You are completely prepared for baby’s arrival. You have your hospital bag packed or your home birth kit ready. You have outfits and diapers and burp cloths and more…a whole nursery filled with more! But, you haven’t really thought about what happens after birth. You are going to require some “mommy’’ supplies after delivery. And, while some people will give you the low down on the physical stuff you’re going to need, I’ve also included an item that might help you if you find yourself a little extra emotional or weepy.
Your private parts are going to be very sore and tender. Expect lots of bleeding. Like, more than you thought! Like, compare it to a heavy period type of bleeding. You might have torn in one, two, or five places. Your bum is also going to be incredibly sore and you might have a hemorrhoid or two. By day three or four, you might become very weepy or emotional. My midwife and birth assistant both said that they typically see moms have a meltdown around the fourth and the seventh day. I don’t know why, but that’s what they’ve seen in their experience. So, for that very reason they made it a point to each separately stop in on day three and day four to check up on me. I don’t know what happened to day seven. I could have really used someone on day seven, so ask a friend or family member to pop by sometime around then too!
The Recovery Basket
Ok, so now you know the low down. Here are some great things to keep on hand specifically for the aftermath. If you know a new mommy-to-be you can even make a recovery basket and give it to her as a gift. Maybe throw in a chocolate bar or ten, too!
Super-absorbent pads: Remember the pads you wore in middle school? You need those pads! And, a whole pack of them!
Hi-Cut Disposable Undies: Ladies, I didn’t want to wear my normal undies—for like two weeks! I ordered some disposable panties online (just google) and they made all of the difference. Most likely your pads will slip and slide (even if they have wings!) and you’ll be glad you didn’t ruin another pair of your good undies. Besides, these panties are breathable and you can yank them clear up over your belly button—like “Urkel-undies”—for added support. You can find a variety of options online, but don’t pay high price for them. You should be able to order 5 pair for around $4.99 or spend roughly $1 for each pair if you look for “disposable underwear or postpartum panties”.
Ice Packs: For the first 24-48 hours, ice is going to feel amazing down there. It helps with swelling prevention for the first 24 hours or so and after that your doctor will probably tell you to lay off the ice. I just used zip lock baggies and ice from the fridge. I didn’t like the feeling of having the ice directly against my skin as it got too cold, so I made a “pad sandwich” with my ice pack. I put a pad on my disposable undies, the ice pack down, and then just laid another pad on top of it. This is why you need a pack of pads! After the first 24-48 hours, you can forego the sandwiches.
Peri Bottle: The hospital might send you home with a peri bottle(I’m not sure? But, you should ask!) I had a home birth, so I ordered my birthing kit online and included in that was a peri bottle. I filled it with warm water and squeezed it down my private parts each time I went to the bathroom. Not only did this help me pee, but it also helped take away the burning sensation when the pee hit all of my tender spots. If the hospital doesn’t send you home with one, you can order one online from Amazon and many other places for roughly $0.95 to $2.50.
Epsom Salt (for Sitz Baths): A sitz bath is basically a bath where only the bum and hips are immersed in water. Pour Epsom salt into a warm bath and submerge your bum and lady parts. I took roughly two sitz baths a day for the first week and it provided some much needed relief. For added relaxation, switch off the lights, light a candle, and have a cup of tea why you soak. You might only get to enjoy it for 15 minutes, but 15 minutes will be just what you need!
Quote Book/Inspirational Book/Devotional: A quote book, daily inspirational book, or daily devotional can be a huge help after delivery. Sometimes, all you need is a little word of encouragement or a powerful quote to repeat throughout the day. You most likely won’t have the time or the energy to read something long, but if you can find a book with just a quote or a one page blurb to read daily, it can really help!
By Holly M.