Monday, July 2

10 things for your first week home with baby

the first week home after having a baby is a crazy one! so many changes, and so many surprises! but it also is a week full of lots of learning. one of the things i realized is just how much some accessories and random things have made my life so much easier! i would like to share a few of them with you because these are things you will want to have stocked in the house before you deliver because going to the store the first night home is the LAST thing you will want to do.


1. Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads: these are a MUST for about the first week. (you'll want to buy at least 2 boxes) imagine putting a jello jiggler circle on your nipple after each feeding. that's basically what these are. they are soooo soothing and cold up against your sore nipples, they provide a barrier between you and your bra or breast pad. they are slightly medicated and so they help you heal faster and the biggest thing is that with these your nipples don't dry out so if you scab, the scabs stay soft and you don't get chapped/cracked. if you haven't been warned before. let me warn you now. breast feeding hurts. lots. and it could hurt for up to three months so... do all you can to make sure that your baby's latch is right and that you are taking care of yourself because if you think it's just going to get better quickly... maybe. but maybe not. and that's why really smart awesome people invented things like this.

2. good toilet paper: everything down there is really sore and swollen and possibly stitched up or you have hemorrhoids. i promise you don't want to have toilet paper flakies that could possibly get infected OR rough toilet paper scratching your already broken... you know, "downstairs" plus, with all your bleeding you will -and should- be going to the bathroom frequently.

3. Swaddle Baby Wrap: you may not like the idea of strapping your child down like in an insane asylum but... you baby does. after being in the confines of your womb for 9 months, being all tightly wrapped is comforting. i recommend the summer swaddle because it comes with velcro so that you can almost guarantee they won't wiggle themselves out of the wrap. (it also helps them sleep better and longer, more on that subject here)

4. maternity bras: once you say goodbye to the colostrom and say hello to milk, your breasts go into high gear. you will probably be engorged and leaking constantly as your body matches your baby's desired milk production. maternity bras do two things. easy fast access to the nipple for feedings, and they hold the breast pads in place when your not feeding. you will want to wear one literally every minute of the day besides showering. a "sports bra style" nursing bra is nice because you will have to wear a bra at night while you sleep -no more sleeping naked ladies!- and the other padded/regular nursing bras work well during the day to give extra padding in case your breast pad fills up while your up and about or visiting. you will want to avoid bras with underwires in them as they can cause mastitis. when deciding how many to get and what size. a good idea is to go up a full cup size and then buy the rest after the baby is born. how many depends on how frequently you do laundry and how messy of an eater your baby is. i would recommend at least 3. and you'll probably need to get more later. (if you want to make your own instead i show you how to here)

5. a t.v. series to watch: if your breast feeding, like i already mentioned, its not the most pleasant experience in the beginning. it kinda stings and tingles and makes your nipples sore. and sometimes sore enough that they will bleed, crack and scab. because of this it is really nice to have a distraction during feedings. this is where having some tv episodes on hand come in. either via buying/renting the series on dvd, using netflicks or hulu, or just having a whole bunch stocked up in your dvr. it really is the best distraction and a 45 minute show (fast forwarding through commercials) is the perfect amount of time for a diaper change, feeding, and burping or while you use a breast pump.at least until you and your baby get better and faster during feedings. my favorites are Lost, Friends, and for a quick funny one, Brooklyn Nine-Nine .

6. another SD Card for your camera: running on little sleep and exhaustion doesn't make you have the desire to upload photos onto your computer to clear memory on your camera. instead just get another sd card so that you don't have to miss those few precious moments when they make that certain face, or are posed in a particular way.

7. stool softeners: the body naturally gets constipated for child birth. this is nice while in labor because you don't have to get up and go #2, also because it allows a little more room in the birth canal since you don't have a full bum to take up any space. but... this means a few days later you will have one intense and painful session in the bathroom. -one of my nurses referred it to giving birth to the ugly cousin- start taking these before you go into labor. it's not a laxative so you don't have to worry about reenacting that scene from dumb and dumber. but they really do help!

8. breast pads: you'll want to grab some breast pads because you could need to change your pad with every feeding (every 3 or so hours) for the first few weeks. thats alot of pads people. once your milk regulates you should only need to change out your pad daily. (some women can even stop using them altogether) these are my favorite

9. frozen meals and snacks: in case you don't have family/friends/neighbors bringing you and your family meals these will ease your mind and help you recover. having nice healthy meals pre-prepared that you know you like and that your husband can easily heat-up/put-together will give you that energy you need to be a mom and heal from what your body just went through.

10. A soft towel: showering is a great way to treat yourself nice while you feel so dirty and sore. but... if you have a rough towel, all of that feel good happiness that came from your shower instantly goes away as you pat dry your nether regions and nipples with what feels like a porcupines back because of how sensitive you are. do yourself a favor, splurge and get a good one. This one is soft, and dark enough not to show stains

But... on a positive note. it's all worth it! if you'd like to read my birth story click here.

if you have a favorite item that you couldn't have lived without during that first week home i'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

55 comments:

  1. It's been a few years since my babies were breast feeding. You're list is right on spot. You should also include period pads NOT tampons and tucks with witch hazel. It works on all the aches down there!!

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  2. you are totally right! those should be included, i guess i didn't think of them initially because the hospital i went to gave those to me. this list was more for things i had to purchase myself. but boy if the hospital wouldn't have given those to me i would have been in trouble!

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  3. helpful! I'm due in Sept...and this is great. :)
    new follower here!
    :)

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  4. If breastfeeding hurts for three months you are long past the point where you should have gotten help. It doesn't have to be that way.

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    1. I agree, if it is still painful after a month to six weeks - you should probably talk to someone. Haven't breastfed in 25 years, but still remember that awesome feeling of being so close to my babies. I would recommend it to all.

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  5. awesome list! Definitely add the Tuck's, those are lifesavers!
    I thought I was the only one watching Netflix to stay awake for those late night feedings, but it helped a lot. This list is worth remembering for the next time around! :)

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  6. This list is so spot on! All of these things were life savers to me. And I agree with Clair: Tuxx pads are soooo wonderful. And I used a squirt bottle and a little jiggling instead of toilet paper after using the bathroom. Also very soothing!

    Jenna
    callherhappy.com

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  7. if you wet some newborn or preemie diapers with water and freeze them they are PERFECT pads for the first few days after the baby is born. sounds nuts but makes everything feel SOOOO much better "down there" :)

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  8. Great list, the hospital gave me some wet wipes which felt great to wipe with. Snacks you can eat with one hand (bananas , granola bars) are good for 2 am... I had no idea how hungry breastfeeding would make me. And yes, if breastfeeding continues to hurt after the first few days, seek help from a lactation consultant, it shouldn't hurt at all!

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  9. just to clarify: my baby was born early and so her mouth was too small to latch on correctly so for me, it did hurt for about 2 and a half months. (yes i went to many lactation consultants) but... that was just our situation. thanks for all your input though! your suggestions are great!

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  10. What about PADS!?!?!? I swear, that's what shocked me more than anything when I had my first baby! I'm pregnant with my 5th now, but I will never forget how shocked I was by how much I bled or how long it lasted!

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    1. Geez! Ever heard of birth control??

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    2. Not everyone only wants one child... geez. Kudos to you for birthing and raising 5 kiddos!! =o)

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  11. Wow! Thanks for the great advice... I'm due the 22nd of August and had no idea about some of these items.... especially the breastfeeding things. I now feel like I might be just a little better prepared :D

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  12. I was instructed to use baby wipes instead of toilet paper. SOO much nicer and they cleaned well, too.

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  13. if you have a lot of heavy bleeding, I've heard that disposable underwear (Depends) is excellent. Just stick a big fat pad in for a liner and change that for the day. Saves lots of laundry.

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  14. ^ i totally did that Angela! Helped soo much! I swelled up so much even my largest pair of pregnancy underwear cut into me & wearing the Depends, i didnt care if i leaked off the pad but i didnt feel like i was spending a ridiculous amount on my own "diapers" AND i didnt have to lift my super heavy legs in/out of multiple pairs & the Tucks were amazing!

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  15. What a great list! First, I have been mystified and how many breast pads and nursing bras I should get. This helps! Also, I had never thought about a nice, new towel for myself. That is now a MUST. Lastly, the TV show thing is a great idea as well. Thank you!

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  16. Tucks for sure! And stock up on some dermaplast! If you end up needing an episiotomy, the dermaplast is a lifesaver and the can they give you from the hospital will go very quickly!

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  17. A really good water bottle like a Camelback with the flip top. I tried to drink almost all of it when breast feeding.
    Also those belly holders, the ones that keep everything in place is helpful if you have a csection. Sadly I didn't get that note till weeks after my emergency cs.

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  18. Slip on Slippers!, I had the kind of slippers that had to tuck my heel into, and the last thing you want to do is try and bend over and fix a shoe on your feet.

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  19. A boppy pillow or simmilar brand. Also a lifesaver for breast feeding in the hospital bed after c section. Loved it worth every penny!

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  20. My little one had a hard time latching on to breast feed, so we had to run out and get a nipple shield on day 3. They are cheap so I recommend them to all expecting moms...there's nothing worse than not being able to feed your hungry baby! I also agree with the squirt bottle for cleansing after using the bathroom!

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    1. I agree! My baby was born at 33 weeks and initially needed to be fed through a tube. When he was able to breast feed we used a nipple shield...it helped a lot! I do have to warn that shields aren't as efficient, so it took 45 mins breastfeeding every 3 hours until I weaned him off the shield at 2 months. He is 17 months now and just now starting to fully wean. Try the shield if you hurt (with the help of lactation, of course). Oh, and get 2! There's nothing worse than when that clear piece of plastic is missing and you have a hungry baby that requires it!

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  21. I had two c-sections. I would highly recommend a belly bandit or some type of compression band. It isn't for vanity sake but to support your muscles. It helped keep everything together so I could function. With my first I didn't have one and I couldn't move without pain for two weeks.

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    1. Why cant this list be for c-section? Its listed for v-birth only. Belly bandit yes:)

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  22. Nipple shields saved me!!!!!! I LOVED them!

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  23. One that is really important is a great water bottle to keep hydrated while nursing one that can keep the water cool, won't spill , and can be used one handed.

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  24. This list is amazing - the best advice I got pre baby was to go and get a package of "granny panties" to get you through the first six weeks - they were inexpensive and I didn't feel bad throwing them out after and I kept my real underwear from being ruined. As for breastfeeding - for us it was never easy or comfortable and I had every complication in the book - a midwife & a lactation consultant & email communication with the Newman clinic - it hurts plain and simple for some women (I did breastfeed for 22 months even though I didn't enjoy the physical part of it)

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  25. Reading through the comments, I was thinking to add granny panties, then I see they are in the last post. These were great not just for the mess of the longest period of your life. They were also great for holding in the extreme flabbiness of a post-partum belly. I wish I had known about the gel breast pads. I was so sore from day 3 to about day 10. I just had to cringe and bear it when she first latched on. I tried nipple cream, but my daughter refused to nurse after I had used it. But after about 10 days, the pain was gone. This is a great list!

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  26. This is a great list. Altough I would reccomend removing your comment about it not being for mothers who deliver VIA C-section. I had a C-section delivery for the birth of my twins and still had need for all of these items. Because of the mutilple birth I had severe trauma "down there" very swollen and painful even though it was a surgical delivery, the swelling and trama the staff said was actually worse because it was how my body distributed the fluid from the surgery. And I don't know if you know this but you still naturally shed and bleed the same after a c-section as you do a vaginal. I am getting ready to deliver my third baby via VBAC so excited and totally forgot about how what life savers those nipple jellies are! I would keep them in the fridge even more soothing!

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  27. I will tell my friends as well. This looks a great opportunity.

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  28. It doesn't hurt to keep a fresh cabbage on-hand, either, for sore nipples. It may seem like an old-wives tale, but the astringent properties of the cabbage really does help dry and cracked nipples. Kills any thrush that may try to develop, too. Wear a leaf like you would a breast pad. Change it every time you nurse. AMAZING what natural things like this work!

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    1. The cabbage was a "must have" for me....but make sure you "crack the veins" of the leaf so that the healing properties are released..

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  29. I like all of these except the velcro swaddle blanket.

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  30. I agree with everything on the list except that breastfeeding hurts! My son is a HOSS. He was 8 13 at birth and had I lasted another 12 days to my 'due date' he would have been over 10 lbs! He ate every 40 mins for the first week. My milk came in 36 hours after his birth. He began to nurse every hour to hour and 20 mins for the next 5 weeks. I never once had cracked nipples, chapping or anything like that. They were a little sore for the first week or so and I would just take an ice cube and place it over my nipples. My let down felt like a burning tingling feeling, but that didn't hurt either, it felt like a relief. Like when you have to pee really badly and finally go kind of feeling. I just want to put this out there not to discourage new moms from attempting nursing! It is the absolute best thing for mama and baby!

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    1. I agree. Telling everyone in this article that "breastfeeding hurts", as if it's a given, is totally wrong. It can hurt, especially if moma is not taught properly, but lots of us did it without any discomfort, soreness, or especially bleeding. Get educated ahead of time and your chances are much greater for a pain-free breastfeeding experience! Sooo easy in the long run. Happy mothering!

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  31. I didnt read all the comments but id like to add ice packs. i sat on ice for 2 weeks after my son was born. The nipple sheild was a lifesaver since my son was tongue tied also the swaddle blanket is really helpful.

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  32. i think its funny this assumes that you will have sore nipples and an episiotomy. I think instead of jumping the guy take birthing/infant led bfing classes so hopefully you wont have either.

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  33. I like the ice pack suggestions but I went a step further and put a little witch hazel on a couple of clean sanitary pads and kept them in the freezer. Very soothing.

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  34. I didn't get Depends, but I did buy high waisted briefs, Fruit of the Loom, ten to a pack, in dark colors, after I found regular underwear to be too uncomfortable on my c-section. I had already bought MEGA PADS, but I even bought bed liners (they looked like puppy pee pads), just in case.

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  35. I found this list to be true :) Though not all Momma's end up with breastfeeding pain, many do. I think she's talking from her experiences, not necessarily saying it's going to happen exactly that way.
    I assumed that breastfeeding could be painful, because most if the mother's I spoke to had pains of some variation till 2 months. Including me, mastitis didn't help. :p
    Breastfeeding can take work but it is lovely when you and bubby get sorted :)

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  36. I found wearing adult diapers for the first week was way easier than bulky pads and worrying if I would leak on my underwear. It might seem silly, but it was freeing to not have to worry about it!
    It's also SO important to stay hydrated while breast feeding, and I have trouble remembering to drink enough. Investing in a good cup with a lid/straw (like the kind they sell for iced coffee) or a big water bottle is a good idea!

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    1. Same here pads are rough when you are swollen and stitched up

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  37. I would also add that having some cash on hand is a must. There will inevitably be things that you forget or run out of and it's easier to send a friend or loved one to the store with cash versus giving them your card/pin. Especially if your husband won't have a lot of time off after the birth. My little sister was my errand girl for the first few weeks until I could get out and about and it was much easier just handing her $20 and a list.

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  38. A boppy pillow, major back saver!!

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  39. I had an emergency c section with my daughter and I still used everything on this list. I don't understand why you would say it is only for natural birth mommy's.

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    1. Me too! Glad you said it:)

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  40. If you have cracked nipples get a tube of pure lanolin from the pharmacy and apply to nipples after each feeding. This saved me with my first baby. My Dr. had me putting something on my nipples that I have to wash off each time I nursed. This is totally defeated the purpose of drying your nipples out. I called La Leche, a breastfeeding organization, and they told me about the pure lanalin
    You don't need to wash it off before nursing again it won't hurt the baby.
    Also leave your bra flaps down for several minutes after nursing so your nipples can dry.
    most soreness and problems with breastfeeding are with the first baby, with my second and third child I had no problems or with tenderness or sore nipples.

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    1. Good bless Lanolin! I highly recommend it.

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  41. Something I want this time around are audio books for while I nurse.

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  42. Cool blog you have! Compliments. I just visited a site http://tepelbedekkers.nl. You might want to blog about their products? I have never seen such a bra's and tepelbedekkers in my life.

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  43. Breastfeeding never hurt for me not even at first. But yes breast pads a must. I produced so much in the first couple weeks with my second all i had to do was lean forward and it would just pour out..... made drying off after a shower awkward lol

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  44. I don't love your list. I think you may scare some first timers out there. Breast pads and nipple creams are good to have on hand but not everybody experiences breastfeeding the way you did. I had very little pain or discomfort. Some of MY must haves were tucks, spray bottle to cleanse after using the bathroom so you only have to gently pat dry instead of wipe, mesh underwear from the hospital to wear with a super huge pad so you can throw it all away if you have leakage problems like I did,a snack basket with a water bottle that you can carry with you from room to room, easy access nursing bra and shirt, my kindle, some good movies as you suggested, and a breast pump.

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  45. TUCKS!! Just buy a case of them. They were the only thing that helped when my stitches got really itchy.

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