So you’ve had 9 or 10 months to prepare for the arrival of your precious baby. You’ve packed your hospital bag, installed the car seat, taken birthing classes and read countless books on labor, delivery, and care for your newborn baby. One thing you might not have considered is caring for you and your body, after all, is said and done and you bring baby home. Most first time moms don’t realize the toll that labor and delivery, take on your body and lady parts. You’ll most likely be swollen, might be tending to a few stitches if you’ve experienced a tear and will 100% be bleeding after birth for a few weeks (no one tells you this!).
While you’ve most likely checked off everything you need for your little one to survive it’s first months, don’t forget about what you need as a mom and tending to yourself post delivery to survive as well! This isn’t the prettiest of lists to go shopping for, but they’re 100% necessary and will help you feel more comfortable in finding a new normal for your body.
Maxi Pads or Depends Diapers
Expect to bleed for several weeks after childbirth, even if you have a C-section. Having an ample supply of maxi pads or depends will set you up for success and ensure your hubby doesn’t have to keep running to the store. You’re going to bleed a lot – more than a normal period bleed so be prepared! If you’re going to go the maxi-pads route, also add some nice big panties to your list of things to purchase. Those maxi pads aren’t going to fit your regular undies, and you’ll want to get the extra long maxi pads, with wings, to prevent any leaks.
Pro Tip: Make padsicles! Open up the maxi-pads and add a thin layer of aloe vera and witch hazel to add a soothing effect for your sore vagina. Trust us, this works wonders! Then, place these bad boys in a ziplock bag in the freezer.
A Sitz Bath
It is common for moms to tear during labor and a sitz bath can offer relief for you. You can either use a sitz bath or fill up your bathtub with very shallow warm water. The sitz bath is a plastic kit that fits over your toilet and is a shallow basin that can be filled with warm water. You can add herbs to the bath to reduce cramping and pain and aid in relaxation for yourself.
After delivery, it is advised not to use toilet paper to clean yourself after you pee. Get yourself a little mama sprayer and fill it with warm water to clean yourself after you pee. We recommend the Fridababy Fridet. It has an ergonomic design and is specifically designed to be held upside down.
Pain Relief or Perineal Spray
You may have pain associated with hemorrhoids or tearing and some type of spray ‘down there’ will help tremendously with the recovery period. You can either use lidocaine spray or a perineal spray that is more natural. We recommend the Earth Mama Perineal Spray
Comfy and Easy to Nurse Clothes
For the first week or two after the baby comes, there is no shame in living in your pajamas. You’ll be recovering, tired and most likely nursing every two hours (or more) so getting fully dressed is most likely not even going to be an option. We recommend stocking up on a few nursing friendly PJ sets (the ones that button down in the front) or nursing tanks to live in. Stretchy pants will also be your new best friend!
This is one thing most first time moms rarely consider. The first poop postpartum can sometimes take longer than usual and may not be the most comfortable. Taking stool softener as soon as the baby is delivered will help, well, soften things up for you and allow your first post-baby poop to pass much easier. Just make sure there isn’t a laxative included in the stool softener.
Stock up on snacks
For breastfeeding moms, you’ll most likely be hungry at all times. We recommend having a healthy mix of snacks on hand and available wherever you’ll be breastfeeding. Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, crackers etc are great to have on hand to make sure you’re getting the nutrition you need. Honey sticks are also great to have on hand to help your blood sugar and give you a quick energy boost.
A big water bottle with a straw
Breastfeeding also dehydrates you and you’ll want to stay super hydrated at all times! Save yourself a few trips to the fridge and get yourself a nice big water jug with a straw for ease of use. Most likely the hospital will send you home with one, but have one on hand at home in case they don’t!
We hope this list is helpful in taking care of you and yourself after the baby arrives! Remember, this was also a big feat for you and baby and if mama is taken care of then you’ll be better equipped to handle taking care of a baby too!