Let’s be honest here.... We can often forget about ourselves as we’re having so much fun preparing the nursery, buying baby clothes and focusing a lot of our energy on our expecting bundle of joy. After you give birth, there is a ‘fourth’ trimester of your pregnancy, commonly known as 'postpartum'. During this trimester your body is readjusting and overflowing with many hormones, all while you adapt into your role as a mother. Being as prepared as possible with essential items for yourself can make this challenging time a little easier. If you're unsure what might class as ‘essential’, I've put together a list of my favourites to give you some ideas and help you prepare.
Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump
This manual pump was incredibly helpful for my breastfeeding journey, especially during the early postpartum months. It worked great to drain my sore, engorged boobs without stimulating them. The last thing you want to do during this time is stimulate your nipples, unless you need to because of a low or lack of milk supply. A result of unnecessary stimulation early on can confuse your incoming milk supply and continue possible engorgement. Engorgement is when your breasts can become too full of milk that the baby doesn't take/need, it hurts, feels rock hard, super tender, veiny and like you will explode! Draining them is the only relief if your baby is full.
Another great way I utilized the Haakaa, was on the opposite side while breastfeeding to catch any sprays. Yes, your nipples can spray! During feeding, when your baby is hungry or even when you're not with them! I caught so much from draining and off sprays I had an overflowing freezer full, perfect for bottles when you need a rest. Not only did the Haakaa help me but other babies too, I was lucky to have more than I needed and able to effortlessly donate litres of breastmilk to others in need.
‘Mutli Mam’ Nipple Compress
I expected my nipples would get sore when I began my breastfeeding journey, but I did not realize just how sore! In tears for help, I asked my midwives what I was doing wrong, they told me it shouldn't hurt as we were both latching correctly. However I was sensitive and still got chaffed, cracked, split and bleeding nipples. Once the damage was done, I was desperate for relief. Luckily my mum went out and found these little patches you can pop on in your bra in between feeds for soothing, cooling and rapid healing. After just a few days my nipples and I were healed and very grateful.
MOOGOO Nipple Balm
This natural Australian Made nipple balm, helps soothe and protect your sore dry nipples. What’s great about this natural option, is they use edible oils, therefore you don't need to remove it before feeding again. A perfect everyday goto, that I used to maintain healthy hydrated nourished nipples throughout my journey.
If you want to avoid the wet t-shirt look, I highly recommend these! Reusable or disposable nipple pads are available options for you to wear inside your nursing bra. Perfect for at home or when you're out and about as you can leak by surprise and when feeding.
Toms Organic Maternity Pads and 'Padsciles'
This might seem like a really simple must have, but in particular here I wanted to address the TOM Organics brand. I tried a few brands and found these the best, being highly breathable, made of organic cotton, super soft, comfortable, and very absorbing.
Another great way you can use these maternity pads is to make them into 'padsicles'. Padsicles are a cold, soothing, healing, natural pain relief pad for after birth.
DIY AT HOME PADSICLE
- Unfold pad - Generously apply aloe vera gel, up and down in the whole pad
- Add around a teaspoon of Witch Hazel to the middle
- Finally a few drops of a pure lavender essential oil
- Re fold and place in zip bag
- Store in freezer
- Remove a few minutes before you want to wear
Straw Water Bottle
I found straw bottles help you drink more, because you're likely to swallow more water at a time. If you choose to breastfeed, you need to make sure you're getting an adequate intake, firstly to hydrate yourself but enough to produce your milk. These are an easy hand free option for drinking water during labour too!
You’ll find yourself busy feeding, nurturing and taking care of your baby during postpartum and beyond! Make sure you take moments to replenish yourself, sometimes days are long and you don't get the chance for a proper sit down meal. I found keeping prepared snacks great to have on hand such as; quiches, protein balls, raw slices, baked goods, cut veggie sticks, fruit and trail mix. It is necessary to have nutritious snacks to keep healthy and to produce nutritious milk.
There's no doubt about it, however you give birth, you will be sore and healing weeks afterwards. I found dressing gowns, loose baggy clothing and comfortable nursing bras essential, especially while sore. You want things that are easy to open for skin on skin and if you're going to breastfeed. Dark coloured pants are great too for the first 6 weeks while bleeding ‘just incase’. Remember your body just went through a marathon to bring life into this world, be kind to it, nurture it, wear comfortable clothing and don't rush to 'bounce back'.
These items were essential for my postpartum journey and you might find so too. I'd like to finish up by saying take care of yourself, enjoy the early months, listen to your body, rest when you can, drink plenty of water, don't forget to prepare healthy snacks, be kind and love yourself and congratulations Mummy!
Prefer to watch me have a chat about my favourites and make some Padsciles with me? Check out my YouTube here:
Till next time,