Monday, July 2
10 things for your first week home with baby
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!