Post Partum: How Do You Prepare? What Do I Need?
I think one of the biggest unknowns and scariest things to process through becoming a mom is postpartum. You have so many questions in your head- how will my body respond? How can I prepare? Where do I even start?
Last year before I had Aveline I read so many different things about how to prepare and what to do. Ultimately I chose to go the simple route. As women our bodies were made for this, so trusting your body and your gut on what’s best for you is the most important thing. For me, this is what worked. A few of my friends asked about how I heal/manage during postpartum so I thought I’d share a post of my favorite tips and tricks. After babe 2 is born I’ll be doing a 30 day postpartum journaling and sharing it with you. My hope through this is to be more detailed and raw with the amazing journey of our bodies healing from doing one of the coolest things possible- making and having a baby!
How to Prepare for Postpartum:
First and foremost remember, no matter what your “birth plan” may be, you have no idea what will happen or how you will birth your babe. That being said it is so hard to “prepare” for your postpartum journey. My best advice would be to prepare for anything, especially mentally- have your frozen pads made, make arrangements for family members to be able to help you, and be clear with your spouse or partner throughout your postpartum journey with how they can best help you. With Aveline the best thing Pat could do for me was to let me continue on with life like it was before- I wanted to do the laundry once I felt better, etc. I wanted to be “up and at ‘em” because it helped me get back to “normal” and find our new normal. I am positive that this is one of the things that helped me not sink into postpartum depression. Every day in postpartum is a new and different journey,
FROZEN PADS: Y’all. This sounds insane but I am absolutely positively serious about this. This was a game changer after I had Aveline and something I can’t imagine living without. This was the recipe I used. I used them for the first few days after we got home to help ease the pain and encourage healing.
Light weight pads: I used these after a week or so when the bleeding wasn’t as bad.
One thing that is going to be very important is how you dress, especially if you’re breastfeeding. You want to have as many front opening/flowy tops to help make breast feeding in a jif easy and convenient. Below is a list of favorites I have and a few links to nursing bras and underwear that I loved having the first few weeks with Aveline and will be using with B2.
Button up and loose fitted tops that make nursing easy, especially on the go- this one is my absolute favorite and I have 4 colors. This is my favorite top to travel in while nursing- it makes it so easy to nurse on the go and also gives you privacy. I have two old Free People loose fitting sweaters that I can’t find the links to but if I do I’ll share them, too! One of my favorite things for postpartum with Aveline was Dwell and Slumber Dresses, I can’t say enough about their comfort and convenience to nurse in. (I prefer the Classic fit over the Cocoon).
Joggers loose fitting pants- This was something my best friend recommended. After you give birth you’re not going to want to be in yoga pants so pack some loose fitting pajama pants or joggers. They will be the best for the first week or so. Comfort is key, so ensure you’ve got all of your favorite pants washed and ready for you when you get home. This is obviously easier said than done because you never know when babes will make their appearance (unless you’re induced) but my rule of thumb for babe 2 is to do a load of wash every other day to make sure I always am up on clean clothes. These are my favorite joggers.
With Av I didn’t use my sweatshirts or regular bras for a few months, so maybe toss those to the back of your closet for a little bit. As long as you’re nursing you’re going to want to be in nursing-friendly tops, especially while you’re getting in the swing of it.
Haaka- I had no idea about this while I was first nursing with Av but have heard amazing things about it since. Two of my friends swear it helped them build their milk supply during the first two weeks of their nursing journey. Basically you put this on the opposite boob you’re nursing from and the suction helps you ensure you’ve drained both boobs. Super helpful, and makes life way more comfortable, trust me.
Bags for milk- This is an important thing to have stocked up on if you’re planning on using the Haaka. My recommendation would be to put a bag of milk in the fridge to use if you need it (remember breast milk can literally be used for anything- clogged tear ducts, scratches, dry skin, diaper rash, etc) and then freeze the rest to use for later.
Bra to help you pump- If you’re planning on using a pump, even if it’s a few weeks/months down the road, I highly recommend this bra to help you be hands free. This bra helped me so much during my nursing journey with Aveline.
Bra Pads- One thing I had no idea about until my best friend told me was how much your boobs will leak. It sounds bizarre but they will. I’ve used the disposable bra pads and reusable ones and love them both. Usually if I’m on the go during the day I’ll use the disposable ones but if I’m at home and around the house I’ll use the reusable ones. The reusable ones aren’t as easy to hide if you have a tight shirt on so that’s why I really like the disposable ones.
Nipple Cream- Okay, this is a weird thing, BUT, your nips will be so tender your first few weeks of nursing, mostly your first 2. I was recommended a few creams but I felt so weird using creams because I was nervous about Av ingesting it BUT if you want to use them here are the ones I was recommended. Motherlove Nipple Cream | Cora Organic
I truly hopes this helps you as you prepare for your postpartum journey! Bringing a baby home is the most exciting, and terrifying, thing but I hope this helps you prepare for such an amazing time! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out!