Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Postpartum Essentials

This post is long overdue, like nine months overdue, but better late than never, right?  I never shared my postpartum favorites after Ellie was born, but was reminded of a few items the other day when Ellie was digging through the bathroom vanity while I brushed my hair and pulled out some of my leftover postpartum treasures.  So, here are my must haves - the not-so-glamorous items that helped me out most in the first few weeks after giving birth.  Disclaimer: Perhaps some TMI going on here, just keeping it real. Also, I had a vaginal delivery, so that's what I know and am sharing about today.


Tucks pads - You may or may not need them for one reason or another, but I don't think it would hurt to have some on hand just in case.  I've also seen similar ideas on Pinterest for "homemade" pads that you can make before your baby is born and you actually put in the freezer (?!). There's a DIY here.  I'd be interested to hear if you've tried these out before for next time around!

Poise pads - Totally adult diapers and they might be a little much, but it's better safe than sorry. ;)  I meant to buy pads before Ellie was born, but since she came three weeks early I kind of dropped the ball on that.  The only ones I had were the ones I had taken from the hospital (take EVERYTHING you can, ladies!!), so Tyler kindly offered to go to the store to get some for me the day we brought Ellie home.  While I don't think it's a big deal, I am not normally one to send my husband to the store for "feminine products"; however, since I was in the whole it hurts to stand up, sit down, sneeze, breathe, do anything kind of pain, I gladly accepted and requested that he get the super absorbent kind.  Well, these are what he came home with and I definitely laughed (to myself) at first but ended up being happy he did!  You certainly won't have to worry about leaks with these - I probably only needed to use them for the first week (or two?), and then switched over to the normal kind for the next four(ever).  Also, I was very glad I had bought some undies in a larger size than normal to wear the first couple weeks after having Ellia - both from a comfort standpoint as well as the fact that they needed to be bigger to accommodate the giant pad that I was wearing.  Good times.

Motrin - Don't try to be a hero, if you're in pain, take something!  Looking back, I definitely should have requested more pain killers at the hospital, but between what felt like forever for a nurse to get me anything I asked for, and really just wanting to go home (I was afraid they wouldn't let me go home if I complained too much - pretty sure that wouldn't happen), I just went with whatever they gave me.  Once I got home, I followed my doctor's recommendations for dosages, which was slightly more than the normal dosage, and it helped SO much.

Peri bottle - You will need to use this squirty bottle religiously.  I still remember the nurse showing me how to use this about two hours after I had Ellie - normal Linley would be so uncomfortable in that situation.  Linley who just pushed a human out of her body?  Totally didn't give a shit.  Honey badger status.  I took a couple from the hospital so you might not need to buy one beforehand, but it is a definite necessity. 

Colace -  The nurses gave this to me within hours of giving birth, and I continued taking it daily when I went home, regardless of whether I felt I needed it or not.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't afraid of what was going to happen the first time I had to go postpartum, especially with what felt like a million stitches down there, but turns out I had nothing to be afraid of!

Nursing bra - I don't want to get too into breastfeeding essentials because I've already posted about mine, but a good, comfortable bra is definitely a must have.  I loved that these ones were comfortable enough to sleep in (and I did feel more comfortable sleeping in one than not), and of course they made it easy to nurse.  I would think a comfortable bra would be nice to have, regardless of whether you're nursing or not!

Nursing pads - I only ever used these when I left the house because I didn't want my show up somewhere with a soaking wet shirt; however, home was a whole different boobsoutallday kind of ball game.  Nursing in the first few weeks for me was kind of crazy, and pretty much constant, so there was not a whole lot of caring going on at home.  Side note: after breastfeeding and waking up uncomfortable and in a puddle of milk on a daily basis (no matter how often Ellie was up the night before), I have a newfound appreciation for dairy cows.  Not even joking.  I feel like I'm making nursing sound awful, but really once I got through the first month-ish, it wasn't so bad and actually got kind of nice at times! Promise. ;)

Belly bands - It totally sucks not being able to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes immediately after giving birth.  The last thing I wanted to do was wear more maternity clothes, so I found myself in a mix of them plus lots of leggings and sweatpants - comfort is key!  These belly bands are awesome.  I used them a little bit while I was pregnant, mostly in the second trimester, but ended up using them more postpartum.  They were especially great in the first month or so after Ellie was born, when my pre-pregnancy pants were just a couple long inches away from being able to button but I just wanted to wear my normal clothes again so badly. 

Not pictured: lots + lots of water, coffee glorious coffee, and as much help as you can get.  Water is a necessity to keep up your milk supply, but even if you're not nursing, you will just feel better if you're hydrated.  I gave up caffeine while pregnant and happily welcomed it back into my daily routine after Ellie was born.  Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it (or want it) - significant others, moms (they've been there!), dads, siblings, friends, the UPS man who's constantly dropping off packages of diapers at your front door (kidding)...  Sleep deprivation is no joke and unless you are blessed with an amazing sleeper right off the bat, the first few weeks are completely exhausting.  And completely amazing at the same time.  I am totally feeling all the feels thinking back to a newborn Ellie right now, sigh.

Throwing it way back to when the nights were long (sometimes so, so very long), but my teeny tiny wide awake at 3 am baby made my heart so happy it could burst.

Look at how little she was! How is that even real life?!

If you haven't had a baby yet, I am willing to bet this list makes you all kinds of excited for what your future may bring. ;)  I can promise you that your sweet new baby makes every unpleasant second 200% worth it.  If you are already a mama, what are some of your favorite postpartum must haves and recommendations?  I'd love to hear!

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