You know all those awesome lists online of helpful things to have? Yeah this isn’t exactly that same kind of post. I was texting with my sister – the one who is 37 weeks with her first babe – talking about what baby/postpartum/birth things were really worth it and heck, I am a minimalist! I told her there were only a few things that were truly worth the hype and this is what I recommended, half joking but also kinda serious so, glean what wisdom that you can.
- This silicone milk saver device
I am realllly not a fan of pumping, although I do it when I have to, which wasnt too often since I find it’s usually easier to just bring the baby everywhere. Anyway that being said I knew in the past that I usually have plenty of milk if not too much and so I tried out this little “saver”, while baby is nursing on one side, this just gently suctions on and then collects the excess from the other side, I didn’t know how much it would get but it turns out for me, it collects a whole heck of a lot! So shes a week old and I’ve already banked and frozen I’m guessing about a litre of milk? So date nights here I come!
- Advil and Tylenol combo
I was nervous about how intense I remember the “after pains” were from last delivery, and luckily they didn’t stay very bad for long this time, but a steady flow of these were certainly something I made sure I had with in reach before baby decided to pick their birthday!
- Strongbow cider/Beer
- Amazing diaper cream
My aunt first gave me this, a natural cream developed by a friend of hers, and every baby’s bum that I have had has since been slathered in it and we have never had much of any rash issues on our newborns, coincidence? Maybe. But I’m still going with it!
- Staying in bed for a week after baby is born. This idea comes directly from Blythe’s brilliant advice on how to “postpartum like a boss” and this was the second time I tried to put it into practice. During my pregnancy on the really hard days I would sometimes remind myself at least I had my week of “mom vacation” to look forward to. But when it actually came time for it, lesbehonest it’s not vacation at all. It’s barely an adequate start of recovering properly and taking the time to physically and mentally and spiritually process what just happened and what adaptations and changes the whole family is going through to live out the new normal that a new baby joining brings. This time it was literally harder to stay “in bed”, my hip was hurting so I ventured out to see the Chiropractor, Brian came with me and Joan, and we also got lunch and him glasses. And that was probably “too much” to do so I reaffirmed my effort to be back in bed for the remaining days as much as possible. I also came out of bed a lot to help the other kids work through their little “issues” with the big transition. I spent time with each of them as I could and tried to still be involved in their bedtime and other routines. So it’s definitely a balancing act. But I worked hard to spend some time writing (the birth story, other thoughts and memories of these newborn days) and thinking and praying and just BEing with Joan. So I can always remember that. And beyond that it is literally a full time job to keep a days old person and a just given birth person fed, and tended to with the necessary processes that go along with such delights… You know what I’m talking about. And its not just baby diapers. As long as things like peeing are an ordeal requiring special bottles and tinctures and accoutrements then we should definitely have no guilt as mama’s for staying in bed.
So these are my must have/do’s for the first few postpartum days. Hope it helps anyone else looking forward to the arrival of a new little one!
And a pregnant sisters update; one week after I had Joan, my sister Emma had a little boy! We like having babies a week apart from each other apparently. (Hugh and her other son are exactly a week apart as well!)
Anne is next! Let’s see what the stork brings her in a few weeks!