You're pregnant. Your memory isn't as sharp as it used to be. (News flash, that's called pregnancy brain, and it only turns into mom brain, and never goes away!)
You're wondering how many boxes of diapers you need to buy. Do you need a baby sized snowsuit? What about a baby monitor? Oh, and a changing pad that's also a scale! Oooh, donuts! And pickles. Yeah, me too. What most pregnant women think of at the very last, is what they'll need for themselves once baby comes! You'd be surprised how many things you may actually need after giving birth, and it's much better to have and not need, than to need and have not. After pushing out a literally melon sized baby head, you're gonna need to give your lady bits some special attention. Here are the things that I've purchased for myself for both pregnancies to keep myself comfortable, clean, and healing properly!
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Basket: Not really an essential, per se, but definitely great to hold everything in one place. I mean, are you gonna use a garbage bag or something?
Disposable Undies: For the first couple of days, you won't want to wear and ruin your own undies. I thought the hospital ones were the best thing ever, until I tried the Frida Mom Disposable Postpartum Underwear that my cousin sent me. They are amazingly comfortable. 2023 update: I'm pregnant with my third baby, and for this time around I'll be using these new Mia Boxers by Davin and Adley! I recommend these for maternity (currently wearing them!) and postpartum, and paired with a nice nursing/pumping bra like my favorite, the Amelia Cami.
You can use the code TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD for 10% off at Davin and Adley!
Maxi Pads: You'll probably get a couple from the hospital to bring home, but not a ton. I bought two packs and had some extras to save for later after the bleeding stopped. You'll get your period again eventually and will want them!
Angled Peri Bottle: I got pretty fed up with the standard hospital grade peri bottle. Not only is it at an awkward angle to use, but it's also difficult to get the entire bottle's worth of water out at that angle. This time around I've opted for an angled nozzle.
Breast Pads: I like to keep some of these in several different areas around my home, especially those first few days when you can just spring a leak at any time and need to change your current pads. You want to do that pretty often or you have the possibility of getting thrush if you wear the same wet pads for too long. I speak from experience! First time mom problems.. Hello!
Stool Softener: This one needs little to no explanation. Thank me later. Always check with your OBGYN before taking anything, by the way!
Dermoplast Spray: I've read that you specifically need to use the blue can, as opposed to the red. I was not able to find it at Target, so I ordered mine from Amazon. You can use this by either directly spraying on yourself, or onto the pads. It may sting a little at first, that's to be expected! The sting will be followed by comfortable numbing. Note: after doing some reading, I think if I have another baby that I'll use a much more gentle perineal spray. I've been recommended this set from Earth Mama Organics. I would also probably buy the sitz bath to give it a try, I've never used one of those before.
You can use the code TEACHINGMOTHERHOOD for 15% off at Earth Mama!
Aloe Vera: I like the Target brand clear aloe vera gel, it's nice and cheap! You can just add some to your giant mess of a pad situation, or you can make "padsicles" with it - more on that below. The best part about aloe vera is that it can be used for lots of other things, so anything unused postpartum will surely find another use later on.
Witch Hazel: I like to use this on my pads the first couple of days postpartum. I liked it the most for making "padsicles". I have heard it's also nice on bug bites, but I have not tried that. I do have almost an entire bottle sitting in the bathroom waiting for a new purpose, so maybe we'll try this summer!
Tucks Pads: These are very nice to lay across your Maxi Pads, I used 3-4 at one time. They do have Witch Hazel in them, so if you've got these on you may not need to add any extra. You will get to bring home the little container you're given in the hospital, but it's good to have a couple extra at home.
Extra Strength Tylenol: If you're breastfeeding, Tylenol is one of the safe medications. Be sure to speak to your OBGYN to make sure any medication is good for your and your baby's specific medical situation! I was given the go ahead for Tylenol. I didn't need it much though, especially after my second labor.
These are the only things you really need in the bathroom- The medications and breast pads could probably stay in your room!
How To Make Padsicles: These are a neat little thing to make, whoever came up with this is a genius.
What you need: Maxi Pads, Witch Hazel, Aloe Vera, a spoon, a gallon size Ziploc bag
Open a Maxi Pad, but don't remove the pad from the wrapper.
Take your Witch Hazel and make sure to saturate the pad with it but don't over do it.
Add a generous amount of Aloe Vera onto the center area of the pad, and spread gently.
Fold and re-wrap your pad.
Repeat steps 1-4 until you have several finished pads.
Place the pads into a gallon sized Ziploc bag and store in the freezer until frozen.
Done. Take one when needed and enjoy!
Keep in mind, these are the things I PERSONALLY used. Lots of mamas use other things like epsom salt and a little sitz bath setup, but I don't know anything about those so I didn't include it in my list!
Prepping for baby? I have some helpful information about what baby registry site to use, and what free gifts they offer. I have also made a "do-over" registry, with everything I wish I had registered for with my first baby. Prepare for your hospital stay and outings with baby with my hospital bag checklist and diaper bag checklist as well!
Planning to breastfeed or pump? Take a look at some of my guides for that too.