Recovery after birth is sometimes the last thing we think about when pregnant. I on the other hand had a really overdue baby, and had a lot of time to get really prepared for baby and to get everything ready for an optimum birth recovery.
I had a month worth of freezer meals ready to go, I still have some left over in the freezer! I wrote down easy recipes that Carl would be able to make, I set everything up for my home birth, made balms for baby and me and researched everything for a great, fast recovery after birth.
The one thing I found while trying to find what I would need in my postpartum kit, was a lot of the same things or rather obvious things, like a nursing bra? If you’re breastfeeding I think it would be quite obvious that you would need a nursing bra and breast pads for that matter. To me these postpartum essentials posts weren’t really helpful, but that was just because it was filled with the stuff I already knew I had to get, but not the strange and insanely helpful things that I really used.
Postpartum days are a whirlwind of lack of sleep and grazing for the nearest food you can just quickly shove in your mouth, while you and your baby get to know each other. These are some of the essentials that I used during postpartum that made me feel more human, during a time when lack of sleep, getting peed on and just staring at poop seems to be the norm. Don’t forget googling about what poop is normal.
POSTPARTUM ESSENTIALS FOR MOMS
- Coconut water. It felt like coconut water saved my life during the first couple of days of postpartum. It hydrated me and gave me a little energy boost that I needed during that time. It also helped replenish electrolytes that I lost during birth. It was also the most refreshing thing in the world to me at that point of time water felt like a drag to drink, while coconut water seemed like a gift from God.
- Robe. This is one of those ” it could be obvious” things, but I decided its just a must to add. I was having so many hot flushes and just sweating like crazy during those first couple of days ( thanks Hormones). I just never wanted to wear a shirt. I was always just in a nursing bra and pants, when we were alone of course, but man I wish I had a robe! I feel like it would have made me feel more decent and like I had all my ducks in a row.
- Dry shampoo. I had a quick sitz bath everyday, but it wasn’t really a shower. That first week postpartum is all about the baby and if you get a shower in , you’re lucky! With guests coming over to see the new baby, not feeling like a complete mess is essential! Dry shampoo is a lifesaver for those times.
- Vitamins. Your body lost a lot of energy and vitamins during birth. Keep taking your multi vitamins, but also take a probiotic to keep digestion going. A magnesium tablet is also essential to keep cramps at bay after birth. You won’t believe how achy your body will be.
- Leggings: Comfy pants is a must postpartum and these from mermaids and unicorns have such an amazing design that you can wear them while entertaining guests. People will be so distracted by your amazing leggings that they wont even care how bad you look. The cute baby that everyone is passing around will also be a distraction.
- Cocoa butter. After pregnancy you will be left with that beautiful brown line on your stomach….Linea nigra if you want to get all fancy, or if you just want it gone and not even bother knowing its name, get some cocoa butter and massage it all over it everyday. It will help get rid of it fast! I also used cocoa butter for the most amazing breastfeeding nipple cream, it was a lifesaver during those first couple of days when you and baby are just trying to figure out breastfeeding and you wonder if you gave birth to a snapping turtle.
- Arnica Everything: I used arnica oil after birth for my achy muscles and believe me did it help. You won’t believe how sore your muscles are! Labour is the most intense workout of your life and you will hurt in places you didn’t know you had muscles. I also took arnica tablets for inflammation, pain and aches. You just have to get it! Its a homeopathic dreamboat.
- Exercise ball. This ball is not just helpful during labour, its amazing afterwards as well. Bouncing a fussy baby on the ball is a great way to calm them down, help burp them and make them fall asleep. Its also a great workout.
Sitz bath. A sitz bath after birth will help ease discomfort down there. If you cant find some of the herbs to make your own sitz bath bags, just add 1/2 cup Epson salt to your bath water and 5 -10 drops of lavender oil. It will help heal you faster and ease any discomfort.
Perineum spray: This is great for healing and keeping things clean down there.
Granola and Snacks: I loved my healing golden milk granola as a snack during those first couple of days, it was so easy to eat and had all the healing properties I needed.
Lactation cookies: I lived on these amazing cookies I created during the first couple of days when waiting for my milk to come in and when my milk came in I had one happy baby on my hands.
Chocolate: Having a some dark chocolate when you feel so tired will be that pick me up you need.
Support: having your partner there helping you and making things as comfortable as possible is just what you need during your postpartum period. I’m really grateful to Carl for all his help and support he gave me and how involved hes been in Arren’s life even before he was born, this guy doesn’t want to miss a thing.
Feeding Pillow: A feeding pillow is a great thing to have to adjust baby just right, I only really started using mine this last week or so. I was too frazzled to remember where I put my feeding pillow and just made a pillow fortress with all the pillows in the house, but now that I’m using it I can’t believe that I didn’t use it from the start.
The most important thing is to get enough sleep! I know it can be so difficult when you have a perfect little angel sleeping next to you and all you want to do is stare, but trust me try and get some sleep when your baby sleeps. It will help you heal better and make you feel more sane!
I hope this helps all those new mamas out there!