The secret world of the 4th trimester. Settle in ladies it goes slow and fast, you feel exhausted and full of energy all at once. Keep reminding yourself that the hard moments are just that, moments that will pass. I felt so prepared for postpartum but there were so many things that I was looking up or buying for myself and for my newborn during those middle of the night feedings.
I am 11 weeks postpartum today and it feels so unreal!!!
Let me tell you about all of the things that have saved me the last few months that I wish I knew or had before hand.
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Thank you for your support!
Save the Nips!
The first time your baby latches to feed is one of the most beautiful moments you will experience. How wonderful it is to see instinct take place during your baby's first moments earth side. I will never forget the moment when my son was looking for my breast to latch, I wish i would have caught it on camera.
This beautiful bonding moment quickly goes away when your baby is constantly feeding and you now have raw nipples and a latch that makes ones toes curl. ( I don't miss that feeling one bit) here is what saved me:
I love the Earth Mama brand, their nipple butter is an absolute must! its buttery soft and smells like delicious birthday cake and its perfectly safe for your baby. You don't have to wipe it off during feedings so rub as much as you need mama! sooth those nips.
You're going to want to protect your tender nipples while they heal, anything that grazes or touches them is going to be very annoying and painful. Silver shields helped me so much and im glad i made the investment. All you have to do is put them in your nursing bra. The shields are also easy to clean, just mix a little bit of baking soda with warm water to make a paste and scrub the shields clean!
I also love drinking Earth Mama's Milkmaid Tea in the morning to kickstart my day and milk production. As a result I've already filled my freezer with milk that I catch with my Elvie and Haakaa while I nurse my baby. Honestly, the Elvie and Haakaa are no brainers, they will save you from changing your top every feed if you have an over achieving boob. I wish I would have come across the Elvie Catch a lot earlier in my breastfeeding journey; I may have left the house sooner. These little baddies can be put inside your nursing bra while you are out and about to catch any leaks up to 1 oz on each side! I will usually place a nursing pad and the Elvie Catch in my bra because I have an oversupply. Do what you feel most comfortable doing.
The Postpartum Stink
Why didn't anyone warn me about the strong smell oozing out of my pores during Postpartum?!?! I learned that no matter how many showers and exfoliants there will be a strong bodily smell. Not to worry mama's, once you're out of the breastfeeding game the smell starts to fade (So i've been told) and its nature's way of keeping our babies bonded to us.
If any of you know me, you know that I am huge on B.O. and ironically I always forget to put deodorant on. Oops! However, I am conscious of the products I put on my body and am very particular, especially since I have my baby latched on me the majority of the day. I try to avoid harmful chemicals whenever possible, and Earth Mama's Deodorant makes me feel good about using their products. My personal favorite of theirs is the Ginger Fresh Scent but, they do have a mini travel 4-pack, with different scents that you can try before you commit to a particular one, check it out by clicking here!
Okay if you are going to store breastmilk there are so many storage bag options. A bag will be a bag and I've tried several, but the Madela brand storage bags have been my favorite. The plastic is sturdy and something about the way they are made suctions out the air so well! (seriously its the little things).
As a first time mom with no real guidance about breastfeeding I was very unprepared, especially in the wardrobe area. I knew there was such thing as leaking but I didn't think I was going to have leaking issues or that I was even going to be able to produce milk so I thought very little about the impact my wardrobe would have. I was very wrong and very drenched after a few hours so let me help you avoid this.
Nursing bras and tanks galore! I love wearing nursing tanks for the nightly feedings, I can't believe it took me 5 weeks to find out that these existed. They are easy to snap on and off, they fit snug, and are breathable, which was important for me due to the fact that theres another tiny body on me creating heat. Oh and those postpartum night sweats nobody warns you about! Try these out, they come in a pack of three from Amazon: https://amzn.to/3wADELt
I tried a few nursing bras and let me tell you, there are so many overly padded, over priced, impractical bras out there. If thats your thing then skip this lol, otherwise try the Momcozy Pumping Bra. I liked that these bras had the option for hands free pumping (if you are a pumping mom), and was easy to snap on and off for nursing. I don't pump often but when I do i use the Momcozy S9 Portable Pump and the Madela Breast Pump This bra is compatible with those and most other pumps.
These bras come in a three pack and have different color varieties to coordinate with your outfits.
Lets save our outfits from leaky boobs. Nursing pads are a must when you are breastfeeding and there are so many options. I don't like to be wasteful and always try the reusable option, I like Bamboobies Nursing Pads but like i mentioned before, oversupply means that you need more support in this case, I had to purchase disposable nursing pads because they absorb more. After trying a few brands I really liked Medela disposable nursing pads, they are extra absorbent, comfortable and designed to be discreet. I found that other brands would wrinkle or would show through my tops because the shape would not mold to my breast. So Medela was the way to go for me!
TLC for your HooHa.
Okay, I wish someone would have told me how many Ice Pads I would have needed for my Vagina after giving birth. I received these as a gift at my baby shower and they were so soothing and refreshing! I'll be sure to be gifting the Frida Perineal Ice Maxi Pads to all of my expecting mom friends, its a no brainer. I probably used the ice pads for the first 2 weeks, I used the ice pads less and less as the days went on- this box plus whatever the hospital supplied me with was enough!
Side Note: anything that the hospital has for you during your stay pack it up and take it with you! that means, diapers, wipes, ice packs, pads, sprays etc. I was so anxious to get home I didn't think of any of this, I even forgot my baby's footprints :( FAIL. Honestly, its hard to remember when you are sleep deprived and in the moment. Let your partner know that you intend to take these supplies home, hopefully they will remember.
Quench That Thirst!
While you breastfeed, you will find that you will become really thirsty. Don't wait on this and get yourself a tumbler and electrolytes to quench your thirst. You'll also want to think about where you will be doing most of your feedings so that you have a place to put your cup down and have all of your goodies on hand while feeding your little bebe. I personally felt like I was always thirsty and couldn't help my thirst, I found that Liquid IV really helped give me a boost of energy in the mornings when I was feeling really drowsy.
It would seem as though this has little to do with Postpartum, but trust me there will be moments where you are going to be nap trapped and will have the urge to get up and feed yourself, cleanup around the house, or simply get out on a walk. The WildBird Ring Sling is a must have! I carry it everywhere and it has allowed me to wear my baby while having free hands to get things done. My baby loves being held so this ring sling was a no brainer. Happy Mama, happy baby.
Increase the peace