Monday, February 11, 2013
My Top Ten Must Haves for Postpartum Life
Pregnancy. It's the gift that keeps on giving. For serious, you think you get your body back after you birth your sweet little bundle of joy? Ha! No. In fact, your hormones have been nice to you up until now. As if life with a newborn wasn't hard enough on it's own, let's throw in some raging hormones, poop shoot problems, leaking boobs, c-section incisions, afterbirth soaked pads, sore nipples & toss in a little pepperoni face for good measure.
In my postpartum weeks, I have depended greatly on a few items that saved my life. Like, really. Saved my life. Because if anything makes you crazy enough to want to jump off a bridge, it's postpartum life. Here are my top ten items to help you survive postpartum:
1. Giant pads. Look for the biggest ones you can find & then double them up. Hell, triple them up. You are about to have the period from hell times a thousand. You will need these bad boys. They aren't sexy, but nothing about postpartum living is, so get over it.
2. Hemorrhoid cream/ointment/pads & stool softeners (colace is safe) because honey, poop day is probably going to be the most miserable day of your life. All the pain meds I was on had me stopped up for a week. Imagine trying to get that out of you. It was like birthing another child, so naturally you'll get hemorrhoids. Gnarly ones. You'll need relief.
3. Lanolin for your nipples. It's made such a huge difference in breastfeeding. Lanolin is like miracle cream for your sore nipples & was essential to my success with breastfeeding Evelyn in those first two painful weeks.
4. If you had a c-section, loose fitting pants. You don't want anything too tight or pushing on your c-section incision. The looser the waistband, the better feeling they will be. Life after birth (especially a surgical birth) is about comfort, not beauty.
5. Granny panties, ladies. Get them, wear them, love them. How else will you be able to stuff three giant pads into your pants? Also, if you had a c-section, you won't be able to wear those cute, low cut undies because they will rest directly on your incision. In fact, if you had a c-section, just prepare to wear all your pants/underwear up to your bellybutton. Urkle status, man.
6. Cranberry juice & Sprite was given to me to help me pee after surgery. And it was amazing. It worked wonders since I was still heartburn sensitive & couldn't drink cranberry juice on it's own. I've been addicted ever since.
7. My iPhone & baby tracker app. Those pesky nurses come it at 3AM just after you've nursed your baby to sleep & ask loudly when her last diaper change & feeding was. They give you a paper, but it's always somehow out of reach. My iPhone was great for keeping track & helping me time her feedings. There are tons of baby tracker apps, too. My iPhone was also essential in capturing those first few days on camera & being able to keep in contact with family & friends.
8. A good support system. My Ma & sister heard I was possibly having a last minute c-section & were both in their cars that night headed to me. My Ma lives in Las Vegas & my sister lives in 29 Palms. They dropped everything in their lives to be with me & make sure I was taken care of. My Ma even went out & bought us a carseat since we didn't have one yet & my sister came to the rescue with her breastfeeding experience & made sure I had a bottle of Lanolin with me right away. My Ma even ended up driving Collin back out to Las Vegas to be with his Daddy while J & I were in the hospital. J's brother came & got the boys from us when we had to rush to the hospital after my appointment & he took care of them for the night. Little things like that end up being big things in the end. I am so grateful to have such a loving family & things would have been so much harder & more hectic without them.
9. Breast pads because, sister, those things will leak. And it's kind of awkward.
10. Pillows. All the pillows. I could not have enough. I imagine if I had had a normal birth, I wouldn't have needed as many, but since I was recovering from a c-section & very sore & in a lot of pain, I used pillows to prop me up, to help me hold Evelyn, to aid with breastfeeding, etc, etc, etc. Luckily, we were allowed to take three hospital pillows home. After a c-section, you can't lay flat, so the extra cushion helps with comfort so you can actually sleep.
What were your essential postpartum needs? What helped you get through those first few hormonal weeks? I would love to hear your suggestions! Just leave a comment below.