When we are prepping for a new baby to make their debut, we tend to focus on all things baby! Stocking up on bottles. Making sure we have an array of pacifiers, I mean, you never know which one will be the winner. You wash all the tiny clothes, fold up all the swaddle blankets, get the crib totally dressed. And then…. you’re ready.
But are you really ready? And I mean are YOU ready! Sister, this is the start of many years of putting yourself last. But I’m hear to share some secrets with you. There are somethings you are going to need, somethings you are going to want, somethings you are going to wish YOU had picked out and grabbed yourself BEFORE the baby arrived.
So.. I decided to put together a short essentials list of things you will need in order to take care of yourself during this transitional time. And I will go ahead and warn you, this isn’t some glamour post where I am going to tell you to make sure you have the cutest Kimono that you can wear as a robe so that you look like a child birthing, super model in all your, totally candid, snap shots that a professional photog took.. oh I mean that were totally, 100% taken by your cell phone by a family member…
Nope… this ain’t that post sister! We are getting real and unfortunately.. this will NOT be glamours in the least!
Okay, I’m not talking fancy robes here, sis. I’m talking pants that are going to fit loosely around your belly with loose fitting shirts that are comfy enough for you to sleep in but cute enough for friends and family to drop by and see you in. Every friend that I have had that has a baby, I always make sure to buy the baby a gift but I also show up to the hospital with a nice lounge wear set for mama because 9 times out of 10, they didn’t think about themselves!
Yes. Underwear. This may seem silly and you are probably thinking yeah.. I’ve got underwear. But think about this, you’re going back to middle school days of big thick maxi pads. Your tight fitting cheeky undies, are not going to cut it here, friend! Make a run to target, grab a since lounge wear set, and stop in their pantie department while you’re at it! Trust me! Go ahead and go for the high-rise and size up!
Yep, we are going there. Here’s what they don’t tell you. At the hospital, they will give you some really fabulous mesh underwear along with two inch thick puffy pads that start at your belly button and end somewhere near the bottom of your bra in the back. The mesh undies aren’t actually that terrible (feeling), but they are a horrid scene. But the pads…. these are just not okay!!! While you’re at target picking up that lounge wear and several pairs of new high-waisted panties, go over to the feminine product isle and buy you some Always pads with Flex-foam! Once again… TRUST ME! Get two sizes, I suggest a size 3 and a size 5. This way depending on whatcha got going, you will be covered! (and yes… these are feminine pads in sizes.. not diapers- palm to face).
Witch Hazel will be your best friend. If you have a vaginal delivery, you can go ahead and expect swelling, a little tearing probably, and possibly stitches. Witch Hazel helps to sooth and heal. Over in the pharmacy area, you will find this cylinder container that contains these small round pads that have been soaked in Witch Hazel. Put them inside your underwear for some relief, sister. Did I mention this was NOT glamorous?!
Nursing Bra/Sports Bra
Depending if you plan to nurse or not, make sure you have a few different option bras. Nursing bras without an underwire are the best, especially at first. If you decide not to breast feed- gasp.. how dare you… totally yanking your chain, friend. I don’t breast feed and I dare you to come at me with the million and 1 reason why I should. The response you will get from me is a sane mama is a good mama! Formula has made all my babies just healthy enough! back on topic- make sure to have a snug fitting sports bra to act as a binder for your gals! You will need the pressure as your milk is drying up! You may want to go ahead and grab a head of purple cabbage from the produce section just in case you end up not breast feeding. Refrigerated purple cabbage leaves help to dry milk up. You will want to pull the leaves apart and put them in a bowl of water in the fridge. Then…. put leaf on boobs until they wilt and repeat! You will be smelling like straight up coleslaw by the end of this process but the leaves are soothing and do help speed up the process! Phew…. okay! There is that for ya!
Nipple Cream and Nursing Pads
Oh yes. Getting even better. So, I don’t breast feed. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t try with our first son. Your nipples are going to crack, probably bleed, and feel like they are falling off at first. If breast feeding is a passion project for you mama then the nipple cream is going to be your best friend! It will help to keep those babies from drying out and will help you get through that hard, initial breast feeding phase! Nursing pads are an obvious choice for this list, but as a new mom, I did not think about these prior to giving birth for the first time!
Dry Shampoo and Hairspray
Okay, so generally I suggest these two when you go ANYWHERE!! But when you are headed into to have a baby, you are definitely going to want to make sure you are stocked with these two!! I’m headed in to the hospital tomorrow (YES! Tomorrow) at 5am. I will get up around 4am shower, do a good ole hair washing and then the days after that… it will be ALL 100% up to my Champs Conditioning Dry Shampoo to keep this hair looking right!!
Okay, friend! There you have it! I could probably come up with a few more things to put on the list but for now I will leave you with these essential! And one thing I would love for you to hear.. and I mean really HEAR… is that you are not ALONE!! It is so easy for new mama’s or mama’s in general to feel alone and like they have to do it all without asking for help. Take the time to care for yourself in this time too!! Pass the babe off for a little while, take a bath, catch a nap, let your people help you!!!