Final PostPartum Post: Must Haves

Monday, April 19, 2021

After bringing four babies into the world, I've learned quite a few things about how best to care for my body + my mental health in the fourth trimester.
Tried and true, I compiled an extremely basic and realistic list of items that I've used since my first was born that made my physical postpartum journey comfortable. Keep in mind, all mamas are different, as are our birth stories. For all of my pregnancies with my babies, my postpartum journey has looked fairly similar. Meaning:

I have only given vaginal births. I have never torn or required any type of stitches after delivery. Each of the kids came out with just a couple of strong pushes (minus Ava, my first, I pushed for just about 30 minutes but had some SERIOUS push game in the final two and she arrived promptly after). While I've had an epidural (more than once) I've never had complications due to the epidural or any other medical need during birth (IV line, antibiotics, etc.). Now that I've covered my bases, let's dip into this list. 

After giving birth, I don't really feel sore... my bum feels weird and after having my third, my pelvic area definitely felt like it'd been through the wringer once or twice before. But all in all, I usually feel pretty great. I always shower the same day I deliver and I utilize the hospital postpartum bags, as well as my own because there are just some things that I've found work better than what the hospital provides. If you don't know what you need or where to start, the hospital supplies won't fail you, they just might not provide you the same comfort you have when you know what works best for you.

I'm sure any soon-to-be mama or veteran mama knows that bleeding after birth is inevitable. The hospital supplies you with mesh undies + EXTREMELY OVERSIZED PADS that bunch up and don't really fit in any underwear at all. This is why I've always opted for Always Extra Heavy Overnight Pads. These pads are certainly larger than your normal menstrual pad but they are long enough for postpartum needs without being too much. You can comfortably fit these pads in your normal underwear or the mesh undies and what I like best is that I can stack on a perineal cold back, witch hazel pads, and spray a fair amount of Dermoplast. This is my "postpartum cocktail" for physical care. Your newborn feeds typically, every 1-2 hours (unless they are cluster feeding of course) and that's usually how my body adjusts to using the restroom. So, every couple of hours or 1.5 hours, I'd use the bathroom, I'd use my perineal bottle to cleanse (no wiping for a while, ladies), then I'd change out the pads, put on a new perineal cold back, apply new witch hazel pads on top, and spray that Dermoplast. It's heavenly + it certainly helped get me back tip-top after less than a week or so? After giving birth to Tatum I think I spent like 10 days with this same routine? I honestly think I just rode out all the supplies I had since she's our last. No harm, right? 

While in the hospital, the other essential you'll need and I HIGHLY recommend is using some type of topical nipple cream to aid with those early days of breastfeeding. I have always used Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Cream (lanolin-free, free of GMOs, and totally safe even if it gets in the baby's mouth). This is an item I praise! I have gifted it and used it with each breastfeeding journey I've had. I was surprised at just how badly my nipples took a beating even after having nursed four babies. I'm glad I had it and it helped heal my nipples way faster when I use it consistently! I'd say I used this cream most with Liam and now Tatum for sure. This time around I did try some Frida mom products but really, they weren't much different from what I've already used. I will say Frida Mom Ice Maxi Pads were great because they have an adhesive that sticks to your underwear, unlike the perineal cold packs they give you in the hospital. This just helps with keeping all those products in place a little better but really you can go without if you wanted to. I also tried the Frida Mom Perineal Healing Foam and honestly, witch hazel pads are more effective, more comfortable, and a cleaner ordeal than the spray was for me. 

I have kept my perineal spray bottle with me for weeks after the kids were born and I'll tell you, it's that one inexpensive tool that you just can't go wrong with having. I purchased a 3 set off of amazon for like less than 4 bucks but the hospital will also supply you with one as well. Make sure to use all of your products until they run out! Some mamas might need more, some might need less, I just say there's no use in wasting a good thing while you have it. Even if you think you might not use what the hospital supplies you with, TAKE IT HOME. The hospital tosses out any products left behind (used or unused), so really its only a benefit to you. So, there it is. A completely basic list to make sure you're taking care of that body in the 4th trimester. Argumentatively the roughest trimester there is. 

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