Many people say: I wish I would have known more before I had the baby! There are several things that you can do to prepare yourself and your home for baby’s arrival! Here are a few of the things that I feel are super important.
Ok, so let’s get real! The last thing you want to do after having a baby is cook! Yet, you need healthy and nourishing meals in order for your body to recover and if you are breastfeeding to provide breastmilk to your little one! So, start around 30-32 weeks! Make a meal or two a week and freeze them (make sure to label them too)! Stay away from gassy foods like cabbage and broccoli and spices like curry. That may make baby gassy and that won’t be fun for anyone involved! Making meals is really helpful because all you do is literally take it out of the freezer and pop it in the oven! Not only is it easy but it’s also healthy! It’s the best of both worlds!
Stock up on healthy snacks
Healthy snacks purchased before baby comes – You are going to be hungry!! Maybe even more hungry than you were when you were pregnant (especially if you are breastfeeding). Get snacks in bulk! I promise you won’t regret it! Not only should you get them in bulk but get a few baskets and some snacks in each one and place the around the house where you think you will be nursing. Add a couple bottles of water in the basket too just in case you forget yours! It’s very important to be drinking water while breastfeeding and if you can get a snack in, even better! Nourish your body often and with healthy foods and it will be kind to you in return!
After you push a baby out, the struggle can be real south of the border! Many women get hemorrhoids after giving birth and tucks pads are a great thing to have on hand. They cool and sooth your bottom! They are really inexpensive to which is an added bonus! I do recommend getting the name brand tucks pads and not an off brand. For some reason the name brand ones just work better.
Sitz bath is LIFE after you have a baby! Your vaginal area and perineum will be sensitive, sore and swollen so a sitz bath with help heal and sooth that area! To prepare a sitz bath you can simply mix the following herbs (or as many as you can gather) with approximately 1.5 cups of Epsom salt in a large bowl:
1/4 cup Comfrey Leaf
1/2 cup Lavender Flowers
1/4 cup Plantain Leaf
1/2 cup Red Raspberry Leaf
1/4 cup Yarrow Flower
1/4 cup Calendula Flowers
1/4 cup Uva Ursi Leaf
Once you have stirred up the mix, please 4-5 tablespoons in little sachet bags. Tie the bags up and when you want to take advantage of this amazing blend you simply fill the tub up with warm water 2 inches or so and throw a sachet in. Let the herbs steep into the water for 5 minutes or so and then get in, sit down and let them do their magic! Do that as often as you need to for relief.
Overnight Maxi Pads
Go to a store where you can buy these in bulk. You never know how many you will need. After you give birth you may bleed for quite some time. So having these awesome things will be a benefit! Trust me! There are overnight pads that you can get that are thin and much more comfy yet still very absorbent. You don’t have to wear the huge overnight diaper pads if you aren’t comfortable.
Pad-cycles – It’s a super funny name, I know! But…they are awesome and super easy! All you do is take some of those overnight pads you purchased in bulk and squirt Witch Hazel, Aloe and if your daring some Lavender Essential Oils on them. You then stack them on top of one another in the freezer and use them after you have baby for the first few days. The pads are super absorbent so they are helping because your bleeding, the Witch Hazel is keeping everything clean and disinfected, the Aloe is healing and Soothing and the Lavender is healing also. It’s the TRIFECTA!!
Mesh disposable panties – People don’t realize how incredibly comfy these things are until they wear them for the first time! Typically if you birth at a hospital they have these for you to use while you are there. I always recommend to my clients to ask for more before they go. They cover your whole tummy and just hold everything in place. Plus you can throw them away and not have the hassle of washing them AND you don’t have to worry about ruining your own undies! Don’t worry… if you need more you can always purchase some from Amazon or other retailers!
Breastfeeding Bra or Tank & Pads – Breastfeeding is tricky enough without having to fight with your clothing or constantly leak all over the place. So do yourself a favor and purchase a few breastfeeding tanks and bras as well as pads to place inside the bras to protect against leakage. You will thank me, I promise you that! Plus…they are super comfy! Bonus!
Coconut Oil – No need for fancy nipple creams! Use coconut oil! Apply a small amount to your nipple and areola before and after every feeding to help sooth your nipples! Coconut oil is an antibacterial, anti-viral and an anti-fungal. It’s ok for baby to ingest so you don’t have to worry about washing it off after every feeding like you do with many other nipple creams. And it’s super inexpensive!
Breast pump – I don’t recommend pumping until 4-6 weeks after giving birth unless for some reason you need to. It’s important for your milk to regulate and for baby to get used to breastfeeding (should that be what you choose to do). Introducing another nipple before 4-6 weeks can make breastfeeding more difficult. But, some people aren’t able for one reason or another to breastfeed so making sure that you have a pump on hand (preferably before baby comes) will just have you a step ahead of the game. You never know when you will need it so having it as a just in case just gives you peace of mind! Who doesn’t want peace of mind as a parent!
So… now… you have prepared yourself for your postpartum period! Being prepared for when baby comes home will allow you to enjoy your postpartum period that much more. There will be less to worry and stress about and you can just enjoy time with your little one! You will be able to be still and allow your body time to heal too. So you win, your baby wins and your family wins. You can’t ask for much more than that.