Postpartum life can be rough. After all, you’ve just evicted a baby out of your body. That means your hormones are going all over the place, and your brain is still trying to catch up with the fact that you no longer have a cute little invader in your uterus. You might also have some physical issues, like a c-section scar or vaginal tearing that needs healing. Then there are all the emotional ramifications of new motherhood. That’s why I’d like to share some of the products that saved me postpartum, on both a physical and mental level, because this new-mom life is no joke, my friends.
Giving birth to my son wreaked havoc on me in a way nothing else ever has (or probably ever will, honestly). I had a high-risk pregnancy as I had lost my daughter before him, so emotionally I was a mess. Add to that the fact that my son was born sick and had to be rushed to the NICU right after birth, and there isn't a word that can describe what I was thinking and feeling immediately after my son entered the world.
I spent two months sleeping in that NICU with him, and my recovery was incredibly slow. Had it not been for a few wonderful gifts from my loved ones, some recommendations from friends, and a few other things I’d prepared for new motherhood, I might have totally lost it. These are some of the products that practically saved my life in those early days.
A Donut Seat
It’s a little embarrassing to walk around with, sure, but honestly I didn’t give a damn. I had really bad birth injuries (tearing like whoa) and sitting was a horrible experience. However, so was standing for long periods of time. My mother got me this donut seat cushion and it made all the difference.
So, um, I mentioned the birth injuries, yes? Well, this little spray can was a godsend after every few hours. It provided a nice, soothing numbness for my nether regions that doesn’t compare.
Tucks Medicated Pads
Of course, Dermoplast is nothing without a nice layer of Tucks to make it last. These witch-hazel drenched pads get placed in your pad to provide a whole lot of pain relief. The hospital gave me a few to start with, but I used them for a few months afterward (did I mention how bad my injuries were?) Also, many of us know that hemorrhoids are a real issue postpartum, and these help with that as well.
A Nursing Pillow
Although I didn’t breastfeed exclusively, when I did my nursing pillow always came to the rescue. My sister-in-law had mentioned how important it was for her to have, which is why I got it. She was totally right. That blessed pillow my arms from unnecessary strain, especially on those extra long nights.
Moms tend to get backed up after giving birth, and the first poop after childbirth is, quite frankly, terrifying. For some reason, labor and delivery just aren’t as scary as this. So yes, stool softener to the rescue! You’ll thank me later.
I highly recommend getting yourself a few cozy nursing tops prior to giving birth, especially if you’re pretty sure you want to breastfeed. Good tops that allow most of your body to remain warm are preferable, because it can get chilly without a shirt on. I used ones from Mama Feels Good which were awesome because: the designs are super cute, the material is very soft, and they keep you warm even in cold hospital rooms.
A Hospital-Grade Breast Pump
I’m just going to say it right now: unless you’re buying a hospital-grade pump, you might as well just rent one from a pharmacy or WIC office. I bought a Medela personal pump and it was nothing compared to the hospital-level pump I borrowed from the hospital.
That said, I see absolutely no point in even buying a pump while still pregnant because you really don’t know if you’ll be able to pump or breastfeed until after you’ve had your baby. Plus, it won’t be too late to rent one from your local pharmacy like I did right after your child’s birth.
If you’ve somehow made it to 2017 without a smartphone, congrats! But if you’re about to become a mom, please, please make sure you have a quality phone with good service and streaming capabilities. Or a tablet, or even a laptop if it’s light.
Really, a phone is all you need and all you’ll really be able to use in those first few months. Just make sure to add a Netflix account (as well as potentially an HBONow, Hulu, and Amazon Prime accounts) to maintain some semblance of sanity.
While this was not meant for me, it definitely helped me deal when I couldn’t soothe my baby as I would have liked. Since my son was in the NICU, he was attached to all kinds of monitors and sometimes this prevented me from being able to carry him properly. Giving him a pacifier helped me feel like at least there was one way I could soothe him. He eventually gave it up in place of his thumb (which he still likes to use), but still a good tool to have in your postpartum arsenal.
Really Good Swaddling Blankets
I am forever in love with my son’s Aden and Anais swaddling blankets. They are incredibly soft, stay cool, and are extra stretchy to make sure baby doesn’t wriggle out. These blankets helped keep my kid snug as a bug. hat, in turn, helped me by allowing me a few extra minutes of sleep every night. Oh, and my son still uses these blankets as a toddler, just not for swaddling anymore.
A Solid Pair Of Headphones
Some babies are sound sleepers. Others wake up at the sound of a pin drop. My son tends to be closer to the latter, save for a 15 minute window halfway around his nap. I often needed to listen to music, or watch something that would entertain me for a bit (but which might involve cursing or other non-PG things). Headphones allowed for that. While I only had a pair of cheap in-your-ear headphones before, I am now the proud owner of a pair of JBL Everest wireless headphones and I recommend this as a gift for any and every mama. It’s seriously the gift that keeps on giving.