Your baby is about to arrive and
you’re stocked up on all the essential items for your little bundle of
joy, but you may have forgotten about yourself. After the birth of my
babies, I’ve found several items to be essential during my healing
process and I’ve compiled a list that will be helpful to you during this
amazing time in your life.
1. Snacks. Especially if you’re planning on breastfeeding, you will always be hungry. For convenience, have a supply of healthy snacks like dried fruit, nuts, granola bars, etc to provide yourself with enough nutrition. I made snack size packets of granola and raisins that I had in places where I was going to nurse. And have a good supply of bottled water. Make sure to drink a lot of water, because you will get dehydrated when nursing.
2. Freezer Meals. Make sure to prepare and freeze enough meals for the first few days when you’re supposed to rest. A few weeks before giving birth, I batch cooked several meals. It was such a relief not to have to worry about cooking with a new baby.
3. Kotex Pads. You don’t want to run out of pads, so stock up on them. And, make sure to get overnight ones too.
4. Witch Hazel. This is a safe and natural herb that helps provide relief after giving birth. Try to buy alcohol-free witch hazel.
5. Ice Pack or Padsicle. These provide a great, natural relief from pain. I would soak a maxi, add a few tablespoons of alcohol-free witch hazel and freeze it.
6. Peri Bottle. When wiping isn’t an option, these really help you clean up.
7. Comfortable Clothing. You’ll want to wear loose-fitting clothing. I purchased pants and skirts with elastic waists for my early stages of pregnancy and they were nice to have after giving birth.
8. Nursing Bra and Nursing Pads. You’ll want a comfortable nursing bra that’s supportive to wear during the day and when you go out. You will leak when you start to produce milk, so stock up on disposable nursing pads.
9. Heating Pad. A heating pad will provide you with comfort with after birth cramps. Placing it behind your lower back while you nurse will be helpful.
10. Herbs for Baths. Taking a herbal sitz bath can be very relaxing and adding herbs that are specific for postpartum is very healing. After taking a long, hot bath, I always felt better equipped to take care of my baby. This also gives your husband and baby bonding time.
11. Disposable Bed Pads. These pads will keep your bed clean at night.
12. Nipple Cream. This is essential in soothing soreness when you’re nursing.
13. Stool Softeners. The hospital may give you some, but you’ll want a supply at home, especially if you get an episiotomy and stitches.
14. Breast Pump. A breast pump will provide some relief from the pain of nursing. It can also allow you to relax more and give dad a chance to feed the baby.
15. A Support System. Whether it’s a friend to talk to or someone who wants to help you with housework, having support is essential, especially if you have postpartum blues. With my first baby, I suffered from postpartum. Maybe it was from the stress and overwhelm of taking care of this tiny new baby, but having someone to talk to really helped me out during this time.