Thursday, March 22, 2018

Postpartum Shopping List!

As I transition from pregnancy to motherhood I’ve experienced a crash course in everything postpartum and what motherhood has to offer. There are few items on my new mommy must have list that I’ve found helpful during this transition and I wanted to share with all of you. I am by no means an expert but having the knowledge I have now would have been helpful during the first couple weeks of my pregnancy. I owe a special thanks to all my girlfriends and family members that have given me all the helpful hints to make motherhood a little easier.

1. Fisher Price Newborn Rock N' Play Sleeper
Now I know there are all kinds of swings, chairs, and bouncers for baby, and I have several at my disposal but, the only one my little guy will even tolerate is the Rock’N Play Sleeper. I received the sleeper as a gift from a girlfriend, who told me before I even made my registry that she bought me this gift because it was the only thing that settled her baby down. It was a must have. Of course she didn’t tell me what it was until I unwrapped it and good news for her was I didn’t even have anything like this on my registry, boy am I glad she gifted it. The sleeper literally is a godsend. It has a vibrating feature that calms baby and it rocks as well when he’s extra fussy. It also is the only thing he will sleep in apart from his bassinet and sometimes that's a challenge. I’ve discovered my son is a roller, he likes to roll and sleep on his side, in his bassinet he has discovered the perfect groove for his rolly polly body. Although he has yet to find it in the pack and play so for mid day naps (and the occasional sleepless nights) I will put him in the sleeper. He can’t roll or move too much so there isn’t fear of potential SIDS, (which as a new mommy is my new constant fear keeping me up at night),  The Rock’ N Play is designed like a tight little hammock that he just loves! So if you find you have a high maintenance baby like mine try the Rock’ N Play Sleeper, you’ll thank me later.
2. Soothies
As a first time mommy, didn't realize there was different designed pacifiers. I only had the normal pacifiers that your used to seeing everywhere. I did not realize and had to learn quickly that it was too big for an infant to suck on. JR would simply not take it. It was not until I was going through the bag of goodies the hospital gave us when we left that I found a little teal pacifier. This pacifier was an easier shape for JR to handle. I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t realize the difference. I’ll be sure to leave a picture below for all my first time clueless mommies like me!  
3. Gripe Water
This is a safe remedy my BFF told me about that helps Gas, Colic, and Hiccups. JR sometimes has a hard time passing gas or a bowel movement for that matter, which leads to him getting fussy and uncomfortable. He also gets the hiccups at least once a day, and they last a while hindering him from relaxing to take a nap or sometimes feed. When I was venting to my BFF about this she told me to try Gripe Water, thank goodness I did. It really helps my little guy out when his little bodily functions are not cooperating. A comfortable baby is a happy baby and this remedy helps keep him comfy and peaceful and that's all a mom could ask for.
4. Postpartum Cooling Packs
This is my #1 must have item for new mommies. Everyone prepares you for boob care with lotions, pads, and cooling packs, but not one of my fellow mom’s told me about care for your nether region. If you have a vaginal birth, you are very sore. Like can’t move or sit sore and at the hospital they give you ice packs that double as a pad for relief, but when you get home you are screwed. I had no idea how to stay cool and dry down there. Even my engineer husband was stumped on what we could DIY ourselves. So I did the next logical thing, did a search on Amazon and found Postpartum cooling packs. The one I bought came with 2 reusable ice packs and five washable, red sleeves that help absorb any of the bleeding you may experience after birth. This product is TMI but if your a first time mommy this will make the first 2 weeks of recovery bearable. Your already suffering from sleep deprivation, why suffer anywhere else!?  
5. Poise Pads
Focusing on your nether region for a little longer, after birth it’s no surprise that you bleed for up to 6 weeks after birth. At the hospital they give you these ginormus pads that I have no idea who they are made for and again when you get home your left fending for yourself. Now if you are like me and are used to wearing tampons, a pad is so uncomfortable especially a giant one. When I went shopping for pads when I got home, I wanted something less bulky and went for the super absorbent, but thin, Always Overnights (with wings)!  Here is the problem with regular pads, they have an almost plastic like layer that is extremely uncomfortable and irritated my already sore nether region. Silly me I didn’t realize I needed something soft and absorbent. Again shout out to my amazing BFF she actually gave me a package of Poise Pads that looked more like panty liners on the packaging so I assumed they were for later on in recovery, they weren’t, they actually were what I needed. Thin, but super absorbent and soft. If you’re like me and not sure what brand to go for here is a #protip!
6. My Brest Friend
I, like many new mommy’s, was told to register for a Boppy to help with breastfeeding, and I’m here to tell you, DON’T! It’s all about My Brest Friend. I found the Boppy to be too small to wrap around my midsection and it was not giving the proper support to JR when feeding. I found I had to stack up extra pillows for a more comfortable position. I resorted to just using pillows until my wonderful sister-in-law who just had my niece 4 months ago told me all about the My Brest Friend. She swore by it, so naturally to make breastfeeding a little more comfortable I purchased one from Amazon, (thank goodness for all those gift cards). MBF is really a great product, it not only makes breast feeding comfortable for baby it also makes it comfortable for mommy. It wraps all around your body offering a nice back support that makes it easy to feed in any chair, or bed. The design also supports baby in the perfect breastfeeding position. I have a little wiggle monster who will thrash and pull on my nipple in his attempt to get comfortable, this pillow eliminates that. If your like me and registered for a Boppy, return it and use the money for a My Brest Friend, worth every penny!
7. Lanolin Cream
Now I know every new mommy knows about Lanolin Cream, and you even get a tube at the hospital. All I wanted to say is when it comes to nipple cream stay brand loyal. I actually registered for a different brand of nipple cream and realized that it does not work as well as the actual Lanolin Cream brand. It didn’t help keep them moisturized they just always felt dry and chaffed. Take my advice and stick to the trusted brand.
8. Baby Sleeper
Everyone buys you baby clothes, and being a fashionista I am all about the cute little outfits for baby. However I will confess for the first couple of weeks a sleeper is the only fashion item on my baby boy. I actually had to go and purchase more because I only had three and they were not enough. Cute outfits for baby are great but for those first couple of weeks when it's just you and baby at home with no place to go or things to do besides snuggle, a sleeper makes life so much easier. It also makes diaper changes easier so you don’t have to worry about pants or other layers. I live in a cold weather climate in Cleveland and sleepers come footed to keep babies feet warm so you don’t have to worry about socks falling off either. It’s the perfect stay at home garment and its all you need in the beginning. I wish I stocked up on more because that is all JR wears unless we leave the house to be social, which has been once in six weeks.  
9. Rocker Recliner
The rocking chair is a nursery staple. I find the traditional glider that is found in most nursery’s is uncomfortable after sitting on it for several hours. It wasn’t something I was looking to buy but I knew I needed a rocking chair to help sooth my little guy. Then while getting a tour of a friend of ours new home I saw that my girlfriend had a big fluffy rocker recliner in her daughter's nursery. She explained that she hated the traditional rocking chairs as well and opted for something more comfortable. Having a rocker recliner allows you to sit comfortably while feeding with support and for those rough nights when it feels baby will never fall asleep unless their in your arms, having the ability to recline and get rest yourself is a wonderful thing, trust me I know from experience. I know a recliner can be kind of bulky and take up a lot of space in a nursery but they come in a variety of colors and fabrics and will fit into any nursery design. My girlfriend had a nice cream colored one for her daughters room and I opted for a dark charcoal gray for my sons classic mustang room.   
10. Two of Everything
If you live in a two story home like myself it helps to have two of everything, one for upstairs, one for down stairs. From a changing area to little comforts for me like lanolin cream, chapstick, or a water bottle. I have a mom and baby area set up on my first floor and second floor. It makes it easy when it's late at night and you find you left the lanolin cream downstairs or a pacifier to soothe baby, it creates a less of leg work for mom and a happy baby. By creating these areas on both stories of my house it's easy to have what I need when I need it that way I can focus more on baby and myself and not sweat the little things.
11. Hands Free Breast Pump Bustier
This item was something I saw when I was making my registry but I didn’t think I needed it. Boy was I wrong. When you start pumping it can be time consuming. That's 20-30 min. that you could be eating because baby is asleep or in my case blogging. The first time I pumped I learned real quick that I could be more efficient with my time with my hands free. Because let’s face it, with a newborn that needs your undivided attention most of the time every second counts. I especially like it in the morning hours when I need to eat and pump but I want to get some more sleep, it definitely aids in helping me get more sleep. So if your like me and thought this was an item you didn’t need, take my advice and get yourself one asap. I like the Lansinoh brand because its adjustable, I found mine at Target.   
12. Encapsulated Placenta
The last item on my list are my Placenta pills. This item is a little taboo and its benefits are debatable but for me it was something I really wanted for my postpartum health. The benefits of consuming your placenta are not proven. Although some studies have shown that it decreases postpartum depression, it increase milk production, and gives certain nutrients back to your baby. To have a supplement that could potentially help my mental health after baby was the biggest draw for me. When I got married to my husband I found myself in a state of depression. It wasn’t because I didn’t love my husband or I didn’t want to be married, I think it was more of the expectations of being a wife and a partner and provider for someone else other than myself. With help from my therapist I was able to overcome these feelings but the fear that they might creep back up after I bring a human being in the world has me taking any help I can get. Consuming my placenta is more of a holistic approach to overcoming those postpartum blues. When you have a child that you’re breastfeeding for you really start to look at the things you consume and how it will effect your child. I wanted something natural. It  doesn’t get any more natural than the thing I spent 9 months carrying around along with my baby boy. There are some risks in encapsulating your placenta, if it is not done properly it can cause a bacterial infection in your breast milk and ultimately in your new baby. That's why it’s important to do your research and ask a lot of questions and meet and talk to professionals who will be encapsulating the placenta. I was referred to the Womb Wellness Center in Solon, OH. I talked to both the owner and the woman who was encapsulating my placenta and ultimately felt comfortable and confident that they would create a great supplement for me. I’m not sure how effective it is because I have nothing to compare it to. My husband did notice my daily outburst of randomly crying for no reason ended the day I got my pills, needless to say he’s convinced. If you find that you are interested in something like this for your postpartum plan please feel free to message me and I’d be happy to help and answer questions, I’m no expert but I can share my experience in hopes that it helps.

I could really go on with this list but I narrowed it down to a dozen in hopes it helps any new mama out there. I’m sure there are new things in motherhood to learn about everyday so if you have any helpful hints as baby grows I welcome them and if I’ve left anything out you as a new mama have to share leave a comment in hopes we can all help a new mom out. It takes a village to raise a child and I love hearing from other moms and sharing my thoughts and opinions as well.

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