Preparing your home and mind with healing tools will be a savor once baby is here. In my opinion, the earlier you start thinking about it, the better. There will be things on my list you may not have thought of and dozens of other tips floating around on various blogs. Prep before baby is key.
I was relatively prepared for postpartum care with my first but I had no idea how many aches and pains I would be feeling, not to mention all the blood. I sadly had to have a c-section after 42 hours of natural labor BUT this time, my midwife and I are optimistic for a VBAC. Fingers crossed!
Here are some things I am adding to my arsenal of postpartum healing tools.
First the mindset:
Before I dive in, I highly suggest that you purchase and read The First Forty Days. There is something about this book that captures the essence of what it truly feels like after your child is born. While some of the practices might be difficult to get everyone on board, you can ease into the knowing that you need support postpartum. It is up to us as mothers to ask for it.
There is no “returning to normal” and jumping back into the swing of things after birth. Mothers of our society today can wear it as a badge of honor by how quickly they got back to the gym, how soon the returned to work or flew their infant across timezones.
Today everyone wants to hold the baby, but not the mom! And in all the excitement about the new arrival, we barely acknowledge the massive transition that has occurred for the mother. No Facebook or Instagram post can capture the depth of what has occurred. A new woman is born right by the side of her baby. I think we have got it all wrong. Only when the mother has been nourished body and mind can she step into her role as the pillar of the family, the one in the center who holds it all together. She is vital and confident with a thriving baby on her hip.
It is the mother who stays still who wins the prize. Let there be stillness in the mind and body. With another one or two running around and a new baby and mother to care for, you will need help. You deserve to ask for help. You would be surprised how many people actually would love to help you if you asked. Helping each one another feels good to us as humans, so ask.
If you haven’t checked it out already, I go into more detail with the mindest changes I am making for this second pregnancy on this blog post.
Don’t forget to DOWNLOAD YOUR 3 FREE RECIPES TO LOSE WEIGHT WHILE BREASTFEEDING
Now the practical things.
Many blogs are going to suggest pads. While I am absolutely getting them (disposable and not), however, there is something about just pulling up and not worrying about wrappers, the pad getting uncomfortable, the pad moving around and preventing you from standing up and walking around.
For the first several days, I lived in these diapers. Not flattering, yes, but neither are milky boobs and saggy eyes. Roll with it. Throw on some sweats, have your hubby brew some chamomile tea, and just get comfortable.
Yes, get some pads too, because when you are just spotting, it will feel good to not have a diaper around you. Trust me you are going to be VERY familiar with diapers come the first week postpartum.
Pooping is going to be a struggle for the first few days. Make sure you are eating simple, warming foods to keep things moving and lots of fluids. The First Forty Days book referenced above has some great recipes. While most suggest Colace, which will probably do the trick, I can’t get over the artificial color and who knows what’s in it. Opt for natural ingredients if you have the option. This natural laxative is effective and doesn’t have you running to the toilet in the middle of nursing your newborn.
With my first pregnancy, I got my placenta encapsulated into tablets. I could tell a huge difference when I would take them. I could actually feel in my body when it was time to take them, and when it was time to stop. There is no taste and its not as weird as it might sound. You simply take a few capsules (depending on who does them for you), and you feel better mentally and physically.
I noticed that I had more energy on the days when I took them first thing in the morning. Your placenta is packed with nutrients and hormones that not only stabilize your mood and energy but give you exactly the minerals and nutrients your body is depleted from after birth. I will absolutely do this with all of my births.
Seeing as I had to get a C-section with my first, I had tons of unnatural aches and pains. They gave me Ibuprophen 800 and I bet I only took a quarter of the bottle. I really don’t like taking something so strong if I can avoid it. This time around I am going to have Arnica tablets on hand. Worst case if I have to reach for some 800s I can do that too. I highly recommend getting a pain reliever for all your aches and pains that you can trust and feel good putting it in your body.
I bought several seamless nursing bras with my first but honestly, I felt so yucky putting them on. It felt like an additional punishment that I had to wear these snap-down bulky bras holding my engorged boobies. This time I am so grateful that I have found a brand, mother owned, that captured the desired feeling of wanting to feel sexy and desirable postpartum.
Those weeks after your baby has arrived earthside can be extremely challenging. You will feel like you have given everything to everyone and there is still so much being asked of you (hence asking for help is so crucial). Snagging one of these gorgeous bralettes is a gift to yourself. A dash of beauty amongst achy stretched out skin. (These links will give you 20% off plus free US shipping! I am not affiliated and I don’t make a dime. Corinne was just sweet enough to offer that for you).
I have never seen anything like this bra. It has no uncomfortable elastics, no annoying snaps or hardware and is simply everything a mom needs. I love to pump throughout the first few months postpartum. I hated putting on that huge ugly pumping bra to be hands-free. I HIGHLY recommend picking up one of these beautiful bras to make your pumping experience more comfortable.
Other bras to rotate through when my Oh La lari’s and Lakens are being washed: Seamless and comfy.
I only heard of these recently and I am giving them a try this postpartum experience. What I like about this Nightgown is it’s cute enough that if I feel up for a little walk around our neighborhood to get some fresh air, I don’t have to look for something that’s loose and comfortable to change into. Its also black so milky nursing sessions will be disguised. I plan on getting at least 2 of these so I can rotate them out when one gets dirty.
During the first few weeks when my milk was coming in, I was leaking just with a hug from a family member. These washable pads are a lifesaver! Just throw them in your wash with all your other milk-covered clothes. Plus I love the design on these pads!
I am so grateful that I made the right purchase with my first pregnancy. I actually pumped to get into labor so I was able to store colostrum for a rainy day. This pump has not failed me in the least. I tried other pumps but this one it the one I keep coming back it. The only thing I am adding is new valves to ensure a tight grip and maximum collection of a pumping session.
Lady Parts Soothing/ Healing Products
I am in love with all Earth Mama Products. This Belly oil moisturizes the itchy expanding belly and also helps with stretch marks on hips, breast, and thighs. It’s, of course, all-natural and infused with all types of delicious oils.
This spray is made with cucumber, organic witch hazel, and organic essential oils, so it’s safe to use both before and after birth. It has no parabens, propellants, benzocaine or artificial fragrance so your lady parts are safe and sound. After birth tissues are swollen and ache so I snagged this spray and balm to help heal and ease the discomfort.
Bonus alert: Leftovers can be used as a refreshing facial toner or aftershave spritz!
Something about a balm just feels so healing. Because it will sit on the skin of that exhausted vag, the balm will help heal and soothe. This one is made with organic herbs and oils, with an exclusive blend of organic witch hazel, lavender, peppermint and other like-minded botanicals traditionally used to relieve swelling, soothe, and cool.
I had to have a Sitz Bath blend on this list. What I like about this one is it can be brewed, cooled, poured over a regular postpartum pad, frozen and used as a clever ice pack with extra herbal healing. It uses witch hazel, yarrow, plantain and calendula as its healing blend.
I hope this list of Postpartum Essentials helped you as you gather your healing tools for your postpartum journey. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out.
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