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MY POSTPARTUM ESSENTIALS FOR MUMS


If you are expecting and the arrival of your baby is around the corner, there's a chance you have already packed your maternity bag and have all the nursery checklist ticked...

But have you prepared your early postpartum with some items and tools to make the after-birth smoother and more enjoyable?


If you haven't, don't worry! I have compiled my must-have items that you will need on hand the days and weeks after giving birth.

You'll be so thankful when your baby is here to have all those essentials handy.

After all, the birth of a baby is also the birth of a mother, and self-care is crucial to have an easier postpartum and faster recovery.

There is a chance you'll experience some discomfort or soreness post-birth, no matter the birth you experience- vaginal or cesarean- and your body will need a few weeks to a few month to fully recover.

Here is what you will need:


ESSENTIALS FOR THE BATHROOM


I really like the idea of preparing a bathroom basket for the postpartum period, so everything is within reach when you need them. Here is what you can place in it:



1- Super Absorbant Maternity Pads


Whether you have a vaginal or cesarean birth, you are going to experience postpartum vaginal bleeding- called lochia. It will be quite heavy at first, so choose the most absorbent you can. And stock up!

.Bleeding often last around four to six weeks, and you can't use tampons or menstrual cups during this period.

My favourites are from Natracare, Naty, and Rael. They are all chlorine and fragrance-free.



2- Disposable Underwear



If you give birth at the hospital, you will be given disposable mesh underwear. As bleeding will be heavy the first few days, disposable underwear can be a good option so you are not afraid of staining and throwing your panties away. There are now great options to replace the hospital mesh underwear, that are much more stretchy, comfortable ( and better-looking!).

Frida's underwear are my personal favourites. They are also very comfortable for mums who have had a cesarean birth.

Rael does panty-style underwear that work great for postpartum too.



3- Perineal Spray


A perineal spray will provide instant relief and a cooling feeling on the perineum.

If you have a episiotomy or tear during birth, there's a chance you feel discomfort or itchiness on the perineum. Use this mist as often as needed, especially after bathroom use, and keep it in your fridge if you want it to be extra cooling! It can be used on hemorrhoids too for immediate relief.

I personally love the Earth mama spray.



4- Upside-down Peri Bottle


Cleaning yourself with a wipe or tissue after a vaginal birth, can be...quite unpleasant.

A peri bottle will rinse gently sore and tender areas and dilute the urine for more comfort.

Fill up this upside down bottle with warm water and spray from front to back while you pee.

Choose a bottle with upside-down design, much easier to use and to reach the area, like the one from Frida or Lansinoh

5- Padsicles


Prepare some homemade padsicle and freeze them beforehand, so you can use them after birth.

If you give birth at the hospital, you can purchase and pack some premade padsicles in your maternity bag. Those cooling pads can be activated by folding them into half ( useful when no freezer!)

Your vagina and perineum will be swollen and sore after the birth of your baby, and applying ice is a good way to reduce swelling and provide instant cooling-relief.


Frida has instant ice maxi pads, that are both cooling and absorbing. Brilliant!

Lansinoh has reusable hot and cold pads, that can be used cold on perineum, hemorroids, cesarean incision. You can use them as well on the breast to reduce engorgement.




6- Sitz bath



A Sitz bath is a warm soothing bath you can sit in, to help healing your perineum and bottom to reduce pain or discomfort. To speed up the recovery process, add on some epsom salt, witch hazel, calendula... and soak for a few minutes, everyday.

You can buy a special sitz bath basin that fits on your toilet, or you can just sit in your bathtub with a few centimetres of water.



ESSENTIALS FOR BREASTFEEDING


Breastfeeding baskets that can be carried around the house, to make your nursing sessions more comfortable! To make your breastfeeding journey a team work, your partner can be the one making sure there is always a full bottle of water and some snacks in there.


6-Nursing bras and tanks



You want nursing bras to be comfortable, soft and easy to open when nursing, especially when your breast are engorged and tender in early postpartum. You'll be spending lots of time feeding your baby so it can be a good idea to invest into a few nursing bras and tanks.

The weather here in Singapore being super hot and humid, I like when bras are breathable and cooling. Bamboo material's bras are a favourite of mine, from Spring Maternity or Bove.



7- Breast Pads


Breast pads can be placed into your bra and will absorb leaking milk and prevent staining your clothes.

Leaking usually happens when the milk comes in, when your breast is very full, or at night.

You can find a lot of different type of breast pads on the market.

Wether you choose washable or disposable, pick pads that are breathable, soft and made of cotton to prevent irritation.

My personal preference goes to Lansinoh for both washable and disposable pads.



8- Nipple cream




Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt, but the first weeks of nursing your baby- and until your baby and yourself are accustomed-, it is possible that your nipples become more sensitive and sore.

Fresh breastmilk can be massaged on the nipples after each feed, to protect and heal damaged nipples.

If you experience soreness or cracks, rubbing a nipple cream can do wonder to repair, moisturise and soothe.

My favourite: Nipple cream form Motherlove and Earth Mama



9- Nursing Pillow



A nursing pillow will make your breastfeeding experience more enjoyable and comfortable for both your baby and you. If you are breastfeeding for the first time, it is common not to properly position your body, and to end up twisting your back or neck.

A nursing pillow will prevent just that.

Personal favorite: My breast friend pillow



OTHER POSTPARTUM ESSENTIALS


10- Step Stool



You will need this when going to the toilet, when/if you breastfeed, and to go in and out of bed if you are recovering from a cesarean birth.



11- Comfy loungewear




Comfortable and breathable clothes are a real must-have for postpartum.

After the birth of your baby, you will likely spend most of your time at home, so it's important to have dark comfy ,breathable clothes that also look good if you have visitors showing up.



12- Nourishing and delicious snacks



Keep snacks in your pantry- or in your breastfeeding basket- to prepare for your postpartum.

The last thing you want is to open an empty drawer or go to the grocery store with a newborn!

Think nuts, bars, dried fruits, lactation bars, and old comfort food for the days that are long and difficult.



No parents are the same and have the same postpartum journey.

The weeks after birth are not always a walk in the park, but I hope this list will make it easier for you!


But wait, there is one absolute essential I haven't mentioned yet.


What can make your postpartum journey truly easier, is actually an extra pair of hands!

That can be a parent, a friend, a midwife, a a doula...

A postpartum doula can be there every step of the way, to guide you in this transition into parenthood, and support you, your partner and your baby!

A doula supports, listens, provide informations and resources about body recovery, baby care and will answer all questions you have.


Don't do this alone, accept all the support that comes your way.

You know the saying:


It takes a village to raise a child.

It takes a village to support that child's parent.


Take care,


Claire













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