Saturday, October 12, 2013

Post Partum Essentials for MOM

I've read a lot of lists for "Bringing Home Baby" that give you plenty of things the baby will need those first few weeks after they're born. But what about Mom?

I know, I know.

No one really wants to talk about these things because... well, they're not pleasant. But let me tell you something. I wouldn't have survived without these things.

So much focus is on the pain of actual childbirth and I think everyone forgets about how much pain you're in after childbirth. Yes, labor hurt. But I was only in labor for a few hours. The postpartum period lasted a lot longer. So I wanted to make sure you had the essentials you'll need to make your first few weeks at home as comfortable as possible. The first few items are for a *please pardon my language* vaginal birth and not a C-Section. Seeing as how I didn't have a C-Section I'm not sure what would help that pain but if you know, leave it in the comments section!

As uncomfortable as some of these things are to talk about, you need to know them. You'll thank me.
You're welcome.

Poise Pads - You'll need these in ultra absorbent and ultra long. Yes, these are something that no one wants to walk into WalMart and buy but you're going to need them. A) because you'll probably pee on yourself and B) afterbirth is... we'll just say gross. Plus, once you've given birth you lose all sense of modesty and pride so buying these won't be that bad. But if you're stocking up before you go into labor and haven't actually gotten to that point yet, feel free to pretend like you're talking to your great grandmother on the phone and that you're really buying them for her. That's what I did.

Tucks Pads - These things are amazing. Yes, they're for hemorrhoids (and you may get those) but they're really good for any pain... down there. You'll use 1-2 every time you go to the bathroom (which will be a lot) so buy multiple boxes.

Dermoplast - This is just for good measure. We've already covered the pain relief in the Tuck's pads but this will help a lot as well. It's a numbing spray. Genius. Make sure you get the BLUE cap because the red won't work. You can find this at any drugstore, WalMart, Target, etc. This, might possibly, be the best part of your day. It's almost like you're taking the epidural home with you (Which they should really let you do).

Granny panties - Buy high waisted briefs and you'll eventually throw them away. I probably only got 1-2 uses out of each pair before I chunked them so buy a few bags. You may want to get them in 1 size bigger than what you would normally wear too because you'll be stuffing them full of the previous 3 items. You can also throw these in on your "great grandmother fake phone conversation" if you like.

Motrin - I'll go ahead and say the prerequisite "Consult your physician" but Motrin is what they gave me in the hospital and Motrin is what I bought after I went home. I could tell when the 8 hours was wearing off because the pain would come back. Motrin worked wonders.

Tailbone Donut - I actually just used a rolled up hand towel but I wish I'd had one of these! Every night I took a hot bath and in the first couple of weeks after birth, sitting down on the hard tub hurts! A donut (or hand towel... whatever floats your boat) is the only way I made it through the baths. And trust me... baths were ah-mazing. I never wanted to get out.

Bra Pads - I'm nursing but I believe (from what I've been told) that even if you choose not to nurse that your milk (and/or colostrum) will still come in for the first few days so you'll need these too. When your body is adjusting to how much milk your baby needs, you tend to leak. Not glamorous. Not fun. But true. If you don't have these (or something else in between your boobs and bra) milk will leak through your clothes and that's even LESS fun than having to wear these.

Heating pad - Pick a body part, any body part... you can use this there. From the exertion of labor to the baby actually coming out of your body, you're going to be sore. Head to toe. I used a heating pad on my lower back, shoulders, stomach, and...umm...down there.

Coconut Oil - This really only applies if you choose to breastfeed. You can also buy Lanolin cream but I just used coconut oil because I use it for everything and already had some handy. Breastfeeding takes getting used to and in the first few days/weeks it HURTS. While your skin is adjusting, just rub some of this on before you put your bra pads in. It kept me from getting (again, sorry for being so descriptive but I'm just being honest here) crusty. Gross. I cringe even typing that word. Anyways, it works.

PJs - If you're anything like I was, you won't leave your house for a while. Heck... you won't leave your couch for a while. You'll be too busy feeding/changing/and cuddling that adorable new addition to your family to actually dress in normal clothes. Plus, there's a good chance your maternity jeans are going to be the only other thing you can wear still and who wants to wear those more than you need to?? Comfortable pajama pants were my uniform. My favorite were these Gilligan and O'Malley ones from Target. They're cheap and have a drawstring so they grow/shrink with your ever changing belly.

DVDs - Ahhh. The blissful days of a newborn. When they sleep for roughly 23.5 hours of every day. Soak it in, ladies, because they eventually won't sleep at all. Well, hopefully yours does but mine chooses not to. Anyways, all I did for the first few weeks was cuddle up on the couch while holding/feeding Cali. You'll need some DVD's (or your favorite show DVR'd) to keep you entertained. My personal favorite is Gilmore Girls but I'll let you decide for yourself (Though I highly recommend Gilmore Girls).

Cold Brew Coffee -  If you're a coffee drinker, you might want to look into cold brew coffee. Not getting any sleep coupled with being up at random hours of the day/night required coffee for me. Drinking it at random hours throughout the day, I didn't want to brew a pot just to have it sit there for hours on end. Thus entered the cold brew. If you've never heard of it, it's great. Just mix a small amount of the cold brew with water or milk. You can drink it hot or cold and only make one cup at a time. It takes approximately 2 minutes to do and you can make it any time of the day. They sell them already brewed in bottles or you can try this DIY version for a cheaper and more customizable coffee.

So there you have it. Now that I've listed - what I consider to be - your essentials for the first few weeks home, I'll tell you how to use the first 4 items on the list to make a magical "recipe". I'll warn you before you continue that it's not a pleasant description so enter at your own risk.

First you'll take your Poise Pad. Lay 1-2 Tucks towards the back of the pad (you'll want them placed so that when you pull your pants up, they lay on your perennial stitches). Spray the Dermoplast on the Tucks and - just for good measure - on your ... lady parts. Place the pad and it's contents inside your oh so lovely granny panties and put them on. Enjoy the bliss.

You can also take some of the Poise Pads and pour some water into the absorbent part. Place in the freezer and use as a wearable ice pack inside your granny panties as well.

Either of these ideas works to help the pain.

Also, just a tip: The more you move around, the quicker the pain goes away.

Good luck!