Here’s my list of essential postpartum items that helped me get through the first few days at home with baby.
Stock up on pads! I’ve always had a lighter period and I’ve been using a menstrual cup for years. Pads are just something I don’t have in stock at home.
I feel like a dumb ass because I really didn’t expect THAT much bleeding after delivery. I kept joking that it looked like a massacre had occurred in my hospital bathroom.
Pre-delivery, I had purchased two packs of the Natracare brand menstrual pads (one maternity – 10 pack, one ultra with wings – 14 pack). Well, let’s just say these were gone within two days of getting home. I ended buying two packs of U by Kotex overnight pads (28 X 2 – I would have preferred the Natracare brand, but I wasn’t driving across town to get them). One week postpartum, I’ve got about half a pack left as my bleeding has subsided quite a bit. I would compare both the Natracare maternity pads and the Kotex overnight pads to the one that the hospitals supply. My public health nurse also advised me that she hears that Always is the least comfortable brand for postpartum needs.
Point being: buy more than you think you will need.
Depend disposable underwear (or any other brand of disposable diaper/panties)
Yes, I’m 100% supporting you wearing oh-so-sexy granny diapers. My friend suggested this tip and it is a laundry saver!Our hospital offered disposable undies but I found the nurses were stingy on bringing me additional pairs when I was running out. Depends saves your own panties because we really wants to be doing more laundry in those first few days?
I used a Depend + a menstrual pad. I tried just the Depend one night but leaked (another tip: put an old pair of sheets on the bed).
If you are looking for a less diaper-ish style, try the Depend Silhouettes. They even have a lower rise cut which still hit me at waist level but wasn’t as Granny.
Honestly, the first few days at home I was mainly topless or wearing a nursing bra and these hot pants.You want comfort and ease.
Padsicles & Perenium Spray
Now, take those pads you bought and make yourself a nice stash of padsicles. Those first few days postpartum the padsicle will feel like heaven on your sore lady bits.
I used this recipe from the Modern Alternative Mama. I omitted the aloe and simply wrapped my padsicles in the wrapper they came with. I personally use Young Living essential oils, but there are many brands out there that you can try.
The recipe can also be used as a perenium spray. Simply pour it into a spray bottle and give your lady bits a nice spray down after every trip to the bathroom.
I made these a few days before I went into labour. My milk came in great. I don’t know if I can attribute it to the cookies, but I’m sure they helped. I even brought some to the hospital with me to snack on after delivery.
I used this lactation cookie recipe. If you have trouble finding brewer’s yeast, check your local health food store. I added chocolate chips and dried apricots to my cookies. Mmmmm. They are also a nice quick snack for once you are home with baby. Very filling.
We have an amazing local Mama/Baby store that carries a variety of nursing products. I visited them in my 3rd trimester to be fitted for a nursing bra. It’s a good idea to get at least one bra for those first few days postpartum. You may need to buy another size once your milk comes in, but if you go to a reputable store, an expert should be able to find you a versatile style that may work for a while. You will want a style without underwire when you milk is coming in.
I went with the Bravado Bliss style. It still fits, but it’s slightly tight on the right boob since my milk came in. I popped by the store on Friday and picked up another style, the Bravado Essential Embrace. Go with something you find comfortable. Note: both these styles work well for giant ta-tas.
I didn’t put a lot of thought or research into nipple creams. A friend recommended I bring some to the hospital, so I picked up a tube of the standard Lansinoh Lanolin cream.
My nips were totally chapped after the first night of learning to breastfeed. It’s hard to get a good latch when you are a first time Momma and have just endured 22 hours of labour. This cream has been a lifesaver. Since my milk came in, I’m using breastmilk more often than the cream, but it still works.
Let me rephrase this: a water bottle that you can drink from with 1 hand. The first few days into nursing, I was juggling my boob and the baby. I love my Swell water bottles, but the lid requires two hands to open it. I switched to the Contigo one-handed style to ensure I can nurse my baby and sip my water at the same time.
What were your essential items for postpartum?