Tuesday, March 04, 2014


It's funny how when you're pregnant you spend a lot of time thinking about what the baby will need, labor, delivery, caring for a newborn...but not a lot of thought about how to care for yourself during the healing process after delivery. One thing I've said over and over again to different people who've asked is that I mentally prepared myself for little sleep and the challenges of caring for a new baby but I never considered the fact that I would need to be cared for myself. Not being in the best place physically after giving birth makes caring for your new little one even more of a challenge. Thank goodness as much as this time is difficult that it is also so beautiful and special, too. It really makes everything worth it. :)

Just to share a little with you about my experience, during the delivery my doctor decided to give me an episiotomy. On top of this procedure I also ended up getting a 3rd degree tear and a lot of bruising. Of course, I wasn't aware of any of this during the delivery but needless to say shortly after giving birth my body felt it. My doctor told me to take it easy, don't lift anything heavier than Soren, be careful of going up and down stairs and allow my body to heal for 6 weeks. I honestly didn't think I would need that long to heal, but to my surprise, and currently going into week 5, I definitely see how it really just takes time and lots of care to recover. The first 3 weeks were the most challenging but soon after, each day I felt a little better. I feel like I'm almost on the other side of everything physically, but the whole process was definitely difficult and emotional.

During my time at home right after birth, I found several items to be essential and so helpful during the process. Some of these items I still use and will probably continue to use for the weeks to come. As well, I asked the question on Instagram a few weeks before giving birth about what your suggestions were and received SO much amazing advice. I've incorporated some of those ideas into the list below. These are all items I've used and found extremely helpful during my healing process. Although this list is based on a vaginal birth and for breastfeeding mamas, you can certainly adapt it to what you need! -- Lastly, don't be discouraged during this time. Give yourself lots of mommy mercy and understand that your body went through A LOT. You are a rockstar. Learn to be at peace with the time it will take to heal. You've got this!!

* Yoga Shorts - Getting a pair of tight fitting yoga shorts are absolutely perfect for keeping pads and ice packs together "down there". It makes everything feel so much more comfortable. I got mine in the exercise section of Target.
* Nursing Tanks - I wear these ALL the time. I purchased mine from Target and loved that they have a built in bra. It made nursing in the hospital and at home extremely easy. They are also nice looking, too, and can be incorporated into an everyday outfit when you get out of the house.
* Nursing Sleep Bra - I also picked up a pack of two from Target. They are just a basic nursing bra, but super comfy to sleep in. I'm constantly washing and wearing mine over and over again.
* Supportive Nursing Bra - It's so important to get a great, comfortable nursing bra that's supportive to wear during the day and outside of the house. I love this Cake nursing bra from Buru, I also love that it looks sexy too! ;) (Enter to win a Buru giveaway below!) 
* Cozy Loungewear - One thing I'm SO glad I did before having Soren was invest in some cute and comfortable loungewear. I picked up a variety of nice PJ pants, button up tops and a lightweight robe. I suggest checking out the clearance section to find great deals. Once again, I got most of mine from Target. It just felt so nice to be wearing new, somewhat attractive PJs during that time.
* Slippers - Keep those feet warm and cozy! I wore mine during my stay at the hospital and 24/7 at home. I prefer the slip-on ones, it makes them a lot easier to put on while holding a little one.
* Belly Band - You thought this was great during pregnancy? SO great for postpartum use too! I loved the feeling of keeping my tummy secured and since I couldn't quite button up my pre-pregnany jeans, it was also helpful to wear over those. Bonus: It makes your tummy look flatter and smoothes everything out for all of your postpartum outfits.
* Cozy Undies - Don't ruin your favorite undies, go ahead and purchase a pack of basic cotton panties to wear during your healing. That way if they get stained you won't feel sad about tossing them. :)

* Silhouette Depends - For real! It was so comfortable and amazing to wear these, especially during the first 2 weeks. They are comfortable, don't leak, and are a great undie alternative.
* Kotex Pads - For the times you don't need depends, you'll want good pads. You will probably need these for up to 6-ish weeks. The cotton in the Kotex pads are great and don't stick to stitches if you end up getting any.
* Witch-hazel - Great for putting on pads or cloth to help with the healing. Very relieving.
* Tucks with Witch-hazel - In case of hemorrhoids, these are GREAT. Also great to use down there generally. I loved lining them in my depends or pad for relief too.
* Stool Softeners - The hospital will most likely put you on these right after birth to help "move things along". However, some women have continued problems at home so these are great to have on hand. If you end up getting an episiotomy and stitches you might be dealing with issues weeks into the recovery.
* Dermoplast - This stuff is incredible. It's a soothing and pain relieving spray that I used continually. It's amazing and made everything feel so much better.
* Ice Packs - Needed and great for swelling, see ice pack ideas below.
* Perineal Bottle - Sometimes wiping isn't an option, these little bottles are amazing to help you clean up.
* Flushable Wipes - Also helpful for cleaning up. Be sure to get ones for sensitive skin.

* Padsicles - Take one Kotex pad, apply alcohol-free aloe vera gel to pad and pour a tablespoon of witch-hazel over the pad. Wrap pad in tin foil and store in freezer. Go ahead and stock up your freezer so you can easily grab and go!
* Diaper Ice Packs - For the days when you need extra ice, take a newborn or size 1 diaper, open the end of the diaper like you would a bag of chips. Fill diaper with crushed ice and store in freezer. I would put these ice packs in the depends and use yoga shorts to hold everything together. You can also pour some which-hazel on these before freezing for extra relief.

* Nipple Cream - Essential for nursing and helping to soothe cracks and soreness.
* Breast Pads - You will leak when your milk comes in! Stock up on disposable and/or reusable pads.
* Breast Gel Soothers - Store these in the fridge and put on whenever you need some extra relief.

* Lip Balm - Make sure you have very moisterizing lip balm on hand constantly.
* Natural Hand & Body Lotion - Lots of hand washing and hormonal changes can lead to dry skin. Lush has a great selection of natural lotions, also good to use on your tummy, too!
* Cleansing Face Cloths - Its wonderful to have something quick and easy to cleanse your face at the end of the day. I love using these and these.
* Natural Moisturizer - My face ended up getting extra dry after birth so using a heavy moisturizer was so helpful. Again, I have loved using Lush products. I would suggest Skindrink.

* Pain Relief - Of course, talk to your doctor or nurse about what they suggest and what would be best for you, During the first week postpartum I found it essential. After my perscription was over I used Tylenol to help.
* Water Bottle - Stay hydrated!!
* Boppy - Not only great for nursing but great to sit on for bum relief while sitting.

Please note that more than likely your hospital will provide a lot of these items. Take them home with you and continue using them throughout your healing process!! You won't be sad about it. :)

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* Yoga Shorts
* Nursing Tanks
* Nursing Sleep Bra
* Supportive Nursing Bra
* Cozy Loungewear
* Slippers
* Belly Band
* Cozy Undies
* Silhouette Depends
* Kotex Pads
* Witch-hazel
* Tucks with Witch-hazel
* Stool Softeners
* Dermoplast
* Ice Packs
* Perineal Bottle
* Flushable Wipes
* Nipple Cream
* Breast Pads
* Breast Gel Soothers
* Lip Balm
* Natural Hand & Body Lotion
* Cleansing Face Cloths
* Natural Moisturizer
* Pain Relief
* Water Bottle
* Boppy

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Buru is an awesome online shop featuring beautiful clothing for mommies that are also easy to nurse in! They are very kindly offering an amazing giveaway to one of my readers! One winner will receive a $100 off a $200 purchase. Perfect for buying a beautiful nursing bra and some tanks to prepare yourself for after baby!! Enter below: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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