When we are preparing for our babies to come into this world we become so consumed with making sure we have everything we need for them that we completely forget what we need for ourselves.
There’s quite a list that we need to tackle to make sure we have everything ready for after we give birth to these tiny humans.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR AFTER YOU GIVE BIRTH
1. Underwear- I tell you this because your underwear will most likely get blood on it and you probably don’t want to ruin the kind you already have, so just buy some cheap underwear you can throw away afterwards. If you can get a couple of the mesh undies the hospital gives you, those are amazing, but if you can’t any regular underwear will do. You also might want to take into consideration buying some that go up pretty-high to get better coverage and if you do end up needing a c-section for any reason it won’t rub on your incision sight like it would if you were to buy the low-cut style.
2. Nursing bras- These are must haves. They really help make nursing so much more convenient. Remember that when your milk comes in you will most likely be a cup size bigger, so buy bigger. You will want some comfortable ones to sleep in as well.
3. Nursing Garments- If you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I highly recommend getting nursing garments. They are life savers and make everything more convenient.
4. Heavy Maxi Pads- The Overnight Maxi Pads work really-well because they go up further in the back and you have better coverage. You’ll be bleeding quite heavily for the first week after giving birth.
5. Thinner Pads and Pantie Liners- You absolutely cannot wear tampons after giving birth even if you have your baby by c-section, so you will need lighter pads and pantie liners for when your bleeding decreases. There is a good chance you’ll be bleeding for weeks.
6. Nursing Pads- As your colostrum and milk come in after you give birth you’ll need nursing pads to stop from leaking onto your clothes. The nursing pads I have found to be the most absorbent, less annoying, and most comfortable are the Lansinoh Nursing Pads, they are a bit more pricey, but worth every penny.
7. Nipple Cream- As you start nursing or pumping, or both your nipples will get tender and sore, apply nipple cream after every feeding or pumping session to help keep them hydrated and to prevent cracking.
8. Double Breast Pump- I say double because this will save you so much time than using a single breast pump. I highly advise buying a nice, good breast pump, they make the world of difference. Medela brand is amazing. Make sure you have the right size flanges as well. If your flanges are too small it will destroy your nipple and milk supply. If they are too big then you will not be getting the correct stimulation for your milk. The flange should suck in your nipple and pretty much your entire areola (the circle around your nipple.) Even if you plan on exclusively nursing, having a breast pump on hand is important for multiple reasons. It can help bring your milk in faster, it can help increase your milk supply, it can help with clogged milk ducts, it can help with engorgement, the list can go on and on. Having one can relieve a lot of stress, especially if nursing isn’t quite happening at the start. Look into seeing if your insurance will cover one for you, a lot do.
9. Hemorrhoid Cream and Tucks Pads- You may not get hemorrhoids after giving birth, so these may be things you can hold off on buying until after you get home. You’ll be grateful for them though if you do need them. The hospital may be able to supply them for you too.
10. Tylenol and Ibuprofen- Make sure your medicine cabinet is all ready to go to help manage your pain. You will most likely be prescribed a pain medication, but when your pain starts to lessen, and you don’t feel you need pain medication for it, but you’re still uncomfortable than Tylenol and Ibuprofen should help manage that.
11. Ice Packs– Make sure you have some ice packs on hand. You can make manipulative ice packs by mixing ¼ cup rubbing alcohol and ¾ cups water into a quart size freezer bag and then freeze. The rubbing alcohol makes the water not freeze completely, so it’s not so hard and easily manipulated.
12. Stool Softeners– Your doctor will most likely prescribe these for you, but if not, you’ll definitely want some of these. You may want to keep some MiraLAX on hand as well. That first bowel movement after giving birth can be quite brutal.
13. Peri Bottle– You will most likely get this from the hospital, but if not, you’ll wish you had one. This helps so much with cleaning yourself up “down there” without hurting yourself.
14. Breastmilk Freezer Bags- Once your milk comes in you will have a lot more milk than your baby will eat, so you will want to freeze the extra to start a good milk supply. Make sure you lay them flat to freeze, so they will thaw quicker and be easier to store.
15. Healthy, Easy Snacks-You’ll realize very quickly that the hardest thing to do after having a baby is finding time to eat. Drinking isn’t a problem, because for some reason you are beyond thirsty after you give birth. Eating though, is a lot harder to accomplish. Make sure before you come home from the hospital that you have easy, ready to grab food like granola bars, apples, bananas, nuts, protein bars, trail mix, grapes, carrots, etc. Put them out on your table where you can see them to help remind you to eat.
Well, I think that’s everything. Some of these things you may not need, so you might want to wait and if you do end up needing them you can just send your husband to the store to buy them after you get home from the hospital.
You may want to make sure you take some of these things to the hospital with you as well. Nursing pads, and a nursing bra are a must. Everything else the hospital should provide for you. The hospital does have nursing pads there, but they are not absorbent at all and are like cardboard.
I hope this is helpful. If you have anything else you’d like to add I’d love to hear it.