With the excitement of having your little one, it is easy to forget about the “after” that comes once he or she arrives. Often so much preparation is placed in the labor aspect of having your baby that, as mothers, we forget about what happens to our bodies once we deliver. When you leave the hospital you can expect your body to go through further changes. One of the first things I noticed when I left the hospital was that there was no longer a magic button that brought forth my amazing and extremely helpful nurse. Instead, reality fell into my lap! Here is a short list of things you should keep on hand postpartum or at least in the back of your head for after you get home.
I would suggest getting as many of those industrial strength pads from that helpful nurse before you leave the hospital. But for when your flow FINALLY slows down, it is a good idea to have some regular pads already ready for you at home. Get some panty liners as well. After your bleeding stops you can still spot on and off for a while. Nursing pads are also a helpful to have on hand. Your milk won’t come in until after you leave the hospital, so you might as well be prepared for it. Whether you plan on breastfeeding or not, there is bound to be some leaking and, take it from me, it is better to try to avoid those unintended leaks. And they will be so random. I used to leak every time I vacuumed the house!
Don’t expect your body to go right back to your pre-pregnancy weight after your delivery. If you’ve had a C-section, sweat pants and yoga pants will be your best friend for a while. Even those who have had a vaginal delivery can expect to be wearing some heavy-duty sanitary pads for a while. Personally, I was quite used to wearing pregnancy pants at that point anyways. Who wants to bother with buckles when you have just pushed a human being out of your hoo-haa?! I would suggest you also invest in a good nursing bra or nursing tank, if your breastfeeding, or a nicely sized sports bra if your not. Comfort shouldn’t be an after thought. In those early days, all I did was eat, sleep and sit. Since I breastfed, my taataa’s needed some much-needed TLC. Invest in something good. Trust me!
When you are discharged from the hospital, your doctor will likely prescribe you a plethora of medication to help your deal with the typical discomforts from your delivery. Invest in some ibuprofen and some acetaminophen at the minimum. Your aches and pains will last longer than your prescription can.
If you thought that after you delivered you would hear the end of your doctor telling you to drink plenty of fluids than you can forget it. If you are breastfeeding, you will start to experience some pretty fierce thirst. I remember the moment I started breastfeeding my son, I always craved a big glass of water. Increasing your fluid intake is essential to not only milk production but to your healing body. Drink, drink, drink!
Make a few freezer meals prior to your little one’s arrival. Trust me on this. After the birth of my last child, we lived off freezer meals for almost a month. It helped so much to not have to worry about what’s for dinner. You need physical and emotional healing after having your child. Plus it is just wonderful to get to stare into the precious eyes of your newborn. No one wants to be peeling potatoes when you can snuggle with someone so special. If you don’t have time to set aside and prepare freezer meals, invest in purchasing some already made meals. Lasagna was my best friend after I had my daughter. And I had neither the time nor the energy to make an entire lasagna, so I purchased it. Throw in some steam fresh broccoli and you have a meal, with leftovers!
Preparing for your baby’s arrival is fun and exciting, but don’t forget mama! It’s easy to replace the realities of life after delivery with the excitement of having your baby. Before the big day, take a few minutes while you’re at the grocery store to grab these few Mama essentials. Trust me when I tell you it will make a world of difference!
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