By Emily Marucci
I love what @courtneyadamo said about the first year of postpartum, "there’s the dreamy, sleepy, sweaty, sweet, tricky, exhausting, messy, magical healing first 40 days, and then the months of adjustment and learning that come after that. There’s your body that needs to recover, then the motherly knowing and trusting that needs to develop over time. At the heart of it all, there’s also a baby in your arms who starts out so tiny and helpless, but grows so quickly, crossing milestones and new phases (again more learning and trying)."
There are tons of differing opinions (and there should be!) and there are so many different ways to go through birth (c-section, v-back, non medicated, medicated) so, products will obviously differ for each person. But these are my favorite products that helped me get through this very trying, but rewarding time. And here’s my favorite piece of advice! For baby and postpartum — take advantage of what they give you FOR FREE at the hospital, and ask for more, more, more of it (disposable underwear, ice maxi pads, baby combs, formula, snot suckers, baby shampoo etc.) Basically go through everything in your room and throw it in your bag on your way home. This is FREE STUFF and GOOD STUFF! I like to think of the “going home from the hospital bag” as being more important than the “going to the hospital bag”.
Fridamom to the rescue.
While I was getting close to my due date, I remember being at least in the 30s of weeks, my mom and I were on her porch, rocking on chairs, while she chatted with her high school girlfriend. “Said girlfriend” had one piece of advice for me, “ICE THAT SHIT. ICE IT FOR 48 HOURS STRAIGHT.” And I did, and I want to pass this on to my fellow mamas. It’s important and it HELPS. So these ice maxi pads were much needed. Note: they give you some at the hospital so save these to use when you go home — you can also get more at Target, four just isn’t enough. And one other tip on icing: if you wet the pad with a little cold water in the sink before wearing it it will make it even cooler, and stay cooler for longer. P.S. The healing foam is the greatest.
4-Pair Disposable Postpartum Underwear Size Regular for 28-42" waist size
4 Instant Ice Maxi pads
24-Count Perineal Cooling Pad Liners
5 fl. oz. Perineal Healing Foam
Toilet-top storage caddy
Peri bottle > tissue paper.
Basically instead of wiping, you’ll fill up this bottle and spray it on your “V”. It’s brilliant! No need to buy though — they’ll have this at the hospital, just make sure to take it home with you when you leave.
You’ll fill it up with warm water...and sitz. It will take the pressure off for a little while and it will promote healing.
Leggings that you’ll live in.
For the next week you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible. I loved these leggings, they felt supportive yet super comfy. I also found myself loving this Bump to Labor Nursing Set. The pants are high waisted and the shirt is super loose and oversized. Get it in black (you never know what might go on down there when your mother and father in law are visiting the baby for the first time).
Nursing bras that double as normal bras.
These bras from Amazon are so good that I wear them even though I’m not nursing. Here’s a review from a real mom: “I ordered three packs of these and probably will order more because my baby spits up a lot and gets milk all over my bras and I need to change a lot. They are sooo comfy, fit perfect, look great under clothes, and most importantly make it easy to pump/BF baby. This is one of the most useful items I’ve ever bought, if you breastfeed your baby you need these!”
Booby ice packs...and cabbage.
These are perfectly shaped for when you have some pain from your milk coming in. If you start to get some hardness and clogs it can feel super painful so have some cabbage on you (so you don’t have to send your husband out after dinner to find some). You’ll ice the leaves and then you’ll put them on like a bra, and well, you’ll stink. But for some insane reason it helps the pain from breast engorgement.
Nursing pads for leaks.
Bamboobie prevents leaking from happening. They are super absorbent and eco-friendly.
Something not to buy (in my opinion): a waist trainer.
It’s not important. Your body isn’t ready for it. You probably won’t wear it. Focus on healing before you focus on anything else.
Tuck’s Pads are mini circular pads that are doused in witch hazel, designed specifically for hemorrhoids (I know, I’m sorry). It’s estimated about 40-50% of women experience hemorrhoids postpartum. I was lucky enough to avoid them, but I still went through these pads like crazy for just general comfort in the first 2 weeks postpartum. I would layer 1-2 on top of my pad. The witch hazel is both cooling and helps soothe irritated areas.
Say yes to help.
ASK FOR HELP, and SAY YES. We have people in our lives for a reason — and it’s true, it does take a village, and this is the time when you need people to lean on. Sometimes, they’ve been there, sometimes they’re family, sometimes their friends that really want to help when they ask. JUST SAY YES. I had some complications after my birth and having my mom and dad to support us was everything. My mom even had to take my son to his first pediatricians appointment while I was recovering. Make sure you have the people who love you nearby and ready to cook, change diapers, burp baby, hold your hand while you walk to the bathroom.
Follow me @emmymarucci.