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In December I was blessed to give birth to baby #3, a sweet girl who we named Emma Noelle. Labor with Emma was anything but easy. After a day and a half of labor that was not progressing, my doctors chose to do an emergency c-section because they feared both baby and mom had gotten an infection. This was my first cesarean birth and by far the hardest recovery I’ve had, partly due to the rigorous labor and surgery and partly due, I think, to the fact that my body was a decade older than when I’d had my first two children.
I spent almost a week in the hospital before being sent home and I went home having to immediately care for three kids by myself. Thankfully, I have two older kids who could pick up the baby and bring me things I needed which was amazingly helpful. I was also glad that a couple months before I had Emma I went to Walmart and bought everything I’d need to create a little postpartum kit for myself that was full of all the items I thought I’d need to get through those first few weeks at home.
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I had not done this with my first because, back in 2008 when I was pregnant with Jacob, I had no idea what my body was about to endure. I would have loved a seasoned mom to share her knowledge with me! (Or perhaps it was all in that “what to expect” book that all us pregnant ladies buy that I read in between bouts of morning sickness and then forgot about by the second trimester….oops.) This time around, having had two babies already, I was semi-prepared mentally and knew what I was in for physically- both with the after effects of the birth and with the start of breastfeeding so I tried to prepare the best I could. Having had the c-section though there were a few other items I would have added to that kit that I didn’t realize I’d need but they will go in my next postpartum kit (should I get pregnant again, I’m not right now lol.)
Since I know from experience that expectant moms aren’t always thinking about themselves, I thought it would be helpful to put together a list of essentials. It’s easy to get side-tracked by the little baby booties, pretty hair bows, and tiny clothes but moms-to-be need to be shopping for themselves as well (after all, my blog is called Making Time For MOMMY so it’s only right I remind you all to focus on yourself occasionally!) You should put this kit together ahead of time because the last thing you’ll want to be doing in the days after you give birth is walking around the store with a baby to get these necessities.
Essentials for “down there”
I’m not going to lie here….the days after birth are going to be extremely uncomfortable and you are going to come to appreciate things you might not have ever thought you’d want to love (like those mesh diaper things they give you in the hospital). Here are some things you’ll be happy you stocked up on…
Heavy-duty, long pads (paired with old underwear/granny panties)– Put away the pretty panties and pull out those old underwear from the back of your drawer because you’ll want to be comfortable and need something to hold the pads. When it comes to pads make sure to get overnight ones or ones that can hold a lot, as well as the longest pads you can find. There’s also no shame in buying adult diapers for yourself because they might just work the best for those first days after delivery.
Epsom salt– Warm epsom salt baths, or sitz baths, can be soothing, especially if you had to have an episiotomy. (Just make sure to consult with your Doctor first to make sure bathing is ok!) Baths are also one of the best way to relieve stress in my opinion which new moms may need.
Stool softener– You can’t avoid going number two so make it less stressful on your bottomside by taking a stool softener!
Hemorrhoid relief– It’s no secret that many new moms develop hemorrhoids so having products that will help relieve the discomfort is important. If you develop symptoms of hemorrhoids you will want to treat them because the irritation won’t go away on it’s own. The PREPARATION H® Rapid Relief with Lidocaine Hemorrhoidal Cream and the PREPARATION H® Rapid Relief with Lidocaine Totables® contain the highest amount of lidocaine available to quickly relieve pain, phenylephrine to relieve swelling, and glycerin that provides a soothing protective layer to offer relief of hemorrhoid symptoms like itching and burning. The PREPARATION H® Rapid Relief with Lidocaine Totables® are perfect for on-the-go because of their discreet, convenient travel size that can be put in your purse or diaper bag. They cool, sooth, and comfort to relieve burning and itching and are flushable & septic-safe.
Even if you aren’t planning to have a c-section these items are good to have just in case you end up needing one like I did!
Small pillow– Anytime you need to cough, sneeze, or laugh you’ll want to hold a small pillow to your mid-section. It’s also great for putting under your baby as you nurse.
Belly binder– A belly binder will help decrease the pain at your incision site. It’s extremely helpful when you have to move around!
Loose pants or nightgowns– When you have been cut open the last thing you will want is a tight waistband rubbing against your incision. A loose fitting pair of pants or a flowy nightgown will be the most comfortable thing you can wear those first couple weeks.
Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, you’ll want to have these essentials on hand to help relieve the pain and discomfort you will feel in your breasts.
Lanolin cream– This cream is a must-have when breastfeeding because it soothes mom’s sore, cracked nipples. Best of all, it’s safe for baby too so there is no need to wipe it off before breastfeeding your child.
Hot/cold gel packs– I used a heating pad a lot with my first kids but I love packs that give the option for hot or cold therapy. When cooled the gel packs can relieve engorgement and, when heated up, they are perfect for relieving mastitis or clogged ducts.
Nursing pads– During the first weeks of breastfeeding, nipples may be tender and nursing pads provide a nice soft barrier to reduce irritation. They also help keep the skin dry from leaking nipples.
Milk-producing snacks/teas– With my first babies I didn’t know that there were products out there that would help me produce more breastmilk. With Emma I was prepared to do everything I could to help increase my milk supply!
Breast pump– If you have a child in the NICU like I did, breastfeeding isn’t always an option so it’s nice to have the pump to be able to provide your milk to the baby even when you can’t be with them.
Nursing bras– Comfortable nursing bras are a must!
Other items you’ll want to make sure you have
Dry shampoo- Whether you are stuck in a hospital bed or just choose to get a few more minutes of sleep after a night of waking up every couple of hours at home, dry shampoo is a lifesaver.
Slippers- Bending over, especially after a c-section, is hard to do so skip the socks and make sure you have a nice pair of slippers you can wear.
Snacks- Taking care of a newborn is hard work so don’t forget to stock up on snacks. Look for filling, healthier snacks that you can grab and eat without prep-time and plan to keep a few in reach of where you nurse or rock baby to sleep.
I found everything I needed for my postpartum time at Walmart, from my snacks to my self-care products. What would you include in a postpartum kit? Chat with me on social! Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
For children under 12 years of age, consult a doctor. Please read the package for product warnings and complete labeling information.
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