You are exhausted. I know.
I'll make this short.
Before showtime, maybe it's a good idea to set aside a little care package for yourself, for when you get home.
Here are some things you may not have registered for that will be nice to have on hand. So run to the store, or send your husband, partner or bff and grab some of these:
- Lansinoh nursing pads. I've tried them all. If you're going disposable, these are the best I know of. Here is the best deal I've found. This should last you at least four months
- Lanolin cream. I use Lansinoh as well, but I don't think the brand matters, as long as it's pure. Lanolin comes from sheep's wool, fyi.
- A night-time nursing bra. My favorite ones cross over in front like these (which you can get lots of places), but there are so many options. Just make sure you have one. Avoid underwire or heavy synthetic fabrics (like sports bras) for the night time. They can be too restrictive and cause clogged ducts.
- Ask your OB about a prescription for APNO cream. It stands for 'all purpose nipple ointment' and it is amazing. It's a kind of antibiotic mix that is completely safe for baby. If your nipples crack, this stuff fixes them right up. Also, you can use it for a yeast infection for yourself or baby. Always listen to your doctor's and pharmacist's recommendations on this.
for your body
- Reusable cold packs, like these. They are great for a swollen and stretched perineum. Make sure there's a layer of something between your skin and the cold pack, though.
- A wet-heating pad, like this. Again, the brand doesn't matter that I know of, just make sure it can do wet or dry. These are wonderful for sore breasts when your milk comes in.
- If the hospital doesn't give you one, invest in a big water bottle. I suggest something with a bendy straw so you can drink without having to sit all the way up. Breast milk is a product of blood. Blood is made mostly of water. No water, no milk, so drink up!
for your sanity
- A little journal* and a good pen. (I've explained this more below)
- Freezer meals. When your friends ask what they can do to help, just ask for a freezer meal or to have them bring dinner by on a specific night. They will be relieved to know they are doing you a service that you need and you will be thankful to not cook. Make sure they know of any food allergies and to avoid spicy seasonings, heavy dairy, and keep it high in protein and fiber.
- A postpartum doula (or trusted friend) check-up. Your partner is great. But he or she needs support, too. Make sure someone you know and trust can come over to check on you both, throw in a load of laundry, get dinner going, and hear about how you're feeling and see to any needs you both may have. If you have a mom or family member coming to stay with you, awesome. Additional support is up to you. But make sure you have someone outside of the baby's other parent.
This little kit should help you get started. Feel free to ask friends that are also moms to see what they thought was nice to have when they came home from the hospital. I'd also love to hear what worked for you. Maybe consider writing yourself a little note of encouragement that starts something like, "Dear mommy...or Dear Future Self..." It might be nice to congratulate yourself for a job well done. Remind yourself from a more stable state that you can do this whole parenting thing.
Finally, consider writing yourself a little note of encouragement that starts something like, "Dear mommy...or Dear Future Self..." It might be nice to congratulate yourself for a job well done. Remind yourself from a more stable state that you can do this whole parenting thing.
Because, darlin', you can.
*The little journal is for the express purpose of writing things down when you think of them. Welcome to the world of parenthood. Your mind will never be your own again, and having a little journal can be a way to deal with that, especially in the early, sleep-zombie stage. May I advise you get into that habit, now? You may like to log when baby eats, for how long, and on what side. That way, if you forget what side to start baby on next, just check the journal. You may also want to record how many diapers, and what they look like for the first few weeks. If you have any questions for the pediatrician, I can almost guarantee you she will ask about baby's diapers. Also, if you jot down something you'd like to have from the store or a question for the doctor, when you need any of that info again, you'll know right where to go.