Now that delivery is in my peripheral I am looking back at the whole hospital and coming home experience to put together a list of what I Needed, Didn't Need...and also what I wish I had! So here is a list that will make life easy for you to check over before heading to the hospital! If you click on the image, you can download this List to Print xo
What In the World Is....
Most of the items on the list are recognizable, but I'm sure you are looking at a few things on there wondering...what in the world?? Okay so here are a few items that you might be puzzled by:
Sterile Olive Oil:
Ya, we all know what Olive Oil is...but why the heck would I need it in the hospital? Well, You don't Need it, but it's a great all natural alternative to some barrier creams, and Hospitals may not provide it. Why would you need it? Well, when your baby is first born, his or her poops will be a Tar-like substance called Meconium, which is the earliest poop from your babe. It's super sticky, and wipes just wont do. Sometimes the hospital will provide you with Sterile Olive Oil or Vaseline, but it's best to bring your choice Just in case!
Having this cream at the hospital made life so much easier. This cream heals your nipples during the first stages of breastfeeding. Yes..the horrible pain that your boobs will go through in the beginning is something that is Highly glossed over. At first you will only have Colostrum, which is a form of milk that contains antibodies that protects your newborn against diseases, has a high content of protein and fats, clears the baby of bilirubin (causes jaudice), and helps the baby pass meconium (to name a FEW benefits). Getting the baby to latch and receive the benefits of Colostrum is an incredible experience, but the effects of the babies sucking is not...in fact it's SO painful, that I often completely forgot about the rest of the pain my body was in from delivery. Having Lanolin cream on hand was the best! Holding Chamomile tea bags on your nipples in a hot shower will help (will explain further below)...however for the convenience of the hospital, grab a tube of this sweet stuff.
Without getting into a whole lot of detail...a stool softener is definitely something you want to ask for in the hospital as soon as you get into recovery. They will provide you with some to help your first bowel movement "soften". Trust me...you will be in pain from delivery, and if you delivered vaginally, it will help relieve some serious tension when you first have to go. Have these babies on hand for your first week or so at home (longer depending on if you tore etc).
TUCKS Cooling Pads:
In the hospital, the nurses will give you something amazing that some women refer to as a "Padsicle" (a Pad soaked in water and frozen...). Having the icy pad down below is super soothing, and very effective for swelling. You can easily make these at home to help with inflammation! The other major sources of relief that I relied on were TUCKS, the Advil/Tylenol Combo and my Squirt Bottle (will explain). These medicated cooling pads were originally developed for hemorrhoids..but they are incredible for healing due to their Witch Hazel component! I used them after every 3rd or 4th pee to cool and sooth the "area" and to cleanse the area regularly.
Pull Top Squirting/Squeeze Bottle:
The hospital usually gives this to you, however if they do not...grab one of these easy to find pull top squeeze bottles..on the smaller end! This bottle will come in handy during the first week or so when wiping is discouraged. Fill with warm water and spray while peeing to dilute your urine (prevents stinging), and to cleanse the area instead of wiping. You can add Epsom salts into the warm water occasionally to help with healing!
Chamomile Tea Bags and Cabbage Leaves:
As I mentioned above, you will go through a painful period as you get used to breastfeeding. Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, your milk will come in in abundance and the severity of pain associated with the filling varies from person to person. My experience straight up Sucked..and I struggle to cope big time. To give you an idea of how my filing experience went down, I basically had tripe D boobs that were rock hard and excruciatingly sore. Lifting my arms hurt because of the swelling, and my nipples were cracked and bleeding (still adjusting to the latch). Every time Piper cried, I would shutter and my eyes would fill with tears because I was in so much pain, and the thought of her latching on terrified me. A friend of mine who suggested that I try Chamomile and Cabbage Leaves, and it helped so much that I am now passing on this wisdom to you! Try this: you must be careful NOT to overstimulate your boobs, because that will send a signal to your body telling you to produce more milk. Get into a steaming hot shower and express as much as you can (google instructions for how to express milk the best way possible), it's painful but it will help!! When you are done, take the Chamomile tea bags and let them sit on your nipples under the hot water...soothing the cracks and sores. When you get out of the shower put on Lanolin cream or coconut oil, and let your nipples get air. Another option is pumping...this helped me SO much. Pump to the point that the "hardness" disappears, and massage any lumps (blocked ducts) until you are more comfortable..again, do NOT over stimulate! Finally, placing a leaf from a head of Cabbage over your breasts (I know it sounds whacky) is really helpful for inflammation...let it sit and cool you, it's heaven! Some women do not make it past this painful point and they give up on breast feeding, TRUST me...it is understandable. But if you can make it...it will only last about 5 days-1 week before the swelling calms and your nipples adjust. If you are determined to breastfeed, keep reminding yourself WHY you are doing this. Your WHY will get you through it, I promise!
I Wish You All The Best!
After reading about some of these products, and WHY you need them...you might be feeling a tad terrified. This is not my intention! Birth is incredible, and you will look at your body in an entirely different way. Throughout the recovery process, be compassionate with yourself, take the time to properly tend to your own needs (as hard as that might be with a newborn), and REST as much as possible..when your babe naps, you nap! Please send me a note if you have any questions about the rest of the items on the list, otherwise enjoy the download..all of the items will be so helpful! Thank you for reading along, and I wish you a safe and healthy delivery as well as a beautiful experience getting to know your new addition xo
Hi! My name is Amber, I am a wife and mother to Piper June. Welcome to my blog. You will find my path towards natural health and wellness as well as my honest discoveries as a new mother. In all aspects of life, I strive to cultivate Balance through a mindful existence. I share my experiences as a mother, helpful product reviews and companies that I am passionate about for our family. I am so grateful for your visit xo