17 January, 2013
BARE ESSENTIALS: NEW MAMAS.
Having a baby is no joke. No joke at all, my friends! Aside from all of the super amazing parts, recovery can be a you-know-what and the last thing you want to be worrying about is how you didn't realize you'd need this or that and besides, going to the store with a newborn is stupid and dumb and really intimidating! I've put together a little list of things that would be nice to have on hand. Each woman's recovery is different from the rest, however, so I am by no means an expert (oh, or a doctor).
One more thing to note is that many of these items were supplied for me by the hospital where Finn was delivered, so call ahead and figure out what you don't need to waste money on. I suggest that a really great friend of yours supply the rest for you as an awesome present!
1. Peri Bottle. AKA Perineum Bottle. So. Attractive. This little squirt bottle replaces toilet paper for a while... yeah.
2. Tucks Pads. These are little moist pads with witch hazel that I think are intended for hemorrhoids. They are also used for dabbing (not wiping!) when you go to the bathroom. You'll figure it out. Just use them.
3. Laxitives. Oh lordy, this post is getting depressing. You will need to O.D. on these to get over FPF (First Poop Fear).
4. Maxipads. I was going to say that this was a s*** storm, but this whole post is a little too bodily for a joke like that right now. Just stock up on these because you're going to be living in them for a bit. (I'm being nice; it could be a while.)
5. Sitz Bath. Do people usually know what these are? I had no idea. This is a weird shallow sort of bucket that you put on your toilet and fill with warm water and sit in for fifteen minutes at a time or so. This is a life saving invention because it eases the pain of stitches and helps them dissolve, eases soreness, blah blah blah helps annoying aches and pains. Sexy toilet bath here.
6. Ibuprofen. I don't think this needs explanation. Your doctor will talk to you about appropriate dosage and this will, of course, give you lots of relief.
7. Ear Plugs. If you've got some support people around (and you must!), go against your best instincts and take a nap with ear plugs so you get actual rest. This probably sounds terrible because you never want to let your baby out of your sight and you certainly want to attend to his every whimper, but just do it. This could be your only chance for months. DO IT.
8. Bath Tub. This is only slightly interchangeable with a sitz bath and it is something that you. must. demand! Sitting in a warm tub will give you pain relief, but it also gives you time to rest up and relax. This is so important. You might not immediately see the need for this but YOU NEED IT!
9. Water Bottle. If you're breastfeeding, you are going to be sooooooo thirsty. The minute Finn latches on, I'm dying of thirst. I go from perfectly fine to almost dying in half a second. You need, like, five of these.
10. Disposable Nursing Pads. I got pretty freaked out when I realized that I was going to have to have three separate pads on my person at all times. Ughhh. You'll need these even if you aren't breastfeeding because it takes a little while for your body to figure out how much milk you're asking it to produce. You'll go through them pretty quickly too. And, as much as it pains me to say this, don't even think about using the reusable ones for a while because you might as well not use them at all. Such a bummer. Go for the Lansinoh one's instead.
11. Nipple Cream. Or in my case, coconut oil. I was stubborn and grasping at the straws of idealism. I'm sure that fancy nipple creams work great, but I never used them. This is where more of my psuedo-scientific-hippie-decision-making came into play. I had a lot of pain for the first ten days or so, but I survived with just the oil and didn't worry about putting weird stuff in my baby's mouth right off the bat.
12. Nighttime Nursing Bra. If you have to wear a bra 24 hours a day, it might as well be comfortable. Get a loungy one. And if you buy it in advance, you'll probably need one way bigger than you ever thought you'd need. I only have experience with this one, and it's decent. By the way, I did not include regular nursing bras on this list because the sizing can be a tad more specific and, in my experience, it's pretty hard to know where you'll end up beforehand.
13. Netflix Subscription. Do you have any idea how much time new mama's spend nursing babies? I, for one, had absolutely no idea that my existence would be me, my boobs, and a rooting little mouth for seemingly unending weeks. And Weeds, and Downton Abbey, and Breaking Bad, and Mad Men, and Parks & Rec (over and over again), and 30 Rock, and Lost.
14. Amazon Prime. I ordered so many random little things the first few weeks of Finn's life that I became BFFs with the UPS delivery guy. Love him. Looked forward to seeing his shining face every day. Miss him, in fact. I would often way rather wait two days (or less!) for an item to show up on my doorstep then try to take Finn out somewhere with me. So much easier!
15. Comfy Clothes. Just live in sweats and loose t-shirts. I'm talking about really loose waist bands and tanks tops and your husband's button up flannel shirts because they are easy to nurse in. And wear underwear you don't care about because those are going in the trash.
If you have any other suggestions, please leave them in a comment!
Other posts in this series: cloth diapering bare essentials and newborn bare essentials.