Tuesday, February 15, 2022

our first few weeks: mama's postpartum favorites

In my last baby-related post, I talked about our baby registry necessities for baby. After posting, I realized I didn't say much about what I needed as a brand new mom. For some reason, I didn't prepare much for postpartum. Leading up to birth, I watched all the YouTube videos and read all the articles about labor and delivery - from breathing strategies to packing my hospital bag, I felt good to go for labor. As it turns out, the postpartum period is a lot longer than labor and delivery (ha! who knew?), and while baby may not need a lot of stuff in those initial weeks, I felt like I did. Thank god for good friends, family, Amazon, and Target drive-up orders!

Here's what I used the most in those early weeks:

Hakaa, or some form of milk catcher - As my milk supply came in, I leaked so much. A friend sent me the Hakaa a few weeks before I went into labor, and I had no idea what it was at the time. I know it doesn't work for everyone, but it was a game changer! While Claire was feeding from one breast, I'd catch a whole ounce of milk from the other breast after nearly every session. Definitely recommend to help build up a freezer stash.

High-waisted underwear - I tried two different brands, and the one I linked is my absolute favorite. They are so soft and, oddly enough, wearing them with a nursing bra and a robe made me feeling a little more "put together" when walking around the house in a sleep-deprived haze. Maybe it's because they often matched my bras, or made me feel a little more compressed and secure. They were also great for pads!

Sitz bath spray & Epsom bath salt- oooooof, GET THESE. Recovery is no joke, and you want all the relief you can get. I know taking a bath might sound like a luxury with a newborn around, but try and sneak one in if you can. I preferred the bath spray to Tucks pads, as the pads sometimes got bunched up while walking around.

These nursing bras - I tried a random brand on Amazon and hated them. The Auden line at Target is the best! I have four of these bras, plus their nursing camis. So soft and easy to clip and unclip with one hand. These were my favorite for overnights, too. Stock up on nursing bras...between leaking and spit up, you'll go through them reeeal quick.

Breast therapy packs - I put these in the freezer and then would put them in my bra whenever I got a chance to sleep for a bit of relief. Breastfeeding in the beginning is a big adjustment, and you want all the comfort you can get.

Lactation cookies - you may not need these in the initial weeks, as your milk supply is still regulating, but I was eating a pack of these daily when trying to up my supply. They're expensive, but so good, and I was simply not in a position to attempt making my own lactation cookies.

Other things that were really helpful...

Coffee pickups! I had a friend (shout out to Carly!) who brought over coffee two mornings in a row when Claire was about 6 weeks old. Help in the first few days is great, but new parents are still struggling in those later weeks. It was great because 1) I'd get a little social interaction, 2) I could have her keep Claire occupied for a few minutes while I changed clothes or brushed my teeth (ha!), and 3) I'd be caffeinated. Win-win-win!

Meal deliveries and gift cards - we had so many friends really come together and rally for us in those early weeks. From homecooked meals to takeout delivered to our door and Uber Eats gift cards, meal planning was not something we had to worry about, and it was such a relief.

Help with laundry and cleaning - if someone offers to help with any of the above, let them do it! 

I'm only a few months into parenthood, but I already feel loads more capable and confident than I initially felt when we brought Claire home from the hospital. Do as I say and not as I do: be prepared ahead of time, but when in doubt, drive-up orders to the rescue!


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