The postpartum time period, or the 4th trimester as some call it, may be filled with excited, fresh motherhood and squishy, adorable newborns but let’s be honest, is not a glamorous time in a woman’s life. I find that it takes a solid six weeks for me, personally, to start to feel normal again after giving birth (yes! You WILL feel normal again!!) but there is a smattering of products that I have found that can help ease you through this healing process. (And here are a bunch of pictures of my son, Jack, as a newborn to help remind us of the beautiful, amazing little human that we get to love as we need all of these crazy products 😉 )
1. Large disposable underwear. I got these ones in two sizes larger than I normally would wear. These are helpful for the first 1.5-2 weeks post partum (pp) because they helped to hold those huge pads in place (see #2) and are much more comfortable as you heal.
2. Pads. So. many. pads! I got pads in 5 different sizes. These humongous ones stayed with me for pretty much all of week 1 pp. These size 4s got me through week 2. Size threes got me through week 3pp and size 2s and liners got me through the rest.
3. Peri Bottle. Many hospitals will give you one of these but if not (or if you want one for every bathroom) you can pick them up here. (Here is a fun one!…Because dammit you deserve a “fun” peri bottle!) These are necessary when you can’t, uh, use toilet paper yet and are amazing for rinsing your stitches.
4. Colace. No explanation necessary!
6. Medela Disposable Nursing Pads and Washable Nursing Pads. These disposable pads are the only pads I didn’t soak through when my milk first comes in. When my milk supply settles down after about 3-4 weeks, I have been able to switch to washable nursing pads and I loved these ones from Bamboobies as well as these ones from Medela.
7. Nursing Bras in various sizes. I wore Jessica Simpson nursing bras for my last trimester this pregnancy and loved them. I also really like this bra as it seems to hold its shape better than many nursing bras.
8. Lanolin Cream. Even if you are a nursing pro and your baby is a natural at latching, nursing will likely be painful for the first few seconds each time baby latches with that amount of time gradually decreasing over the first few weeks. (For me the latching pain was gone by about three weeks pp so just remember that if your baby is latching correctly, the pain WILL ago away as you get used to it!! It can really hurt but don’t give up! YOU CAN DO IT!!) Lanolin cream can really help with soreness though. I personally used it for the first few days and then no longer needed it, but, even so, it’s worth buying it for those first few days!
9. Camelbak Water Bottle. When you nurse-especially in the first few weeks- you may find yourself feeling extremely thirsty while baby drinks. Be sure to have a large water bottle nearby to help! I love this bottle the most because you dont have to tip it to drink from it, nor do you have to suck very hard on the straw part. It’s nit-picky but its the best. 😉
10. Nursing Tank Tops. These are great especially for night time so you don’t have to worry about having that the extra layer of bra while you figure out nursing. During the day I throw a cute kimono over top and call it a day. I get my nursing tanks in two sizes larger than my pre-pregnancy size for right after delivery and then also in my regular pre-pregnancy size for whenever I start slimming down. Target has great ones as does Jessica Simpson at Buy Buy Baby.
11.My Breast Friend nursing pillow. I recommend this pillow for first time nursers as well as nighttime nursing for beginners and pros alike. (I also recommended it in my “Top 25r Newborn and Infant Products” post which you can find here. ) It provides tons of support for baby AND mama because it’s made of a comfortable yet firm material and hooks around mama’s waist. I literally struggled without it when nursing my first for the first few weeks.
12. Boppy nursing pillow. This is the more popular nursing pillow out there and I have loved it for my second time around with a newborn. Because I nursed Lily for 15 months, I had the muscle memory to immediately begin nursing Jack with ease and confidence (while walking, helping lily with things, making lunch, etc) so the Boppy, with its lower amount of support, has been more than enough for me this time around. BONUS: When baby gets older you can use the Boppy to prop them up during tummy time and also when then start to learn to sit on their own! You can DEFINITELY get your money’s worth out of this product.
13. Mother Tucker Tank. I’m not a fan of waist trainers because I generally find them to be uncomfortable and impractical. I also think its very important for us to not put pressure on ourselves to look like we did before becoming pregnant as we are leaving the hospital. Our bodies change so that we can bring life into the world and stressing about our waistline RIGHT after giving birth can make us more susceptible to post-partum depression – but thats a post for another time. Back to the Mother Tucker Tank- this tank offers some mild pressure on the torso which helps to get rid of the feeling that your organs are floating around right after giving birth, but it’s also very comfortable. The fact that it’s nursing friendly and wears like a regular tank top is a bonus. I’ve worn mine to bed by itself but I wouldn’t wear it out without something over top because it does look like an undergarment..
14. A large, moldable ice pack can really help with swelling and soreness in the first few days.
The first few weeks with baby can feel very overwhelming both emotionally and physically. Give yourself some grace to heal slowly and heal well, and don’t worry about how you look right after giving birth. You just brought a beautiful, amazing, tiny person into the world and hopefully some of the above products will help you to take the focus off of how tired and sore you might feel so that you can cherish your new babe and soak in the raw, beautiful, life changing few weeks that are the 4th trimester.
You are amazing!