14 Things you need to help your post partum body
1. Maxi Pads – You’ll bleed for several weeks after having a baby. Go out and buy some pads to have on hand. You can’t use tampons and honestly, you wouldn’t want to anyway. Moon cups are also out of the question. You could also go the cloth pads route if you wish.
2. “Big” Underwear – I had to have a c-section with Joshua and my underwear went right across my incision in the hospital. Ouch. I wish that I had bigger underwear that would have been more comfortable for the ride home. Sadly, you don’t always know before hand if you’ll be having a c-section, so plan accordingly. Undies that are V shaped at the front are also helpful for C sections. Even for my girls who were vaginal deliveries bigger softer underwear was soo much more comfortable.
3. Nipple Cream – If you breastfeed, your nipples will be sore at first. Nipple cream (and a good latch!) will help. I found the Weleda one really good but there might be better options. Your friends with babies will be your best source of advice on this one.
4. Nursing Pads – When you nurse a baby you’ll experience “let down.” That is when the milk is “released” and becomes available to the baby. The tricky thing is that let down happens in both breasts at the same time, not just the one the baby is feeding from. So that means that you’ll leak a little (or for some, a lot) from the breast that the baby isn’t feeding from. A nursing pad will be your friend. There is a wide range of disposable nursing pads and reusable nursing pads. Having one of the Haakaa Breastpumps on hand to catch this extra milk can also be a good idea because you can use it with one hand.
Some women are “leakier” than others. You might leak at night when when your baby starts sleeping longer, if you have pressure on your breasts (like if you are carrying something heavy against your chest), or even from hearing a baby cry. Even if you don’t want to breastfeed, you might want to pick up a small box to use until your milk dries up.
5. Nursing Bras – My girlfriend used to work in a bra shop and she recommended getting a bra fitting as close to your due date as possible and no sooner than 6 weeks before your due date. Your breasts are going to get bigger when your milk comes in, so leave some extra room in your new bra to accommodate for that! Have a look at Hot Milk and Cadenshae for some great bra options.
6. Clip On Nursing Singlets – There are loads of Nursing Singlets that are the bra and singlet in one. The problem with these is the bra size may not match the singlet size you need or the bra may not offer the support you need. Clip On Nursing Singlets turn your favourite, most comfortable nursing bra into a nursing singlet. They make nursing around other people so much easier. You can just wear your normal tops and have a layer beneath to hide that post birth tummy. They are also great for the hospital and sleeping in.
7. Insulated Cup with Straw – Nursing mothers need to drink a lot of water to keep up with their milk supply. Even if you aren’t breastfeeding, you may find that having an extra large cup of water by your side helps you stay hydrated during this time when you are focused so much on your little one’s needs. An insulated cup is also great for keeping your tea or coffee warm when you get distracted with baby.
8. Special Soap for Your First Shower – Your first shower after giving birth is a big deal. It might be one of the first moments that you are away from your newborn and focusing 100% on you. You will definitely want to freshen up and having special, fun soap makes the experience even nicer. Of course this is totally optional, but why not pamper yourself? You just gave birth after all!
9. Breastfeeding Friendly Pajamas – You don’t have to buy official nursing pajamas, but you will want to be sure you are wearing something that is easy to breastfeed in. Your favourite PJ bottoms and our Clip On Nursing Singlet will work too.
10. Stool Softener – After my vaginal deliveries, I wasn’t too excited about the idea of letting anything else “pass through” down there. Thankfully, the stool softener I took in the hospital was effective enough for me and I didn’t need to take anymore after I got home. If you are prone to getting constipated, I would have some stool softener on hand at home waiting for you. If not, then just make a mental note and have someone run out and get some for you only if needed.
11. Belly Bandit – Some women experience a separation in their abs during pregnancy called, diastasis recti. The separation can make it look like you have a belly pooch that just won’t ever seem to go away. Crunches and sit-ups only makes it worse. I don’t know much about diastasis recti except that it can be corrected and a Belly Bandit can help. Check out Pregnancy Exercise’s website for great exercise programs that will also help.
12. Snacks – Trail mix, muesli bars, almonds, chocolate… You’ll be thankful to have some snacks on hand.
13. Convenient Meals – Stock your freezer and fill your pantry with easy, convenient meals! A simple frozen pizza or spaghetti will do, but if you are up for it then I recommend trying to fill your freezer. Here are some of my favorite freezer friendly recipes:
14. Kindness to yourself. The birth of a baby is such a special time in life. Enjoy it and don’t forget to take care of yourself and your postpartum body!