After Birth: Taking Care of Mama

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After giving birth, everything is about the baby. But, you need special care too! While in the hospital, you’re taken care of, provided necessary supplies and instructed on what to do. Then you’re sent home, likely after just two days, and then what?

First, before baby arrives be sure you’re stocked up on the “new mom essentials” necessary to get you through the first few weeks at home. Taking care of yourself is just as vital as taking care of baby, especially if you’ll be breastfeeding.

In my experience, you may need:

Maxi Pads

These are absolutely essential. You will need them. At the beginning,  I used Always Maxi Overnight Pads without Wings and they worked well for me. I bled for 6-7 weeks after birth, but each time it tapered off I’d switch to a lighter pad. I went from the bulky overnight pads, down to regular pads, then light pads, and ended with just a panty liner. I recommend purchasing at least 2 packages of the overnight pads and one of each of the others.

Cheap Underwear

Unless you want to ruin your good underwear, I recommend buying at least one package of cheap underwear. I purchased a 10-pack of Fruit of the Loom Cotton Briefs and they came in handy! There will be accidents while bleeding and having cheap underwear on hand saves your good underwear from stains! After you’ve stopped bleeding, you can just toss the ruined pairs in the trash.

Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads

Although these are technically for hemorrhoids, I was given them in the hospital to soothe and cool my nether regions. I was able to take the remaining pads home, but I ended up needing more so I’m glad I had purchased a tub of them prior to giving birth.

Peri-bottle

The hospital provides one to you for the duration of your stay, and you will be able to take it with you upon discharge so you probably don’t necessarily have to purchase one of these. But, be sure to take it home with you because you will need it the first week or two! They are an amazing little invention and I am seriously considering putting in a Bidet because of them!

Padsicles

These are wonderful little DIY inventions that are highly recommended by me and many other “mommy blogs.” I made 20-25 of these babies beforehand just in case I needed pain relief and soothing comfort when I got home from the hospital. Luckily, I didn’t need to use them but I am glad I had them just in case.

Stool Softener

The nurses will give you this twice daily while in the hospital, but I suggest purchasing a bottle for home use. Luckily, due to these awesome little pills, I was able to “go” the day after coming home! I’m partial to the Walgreens brand myself. I have heard horror stories of mommies who weren’t able to go for weeks and it made me wonder if they weren’t taking their softeners. They DO help!

Freezer Meals

A must if you don’t have a ton of family and friends nearby. My husband and I don’t have any family within 100’s of miles of us and most of our friends were preoccupied with other things, so we were happy to have a freezer full of pre-made food to consume! Trust me, you will not feel like making an elaborate meal and it’s a must to eat healthy after having a baby, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Make some casseroles, slow cooker soups & stews, and other freezable goodies to have for the first 2 weeks. You’ll be glad you did.

Dermoplast

Dermoplast is a lovely numbing spray that really helps with aches and pains in the vaginal area after giving birth, especially if you’ve torn or had an episiotomy. They will provide this in the hospital, but may not give you a can to take home. I hadn’t heard about this prior to birth, so I didn’t have any to take home. I asked if I could have a new can to take home and they gave me one (but the nurse said it isn’t typical to supply a 2nd can). Pick some up just in case!

Preparation H

This will come in handy if you develop hemorrhoids during delivery or after. They do supply a tube in most hospitals.

Pain Reliever

If you’ve had a C-Section, you will be provided with a prescription for heavier pain meds, but if you delivered vaginally they generally won’t supply prescription pain relievers after you’re discharged. Pick up some ibuprofen or acetaminophen to have on hand.

Snacks

Trust me, after going through the energy-zapping experience of giving birth, you will want to devour everything in sight. I ate so much after having Owen, it was insane. After coming home, I was glad to have snacks on hand for the middle of the night and anytime I breastfed in those early weeks. I recommend Nutri-Grain Bars, Pop-Tarts, Nature Valley Crunchy Peanut Butter Bars, Powerade, and water. I know these aren’t the most nutritious snacks, but if you’re breastfeeding you will need the extra caloric intake.

Heating Pad

This helped during pregnancy, but also helped postpartum for pains in my back, lower back & hips, and the pelvic region.

Robe

This isn’t always necessary, but I’m glad my mother-in-law bought me one. Prior to her arriving (and prior to having the robe!) I would come downstairs and clean my pump parts and/or prepare formula in my underwear and a t-shirt. Not something everyone wants to see. After my MIL came, I was happy to have something to cover up with in the middle of the night.

Toilet Paper

Although you won’t be using toilet paper for the first week or two, your husband will appreciate having a stockpile so he doesn’t have to run out in the middle of the night because you ran out. Toilet paper is not something you want to run out of. Trust me.

A Good Water Bottle

This is especially important if you are breastfeeding because you have to drink A LOT of water to keep up your milk supply. Of course, it’s also healthy to stay well-hydrated after birth even if you’re not breastfeeding. I remember waking in the night and chugging an entire pitcher of water – every single night! I was so thirsty all the time! Plus, having a good water bottle on hand makes it easy to take with you – anywhere!

Chapstick

For some reason your lips will become super dry and chapped after delivering a baby. I don’t know if it’s because you’ve just spent two or more days in the hospital (they’re always so dry!), or because you’ve just been through a life-altering event, but you will need your favorite chapstick to keep lips soft, supple and hydrated.

Are there products not on this list that you used or needed after giving birth? Please share them in the comments! I’d love to hear from you. Have a Super Day! -themidwestmama

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