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Five Postpartum Essentials for Mom

Five Postpartum Essentials…For Mom

By Amalah

Hello Amalah!

About a year and a half ago you gave me some great advice about what should be on my pre-baby bucket list. I stayed up late, slept in, enjoyed a lot of quality time with the husband, and am now about 6 weeks away from becoming a mom for the first time. (Yay! Eek!)

In my frenzy of nesting and preparing, I’ve loved your guidance on what should be in my hospital bag(s) and what should be on my baby registry, but there’s one area where I’m totally clueless – is there anything I should have on hand for me in those first few weeks postpartum? I know it will be a magical time, but it also sounds like it will be emotional, painful, and sticky (I’m feeling a little traumatized about The Grossness). What should be in my new-mama arsenal that will help me feel comfortable and prepared, or at least avoid crying hysterically at 2 a.m. because I don’t have the right nursing bra/nipple cream/feminine hygiene product?

Thank you!
Mama-to-Be

I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that one person’s Completely Magic Baby Item of Miracles is almost always another person’s Most Useless Piece of Crap Ever. I think the same is true of anything you can buy for the early days postpartum. It depends. And there’s a lot of trial-and-error (particularly re: nursing bras and other accessories) and specialized circumstances that crop up that you just can’t always prepare for. C-section? Vaginal birth but with a tear or episiotomy? Hemorrhoids? Antibiotics upping your risk of thrush? (Probiotic capsules!) Oversupply? (Cabbage leaves!) Undersupply? (A hospital pump and Mother’s Milk Tea/More Milk Plus/Fenugreek/etc.!)

2 Bits of General-ish Comforting Advice

1. ROB YOUR HOSPITAL ROOM BLIND. And by “rob” I mean “help yourself to everything that is not nailed down, because it is legitimately yours to take anyway.” A lot of this stuff will be for the baby, but even more of it is for you. Feminine pads (in multiple sizes!), bed pads, mesh underwear, hemorrhoid gel, nipple cream samples and that gloriously big plastic grown-up sippy cup from your nightstand. Take it ALL. If you don’t need it or love it, fine. It was free anyway. (Well, kind of. Thanks, insurance!)

2. YOU CAN AND WILL LEAVE THE HOUSE. No matter how well prepared for baby you think you are, you’ll likely make at least one or two trips to a store in those first few days. So if you realize that your nursing bras don’t fit or you don’t like your nursing pillow or you are craving some specific food or it’s time to downgrade from the industrial-sized maxipads to something less like a twin mattress, you can go buy all of those things and more. (And don’t let anyone give you crap about taking your baby out of the house to TARGET, OMG, or wherever.) Personally, we’ve always piggy-backed shopping trips or errands onto the well-baby or lactation visits.

Amalah’s Personal Must-Haves

Now, having gone through the postpartum…thing…twice, there are a few things I have used and depended on both times and have stocked up on again for Baby #3. Please note that your mileage will very likely vary:

1. Nipple stuff. I always start off with basic ol’ lanolin, then get the first person I see in a white coat to write me a prescription for some All Purpose Nipple Ointment. It’s a pain because yes, you need a prescription for it and you need to get it filled at a compounding pharmacy, but it is the BOMB. The BEST STUFF. It will clear up any problem you encounter, from scabs to fungal infections. I didn’t get a prescription for it the first time until I was running into real, torn-up nipple trouble from bad latches, so the second time I asked for a script almost right out of the gate from our pediatrician. (Good thing, too, because Ezra was tongue tied.) As far as nursing pads and inserts, I’m a huge fan of the Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads for when things get a little rough and uncomfortable during the nipple-toughening-up process. Once that stage is over, I’m opting for cloth nursing pads this time.

2. Sleep bras and nursing tanks. You’ll want to avoid buying underwire or super-structured nursing bras, at first, but you still want to keep things supported and contained, and you DEFINITELY want easy, easy access. During my first pregnancy, I was told to not bother with any nursing bras at all until afterwards — just go with some sports bras until you know what size you’ll need! Pfft. I dunno what kind of sports bras other people wear, but mine were NOT designed for easy access, and they were incredibly uncomfortable to get on and off and around my tender boobs. I quickly switched to soft, stretchy “sleep bras” (available at maternity stores) and nursing tanks and…ahhhh. Sooooo much better. And available in straightforward Small/Medium/Large/etc. sizes, so it’s easier to guess at what size you’ll need before you need it.

(And yes, there are lots of nursing pajamas and stuff, which are very nice and make EXCELLENT GIFTS, BY THE WAY, but…they are very expensive, honestly, and not all of them actually have supportive tops so you’ll want the bra or tank on anyway. And with The Grossness and The Night Sweats and The Leakage, you might end up changing your jammies or lounge clothes more than you’d expect…so I tend to go with a lot of cheap stretchy stuff from Target rather than investing in one $60 pair of specialty nursing pajamas.)

3. Pillows. So many pillows. Yes, yes, a nursing pillow is great, though you’ll never reach a consensus on which one (Boppy, My BrestFriend, Balboa, etc.) is the best, and you might never actually make up your own mind either. (It TOTALLY DEPENDS on your baby’s size and your own anatomy and nursing position.) But other pillows are so very handy. Something to support your back or arms/elbows while you master nursing sitting up in bed or on the couch. Something to hold against your c-section incision if you cough or sneeze or laugh. One of those airplane neck pillows for when you’re nursing in the middle of the night sitting up before your baby is big enough to master the side-lying-down nursing position. Pillows, man. Pillows.

4. Water. I already mentioned the Hospital Cup, right? The big 30-ounce grown-up sippy cup thing? Doesn’t hurt to get yourself something similar if you aren’t sure your hospital will provide you with something like that, because staying hydrated is SUPER IMPORTANT while your milk supply amps up, and it’s hard to do if you’re dependent on someone else to keep refilling your average-sized water glass. Get something big and convenient and keep it by your side at all times.

5. A partner on timer duty. So apparently you can buy fancy baby timer gadgets that alert you to just about everything on your average newborn’s schedule, from feedings to diaper changes. And I think they also work as a log, too? I don’t know. I don’t own one. I’ve always tasked my husband and his cell phone to keep track of 1) when I was supposed to take my pain medication and 2) when the baby needed fed. It’s easier with smartphones now — I’m sure my husband will find some app for this job, this time around, but the important thing? Is to OUTSOURCE this job, one way or another, spouse or fancy gadget or egg timer. You’ll have enough to think about, and there’s nothing worse than waking YOURSELF up from the rare block of sleep because you’re worried you’re missing a feeding or pumping session or whatever.

Beyond this Very Practical Stuff, I’d also say to up your Netflix subscription and have a lot of funny movies or TV shows on hand. Snacks. Lots and lots of good, easy-to-eat-with-one-hand snacks. Recognize that it’s okay to cry or be stunningly disgustingly happy or both, at the same time. And that yes, YES, you can actually go to the store and buy ANYTHING IN THE WORLD you forgot or didn’t realize you’d need. And if not right then, at 2 am at the 24-hour Target or grocery store, then in just a few short hours, and you will survive those hours and it will be okay.

__________________________________________________________________
If there is a question you would like answered by Amalah on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected]

Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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Katie
Guest
Katie

Medela makes a great, great, great sleep nursing bra. I lived in it during the early days, combined with super stretchy v-neck pajamas. That, or nursing tanks, if I couldn’t pull down the neckline of my top. Always super thin are great for pads–but if you have an episiotomy, you will appreciate the extra padding of old school kotex. Also, in case of total and massive boob failure–it is not poison to have a can of formula and a couple of bottles. Just sayin.

Alissa
Guest
Alissa

Also handy if you’re nursing is some kind of do-hickey so you can remember which side you nursed on last.  They make boob bracelets or something.  Or use your own bracelet.  Or have your outsourced person write it down.  Or, as I did, just twist the hook closure of your bra so it’s hooked on backwards.  It’s not uncomfortable, and you can look down at your bra, wonder why the hell that one side is twisted, and then remember “Oh!  Yeah!  That side goes first.” And, also, beer.  I recommend beer.  🙂  Or, you know, wine.  But wine makes me… Read more »

IrishCream
Guest
IrishCream

When at home sans company, I lived in cotton T’s with v-necks deep enough to easily expose a boob. In public or when my milk first came in and I had giant achy boobs: nursing tanks. Cheap ones from Target. I still wear them almost every day, because they are so awesome for discreetly nursing in public (and pumping at work without feeling weird and drafty, topless in a conference room). Pull your top layer up over your boob, and pull the flap of the tank down under it. Voila! Minimal exposure of either your breast or your postpartum stomach.… Read more »

Leigh
Guest
Leigh

My two week old second child is sleeping in the carrier as I type. I love the Majamas sleep bra and Target nursing tanks for at night or any time you feel dressed in pajama pants. Make sure to grab the ice pack pads from the hospital. Best combination ever. I went to overnight pads next, then regular. Earth Mama Angel Baby Mama Bottom Balm is the the bottom equivalent of APNO for hemorrhoids and stitches so buy some if you know you will be there, or source it out so you can get some quickly. Kandoo sensitive wipes are… Read more »

Erin
Guest

I’ll second the Soothies pads! Those things were a godsend when my daughter’s shallow latching was creating lovely little lines of blisters all across my nipples. Ow. What to Expect has a free iPhone app that you can used to track feedings, diapers, etc. There’s also one called Baby Feeding Log that I personally used — there are tons that are really complicated (BabyGeek) but the WTE one and Baby Feeding Log are free and super simple. My stupid hospital didn’t give me the Big Awesome Cup of Awesomeness. I got a stupid pitcher thing that I didn’t even take… Read more »

Rachael
Guest
Rachael

Chuxx from the hospital!!! OMG! I *WISH* I had stolen those buggars. I leaked SOME kind of fluid pretty much every night (industrial pads or no)… towels did not cut it with my breast milk oversupply either, let me tell you. I wound up needing to wash the sheets WAY more often than I wanted to (which was basically not at all, hello I just had a baby!)
Also, nursing tanks. From Target or Motherhood. Those were what I went with til The Girls were ready for some professional holstering (ie Nordstrom Bra Lady).

Kari
Guest

I have an almost five month old, so I was just there. Two things that I would like to mention that were very helpful for us: There are apps for nursing (as well as other baby related things) and that was very helpful for me to know how long he’d been going and which side was last, etc.  Ron Swanson. Seriously, I watched every episode of Parks and Rec while on maternity leave and I cannot recommend it enough. (I also watched Downton Abbey for the delicious dramatics. Get some good TV, is what I am saying.) Also, call in… Read more »

Christine
Guest
Christine

I agree with a lot of what was already said above.  I had 4 big packs of overnight Always with wings ready to go, I knew hubby wouldn’t want to go and pick them up for me.  Lanolin, soothies and the sleep bras are all musts.   When my milk came in it was pretty hard for my daughter to latch on, I couldn’t get the pump to work, and OMG it hurt!  My mom ran out to Target and picked up a nipple shield (http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/breastfeeding-devices#nipple-shields), which allowed my daughter to latch on to nurse and made it much less… Read more »

Jen W.
Guest

The app you’re looking for is called baby geek. We used it for our twins, kept track of nursing times, which side, syncs between iPhones for mom and dad to share data, also keeps stuff like growth data (and calculates the percentiles too) so you don’t have to remember where you put that darn slip of paper the ped gave you with Jr.’s weight, what shots he got, etc. Heck, you can even keep track of wet/poopy diapers, if you want to micromanage to that level. We use cloth, so we just figured that if the wet bag was full,… Read more »

Wiley
Guest
Wiley

Definitely not perfect, but trixietracker.com has worked for us. Big plus is works well on my iPhone, my husbands android or from a full computer. Exports to excel well if you want to play with the data more.

First two weeks are free and then there’s a charge if you want more than diapers (which is the one part we tend not to use well).

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

This sounds crazy (a lot of new motherhood does, come to think about it) but aloe vera gel with lidocaine – yep, the kind you put on a sunburn – smeared on your lady parts is a godsend if you have to have stitches in the hoo-hah. And I agree that chux pads are the bomb – get a package of puppy training pads in the pet aisle and they’re basically the same thing. I was paranoid my water was going to break in bed or in the car and screw cleaning that up. I slept with one under my… Read more »

Meg
Guest

I second the sleep bra over sports bra statement.  I wore my two Medela sleep bra’s until they started ripping apart.  They’re really comfortable and easy access and provide just enough support so that you don’t feel all bouncy and out of control.  Later on you’ll figure out what tops, bras, etc work well, but for starters just go with easy access. I also bought a 6 pack of some cheap-o cotton panties (I think Fruit of the Loom).  Those granny panties came in handy! They’re comfortable as hell and don’t press on your episiotomy and fit your pregnancy sized… Read more »

Kimberly
Guest

Tea diapers! Brew some iced tea, pour into a few newborn sized disposable diapers, and freeze. Very soothing for the lady bits (especially if you tear) – use them like a maxi pad; they fit well in the giant mesh panties. My hospital keeps these on hand for new moms. My poor dad was charged with making the diapers when I got home from the hospital! Next time around, I’ll have a stash in the freezer waiting for me! Good luck!

Samantha
Guest
Samantha

I just wanted to say that I used the cloth breast pads, and found them to be wonderful, but they didn’t work at first. The first few months I would leak so strongly that they’d quickly soak through. So I used the disposable stick-on kind with the plastic backing. But once things settled down I was able to start using the cloth ones and used them for ages. 

Julia
Guest

Oh hell yes on the APNO. Also, food you can eat with one hand. Think high protein. Almonds, string cheese (ew, I know, but you’ll be so hungry you won’t care). The Husband made me a bunch of “fried” (really baked) chicken drumsticks that I could just grab and gnaw on and they were excellent cold. Or maybe they weren’t, see earlier bit about being so hungry you won’t care.

Brooke
Guest
Brooke

I found stool softener to be absolutely necessary. And a Kindle is great because it can be worked one-handed, much easier than trying to turn pages in an actual book.

Olivia
Guest
Olivia

I wish I had had my Nook when my first was born. One handed reading is the bomb. Also good tv/movies and a foot stool. I second having some stool softener on hand and check with your midwife/doc on dosage safe for breastfeeding. I was not prepared for the constipation I had afterwards. And, you don’t need to buy puppy pads. Chux pads are sold in stores by the adult diapers.

Brittany
Guest
Brittany

Yes don’t forget that trouble pooping is included in The Grossness… milk of magnesia was a necessity for me!

Brianna
Guest
Brianna

I have a 6 month old, so I was there just a little bit ago! For the keeping track stuff…if you have an iphone the app “total baby” was my lifesaver! Kept track of which boob you fed with last, you hit start and stop when you’re feeding to track how long they feed for, and you can also keep track of the diaper changes and sleep times if you want! Pretty cool and I believe it was under 5 bucks. Beat my chicken scratch on that pad I could never find.  Oh, and some cheesy books on Stanza so I… Read more »

Corie
Guest
Corie

I also highly recommend the Medela sleeping bras. I lived in those things from my first trimester (they helped with the newly pregnant, super sore when unrestrained boobs at night) through the time I quit pumping. I know nothing about c-sections, but if you deliver vaginally, I recommend the spray-on lidocaine stuff for your hooha, especially if you tear or have an episiotomy. And don’t forget the bottle they give you to clean that area, too – it’s a lifesaver so you don’t traumatize that tender area with repeated wiping (you spray yourself off, then just dab dry with toilet… Read more »

@Adelas
Guest
@Adelas

My naughty husband loves those grown up sippy cups so much, the second time I delivered, he took it home the first night, so they gave me a second one the next day. Which we also took home. That was a bit shady. However, the reason all this stuff is “free” is that once it’s “open” they can’t give it to anyone else. Like at the restaurant, once they drop a set of silverware on your table, even if you OBVIOUSLY don’t unwrap it from the napkin, they can’t put it on anyone else’s table until they unwrap and wash… Read more »

Bear
Guest
Bear

I just also want to say, in the non-physical realm: the 4-6 weeks can be pretty brutal, depending on the kid. We did /not/ have the kind that sleep 18 to 20 hours a day, we did not have a “fourth trimester”, and we did not have a babymoon. We had a lot of being awake all night, is what we had, and I spent a great deal of time marching briskly around the kitchen at two am in my underwear, wearing our son in the Moby wrap, singing Hebrew folk songs to him until he went to sleep –… Read more »

Bear
Guest
Bear

I just also want to say, in the non-physical realm: the first 4-6 weeks can be pretty brutal, depending on the kid. We did /not/ have the kind that sleep 18 to 20 hours a day, we did not have a “fourth trimester”, and we did not have a babymoon. We had a lot of being awake all night, is what we had, and I spent a great deal of time marching briskly around the kitchen at two am in my underwear, wearing our son in the Moby wrap, singing Hebrew folk songs to him until he went to sleep… Read more »

April
Guest
April

For tear/stitches recovery, the 2-3 warm baths I took a day were a godsend. Not only did it make everything physically feel better, but it was 10 minutes of “me” time. I treated it like a mini spa break.
Target brand witch hazel pads (generic Tucks) lined up down the middle of the maxi pad were great for the first week postpartum. Also I had this motherlove nipple cream whose main ingredient was olive oil. Worked much better than the lanolin (however, the lanolin has been great when my daughter has dry/chapped skin on her face or hands)

Angela
Guest

I just want to re-emphasize, underline, bold, italics, capitalize the WATER thing. I get frustrated reading lists of crazy alternative strategies for upping milk when I’m guessing many people Really just aren’t getting enough water. I had to drink THREE HUNDRED ounces of water a day the first two weeks after delivery in order to be hydrated/have to pee/make milk. I am now 17 weeks pp and back down to 100-130oz, but if I have a busy day and drop below 100oz, my supply disappears. Seriously. Waaattterrrrrr.

Jess
Guest
Jess

Epsom salts and witch hazel essential oil! I tore when I had my son and was so swollen during the first few weeks postopartum. The combination of the epsom salts and the witch hazel helped more than I can say. Next time I’m definitely having them on hand. Epsom Salt : three cups of epsom salt disolved in a nice, warm bath; you can get big containers of epsom salt for really cheap at Target. Witch Hazel: buy a small bottle of witch hazel essential oil and add a few drops to a peri bottle. Squirt on your “area” after… Read more »

The Momdane
Guest
The Momdane

So that water cup – it should have a straw AND a handle if you can find one. In SoCal Poquito Mas has them. Drink the Mother’s Milk tea in the hospital regardless. The sports bras should be cheap or old so they will stretch off your boob easily. The pads should NOT be the generic Always, they should be the real deal – even for cheap-ass me. When you steal from the hospital room, grab that squirty bottle they use to hose you off prison-style when you go to the bathroom (don’t be scared, it actually works wonders). Everything… Read more »

Amelia
Guest

Before I gave birth to my son, someone told me to have a long-handled basket or tote that I could just grab and take with me everywhere.  This was a great idea because I could keep it filled with snacks, nipple cream, breast pads, a burp cloth, the remote control, cellphone, a book, whatever, and I could take it with me when I moved from the couch to the bed to the nursery.  I was grossly hesitant to move the baby when it was nursing/sleeping in those early days, often neglecting my own hunger or thirst, so having a basket… Read more »

VG
Guest
VG

My mom recommended using witch hazel/water mixture if you get stitched after a vaginal birth. Make sure you steal the squirt bottle thingy. Mix a few ozs of that with warm water. So soothing… I did that for the first two weeks after birth and helped with the healing. Hope everyting goes well 🙂

Vic
Guest
Vic

Tell hubby to get you some witch hazel if you have a vaginal birth. My mom recommended it for me to help with the healing process if you get stitched up.
Here’s what you do: 1) Steal the squirt bottle they give you at the hospital. 2) fill a 2-3 ozs of witch hazel in it. 3) double that with warm water, not too hot. 4) squirt on your nether regions after going to the bathroom. It was the best idea and so soothing. Hope it all goes well!

KelleyD
Guest
KelleyD

On the “robbing the hospital room blind” note. Don’t be shy about asking your nurses for more stuff! I learned with baby #2 to ask for the things to take home. Some of the uber-mega pads AND the ice pack pads. They were a MUST HAVE for me. Tucks pads, mesh panties, diapers, baby shampoo, sitz bath etc etc. You ask for it, generally they will happily bring it to you! {within reason of course}

Laura
Guest
Laura

I loved the soothies as well!! I used the iPhone app milk maid to keep track of feedings and poops which was very helpful when you’re so tired.

tasterspoon
Guest
tasterspoon

Nthing one-handed snacks. Not only were they invaluable during nursing sessions, but you’ll find time is so short sometimes when you’re rushing out the door you won’t even eat unless you can stick a granola bar in your bag to eat in the car. Another item I hadn’t thought of but we ended up getting a bunch of? Night lights! For the baby’s room, for your room, for the hallway, so you can go to the bathroom and change into dry PJs without shocking yourself into complete awakeness. I might also suggest a TV tray, but that’s optional.

tasterspoon
Guest
tasterspoon

Clothingwise, I’ve gotten a ton of wear out of long sleeved shirts from Old Navy that have buttons down to your navel (all but the bottom four are decorative). I just button two alternating buttons on the bottom for quick access. They’re soft but slim fitting so you look trim and you don’t have to worry about shaving your pits as with the tanks.

rocketspice
Guest
rocketspice

Adult Diapers – sorry, not the sexiest thing in the world, but great if your water breaks at home (cause it just keeps on coming – eww) and great for post partum. Also, Lilypadz…

Cecily T
Guest
Cecily T

Here’s my bestest post-partum secret for ladies who have stitches in their girl parts: A satin pillowcase. It is NO fun to scoot anywhere with stitches down there, and you will NEVER have both hands free to help bear some weight while you get off the couch/chair/bed etc. A satin pillowcase or some other thing with slippery material to put under your bum enables you to slide right off without that painful scooting.

eva
Guest

As far as #1 goes, it doesn’t really apply in Canada since private insurance doesn’t foot the bill for our health care.  I got two pairs of mesh underwear and some huge pads, and around 4 newborn-sized disposable diapers that I could take home.  Oh and a peri bottle which I didn’t use since I had c-sections with both kids.  I am curious about this “grown up sippy cup” – sounds lovely!

Heidi
Guest
Heidi

I’m surprised that no one ever mentions this, but Motrin…make sure you have Motrin in your medicine cabinet!!! My husband and I hardly ever use medicine and so when I woke up the day after getting home from the hospital and realized that my belly and lady bits were much more sore feeling than I expected, it dawned on me that I didn’t have a nurse bringing me Motrin every 8 hours.  I promptly went to my medicine drawer and the bottle of Motrin only contained 3 pills that expired 6 months prior!! Other than that, I have LIVED in… Read more »

Pogita
Guest
Pogita

Have someone there for you. I could NOT remember to get water, pump parts, pillows, stool, radio on, etc for nursing sessions. I needed someone to bring me those things.My awesome husband did! I also only had two outfits that fit comfortably and my baby threw up all over me all the time. There was a lot of laundry. My husband totally took care of it. I don’t think I could have even operated the dial on the wash machine. You need someone there all the time to take care of you. And if your husband’s work even THINKS of… Read more »

Britt
Guest
Britt

I see my must-haves have already been mentioned but my top recommendations were: Peri Bottle (stolen from hospital) VITAL. My daughter’s almost five and I’m sort of sad I don’t have it any more Witch hazel wipes – which I later self-made with dilute witch hazel and paper towels and wore as a pad One of those hemorrhoid pillows if you think you’ll have a vaginal birth great for any regular sitting on non-beds (due to swelling/tears, not necessarily hemorrhoids; could keep receipt if you’re not sure you’ll need it) Stool softening tablets immediately after childbirth through several successful postpartum… Read more »

hodgepodge
Guest

If you have a VBAC, a thousand times “yes” to the peri bottle. What a wonderful little invention. A couple of weeks before your due date, take a little trip through the house and check on staple items (paper towels, toilet paper, pet food, that kind of thing) and make sure you stock up. Running to the store for some baby-related thing you didn’t know you’d need is one thing. Running to the store because you’re out of toilet paper three days post-partum is the kind of thing that just might cause you to sob uncontrollably in the car the… Read more »

YaChun
Guest

More so than things – the phone number of a lactation consultant and/or LLL leader. And the schedule for the next LLL meeting. I would also recommend going to a LLL meeting before you deliver – I didn’t now this was possible and wish I had done it. Also, be sure to wash that big adult sippy cup – I am sure that is how I got thrush – in our exhaustion we just kept filling it up. As for nursing PJs, I got button down PJs from Target – still use them over a year out. I also liked… Read more »

julie w
Guest
julie w

If you have a vaginal birth, make sure you take home that sitz bath contraption and use it every day for the first week or so! The silly prebirth class lady pooh-poohed it…saying that the spray bottle was sufficient. So I didn’t use it for the first 2 days…but the nurses at the hospital were insistent. THANK YOU LADIES! What a difference a twice daily sitz bath can make.

Meredith
Guest
Meredith

I have to comment on the All Purpose Nipple Ointment, and to echo that it is insanely amazing. I had a lot of trouble nursing my first (pregnant with my second now). We fought through, and lasted 10.5 months, through torn nipples, scabbing, etc. It was so bad at one point, that I would make everyone who was willing (my mom, my husband, the OB, friends) begrudgingly examine my raw nipple. I don’t know why, but that seemed acceptable at the time. A lactation consultant recommended I get a prescription for “Dr. Jack Newman’s All Purpose Nipple Ointment.” When I… Read more »

Heather (Laptops to Lullabies)
Guest

The best thing I ever did was set up a “station” next to the couch where I had my laptop (full of ANTM episodes), water, nipple cream, C-section pain meds, nursing pads, hair clips, camera, BlackBerry, and burp cloths (for the buckets of spit-up). I was glued to the couch for what felt like FOREVER, nursing around the clock, and that little corner of the couch was my whole world. The best thing my husband did was prepare little baggies of snacks before he left for work. They were all things I could grab easily and eat with one hand,… Read more »

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

My absolute favorite nursing bras came from… Walmart. They were $10 and were probably more of the “sleep” variety but I had a fall baby (and will have a winter baby this time around) and so I was always covered enough. They were easy to pull down, super comfortable and I MAY still wear them around the house at times. MAY. The Target nursing tanks are great too. I was one of the people who HATED wearing the hospital gowns. I wanted my own clothes on. Hit up consignment sales – lots will have nursing pajamas and stuff for really… Read more »

Heather
Guest
Heather

I got a bunch of cheap sleep bras from Motherhood and they softened up nicely in the wash and have held up for 9 months now.  Definitely keep some nursing pads on hand (I liked the medela kind) so you’re decent for visitors.  I’d also second the comments on having Colace, lanolin and lots of water on hand. The nurses at the hospital also showed me an awesome trick.  Take one of your baby’s diapers and pull it apart at the end, making a little opening.  Fill with ice and put it in your mesh panties (don’t be shy asking… Read more »

bhn
Guest

I don’t have any bright ideas that the previous commenters haven’t already mentioned. I think you’re in good stead. I just want to reassure you, in response to the comments about how much your lady bits hurt, and episiotomies/tears, and sitz baths and hemmorhoid pillows, that it DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THAT WAY. I delivered my firstborn, almost 9 pounds, over a totally intact perineum. Not a scratch on me. Yeah, it was a bit swollen down there for a couple of days but nothing horrific. The afterpains (uterine contractions) were far more significant. If you use physiologic pushing… Read more »

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Kate F
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Kate F

Total Baby is the app I used and it was so awesome. You don’t need to outsource because it’s so simple.