Congratulations you just had a baby or you are expecting one soon. Here is all the things that you will need to survive the first few weeks after delivery and let me tell you it far from glamorous.
I don’t want to freak you out but you will need painkillers after you have the baby. I mean prescription strength painkillers not panadol because you will feel extreme pain for the first few days. Make sure you ask your doctor for a prescription before you are discharged of the hospital.
This is so important if you have a natural delivery because you will be so sore and the last thing you want is to be constipated after you had the baby. I was talking to one of my friends and she said going to the loo after having the baby feels like having another baby..lol
You don’t want to strain yourself or be doing any pushing especially if you have stitches resulted from giving birth. I was so scared after I had baby E to go to the toilet that I didn’t go for 4 whole days and I told my gyno before I was discharged that I’m scared (talk about being dramatic) then I was prescribed a laxative which helped a ton.
After you have the baby you will need pads and the regular pads won’t do in the first few days because of the amount of blood (TMI). When my water broke I used a regular pad until I reached the hospital and I needed to change it every 5 minutes because they would fill so quickly and then a midwife suggested that I use maternity pads because they are more absorbent.
Whether you choose to breastfeed or not once your milk comes in it will leak everywhere even when you are sleeping or when you come out of the shower. You could be sitting down watching tv and then bam milk all over your top. To avoid public embarrassment and walking around with huge milk stain on your top use nursing pads whenever you are stepping out of the house. Even if you think you don’t need it.
I only had this happen to me once when I was out luckily I was wearing dark colours and it wasn’t extremely noticeable but I could feel it and it was so uncomfortable I just wanted to rush home, have a warm shower and change into a dry outfit.
Sore and cracked nipples are very common during the first few days of breastfeeding. There are many nipple creams that can give you somewhat a little relief. Trust me breastfeeding gets better and your nipples too.
You can get any bra really that is not padded and when you want to breastfeed you can simply remove the strap. The first few days you won’t be out and about and breastfeeding in public but it is worth it to invest in some bras that you can easily unstrap.
I got breastfeeding bras then later realized I can use regular unpadded bras, and breastfeeding bras are not cheap. Also I would advise you to wait until you got a hang on breastfeeding before breastfeeding in public because it can be a little tricky the first month.
7.Belly bandit or waist trainer (basically a large thing to wrap your stomach after giving birth)
Chances are you are going to walk out of the hospital looking pregnant after you already gave birth. Your tummy doesn’t automatically shrink because the baby is no longer in there. Some mummies also suffer from muscle separation and using this helped a lot.
I had the worst case of fluid retention in history and because I was breastfeeding baby E my GP didn’t prescribe me any medication for my retention. I had to wait for 10 days for my legs and feet to return to their normal size. I used compression stocking which really helped. When I was in the hospital a lovely nurse helped me put them on.
If you end up with fluid retention after birth I highly advice compression stockings. You can purchase them from any pharmacy.
9.Breastfeeding tea or lactation cookies
This is if you want to increase your supply, I tried the breastfeeding tea and it helped. I know a lot of mothers who tried the cookies and saw results.
The main ingredient in breastfeeding tea is fenugreek so unfortunately you might end up smelling like that, however I wasn’t bothered by the smell because I saw results.
10.Breast pump (or pumps in my case)
I have both a manual pump and an electric pump (both are Medela) that I used during the early days of breastfeeding. Some women pump to increase or maintain their supply others pump because they are returning to work or school. Whichever your reason is I recommend that you purchase an electric pump because it cuts down the work in half.
I know women who have successfully breastfed their children and never used a pump. Everyone is different. In my opinion make this investment once the baby is born and know where you stand in terms of breastfeeding. Some mothers really struggle with their supply and others really struggle with pumping. Don’t ever push yourself because pumping can be a draining process and you need to be psychologically prepared.
These were my essentials; did I miss any other less glamorous new mummy essential?