Congrats on your little miracle! Our sweet boy arrived in March.. we’re both happy and healthy 😊 The early part of the postpartum period was harder than I expected (especially after having an unexpected and emergent c-section!) Here is my list of products that I recommend having to makes things a little easier after you have your baby! Especially for C-Section Mamas and those who plan to breastfeed!
1. Nipple Creams — I tried so many! I recommend Earth Angel Mama Nipple Cream and also getting a prescription for Canadian Nipple Cream or “triple nipple cream” (it can only be made by a compounding pharmacy so you may have to call around to find one who will make it)–this cream helps to prevent infections when you have cracked nipples (ouch!).
2. Nipple Shells and Hydrogel Pads — Even though I’m currently exclusively pumping, these both were lifesavers when I was so sore in the beginning from breastfeeding! I didn’t use them simultaneously. I had two sets of the gel pads and would keep one set in the fridge.. after I fed him, I would put the cold ones from the fridge on! [It is not recommended to use any creams with the hydrogel pads.. so I only used my creams when I was using the shells]
3. A Good Belly Wrap — Especially for C-section mamas! You will still have quite a belly after having the baby (it took 9 months to grow! It’ll take awhile to get small again!) and it weighs down on your incision, which is pretty painful.. so having a great wrap helps! (I wore it a lot! It was a great support while starting to exercise/walk). It sort of protects your belly area when you’re breastfeeding, since your baby will be laying on you. It also helps to shrink your belly/uterus back down! The one I bought had three separate pieces that you can wear.. I liked that I could mix and match them :)
4. Ultra Absorbent Bamboobies — Once I stopped using the nipple shells, these were great! They are sooo much softer than the disposable ones, are machine washable, and are absorbent for any leaking you might have!
5. A large water cup with built-in straw! This is a must have for breastfeeding/pumping mamas.. you need to stay hydrated and have something that’s easy to grab and drink from with one hand!
6. Hands Free Pumping Bra — Amazing! This makes it easy to pump and still have your hands free! Whether you’re an exclusive pumping mama or just building up a stash, it is time consuming! This allows you to comfort or feed your baby.. or perhaps eat something! 😂 Buy a size LARGER than you normally would.. your will be bigger up top once all that milk starts coming in! I am a petite person and the Medium fits me well.
7. Boppy Pillow — Another great one for C-section mamas! It helps keep baby off of your incision when you’re breastfeeding!
8. Comfortable, practical and larger clothes! Your body will be quite different for awhile.. even if you’re one of the lucky ones and get back to your pre-pregnancy weight quickly, your body still won’t be in the same ‘shape’ as before. Your uterus grew to the size of a watermelon during your pregnancy and it will take weeks for it to shrink back down! My pre-pregnancy yoga pants are super stretchy so I was able to still wear them comfortably after having the baby. As far as tops go, I bought a bunch of larger plain cotton t-shirts (in a bunch of colors) from Target for around the house, walking/exercising, running errands, etc. For nicer tops, I recommend buying flowy shirts that are easy to lift up to breastfeed/pump and/or button down shirts for easy feeding too! You can pair that with a nursing tank underneath so that you don’t show any skin while breastfeeding. I also perused the local consignment shop for larger shorts (since it’s been so hot so early here in Maryland!) I bought 4 pairs for $30!
9. Nursing Tanks – I have the Gilligan & O’Malley ones from Target and are perfect to wear under any top to easily breastfeed/pump without your back or stomach sticking out!
10. Nursing Bras – I have the Gilligan & O’Malley wireless bras from Target.. they are SO SOFT! Not to mention, convenient!
These next two aren’t “products” but are very important!!
11. Seeing a Lactation Consultant — many hospitals offer in-patient help and free breastfeeding support groups for after you’re discharged. They can help breastfeeding go much more smoothly for you and baby! Which is vital for baby’s health and your sanity (and pain level!). You can also have one-on-one consultations once you’re discharged (most insurances will reimburse you for it).
12. Support. Lots and lots of support. From your husband, your mom, experienced mamas & other new mamas (it’s nice to know that other mamas know what you’re going through! You’re not alone!). You’ll be sleep deprived, emotional & most likely in pain.. accept all the help you can and soak up these moments with your new baby!
What products could you not live without in the postpartum period? Comment on Facebook!
One last thing.. I was thankful to not be affected by PPD (Although I did suffer from Postpartum Anxiety).. it can happen to anyone. Make sure that your husband and those close to you understand the symptoms of PPD.. because everyone gets “the baby blues” but PPD is more intense, scary and longer lasting– it will require professional help but is necessary to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your sweet, new baby! Don’t be afraid to tell someone you’re struggling.. even if it’s just the baby blues, getting it off your chest helps!