Thursday, October 7, 2010

Top 10 Postpartum Must Haves

I'm sitting here just over two weeks postpartum and I have been reflecting on some of the things I could not have done without over the past few weeks. This is a post where I'm talking about a lot of lady things ... if that grosses you out or you are uninterested in it, feel free to skip.

1. The peri bottle - I am pretty sure that this little gem might top every Mama's list. It's beauty is self explanatory. There is nothing quite like it. Squirting yourself with warm water to dilute your urine so it doesn't sting and clean off your tender parts ... fabulous.

2. Earth Mama Postpartum Herbal Bath - there was a mixture in the homebirth kit from the midwives that gave me enough for two herbal baths but thanks to Shaina, I also had a jar of this mixture which carried me through the first week or so. Being able to have an herbal bath with my babe every night was so soothing and relaxing.

3. Earth Mama Bottom Balm - This was given to me at one of my showers and at first I thought it was bottom balm for the baby, but upon closer inspection I realized it was for me. It is a balm that is stored in the fridge and can be applied to your you-know-what a few times daily. It is a cooling salve that really really really made things feel better, especially when paired with a postpartum ice pack (see #5).

4. My husband's underwear - yes, that's right. I spent my first week postpartum in my hubby's underwear. Who ever thought I would be so quick to get back in his pants? He wears boxer briefs and has one particular brand that are fairly tight that he doesn't wear. They were the perfect size for me and so comfy. They held everything (see below) in place just perfectly.

5. Frozen pads and size 5 diapers - before giving birth, I soaked some large pads in water, cut them in half and froze them. Then, the midwives supplied me with a few size 5 diapers in the birth kit. I placed the frozen pads in the diapers and put them into my underwear the Dude's underwear underneath a large soaker pad folded in three. Pure bliss.

6. Medela Purelan 100 - Breastfeeding = ouchie. Enough said. Lather those lady's up.

7. Gatorade and gingerale - I don't know why, because I don't particularly love either of these drinks normally, but I downed gatorade and gingerale after her birth. Luckily, I had stocked up on gatorade to drink during labor (which was also a must have) so I had a bunch left over. I felt like it helped me re-gain some energy. What was not a must-have however, was freezing Gatorade into Popsicles. Something about the electrolytes in the drink made it taste like I was licking a salt block.

8. Easy off and on ring - When dealing with sleep deprivation and trying to establish breastfeeding, I found it absolutely invaluable to have a sure fire way to remember which side I need to nurse Eva on each time. Of course, there are times when my girls make it prettttttty dang obvious which side she needs to go on, but for the rest of the time, I have loved using my fake wedding ring to switch from hand to hand so that I always can remember which side to milk from.

9. My Mom and Mother-in-law - over the past two weeks these women have been doing everything from cooking, cleaning, laundry, giving advice, holding the baby, getting my groceries and so on. The support I've had from them has been unbelievable and I know my transition to motherhood would not have been as smooth as it has been without them.

10. The Fabulous Dude - obvi. This kid rocks my freakin' world. He was off of work for the first five days of Eva's life and he spent much of that time caring for his helpless wife. I learned to depend on him for things I never ever ever expected to depend on my husband for. He helped me with everything from pottying to showering to changing to getting out of bed to distracting me while I got through the toe curling ouchies of nursing. And he's done alright with helping care for Eva, too ;)


Katie said...

haha, I love that you wore E's underwear. I went to kmart and bought 10 pairs of the ugliest underwear everrrr. I wore them for a few weeks. AND...I even slit the sides of them open b/c I didnt like them poking at my 'bulge' that was left. Sad but true tid-bit. No body tells you this stuff.

ps: LOVE the squirt bottle. LOVED. used that thing for a loong time.

This Texas Momma said...

I found that cold water in the peri bottle actually felt better to me, soothing without having to sit on ice. Some of those things I've never heard of, but I'll have to try this time around! And Cody's undies....I wonder if he'll go for that?

Sara said...

I used bags of frozen peas to sooth the ache in my boobs. (I chose peas because I hate eating them and there would be no mistaking what they were used for!

Laura said...

This may be a stupid question, but what's a peri bottle? I feel like they told us about this during my childbirth class, but I don't remember. Is it just a squirt bottle? And did you buy it yourself or was it given to you by your midwife? I keep thinking the hospital gives us stuff to take care of "down there" afterwards.

Amy Silver said...

This is a very useful post! Yes, I agree, husbands have to help in all sorts of way you NEVER thought about, but that's what makes us love them more, huh! Glad to hear you are doing well!

Jen @ Canadian Rhapsody said...

I'm wondering if size 5 diapers are the same size as the humongo pads they give at the hospital. I think we had the same amount of stitches, but I wonder if you tore a bit more (not surprising, an extra pound on a same length baby means extra chub!) as other than the peri, the massive pads and some witch hazel pads for the first couple days, i didn't need much for the stitches after the 12 hrs at the hospital.
Hubby's though? God's best gift for labour and postpartum support.

Holly said...

Wish I had that bottom balm for my first (hospital w/ episiotomy). The awesome thing with the other two (homebirths in water) was that I didn't tear or anything, thanks to the water. The difference that makes in recovery is amazing (hubby thought so too, if you catch my drift)!

Holly said...

Okay, now I think the last thing in my above comment might be TMI. Sorry.

Mandi @ Finding Home said...

I almost snort laughed reading your comment "who would have thought I'd be so ready to get back into my husbands pants". Priceless. :)

I so vauled this post! Knowing that this is right around the corner for me I plan to hopefully get some of that Earth Momma stuff. Sounds heavenly. Thanks for sharing!

Biz said...

Could not agree more! That squirt bottle was my best friend after both pregnancies. And just to show how much he loves me, my husband would always make sure it was full for me.

@This Texas Momma - I preferred the cold too.

Karla said...

The Peri-bottle- YES!
I ended up having an extra from the hospital, so it will soon be a 'fun bath toy' for the lil' one!!!

Jaclyn_Rose said...

That's awesome! I didn't wear the Hubs undies - but I did wear these weird disposable ones from the hospital!

The peri bottle a MUST!

NIpple cream also a must - I didn't use it at first cuz I didn't like how sticky it was on my fingers, but I HAD to eventually and it make everything MUCH better.

I also had issues with one side, it gets better!

Love the updates, loves the pics! Congrats again

Vee said...

wonderful list! Having had 2 C-Sections, there are a few things on this list I've never had to use, hopefully i'll have a chance this time around! =]

Jackie said...

Who ever thought I would be so quick to get back in his pants?  --you are SO funny.

Loved the peri bottle too-genius idea if you ask me.

Yes, yes--I switched my watch side to side to remember when breastfeeding.

And I will have to look for the Earth Mama stuff the next time around. :)

Jacqueline and Andy said...

I second the frozen pads, although I used frozen peas in plastic baggies and wrapped in paper towels. Zee best!!

And bathtime was one of my favorite times too, i'll have to check out the Earth Mama herbal bath!

Samantha said...

i like this list because it's real and doesn't beat around the bush of post-partum needs.