Warning: This is, admittedly, a “Girls Only” type of post. I’m not going to pay the therapy bills for any of my male friends/family members who read this. Just saying.
I realized just now that all of the “necessaries” I listed in my last post had to do with baby stuff. Totally forgot about things for the mom! That’s what happens– you forget all about yourself and think only about the baby 🙂
But, just in case you have a moment for yourself, here are a few things I found helpful during and after pregnancy. Some are what others recommended to me, others are things I discovered out of dire necessity!
Vitamin E capsules: There are a lot of stretch mark prevention creams out there, and everyone told me they can’t do a thing when battling genetics. I’m not sure if that’s true– all I know, is that I used these and don’t have a single stretch mark from my pregnancy. Not one. So believe what you want! Instead of buying Vitamin E lotion, where the vitamin is watered down, I punctured 5-6 capsules with a hairpin and rubbed them all over the giant whale belly. I also tried a generic jojoba/shea butter cream, but I had an allergic reaction and stopped using it.
Lansinoh Cream: I started out with a vegan “Earth Mama Angel Baby” jar, thinking I would try to be all natural and avoid Lansolin. It became apparent, however, that a small ingestion of Lansolin for G was better than me giving up on breastfeeding. I used to call this “Nipple Glue”. It also helps to put some on before showering, since it acts like a shield against the water.
Tucks’ Witch Hazel pads: I think I cried the first time I ran out of these. They are amazing. Before giving birth, it’s helpful to wet and freeze a couple of maxi pads. During postpartum recovery, you line your underwear (or your “Depends”, depending on how many days it’s been!) with one of the “ice packs”. Then, you line the ice pack with a few of these witch hazel pads. Sooo nice! While you’re at it, you might want to pick up some Tucks Hemorrhoid Cream, seeing as these are almost a given after pushing a baby out. Sorry, it’s true 😦
Breast Therapy Ice/Hot Packs: The first few days of breastfeeding are super painful. Picture acquiring 3 breastcup sizes in 12 hours! They sell round ice packs, although leaving them on too long can stunt milk supply. Some even come with herbal salve sleeves (say that 10x fast!).
Nursing Bra: Don’t buy any until a week or two after your milk comes in! I was so uncomfortable that I bought one on Day 3. Things have…calmed down since then, and it no longer fits 🙂 Just buy something with elastic and wait it out, or you’ll probably be wasting money! On average, if my memory serves me right, the average woman goes up 2-3 cup sizes while breastfeeding.
Nursing Bra Pads: You’ll need a ton of these. I change them often because it’s unhygenic otherwise. And you won’t like it when you hear a baby crying at the supermarket and all of a sudden your shirt is soaked through! It’s not a rumor– it’s a fact. I heard that the washable ones don’t work, so I’ve never tried them. All I know is that they are a daily necessity! If there’s a sale, stock up!
Nursing shawl or cover: I got one that’s “poncho-like”, but I had to wait to use it until G could latch without my help because it’s hard to see anything.
Shoes with a comfy arch: I actually know someone who lost the arch in their foot as a result of pregnancy! Those last few days before having G, I couldn’t walk a step without my comfy Nike sandals. Actually, walking in general was just painful! I had to count my steps and make sure I didn’t exceed 50 a day, or I’d be crying by evening!
Beer! Totally helps your milk “let down”.