What to Have on Hand for Yourself After Baby is Born

I realize I haven't posted in a bit but really I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. A combination of staying at my parents while waiting for Baby Girl to arrive, a family emergency involving my father in law being hospitalized overseas while on vacation, and the baby finally coming kept me away from my computer longer than I expected.

Our newest wee one arrived on May 16th after a brief induced labor. It was the first time I've made it this far- 39 weeks. She was 7 lbs, 3 oz and it is strange to see her wearing outfits that didn't fit her older sister until she was 6 weeks old! She's eating well and I'm happy to say I had my 3rd natural childbirth.

There are lists upon lists out there of what to buy for baby and getting ready to bring baby home. But what about mom? In preparation for my 3rd child I knew what to have on hand so for the uninitiated here is a list of basics that are good to have waiting for you at home. (I apologize in advance if some of this contains TMI.)

- Tylenol
- Motrin (this helps with inflammation and can also help with breast tenderness and inflammation if you become engorged)
- Stool softener (ahh- yes the not so pleasant fun of post natal life that no one likes to talk about. You may have to get stitches. And if you do you'll be happy you had these on hand.)
- Pads. (There will be bleeding. Have them on hand.)
- Instant heat packs or a hot water bottle. Helpful for both bottom pain and breast pain.
- Ice packs. Same deal- bottom and breast engorgement.
- A bucket. (There is something about hormone readjustment after birth that can make some women relive their first trimester nausea. Sadly, I am one of them. So I keep a bucket nearby.)
- A hand pump. (Many breastfeeding mothers will rent a hospital grade pump. These are great. However, in the first few weeks as your nipples adjust to their new job they may be too tender for the pump. I found that a hand pump allowed me to relieve some pressure without feeling like I needed to bite down on a leather strap. I particularly like the Avent handpump. )
- Tank tops. (I was never one to spend a lot on nursing shirts/bras. I have two bras but let's be realistic. If I'm at home I probably am just going to have my shirt pulled down. Tank tops work great, pick up a few cheap and you won't care when you're covered in spitup and leaking milk. )
- Food. Breastfeeding makes me ravenous so I stocked the cupboards ahead of time with one handed snacks like granola bars (I made mine using this recipe), presliced and frozen homemade loaves of bread that I could microwave one at a time, popsicles (they make me happy and are easier to eat than ice cream) and loads of cut up fruit. I also made some mason jar salads for quick lunches.

Hope this helps soon to be moms out there. It will all even out in the first few weeks. (If it counts for anything I am typing this with a Mombo pillow around me and am currently breastfeeding.) What did you like to have on hand for after birth?

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