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

Turner’s Birth Story

I’m so excited to be sharing Turner’s birth story today! It was such a positive experience overall. I have loved reading other people’s birth stories throughout my pregnancy. I hope by me sharing my own it will help put other moms to be at ease and get them excited for the birth of their own baby!

I decided with my doctor after my due date be induced electively because I had been 1 cm dilated with a rock hard cervix for weeks. I’d been having contractions for days but nothing consistent. The induction was scheduled for when I was 40 weeks and 4 days. We checked into the hospital on July 22 at 5:00 pm. By 6:30 pm I was in a bed, with IV fluids and given one dose of Cytotec orally. I was checked and was 1 cm, 50% effaced and baby’s head was low. Around 8 pm contractions picked up slightly becoming more painful and I got a little nauseous. They gave me popsicles and ice chips and I felt better. Around 9:30 pm I began having back labor. Contractions and back labor progressively begin getting worse around 11 pm and I was given pain medication through the IV. It did nothing for my pain. They checked me and I was only at a 2. It continued to get worse to the point I felt like I was going to pass out and get sick at the same time. Called the nurse and said we had to do something. She called the anesthesiologist even though they don’t like to do the epidural before a 4 cm. I was given another bag of fluid before he could come and place the epidural. At 12:45 am he came and gave me my epidural. My husband had to leave and the poor nurse that had to help me be still was an angel. I was in the worst pain of my life because of back labor. I kept apologizing to everyone because I was SO embarrassed I was getting an epidural at only 2 cm dilated. I didn’t feel the numbing shot or epidural go in at all. It took the first try. She checked me before inserting the catheter and I was 8 cm dilated and almost completely effaced. The nurse was shocked and went to get my doctor. That means all the pain I felt was my body transitioning from 2-8 cm in a very short period of time. In the mean time I had to lay on my left side to get it numb. It took a little while but it worked. My husband came back and couldn’t believe it! My doctor comes in and says we will be pushing soon! He in complete shock as well. I’m feeling amazing with the epidural and so glad I trusted my gut! If I hadn’t gotten it when I did I probably wouldn’t have been able to at all! We started pushing at 3:00 am. Pushing is no joke. It doesn’t hurt but it’s just hard mentally and physically. It was just my husband, nurse and I pushing for an hour. My doctor checked on me and said I just needed to keep working! Baby had turned sunny side up at some point which explained my back labor. It almost meant after every contraction and set of pushes he would slip back in some. At 4:30 my doctor came in and checked on us again. He called in the nursery and other nurses needed for delivery then got gowned up and said it was go time.

I pushed out Turner David Griffin sunny side up at 4:47 am and had to stop when he was almost all the way out because my water was behind baby boy and never broke all the way. He swallowed some amniotic fluid and had to be cleared of that and have a little oxygen. His head was also a little cone shaped because he was stuck for so long. He was fine in a few minutes though! I had a 2nd degree tear and received stitches. Overall, my actual labor process was only 10 hours long which is great for an induction plus first time mom delivering. I was so upset about having to be induced and not going into labor on my own but it was truly the best experience ever. I am so happy with it and feeling so thankful God guided us to the decision and allowed us to have a positive induction and healthy baby boy! We are so grateful Turner is here with us and we are loving being parents so far.

Hospital Bag Packing List

Obviously I am a first time mom who has never delivered a baby therefore take my packing advice with a grain of salt. I’ll definitely do an updated what we actually used post after baby is here. I also would encourage you to check with your doctor and the hospital on current policies due to everything rapidly changing with COVID. I will also mention I am a chronic overpacker and just feel more comfortable having everything possible. It somehow eases my anxiety. The current policy at the hospital I will deliver at is only one support person which will be my husband. He is allowed to come and go but will probably only go to the car or pick up food delivery from the door. I really prefer to have him with me since I will be alone otherwise. I packed with all of this in mind.

Luggage I packed in for myself, husband and baby: Samsonite Hardsided Carry-On and Tory Burch tote. I did include two reusable shopping bags within the suitcase in order to carry anything else home we acquire during the stay.

Packing List for Mom

  • Hospital gown: I’m fully aware of how extra this is. Obviously this truly isn’t a necessity but I ended up getting this one and washed it before so it would hopefully be more comfortable. I’m really picky about textures on my skin with fabric so I felt like this might help especially since who knows how long I’ll have to wear it for.
  • Two button up night gowns. Both in dark colors and button up. I have one long sleeve and one short sleeve. They’re my favorite pajamas!
  • Silk robe
  • Sleep mask
  • Barefoot dreams cardigan
  • Maternity underwear, two pairs of socks with grips, and bras
  • Dollar store flip flops for shower shoes
  • Maxi, slip and Birkenstocks for going home
  • Basic toiletries: soap, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, extra contacts/case/solution, glasses, face wash, makeup wipes, aquaphor lip balm, hairbrush and minimal makeup products.
  • Daily medications

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

Packing List for Baby:

Miscellaneous Packing List:

I started packing my bag at 35 weeks slowly and putting things in. As I have gotten closer to the end of my pregnancy I have put mostly everything in except the things I still need until we actually go to the hospital. I used gallon sized ziplock bags as I always do to pack everything like outfits for easy access. I love doing this because you can put dirty items back inside the bags without getting anything clean exposed to it. I also roll everything as I put it into the ziplocks to use every inch of space. I put the things we wouldn’t necessarily need during the delivery in the suitcase including baby’s things. In non-COVID times I would probably leave the suitcase in the car as I am aware you do often change rooms a few times until recovery. The tote is packed with things my husband or I might need during delivery including chargers, snacks, medication, and toiletries that way they are easy to access.

Obviously, everything I have packed isn’t necessary. In fact, you could literally show up with your ID and insurance information. The hospital gives you the things you actually need. I hope that my lists gives you some ideas of what you might want to pack for your own stay. Moms, did I miss anything? If so please let me know below in the comments!

Love,

Megan