Okay ladies…I’ll be the first to admit that I was NOT prepared for postpartum. I mean, you’re just having a baby – how hard could it be? When preparing for postpartum a lot of what’s focused on are the sleepless nights which leads to pure exhaustion from taking care of the new baby that you brought home. However, nobody tells you that not only are you taking care of a new baby but you yourself are also a patient that needs to be taken care of. That’s why I’m here to give you the real run down of everything you need for postpartum care!
- Diapers – Nobody told me that the bleeding was going to be THAT intense after birth. Talk about your body storing up the last nine months of not having a period and putting it all out there after baby. *Gross but true.* Anywho, the hospital tried to fix this problem with a thin mesh boy short and an extremely long thick pad which *shocker* doesn’t feel the best after birth. Ladies, just buy the depends and you’ll thank me later.
- Lillies Healing Massage – This is something that is probably on no other postpartum list but believe me…just add it right now. (Or husbands…if you’re looking for a push present just go ahead and buy this package. I promise you and your sanity will thank me later.) The postnatal massage is a full body massage that is given to a mum once a week for 5 weeks after the birth. The postnatal massage is a wonderful traditional practice to help soothe new moms. It can be very relaxing in the midst of the chaos of bringing a newborn home. But you will need to arrange for some help because taking a whole hour for yourself with a newborn might be difficult. If your baby’s grandmother or other trusted care giver can watch your baby while you get a massage, you might find it one of the nicest practices of the postnatal confinement period. A postnatal massage will help: 1) To ease sore spots and relax muscle tension. The whole process of childbirth has been a strain on your body, particularly your abdomen, lower back and hips. Your upper back might also be sore if you are breastfeeding and not using a suitable position. 2) Increase the flow of blood and oxygen to your muscles, getting rid of the toxins. 3) You feel relaxed. Massage encourages the body to release endorphins – the natural pain killers and feel good hormones secreted by the brain. 4) Also, it will help your body to release Oxytocin. Oxytocin triggers the letdown reflex which releases milk from your breast. This means that you might leak breastmilk during your massage so keep your breastfeeding bra on with some breastpads in. 5) Speed up recovery from a caesarean section if you’ve had one. Although you need to stay clear of your wound as long as it hasn’t healed, gentle massage to the area thereafter will increase blood supply and help with internal healing. 6) Improve well-being and immunity by stimulating lymph flow. 7) You cope with the baby blues and postnatal depression. Some experts say that a massage is an excellent stress buster and mood elevator.
If nothing else, a postnatal massage will give you some time alone. The break will give you the strength to meet the many needs of your baby and home. Or it might help you unwind for a nap if your baby is sleeping too.
- Sound Machine – We currently have the Hatch sound machine which has worked wonders for Remi! We turn it on every night and she sleeps from 10:30PM-6AM which is a MAJOR win for us!
- Say ‘yes’ to help – If you’re anything like us we are the last ones to accept help. However, when your help comes – don’t just let them hold the baby while you do the laundry. If they really want to help have them help by doing the dishes, laundry and cooking. These tasks get thrown to the wayside with baby but can become huge stressors.
- Get out of the bedroom – It’s easy to just stay in bed all day but your mental sanity will thank you by changing rooms!
- Breast Pads – Welcome to motherhood! The part of the show where your breasts leak all the time. Like….all the time. Save your shirts and buy disposable breast pads to help catch the milk.
- Comfy nursing bra – Something I had no idea about was the fact that you had to wear a bra at night. At night? Yupp! Because guess what…you leak.
- Coconut Oil – This is something that I rubbed everywhere to help with my own diaper rash, chapped nipples and on my stomach to stop stretch marks.
- Good breast pump – Another thing I didn’t realize was how often you need to pump. One day we were out and about all day which lead me to having mastitis. Now, if you haven’t heard of what mastitis is let me tell ya – it’s basically the worst thing to happen when you’re already not 100%. Mastitis is caused by a clogged milk ducts and leads to flu like symptoms (chills, fever, aches, ect). It’s so important that you have a good breast pump to be able to clear all your milk ducts daily!
- Prenatal Vitamins – Yupp! Still take them! Your body is not only running a marathon but also trying to recover from the one you just ran. Be sure to take your vitamins to help your body build back up!
These are all of my top suggestions that I wish somebody told me before the 4th trimester! I’d love to hear your suggestions of what helped you get through postpartum – leave them below!