When I was pregnant with my first baby, everyone talked about labor and delivery. It was all warnings and just-you-waits and will-you-get-an-epidural and contractions and this-is-how-you-push. No one…and I mean no one prepared me for what happens after the baby comes out. The recovery, the postpartum experience, or everything I’d need to survive those first crazy, blurry, chaotic weeks as a mama.
I’m smack dab in the middle of my third postpartum experience. Fresh out of the hospital – still with my post-baby, semi-waddling gait – and I decided now was a better time than ever to share what I deem to be postpartum necessities:
- MESH PANTIES. If you’ve never had a baby, don’t laugh. If you’ve had a baby, you know how much of a Godsend these bad boys are after your poor body has endured pushing out a human. These little lovelies are amazing when you’re fresh out of the delivery room. And this past go-round, I talked the nurse into giving me quite a stash to take home and add to my underwear drawer. I may or may not have just stopped wearing them.
- CUTE NURSING PAJAMAS. So, probably not a necessity…but with my first baby, I wore the hospital gown throughout my entire stay. It was uncomfortable, I always screwed up the snaps and couldn’t find the armholes, and (first world problems) it looked like a parachute in pictures. For my second and third babies, I made sure to pack nursing pajamas, which were a game-changer for me! I felt more comfortable and, to be honest, much cuter!
- STOOL SOFTENERS AND LAXATIVES. On the regular. ‘Nuff said.
- A BATHTUB. And EPSOM SALTS. As I mentioned, no one prepared me for how I’d have to deal with my busted up body post-baby (here’s looking at you, my 10-pound newborns). The first time I was completely unprepared and thrown for a loop when I could barely sit down. The second and third time I followed the doctor’s orders and took a long soak in my bathtub every single day for two weeks straight. I also added Epsom salts to the bath. And I stand by the fact that these long baths made my recovery much easier!
- A ROCK ‘N PLAY. Google it. One of the best baby inventions ever.
- A POSTPARTUM SUPPORT BELT. I only discovered this recently, but wish I would’ve had it the first two times! Not only did it help my tummy shrink down faster, but it helped support my back and rib cage during the many, many, many breastfeeding sessions.
- SOMETHING TO BABY-WEAR. A Moby wrap, a Solly wrap, an Ergo, a Bjorn…take your pick. Some days, it’s the only way I’m ever able to survive.
- DRY SHAMPOO. Especially when it’s your second or third kid.
- VELCRO SWADDLERS and a MIRACLE BLANKET. Look them up. And then order some. No matter how many times the nurse showed me how to swaddle with a regular blanket, I could never do it. Enter these fool-proof methods of swaddling and I have a burrito-like, happy baby.
- YOUR VILLAGE. Someone offered to come hold the baby while you take a shower? Say yes. Someone offered to bring you dinner? Say yes. Someone offered to bring you groceries? Say yes. If anyone offers to help…say yes. You do not have to do this alone. You cannot do this alone. It truly does take a village!
- A BOTTLE OF WINE. Yippee! You made it!! You survived nine months without your vino. Now pop open that bottle and pour yourself a glass, because in my non-expert, wine-loving opinion…every day you survive motherhood is a day worth celebrating! Cheers!!