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Top 10 Essentials for a Healthy New Mama

November 9, 2011

Giving birth – and recovering from it – is a real pain…especially once you’re home without a bedside button to call for the nurse. The inspiration for today’s topic comes from two friends due this month with their first and second babies, respectively. Nothing but friendship would motivate me to dredge up memories of my postpartum recovery! (There’s a reason it’s rarely discussed..) Thankfully, I don’t have any pictures to illustrate, but will entertain you with a few family photos instead. Here are the ten essentials items you will need to care for your body post delivery, where to purchase them, and why. After your bathro0m is stocked, you are equipped to heal and to focus on your newborn baby!

What to buy

#1 Enormous Maxi Pads

#2 Dermoplast – topical anesthetic spray

#3 Sitz Bath

#4 Perineal Warm & Cold Pads

#5 Perineal Irrigation Bottle

#6 Tucks Medicated Pads

#7 Preparation H with hydrocortisone

#8 Waterproof Sheet Protector

#9 Inflatable Donut

#10 Disposable underwear (hospital)

#11 stool softener (generic drug store brand)

Where to buy

For the items in today’s list, I shopped at Amazon.com, soap.com, my local drugstore, and the goodie bag sent home with me from the hospital. See Where to buy for more information about online shopping.

Why to buy

Some hospitals will send you home with written instructions and extra “product” so you will already have and know why you need many of these items. This was the case with the birth of my second son. NOT the first. After 40 hours of labor followed by delivering a baby with a very large head, I was ill prepared both physically and emotionally for the toll on my body. And the hospital staff was “hands off” to say the least. Apparently choosing the hospital because Suri Cruise was born there and it had wi-fi shouldn’t have weighed so heavy in my where to deliver decision. If you find yourself in similar circumstances, here is WHY you need these items.

*NONE of the opinions stated here are in lieu of direction given by a medical professional*

#1 Enormous maxi pads for the initial excessive bleeding (“lochia”) post delivery. Did I mention excessive? Tampons are not to be used while your body heals.

#2 Dermoplast – topical anesthetic spray will numb the perineal pain A LITTLE BIT. At the very least, makes you feel like you’re doing something. I went through 2 cans.

#3 The sitz bath saved me after the birth of my first son. I literally would not have been able to go to the bathroom without it. Fill it with the warmest water you can tolerate. Don’t bother with the natural oil sprays like Motherlove.

#4 Instant cold pads are another simple yet effective invention to ease perineal pain. The hospital may give you an adequate supply.

#5 Fill the perineal irrigation bottle (little plastic squirt bottle) with hot water and use before/during/after you go to the bathroom. The water soothes and cleans.

#6 Whether or not you have hemorrhoids, use Tucks pads in lieu of toilet paper and line the Enormous maxi pad with them. An invaluable piece of advice from a mom of 3.

#7 If you didn’t get hemorrhoids while pregnant, giving birth might do the trick. Use Preparation H with cortisone as directed. If that doesn’t work, ask your OB/GYN for a prescription strength medication.

#8 A waterproof sheet protector will save your bedding from your leaking postpartum body. I awoke countless times drenched in sweat and leaking breast milk.

#9 An inflatable donut cushion will ease the discomfort of sitting and take the pressure off hemorrhoids. Carry it around the house with you or buy a couple.

#10 Disposable underwear. Yes, they are hideous. And try not to feel depressed that these large unsightly underwear actually fit your body. They are the only ones to also fit the Enormous maxi pads. I haven’t seen the hospital style ones anywhere but the hospital. Perhaps a medical supply store, but this is something you should ask for when you’re discharged from the hospital.

#11 Use stool softener if needed. Pushing too hard can rip your stitches, ouch.

One last thing – Fill the pain medication prescriptions given by your doctor even if you don’t think you’ll need them. Things change when you get home. And if okay’d by your doctor, have OTC pain meds on hand too – I rotated between acetaminophen (“Tylenol”) and naproxen (“Aleve “). Consult your doctor and all medication labels if breastfeeding. Breastfeeding requires a list of its own.

*NONE of the opinions stated here are in lieu of direction given by a medical professional*

Ahhhh!! I had no idea this is what women endure post-labor! Why doesn’t anybody ever talk about this? News to me…I think every new mother deserves a medal of honor for what they suffer through…and men, THIS is the reason for “push” presents! -Grace

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Loren Fisher permalink
    November 15, 2011 6:29 AM

    Every woman should read this before giving birth! All things I wish I would have known with my first as well. Thankfully, with my second I did and I was well equipped! My fav’s on your list are #2 and #5. Dermaplast and the sacred bottle. Both necessary and amazing!
    The only thing I would also add to the list is having your support network be at the ready to make you meals at least the first three weeks – if not longer. That helped me to be a mentally healthy (and nutritionally healthy) mama after #2!

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