, nursing isn't supposed to hurt (after a while) but those first few days are rough. All of a sudden someone is abusing your most sensitive parts every few hours. Having something to soothe the pain (see below) and keeping nipples from cracking is important.
Gel Pads - These pads are life savers! I used them non stop for first few days and wish I knew about them with my first baby. They are a little on a pricey side but well worth it. I didn't have to buy any because the hospital gave me two pairs and I only used one.
Nursing Pads - Once your milk comes in, there is no tell when and how often you may leak milk. Sometimes it happens when you start to hear your baby cry, other times the let down may happen at the most random times. To protect yourself from embarrassment and having to change your clothes all the time, place these pads inside your tank or bra.
Soft Undies - Postpartum pain is something nobody talks about. From the crazy uterine contractions (that help to shrink your tummy but hurt like nobody's business) to the sensitive bottom, you will want nothing to do with your lacy undies. Comfort is the key! I get a few of the cheaper underwear (just in case of leakage) and size up for comfort.
Shapewear - Although it's not time to start dieting and worrying, it's never to early to start caring for your tummy. The shapewear provides not only definition to your waist but also helps with all the loose muscle jiggle. Especially if you end up with C-section, tummy support is a must as it will help you move around. Even with natural birth, I love the support it give my stomach and although I don't wear it all the time, it's nice to have it on hand. Although I would recommend wearing regular SPANX if you have a lot of weight to loose or lots of loose muscle at all times. It definitely helps move things along in getting into shape.
Nursing Pillow - Whether you are a first time mom or a seasoned veteran, the nursing pillow helps relieve pressure of your back from holding the baby and helps with support. I use my body pillow from pregnancy as a boppy (it has a similar shape) but if you didn't get one while you were pregnant, this is a great things to own. Nursing can be a little difficult at first so having to put baby somewhere while you re-position yourself or rest your elbow while you're nursing is a must!
Fenugreek - just in case your milk supply doesn't take off or it starts going down, it's nice to have breastfeeding essentials on hand. Some of the recommendations for boosting milk supply are oatmeal (in any form), fenugreek, mother's milk tea, blessed thistle, drinking plenty of water and rest. By far, fenugreek is the most effective way to boost milk supply in my opinion.
Essential Oils - I have a witch hazel and essential oil blend that has been helping me tremendously. With lots of sensitivity down there and possible perineal tears, it's important to have the tools on hand to heal scars and bleeding faster. I found that essential oils are a lot safer that over the counter prescription in a lot of cases and therefore won't hurt to have something ready just in case.
If you have any more questions about delivery (natural or C-section), postpartum recovery or nursing, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm not a pro but have learned my fair share after having two babies.
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