In today’s guide I’ll be focusing on postpartum care and those first few months.
A lot times we hyper focus on preparing for the new baby. Prepping the nursery, buying 10 different diaper balms and so forth. There are a few things you can do (and buy) to prep for your recovery.
Frida Mom has a whole line of postpartum products that were not around the first time I had my first. You can buy all the items separately, but they also have a few sets available online as well. For most of the items mentioned, you can find on Amazon, Walmart, The Bay, Indigo Online, or Well.ca. The prices are pretty much standard across the board – you just need to double check Amazon pricing as sometimes they do charge more.
Items listed left to right, top to bottom:
- Always Discreet Boutique or Tena
- Lansinol – TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Gel Packs
- Gel Ice Packs
- Frida mom – Perineal Cooling Pad Liners
- Magic Bag
- Tucks Witch Hazel Pads
- Frida mom – instant Ice Maxi Pads
- Frida mom – Foaming Witch Hazel
- Frida mom – Mom washer
If you’re a first time mom, and you just want a few basics or essentials – I recommend grabbing a small pack of adult diapers, the gel icepacks (can be used cool or warm), and the Tucks witch hazel. You can make your own padsicle prior to labor with a large maxi pad, witch hazel (no alcohol), aloe vera and some lavender essential oil. These recommendations are based on a vaginal birth.
The adult diapers just makes things easy and comfortable. You can size up – I purchased my regular size and one size up for bedtime. I liked the diapers because I didn’t really had to worry about leaks. Everyone’s experience is different here but I found that the diaper was sufficient to absorb the postpartum bleeding, and any bladder accidents. So protect your underwear and your bedsheets… get the diapers.
For the Gel Packs, I don’t think you actually need both. I purchased a random set of gel packs on Amazon for my first. I found it helpful for any cold and heat therapy – and it’s something we still use if my toddler has a minor bump, or if I’m trying to keep food and drinks colder in a cooler.
Witch Hazel Therapy. This is very helpful for a sore perineal and any haemorrhoids you may of gotten during labour. The Tucks pads are pretty easy to find, you can always layer them up on your pad. The Frida mom version is a lot longer but only comes with around 20 sheets or so. As for the foaming witch hazel – Frida mom recommends layering the sheet and foam over their instant ice maxi pads.
Instant Ice Maxi Pads. For me this my must have luxury upgrade to the homemade padsicles. I made my own for the first time around and desperately searched online 4 years ago with no luck. I like that these are convenient, prepackaged and ready to go. Plus the pad should be less severely cold than a homemade pad – but after reading some tips, I think a layer of witch hazel pads will help provider a barrier.
Now the mom washer is an upgrade I decided to purchase for the 2nd time around. I’m not sure if something similar was on the market back in 2018, but the hospital did supply me with a basic bottle that was just fine. Note: make sure you take that bottle home with you, you’ll continue to still need it for the next while. With this upgrade, the angle is supposed to make it easier, and it from washing the bottle… it looks like it provides a bigger stream of water that is more similar to an actual shower. I recommend keeping the Frida mom in your primary washroom and the hospital version in another so that you always have a bottle accessible.
For moms with scheduled C-Sections, I would look into the Frida Mom C-Section Recovery Kit. I think you’ll need something that helps with abdominal support, high waisted underwear/disposable underwear.
Other hacks to make your life a little easier…
Consider a mini fridge. This has been one of the most genius ideas I had with the first baby. Not only is it more convenient to get access to frozen padsicles, icepacks, breakfast, cold beverages – its also a great place to store pumped milk or formula. This helps minimize the steps to the fridge – and if you’re recovering from a c-section, you probably don’t want to do too many stairs.
I feel like this is not talked about enough. Something about going through as big as childbirth changes you. It’ll take a while to feel like “yourself”. Everyone’s experience is different here, but I find taking the time to pick up a fun hobby or going on date night without kids really makes a world of a difference.
If you need more help, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider. You can also look into your company’s EAP program or find a therapist to talk to – which may be covered under your health plan.
It’s easy to put off all those appointments. Try to set time for yourself.
Quick workouts. I was lucky enough to get gestational diabetes for the second time around. Now with a summer baby, it can be very challenging to get your walk in after meals when there’s a heat wave – I found that I was able to manage my sugar through following Pamela Reif’s workout videos on YouTube. The videos are usually 12-15 minutes with a range of fun music that makes it less of a chore.
Self Pampering – Adjusted
It’s very easy to forget about yourself. Especially when you’re in survival mode and you have this tiny human to care fore. Now luckily self pampering can take many forms. Below I’ve listed out some ideas for you that take minimal effort.
- New cozy pjs – If you plan on breastfeeding, find a set that is made for nursing. I recommend looking for something that is organic and ideally bamboo. I really enjoy the soft, cool, bouncy material. Pictured on the far right: Carry Maternity’s in house Maternity and Nursing Lounge Set. It’s designed and made in Toronto, petite friendly and doesn’t have any uncomfortable waist bands.
- New robe – I think you can go for a lightweight bamboo robe or a heavier plush robe here. As long as it’s soft and regulates the body heat well. With all that extra time you’ll be spending a home, I think it’s worth the splurge.
- Cozy house slippers – Ugg slippers are a nice treat. They’ll hold up for years and they have many styles to choose from. From time to time, I also notice that Costco sells a few alternatives at a more cost friendly price point.
- New bedsheets/duvet – Maybe I’m recommending this because my existing down duvet is too hot. I’m considering a down alternative from Casper or Endy. I like the idea that it’s more cooling and hypoallergenic.
- Silk pillowcase – I’ve been considering this for some time now. I’m thinking with all that postpartum hair breakage it’ll be a nice treat to keep your hair and skin healthy.
I like that these self pampering options don’t require you to go out of your way to do an extra step. They are all optional and ways you can buy sometimes to treat yourself and make things a little more comfortable at home. Recovery isn’t always easy, so it’s a nice way to treat yourself.