I’ll never forget the third night we were home with Baby C. I was breastfeeding, sore, and completely delirious. I had barely slept, whoever came up with the saying “sleep when the baby sleeps,” is on my list. And I found myself staring down at my screaming newborn at 2 a.m. thinking, I am not prepared for this. What I wish I would have known then, that I am starting to understand now, is that I did have everything I needed I just didn’t know how to use it. Something I’m realizing as time goes on is that a baby isn’t the only thing born in that delivery room, a new mom is as well. That new mother needs to be cared for, watched after, and given time to adjust to this new world just like a newborn.
Time and experience are two of the most important things a new mom needs to become confident and understand the tools she already has to care for her newborn. However, before that confidence can develop there are a few items I found to be extremely helpful in caring for a new mother while they care for their new baby. I have compiled a list of my top 10 new mom essentials to help get you through the first few weeks of newborn life. Not only are these things I found incredibly helpful, but other moms as well.
1. Motrin because well, labor hurts. Pain relievers such as Motrin are a must to help with the soreness. Take what is directed by your doctor and the nurses at the hospital and don’t try to be a hero. If you’re in pain, take something to help relieve the pain. The pain will subside but make sure you are allowing yourself enough time for it to.
2. Tucks Medicated Cooling Wipes were my very best friends. The nurses at the hospital introduced them to me and I am forever grateful. They were cooling and perfect for healing after birth. Use them and love them, trust me.
3. COFFEE because there’s nothing more satisfying then drinking that very first cup of fully caffeinated coffee after giving birth and no longer needing to worry. And let’s be real, you’re going to be requesting caffeine through an IV pretty soon so why not make it delicious?!
4. Boppy Nursing Pillow If you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding this Boppy pillow is so helpful. While breastfeeding, I would use this pillow to help baby C latch and for me to comfortably keep her in place without having to use my arms. I could use my arms to guide her or help her get the best latch possible. After we switched to formula we used the Boppy during feedings as well. We would lie her in the middle and prop her up for her bottle. She loved this position and would stay in it to play afterwards.
5. NETFLIX is an essential new mom tool for your sanity and for your entertainment. Late night feedings are your new reality and if you’re anything like me, I needed something to keep my eyes open and help pass the time. I found that thirty minute sitcoms were best to watch during late night feedings like The Office or Parks and Recreation. It was the perfect amount of time for the baby and kept me entertained too. Win-win.
6. Earth Mama Nipple Butter is necessary for any nursing mama. This has helped multiple friends of mine get more comfortable with and adjusted to breastfeeding.
7. Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray paired with the Tucks medicated cooling pads, this spray was a dream. I used Dermoplast every few hours and could apply it directly to the “area” while putting Tucks on top of a pad. It helped with recovery and really numbed the area to help with any soreness or discomfort.
8. WINE! You have waited nine LONG months for a glass. Drink up mama, you deserve it!
9. CamelBak Water Bottle I mentioned this on my previous blog post about 10 things I wish someone would have told me about newborn life but it’s worth mentioning again. While breastfeeding and during late night feedings I was super thirsty. Not only did I want to constantly have water with me, I realized it was important for the healing process too. It’s so easy to get dehydrated and water will only help get you back to fighting shape and give you the energy you need. I love these water bottles because they’re so easy to drink from when you have a baby attached to you at all times.
10. Lansinoh Breast Therapy Packs These gel packs are perfect for breastfeeding moms. They can be used cold to help with engorgement and then also heated to help relieve plugged ducts. I hope you never experience a plugged duct because they are painful but it’s so helpful having these on hand just in case you experience any discomfort.
Even though this seems like a small list of things to get you through the new transition of becoming a mom they’re all so helpful. What’s important to remember is to be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can and I guarantee it’s one hell of a good job.