Postpartum Essentials

I’m sharing my must haves for postpartum today. Probably the least “fun” post I’ve written so far but definitely the most practical! I will mention I had a vaginal birth with a 2nd degree tear and some stitches. Depending on your labor and birth your recovery and postpartum period might look different from mine. The things I’m sharing today are obviously just suggestions and things I felt that made my recovery more comfortable. You can shop all of the products I’m sharing by going to the free LIKEtoKNOW.it app: Shop my post

Things to keep in basket in the restroom for easy access:

  • Mesh underwear – the hospital will provide these but I liked the FridaMom brand much better. I will say I felt like I only needed these the first week or so.
  • Pads – I liked the large hospital ones for the beginning of my time at home and then transitioned to regular pads.
  • Always Discreet Disposable Underwear – you technically don’t need both the mesh underwear and these but I found that the Always ones were so much more convenient especially when you are getting up all night with a newborn. They are kind of pricey so I would suggest just getting one package to see if you like them. I ended up getting a second package because they were so easy to use.
  • Flushable wipes – you will want these instead of using toilet paper at first. Do not flush them though because they will eventually mess up your plumbing!
  • FridaMom peri bottle – the one the hospital gives you is nothing compared to this one. It’s amazing. If you only get one thing for postpartum and decide to use the hospital stuff for the rest then make it this! I promise you need it.
  • FridaMom pad liners – I liked these so much better than the round Tucks Pads. They are actually shaped like a pad so they fit perfectly. I rotated these and the next product for the first week or two.
  • Dermoplast Spray – they will give you this at the hospital but I ordered extra. I probably went through a can and a half total. Rotating the spray and witch hazel liners listed above helps speed your healing process and keeps you comfortable!
  • FridaMom ice pads – this was my other favorite product. I loved these so much I ordered another box of them. I used these twice a day. Once in the morning and evening. This is a more expensive alternative to padsicles. I just wanted something convenient that would help with swelling and recovery!

Many of the items I mentioned come as part of the FridaMoms Kit which I was gifted from my sister in law. It also had some perineal cooling foam but I personally didn’t use it much. I found the other items I listed more convenient. If you don’t want to purchase the whole kit all the items listed above can be bought via Amazon separately.

Other items to have on hand:

  • A pillow to sit on at all times at least the first week. Trust me – you will want it. I used my pregnancy pillow most of the time.
  • Nightgowns or other easy access clothing. It was so much easier to take care of myself when I didn’t have to worry about getting off pants or shorts. I love the Star’s Above line from Target and rotated my long sleeve and shortsleeved ones.
  • Ibuprofen or other pain reliever. I was given pain pills but I only took them for 3 days once we returned home because they made me feel too groggy and I truthfully wasn’t in enough pain to need them after that. I switched to over the counter pain reliever after that for the first week and then didn’t take anything after that. Listen to your body though and take whatever medications as long as you feel like you need them!

Supplements to take:

  • Colace – they will give you this in the hospital but you need to continue taking it at home. It is a stool softener. Regardless of the type of birth you have you will want this to make sure you don’t have to strain when the time comes. You can take up to 3 times a day which I suggest and then taper down to one time per day once the first week goes by. I also suggest drinking tons of water!
  • Garden of Life Probiotic – I took their prenatal one during pregnancy and then switched to the Women’s Daily after giving birth. This will help with your digestive system!
  • Pink Stork Postpartum Mood Support – this has vitamins to help your body transition as it gets rid of any lingering hormones.

Other bits of advice:

  • Make sure you are getting a shower once or even twice a day. I know it’s hard with a newborn and you’re tired but I truly feeling like keeping good hygiene will help prevent infection and speed your recovery process. I’m a clean freak though and love showers so this was easy for me. If that’s not your thing still make sure your partner watches your baby so you can make sure you get clean daily!
  • Walk as much as possible! Even if it’s just around your house. This truly will help you so much.
  • You might still be swollen from fluids after. My legs and feet were extremely swollen and somewhat painful. This took a week to subside. I tried to drink tons of water and keep them elevate. Moving around also helps!

Things I didn’t use:

  • Postpartum wrap – I bought one from Amazon and used it once. These are supposed to help your stomach and everything go back but they gave me really painful stomach cramps so I never put it on again.
  • Sitz bath salts – I was told I couldn’t take a bath by my OB until after my 6 week check up.

Overall, postpartum recovery has not been as difficult as I thought. I had a fairly easy pregnancy, quick induction, labor and routine vaginal birth which I know helps. Once you get through the first few days you will feel so much better! Let anyone who offers to help you do so. Don’t feel like you have to have it all together and get it all done. Feel free to ask me any questions about post part recovery! I’ll be glad to answer.

Love,

Megan

What I Actually Used From My Hospital Bag

Today I’m sharing the things are actually used from my hospital bag plus the things I could have left at home.

Packing List for Mom

  • Hospital gown: I loved having my own gown that had been already washed in my own detergent and was soft. I got so many compliments from the nurses. I threw it away once I showered and changed after birth. There was no saving it which was fine since I planned to get rid of it after.
  • Two button up night gowns. Both in dark colors and button up. I have one long sleeve and one short sleeve. I only wore the short sleeve one. The first night I was in the hospital gown actually giving birth and the second night I was in my own night gown. I suggest short sleeve also because they have to be able to get to both of your arms easily every few hours to check vitals and sometimes give you things through your IV.
  • Silk robeWore this to take some photos of us together. Otherwise did not wear because it was so cold in our room.
  • Sleep mask – did not use.
  • Barefoot dreams cardiganit was freezing in our post part room so I highly recommend a sweater.
  • Maternity underwear, two pairs of socks with grips, and bras – did not use the underwear since they give you the mesh kind. Did use the socks and only wore the bra to actually leave the hospital!
  • Cheap fuzzy slippersadded these last minute so I wouldn’t be walking around in my socks only and getting back into bed after that with dirty feet. Threw the slippers away and got a new pair.
  • Dollar store flip flops for shower shoes – used and threw away!
  • Maxi, slip and Birkenstocks for going home – wore all three leaving hospital! I wore the same shoes into the hospital and out. They are rubber so they could easily be sanitized. Plus they fit my swollen feet!
  • Basic toiletries: soap, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, extra contacts/case/solution, glasses, face wash, makeup wipes, aquaphor lip balm, hairbrush and minimal makeup products. Used everything listed here.
  • Daily medications – did use
  • FridaMom Peri Bottle – added at the last minute and did use! If you do not bring anything else at least bring this. It is a must have and so much better than the hospital one.

Packing List for Dad

  • Two comfortable outfits (athletic shorts, joggers, tee shirts)
  • Sweatshirt
  • Boxers socks
  • Shower shoes
  • Going home outfit (golf polo and shorts)
  • Basic toiletries: we will share most of the things above but added shampoo/hair stuff for him, any medication he might need (Tylenol or Tums…hospital will not dispense these to spouses). I put the toiletries in a gallon ziplock for easy access inside our tote.
  • Air pods

He used everything listed! My husband said his biggest thing was to make sure you have a sweatshirt and sweatpants because of how cold it was in there. I think he also wished he had a pair of slippers as well instead of just his sneakers.

Miscellaneous Packing List:

  • Instax Mini Camera + Filmdid use!
  • Portable White Noise Machinenever used at all.
  • Stroller Fan (for me for labor!)used when I was in a lot of pain during contractions pre epidural!
  • Tripod/Ringlight (no one will be there to take photos for us)took the photos you see in this post! Highly recommend.
  • Two extra long chargersused them and very convenient. The outlets are in random places.
  • File for documentsdid not use. They give you documents in folders for you and baby.
  • Insulated cups with tops and straws – the nurses would put ice or water in these for us.
  • Insurance info and IDs – a must have!
  • Snacks – definitely another must have. My husband went to go to get something to eat the first night and they had already put the food up. He was glad we had snacks!
  • Electrolyte packets for water – did not use because all I wanted was Sprite after delivery. I ended up bringing some with me at the last minute plus a few huge water bottles of Essentia.
  • Bose speaker for music – never used this since my labor and pain rapidly got worse.
  • Two cheap grey towels and washcloths to throw away after use – we used these and threw them away! Highly recommend.
  • Cheap fuzzy blanket and old pillow to throw away after use – absolutely recommend both of these!
  • Two snack baskets for the nurses (one for AM and one for PM) – these were a huge hit with the labor nurses! I made a mistake by only having two baskets though. I really needed two more for postpartum. Next time I will do four snack baskets for the nurses.
  • Car seat (will stay in car until we need it) – my husband went and got this once we were discharged and brought it up to the room. He ran all our bags down first so we only have the baby and cart seat left to take down. They make you go out in a wheelchair!

Packing List for Baby:

  • Personalized Hello Tagused for photos
  • Two gowns, mittens, hats, and socks – used them all because he spit up on some.
  • Two swaddles – used only one of them. The hospital gives you swaddles but of course I wanted ours for photos.
  • Going home outfitput this on right before we left the hospital.
  • Pacifierdid not use because they give you one!
  • Baby Book (For feet stamping)did not even think to get this out when I was in labor but they give you a card with the footprints stamped on it you can add to the book.
  • Personalized Door Hanger + Calligraphy Pen to write in info – did use.
  • Letterboarddid use.
  • Burp cloths – did not use because they give them to you at the hospital.

COVID DETAILS

I delivered at St. Michael’s Hospital in Texarkana and cannot say enough good things about the entire staff. I had the best nurses, doctor and experience. I cannot recommend giving birth there enough. The policy when we delivered as of July 23, 2020 was only one support person. That meant my husband was the only one allowed for the durations of our stay. He was allowed to leave which he only did to go out to the car or meet our parents at the entrance for food. I’m going to be honest, when I heard my mom would not be allowed I was crushed. I wanted her there as well and had always assumed she would be. While we missed having our parents there to see him as soon as Turner was born it was nice just having the time with the three of us. I had a vaginal delivery and was there about 45 hours total from induction check-in to discharge. I also was tested for COVID via blood test when I arrived and it was negative. They did not test my husband. We did have to wear masks whenever anyone was in the room or if you left the room but I took mine off when we were pushing. I’m not sure if that was allowed but no one said anything to me and honestly I cannot imagine two hours of pushing with a mask on. Other than masks and no visitors that was the only difference I could tell during our stay due to COVID.

Do you have any questions about what I used at the hospital or what it is like to deliver during COVID? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be glad to answer!

Love,

Megan

35 Week Bumpdate

We are exactly 30 days from Turner’s due date! I wanted to give an update over the past few weeks of my pregnancy. My bump has grown quite a bit! I’ve gained 12 pounds total during pregnancy so far and baby boy was weighing 4 pounds at the last ultrasound a few weeks ago. We had a bit of a scare at our 32 week appointment as my fundal measurement was 2 weeks behind for the first time. We were sent for an ultrasound and gratefully everything was all right. Baby boy was just curled up in a comfortable position which threw the measurements off! It was so amazing to see him for the first time since our 18 week anatomy scan. He was opening and closing both his eyes and mouth plus playing with the umbilical cord! Starting next week we begin to go to the doctor weekly as we begin cervical checks. It is getting very real at this point!

I’ve mentioned before how easy this pregnancy has been for me. I really haven’t truly felt pregnant and uncomfortable until I hit week 34. My right side back pain began to become more frequent and my nightly heartburn got pretty bad. Thankfully I have started different medication suggested by my doctor that has helped so much. The back pain is definitely still there and I use the heating pad as much as possible. My newest symptoms at 35 weeks are right side rib pain and swollen ankles and feet. Neither of which are much fun! Just trying my best to stay positive.

The nursery is basically almost finished at this point. The diaper bag, hospital bags, and nurses baskets are prepared. I’ll be sharing blog posts in the coming weeks on how I packed all three of those. Just need to install the car seat and wait on baby boy to come! I am interested to see if he comes early, on time, or late. I was born late and my husband was early so it could go either way!

Looking forward to the coming weeks and praying for a safe delivery and baby.

Love,

Megan