Preparing for the dark side of birth
The funniest part (to me) about baby showers is how much it prepares for the baby, and not so much for the mother after birth. We prepare the nursery, take birthing classes, read books about labor, pre-natal yoga, breastfeeding classes, babycare... and maybe it makes sense because of the trifecta.
There’s the trifecta - pregnancy, labor and delivery, and breastfeeding. One of them is going to suck. - Quote from a friend, I don’t remember which.
That’s true in my case - I had a relatively smooth pregnancy and very quick (although intense) labor but breastfeeding sucked for weeks (that’s for another blogpost). I might need to make an amendment to that quote and add in one other thing, the dark side of birth - postpartum. That’s what nobody talks about or really prepares for yet something everyone goes through. It got me, and got me hard. And from what I’ve heard from my friends, I am not an outlier. To prepare for it mentally, you can read my play-by-play account . And here’s a list of stuff you most likely will need to stay comfortable during those first couple of months. If you’re attending a baby shower, throw a couple of these in there for mama!
Mesh underwear - Get a stash from the hospital or stock up online. Most people don’t know but you can get WASHABLE and reusable ones!! C-section moms especially need this so that their regular underwear is not abrasive against the incision.
Witch hazel pads for soothing the pain and swelling down there and especially helpful if you end up with hemmies, like I did.
Huge overnight pads or Curity maternity pads - You will have your period like nothing before. I also stocked up on a bunch from the hospital.
Disposable quilted bed pads - Stock up from the hospital as well. This is a great purchase because it can be shared between mommy and baby. Also good use for changing babies.
Plush Heating pad for cramps from hell.
Ibuprofen 800mg again for cramps from hell. Do not wait to buy these.
Stool softener, milk of magnesia (Wild Cherry) - This totally did the trick for me!
Squatty Potty - I honestly wished I had discovered it sooner. Makes going #2 so much easier!
Donut pillow for if you get hemmies
Organic Nipple cream - Since the baby nursed from the breasts, it made sense to me that I would source organic products for this. Loved earth mama! You can also use olive oil.
Soothies gel pads for breastfeeding moms
A good straw water bottle to stay hydrated. This one has a water tracker just for breastfeeding moms!
Giftcard for food delivery (Grub hub, amazon delivery)
Weighted eye mask - ANYTHING that will help you sleep faster and longer is worth buying.
Weighted blanket - Unfortunately pretty much sold out everywhere on Costco, BBB and Target. I only discovered weighted blankets last year, but I can see how it would have made a HUGE difference for me during postpartum. Get this NOW!
Sound machine for your room - Yes you’ll have one in the nursery to keep the baby asleep but you need one for yourself. This will help mask all the little snort and baby elephant noises that babies make. Marpac dohm is the leader of sound machines.
I know, this sucks. But if there’s a problem that money can solve, it’s not a problem. With any luck, you won’t have quite the bad experience that I had. But here’s a starting point if postpartum happens to be where it gets ya. Hang in there, it’s all worth it. You are making a human being after all and there’s nothing simple about that.