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It’s almost time for Bubbles to join the party and with the extreme happiness of getting to meet our sweet girl, her arrival will also bring, the lovely postpartum time will also soon be underway. Prior to this I shared my Postpartum Survival Guide for the Vaginal Delivery and my friend Alyssa shared some excellent insight in her Postpartum Survival Guide for the C-Section Delivery. Also, J shared some insight from Daddy’s point of view in his New Daddy Survival Guide for the Postpartum Period.
Well now I want to share a few of the essential items that made the postpartum period a bit more comfortable for me. Some of these things I have waiting at home for my return from the hospital and other items I’ll be taking home from the hospital when we pillage the room like last time. Here is my Postpartum Survival Kit:
Stool Softner– If you’re pregnant, I’m sure you’ve heard everyone building up the first postpartum poop as the scariest moment ever, with all sorts of catastrophic potential. I won’t lie, the first time around I was scared to death. And when the big “moment” finally came (I put that in quotes because it was more like fifteen minutes that felt like 15 scary hours) I found that it ended up being anticlimactic at best. Without getting into too much detail, everything came out as it was supposed to and I had been scared of nothing all along, even with my fresh level-two-tear-stitches.
Now, while I don’t doubt that many women have a very different experience with this than me, I can only attribute my easier first post-baby poo process to the fact that I was on top of those nurses like clockwork to make sure I took the stool softeners as often as was allowed, and I stayed on top of it after my return home. Seriously, you will not regret popping those stool softeners if they allow it (talk to your doctor).
Advil and Tylenol– Once again, after the baby is born, stay on top of the nurses so you can get these whenever allowed to reduce your pain and swelling. They’ll tell you the dosage. And the prescription ibuprofin is even better (I lovingly refer to those as megaprofins). Once again, consult with your doctor on this, but if you can take these, they help a ton with pain and swelling.
Preparation H Wipes– This one goes hand-in-hand with the stool softners. While I was lucky enough to avoid the ‘roids at that juncture, I’m told that these can offer some relief if you have to deal with them (or Witch Hazel or Tucks).DIY Padsicles– These are a fun little DIY that will offer a ton of relief to your lady garden. When I was at the hospital after A was born, the nurses kept bringing these amazing ice packs that also happened to absorb all the blood (and my friends, there will be blood!). At the end of my stay, I finally inquired about where to get these and they said they saturate disposable newborn diapers with water and freeze them. I think this is genius! It’s not exactly cheap or particularly green, but if you can afford to sacrifice a few of your baby’s diapers, you will not regret it!
Pads– Yes, we’re back to the middle school days, before any of us discovered the freedom of tampons! Seriously, though. You’re likely going to bleed all the blood for an extended period. You won’t be able to put tampons (or anything else for that matter) into that general region for at least 6 weeks. So get yourself a hefty supply of pads. I took the hospital provided ones for the beginning, although they’re quite thick and I was happy to switch to the thin ones they sell after I returned home. You will go through a ton of these!The Good Toilet Paper (and a trash bag in the bathroom)- Because postpartum bleeding is gross. You’ll go through a lot of pads and will likely be quite tender down there. There will also be a lot more trash that your cute little bathroom trash can is able to hold, so a large trash bag will come in handy. I prefer Kirkland Brand toilet paper because it’s thick and soft but also cost-efficient.Mesh Panties- Take as many of these from the hospital as you can. Are they sexy? No. Are the comfy? Meh, they’re not horrible. Will they save you from having to buy all new panties when this is all over? Hell yes.
Dermoplast– This stuff is my absolute favorite. Numbs you right up and really helps reduce the pain down there. I’m pretty sure I took all the cans from the hospital. I may or may not be bringing an entire bag solely dedicated to taking this amazing stuff home from the hospital this time around. I love it!Peri Bottle- This is another thing they’ll give you at the hospital. I encourage you to use warm water in it. It’s an integral part of the postpartum shower and also bathroom routine. When it comes to logistics, think in terms of a squirt with the peri bottle, a dab with the good toilet paper and and a spray of the dermoplast after using the restroom. Sweet relief. You can also spray it hard on itchy stitches. I know, you guys. It’s a little TMI but from a logistical standpoint, I wish someone had told me these things right away.
Old-Ass Towels- Because once again, the blood. Don’t ruin your nice towels! J actually took the towels from the hospital and I didn’t feel bad about throwing them away
if when I ruined them.
Donut Cushion– This makes sitting a bit more comfortable. Before you buy this, see if they’ll give you one at the hospital. Mine wasn’t even shaped like a donut but it served the same purpose and was a lifesaver that first week.
Nursing Sleep Bras– These obviously come in handy if you’re nursing, but even if you’re not nursing you might want to pick up a couple. This is because your milk will still come in, likely leaving you uncomfortable and engorged. You will likely need to sleep in a bra and you may as well be comfortable. I had cheap target ones the first time around and my comfort level was about a two. Invest in higher quality nursing bras. Totally worth it.
Nursing Pads– Because leakage happens. I didn’t even leak that bad, but it still happened. These are once again nice to have even if you aren’t nursing, as it can be really awkward if you don’t have them. No, they’re not green 🙁 But they do sell Reusable Nursing Pads. I just found it a little easier to be able to throw them out, at least at the beginning while I was still in the newborn fog (because laundry is hard enough when you’re not sleep deprived and learning to parent a new baby- my hat is seriously off to parent who used cloth diapers and reusable nursing pads, you guys are awesome!).Belly Bandit– While some women aren’t into cinching after the baby comes, I found it to not only help things shrink back into place, but it was nice to have some support in the belly area while all your organs are moving back down (they felt so weird when I wasn’t wearing it!). I’ve heard good things about several brands, but this just happens to be the one that I used and I was very happy with it and will be using it again.Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter– This stuff is awesome and it smells great too! Breastfeeding is hard and this provides a ton of relief!A Good Water Bottle– You will feel worlds better if you stay hydrated, especially if you’re breast feeding! I’m especially excited about the water bottle I linked- I’ve been dying to get into the infused water!
What helped you stay comfy during the postpartum period?
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