Those first few weeks postpartum are often a blur. Whether it’s your first baby or not, the minute you step out of the hospital, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, excited, and terrified all at the same time!
Not only are you learning the ropes of a being new mom, you’re also managing intense changes to your own body. With my first baby, I had NO clue what was about to hit me at home. The last few weeks leading up to delivery, I was so ready to meet my baby and be “done” with pregnancy that I didn’t give much thought to postpartum care…
Naively, I thought postpartum would be easier than those last few weeks of pregnancy. I thought I’d bounce back by the time I left the hospital, and we’d be living a perfect life as a new family. Boy, was I wrong!!
Those first few weeks postpartum with a newborn were some of the toughest weeks I’ve ever endured. From the troubles and pain I experienced breastfeeding, to the lack of sleep, aches, pains and blood of a vaginal birth, alongside the endless worry and fear that I was doing something wrong. It was EXHAUSTING!! I spent days in tears…
Luckily, the 2nd time around my expectations shifted and I was more prepared for what was to come. Sure, the process looked similar, and I certainly still had the aches, pains and worries, but my expectations were different and I gave much myself much more grace and patience.
I now make a conscience decision to slow down, let the laundry pile up, and nap in the afternoon, knowing it’s key to my health. I’m also much more focused on proper nutrition versus the chaotic frenzy of crappy snacks and sugar highs I allowed the first time because I had “other things to focus on.”
You’ve heard it before, but I’ll tell you you again –> you can only take care of others if you take care of YOURSELF first!! I won’t sugar coat things, there’s nothing easy about those first weeks postpartum, it just comes with the passage of becoming a mom! However, there are surefire ways to make postpartum recovery as speedy and comfortable as possible. So let’s break down the essentials!
Essentials for the Postpartum Mom:
- Belly Band (to help support weakened core muscles)
- Hot Pack (for back aches & cramps)
- Postpartum Support Tanks (helps stabilize weak core muscles, & smooth out tummy — you can wear this underneath your belly band initially, and then alone as time goes on!)
- Highwaist Support Leggings (for added support, especially once you’re able to resume exercise)
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- Peri bottle (to clean “down there” instead of wipe. You can take this home from the hospital!)
- Depends Silhouettes (because you’ll be bleeding for a while…these changed my life!! Highly recommend versus wearing the giant “diapers” the hospital provides.)
- Colace (because pooping is good!)
- Ibuprofen (takes the edge off)
- Bed Pads (to protect your bed mattress. I also used one for my bathroom floor.)
- Perineal Spray (soothes discomfort)
- Tuck Cooling Pads (relieves hemorrhoid pain)
- Ice Pack (to help with swelling from vaginal birth. Ask your nurse if you can take a few home from the hospital!)
- Sitz Baths (take 1-2 baths per day for the first 2 weeks postpartum)
- Comfy clothes (like these sweats!!)
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- Candles (because why not make those daily baths relaxing!)
- Books (you’ll spend a lot of time in bed relaxing, nursing, or resting – a perfect time to read/listen to a new book)
- Naps (because the laundry can wait)
- Mom Groups (I highly recommend joining a new mom support group. Amma has some great ones in the Minneapolis area, and most hospitals will offer breastfeeding support groups. It’s important o get out and meet women in the same life stage!)
- Healthy Snacks (it takes a lot of energy/calories to heal a postpartum body + breastfeed a new baby. Keep your pantry stopped with nutritious snacks!)
- Freezer Meals (finding time to cook is challenging with a new baby. Meal prep & freeze as much as you can beforehand!!).
- If you haven’t already, make sure to check out this post on easy meal planning + grab my FREE meal planning guide for ideas)
Alright mamas, it’s never to early to start thinking about your postpartum care! Grab a few items, and come up with a game plan. And remember, your health and healing is SOOO important!
Drop a comment below if you have any questions.
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