Ever wish someone had given you a list of the very best things to have on hand for the day your baby is born?
Or that you’d have some idea of the things you would need in those first few days after?
Well, I wanted to do that for you!
This is a list of things that will hopefully be helpful to you in those first hours/days after your baby is born. Things that will help you with different pains, discomforts, and other challenges that you often don’t think of until you’re in the thick of it yourself. As well, there are cool hacks and ideas that just might suit your specific situation!
Of course, it’s a little far-reaching to say that I have compiled the VERY BEST things, but as I reached out to a very large group of mommas, I feel like I got a pretty good variety of ideas that will be extremely helpful to you!
These ideas come from moms who have experienced birth, both vaginal and c-section, and have walked the hard road of recovery. They know how crazy painful, uncomfortable, and downright awkward it can all be sometimes. And so, they shared with me their thoughts on what things make for an easier time and a more pleasant experience. Yay for moms!
So here goes, straight from the mouths of moms themselves!
If you’re a FTM (first-time mom), you may not have yet heard this famous phrase: padsicles. Basically, a padsicle is a pad that you treat with some sort of spray or soak (usually containing witch hazel or aloe, some sort of cooling agent) and then throw in the freezer! Essentially, the act of wearing something cold and soothing when your body has just done the hard work of delivering a baby feels amazing. It helps a ton with swelling and pain! This can be done with those heavy duty maxi pads, or even Depends adult diapers (my choice, personally). Awesome thing to do ahead of time when you’re nesting! Here’s an awesome recipe, feel free to tweak as you see fit for your own body!
2) Good Toilet Paper
As one of the mommas commented on my post asking for ideas, many times the toilet paper in the hospital is something akin to tree bark, which is not the best thing when you’ve just delivered a baby, right? Many moms recommended bringing a couple of rolls of your favorite cushy toilet paper to the hospital/birth center with you, or if you plan on delivering at home, splurge for the best stuff to have there for afterwards. Flushable wipes were suggested as well!
3) Postpartum Spray
This follows along the same lines as the first two, but instead of something to wear or wipe with, it’s something soothing you can spray on! A lot of times, the hospital will give you some to take home with you, but not always! Here’s a few different ones you can look at:
There are also many recipes out there to make your own!
4) Good Food
Never has it been more okay to request your favorites! The day before my middle son was born, I had a friend come over and she made me a giant pot of my favorite chunky chicken noodle soup. When my son was born the next day, that soup sustained me for the first few days afterwards! Whether you deliver at home or at the hospital, have someone at the ready to get you the food that you are craving, and also lots and LOTS of snacks. Most likely, you’ll be starving after birth or within a few hours afterwards and you’ll need lots of good, nutrient-filled snacks to keep your energy up for the healing process, especially if you choose to breastfeed. The hospital will have food of course, but they won’t necessarily have snacks for you at 2am when you’re up nursing the baby, or have quite big enough portions for your new-momma appetite!
5) A Good Water Bottle
A lot of times, the hospital will provide you with a giant water bottle, but I found that these had a really hard time keeping my water/postpartum juice cold. Many moms highly recommended investing in a really good water bottle for after baby is born so that you could have nice, cold water easily. For your healing and for nursing, it is so important to stay hydrated! Bonus points if it has a straw so someone can help you while you’re still figuring out breastfeeding positions, or even just trying to figure out how to get comfortable holding a baby! My personal favorite water bottle is the Hydroflask!
6) Your Pillows/Blankets
After you deliver, most likely you’ll be wishing for all the comforts of your own home! One of the ways you can make your space in the hospital more comfortable is with some of your own pillows/blankets. You’ll have a hard time sleeping anyways, with a hospital bed and being checked on constantly, plus the addition of a newborn to your room! But with some good pillows and your favorite blanket, you may just have an easier time! Plus, all those pillows are good for putting around you for snuggling baby/breastfeeding as you try to get situated with different aches and pains. Also, many c-section mommas say that the pressure of having a pillow pressed gently against their incision site was so comforting!
7) Heating Pad/Ice
One of the things I didn’t know when I had my first was about the contractions/afterpains that you have post-delivery. With my first, it wasn’t all that bad, but after my second I basically felt like I was in labor all over again! For about five days after his birth, whenever I would nurse him, I would have contractions that hurt almost as bad as when I was delivering him. I used a hot water bottle pressed against my belly and that helped immensely! Many other mommas suggested the same thing: heating pad, hot water bottle, or other heating devices for that warm comfort! As well, if you have a c-section, alternating heat and ice can provide great comfort to your incision site!
8) Comfortable Underwear
This was another one that most of the moms were unanimous on: the best, most comfortable underwear! Different ideas ranged between granny panties a size up from your normal size to men’s boxer-briefs. Either way, whatever you decide, maybe get a couple different options to try afterwards and see what works for you! Anything you can do to provide some extra comfort and convenience!
9) Help for Basic Tasks
I’m not talking about things like laundry, cleaning, and cooking (although those are necessary things for sure!) but instead I’m talking about the very basics of your own care that you may not realize you’ll need help with in those first few days. Things like getting up and down from your bed, taking a shower, walking to and from the bathroom, picking up baby, and eating/drinking. Depending on how your birth goes, some of these things might be a very real struggle! I remember my midwife helping me shower after my second son was born, and for the first few days my husband had to help me around and obtain things like snacks, drinks, and other needed items when I wasn’t yet up and walking around a lot. No matter your circumstances, make sure you have someone who can help you for that first while as you adjust and heal!
10) Your Own Labor/Delivery Clothes
Many moms prefer to wear their own clothes either during delivery or afterwards, and most hospitals are coming around to this idea! I loved the idea of wearing something that was my own instead of something that had been worn many times before by many different people! There are so many different options out there now, from labor robes, labor dresses, and even labor socks! If you want options, you can do an internet search and find so many different choices, but here’s an example!
I hope that this list gives you some helpful tips! Whether you’re a first-time mom or a momma to many, you never know what you might not have thought of!
What would you add to our list?