Since my first baby was born prematurely at 31 weeks, I didn't have any time to plan for much in regards to the delivery. Let alone, pack a hospital bag or prepare for coming home.
But the second time around I made it five weeks closer to my due date (still a 36 weeker) and since this wasn't my first pregnancy, I knew better what to expect for delivery and postpartum care. So now with four girlfriends trying to get pregnant (three for the first time), I have the ultimate pregnancy/post-partum toolkit to share with them!
The Ultimate Postpartum Toolkit
- Body pillow. Even after the baby is born, you won't be ready to sleep on your tummy again right away. Use a body pillow to help you find a comfortable position. And ladies, as someone that's been there and wasted the money on the expensive nursing pillows, save yourself the money and get a cheapie from Walmart or Target.
- Stool Softener. This part of pregnancy and post-partum life might not be talked about in much detail, but for most expectant/new moms, it's a fact of life. There's no way around this unpleasant side effect and my doctor encouraged me to start using it before I even felt like I needed it. As with any medications during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, make sure to check with your doctor first.
- Acetaminophen. Having a baby hurts, no matter the size. Do your body a favor and take a breastfeeding-friendly pain reliever.
- Wound care. Aside from the baby, childbirth is not pretty. Take care of yourself after the baby is born with spray bottles and a numbing spray. There's no reason to be any more uncomfortable than absolutely necessary. Your hospital may even send you home with the spray bottle and numbing spray. If they didn't, you can still grab them on Amazon and give yourself some relief.
- Granny panties. After you have a baby, there's a lot still going on down there. You're not going to even want to wear thongs or bikini cut panties for a while. Use the ones you get from the hospital first, then buy a pack of Granny panties to use until after you've recovered. These ones are so cheap you can just toss them after you're done having babies.
- Belly wrap. I have friends that swear by these belly wraps for getting their tummies back to where it should be and easing their discomfort. I haven't personally tried these, but they have a ton of positive reviews, so these work for a lot of people.
- Pads. After you burn through the ones you take home from the hospital, you're still likely going to need some heavy flow pads. These pads are hospital-grade pads for the first couple of weeks. After that, you can probably step down to a lighter flow pad until the bleeding stop altogether.
- Boppy. Whether you're breastfeeding or bottle feeding, having a bottle makes feeding baby in the hospital and when you get home so much more comfortable.
- Water bottle. You need to stay hydrated to help you produce milk and for your body to heal. Get one of these insulated water bottles so your water is always cold.
- Sleep. I was struggling to find a product to recommend for this one. But honestly, your body (and mind) need sleep right now. Carrying a baby and bringing it into the world is hard work, you deserve a rest.