This adjustable soft brace incorporates therapeutic heat and/or ice and is uniquely designed to get new mums back on their feet after childbirth. Rather than being about "getting skinny" it focuses on healing, wellness, and support. I used it after my recent pregnancy and it helped so much with supporting my hips and pelvic area, and even seemed to help my tummy get flatter more quickly; I swear it's the reason I fit into regular jeans earlier than with my first two pregnancies. I used the heat pack to help with my cramping. It also holds ice packs in place to help if you have external damage/injury from delivery.
Photo: Mama Strut
Yes, the hospital will give you a squirt bottle to wash yourself with, but trust me when I say you NEED the Fridababy MomWasher because it is SO much better. This peri bottle makes the post-delivery healing process cleaner and easier; it's designed to be held upside down (duh!) and has a longer, angled neck than the freebie you'll get after you deliver.
You might get some 'rrhoids, and you might not. You might think you're in the clear because you don't get them while you're in the hospital, but then they appear once you're home. If you do get them, you're gonna want some relief. Like immediately and without having to figure out how you're going to leave the house to get it. So I would have medicated wipes, medicated cooling pads, and hemorrhoid cooling gel on hand just in case.
You're going to be doing a lot of "lounging" (and not a lot of sleeping) so having some cosy and comfortable things on hand to wear will help you feel good in those early postnatal days. A soft and pretty robe (I love this one) and pjs are a must. Button down jammies like these get bonus points for being nursing-friendly, too.
Photo: Doie Lounge
This truly is key and will save your back, boobs, and baby's latch. I used this one with my second baby and loved it, but this time around I'm trying the Ergobaby nursing pillow and love it so far (great support!) One tip: for newborns and really teeny babies, turn the pillow upside down and use the flat firmer side for the first few weeks until baby gets bigger.
Whether you have a good supply or need a boost, it is good to have some lactation aids on hand to help when you need it. And you constantly need to fuel your body with a healthy snack and lots of water. I love these lactation bars from Oat Mama (the chocolate & peanut butter is my fave!) and they are also allergen free. I also love the Mother's Milk tea.
Photo: Oat Mama
They call it the 4th Trimester for a reason, and chances are you're baby is going to have phases where they refuse to be put down. Which is why having a wrap, sling, or baby carrier will save your sanity in that postnatal phase. I have all three and rotate them -- it helps my back and keeps baby happy to mix it up a bit. I prefer using my wrap and sling for the first few weeks and then introduce my Ergobaby carrier after a couple of months. If you want to use a carrier in the infant stage, just be sure to use an insert.
Photo: courtesy of Chandra Fredrick
You need two types of sanitary pads postpartum: thicker heavy-duty ones, and thinner ones -- both with wings. After three babies, I think these are the best. Even if you have a c-section, you're still going to bleed after and you'll need these for a while (everyone is different, but for me it was for 4-5 weeks). So stock up.
Some women might choose to abstain from coffee when nursing, but I just can't. I have to have one cup every morning. My husband doesn't drink (or know how to make) coffee and I often would need an early morning fix without taking the time to brew coffee. Enter my favourite coffee discovery: the Starbucks VIA Ready Brew packets. A good cup of coffee in two minutes and it costs less than $1 a cup (if you buy it here vs. at Starbucks or the supermarket). I love the taste much better than regular brewed coffee and it is much cheaper than running out for a latte. Plus, even the most sleep deprived mumma or non-coffee making dad can figure out how to make it.
They should give you some in the hospital (if they don't, ask for it especially if you take any pain medication!) but you probably want to have a bottle at home for after. No one really tells you that sometimes going to the bathroom for the first time after baby can be as scary and painful as actually having the baby -- and honestly, that doesn't even cover how terrible it can be. Drink plenty of water, have stool softeners on hand, and if things get rough just remember you pushed out a baby so you can totally do this.