The arrival of a new baby is such an exciting time in any woman's life. But, it can also be overwhelming. Often we are so focused on making sure we have everything for the baby that we forget to take care of ourselves. There are a few things you'll want to have on hand for after you deliver. Use this list as a guide so you can take care of yourself after the delivery.
1. Pain reliever
After nine months of not taking any pain relievers (or maybe just Tylenol) make sure you stock up on something a little stronger, like Ibuprofen. If you have some in the house already, check to be sure it hasn't expired during the nine months you weren't taking it. If you have a c-section, you may get a prescription for something stronger, but it's always good to have regular pain reliever in the house as well.
2. Sanitary pads
You haven't needed them for over nine months but now you will. Most women bleed for two to six weeks postpartum, so it helps to have a variety of sizes and kinds of pads around. (Tampons are not allowed after giving birth, regardless of how you deliver.)
3. Witch Hazel pads and small ice packs
No matter how you deliver your baby, you'll be dealing with soreness and discomfort for a little while after the birth. For soreness after vaginal delivery, have witch hazel pads on hand. Put them between your body and a sanitary pad, and you'll likely find some relief. You can do the same with small ice packs like these non-toxic ones that don't sweat. Or you can put the witch hazel pads in the fridge for the best of both worlds.
Having a newborn in the house usually means being busy nearly every minute of the day. It's often difficult to find time to eat so it's helpful to stock up on snacks and easy to eat foods that you can grab quickly. Things like muffins, trail mix, granola bars, and fruits and veggies are great to have around. If you have time before baby arrives, prepare some meals to freeze. And, once the baby arrives, consider using a supermarket delivery service to eliminate a chore and make things easier on yourself and your partner.
Fiber is important in every diet, but after you deliver your baby you want to make sure you're getting enough fiber to keep things moving smoothly through your body. (This is especially important if you've had a c-section!) Stock up on easy to grab and eat fiber rich foods like apples, pears, almonds, pecans, bran cereal or bran muffins. If you're eating a well-balanced diet and things still aren't moving, you might want to try a fiber supplement that you can mix with water.
6. Reusable Water Bottle
You're probably used to drinking lots of water like you did during your pregnancy. Now that you have an outside baby, it's just as important to keep hydrated--especially if you're breastfeeding. So, fill up that water bottle and keep it with you all day!
7. Breastfeeding Gear
The early days of breastfeeding can be challenging so it helps to have everything you might need already on hand. This includes things like breast pads, nipple cream and breast milk storage bags. That way, if you encounter any difficulties, you won't have to run out and get all the extra gear.
8. DVDs for night feedings
You'll likely be up with your baby a few times each night. While these night feedings are a great time to cuddle and bond with your baby, you might also want something else to focus on to help keep you awake! Stock up on some new DVDs, use your TV's free On Demand services or subscribe to Netflix or Amazon Prime.
9. Comfy Clothes
Although this one seems like a no-brainer, there are a few things to think about when dressing your postpartum body--underwear, for one. Make sure you have a few pairs that you don't care about, as you'll likely bleed for two to six weeks after delivery. And, it's good to have a few higher-waisted ones or very low ones that will not interfere with a healing c-section incision. And, most new moms don't fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes right away. You might be sick of your maternity clothes though, so having a few loose, non-maternity items like this awesome nursing tank from Boob Design. It's cute, comfortable and functional!
Last, but certainly not least, you're going to need support in those first few weeks of parenthood. Whether it's your first child or your fourth child, life changes when a new baby is brought into the family. Make sure you have your partner, parents or friends around to help with the transition.