Preparing to Recover Post Birth

Thankfully when you find out a baby is coming you have nine months to prepare. And there’s a lot to prepare for. Nine months on a roller coaster, preparing for your ideal labor and delivery, preparing for the worst case scenario, and preparing to bring home that little bundle (or bundles) of joy. Having gone through the process once before it’s nice to have at least a little more of an idea what to expect and what I would like to have happen over this wonderful and trying time.

At this point in time I’m doing my best to prepare for the postpartum period. I know I was woefully unprepared for bringing home Sweet Girl, mostly in terms of what I would need myself. Everyone has advice about what the baby will need starting off, so I had all of that gathered and organized. What I wasn’t prepared for was what I would need for a more comfortable recovery period. And recovery is exactly what your body is doing, whether you deliver vaginally or via c-section (which would be even more of a recovery).

As a list maker and avid organizer I am taking this time to think about everything I could want this time around to recover more comfortably. I want to make sure that as baby time gets closer I have my lists and ample time to gather/put together all of my supplies.

First on my list of to-dos to prepare for recovery is actually not something directly for me. It is a page I was given by the hospital when I delivered Sweet Girl to keep track of when she ate, wet, and soiled a diaper.

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I cannot tell you how helpful this was when I got home. My milk took about 5 days to come in, which didn’t help with a jaundiced baby and nervous mom. I used this page night and day for almost 2 weeks so I could get a feel for her output and input. Not to put her on a schedule but so that I could understand her needs as well as if something was possibly wrong. (If you want a copy of this paper shoot me an email, onceitwassimple@gmail.com, and I will find a way to scan it.) This page certainly came in handy at the first couple pediatrician appointments as well as when I needed to see a lactation consultant to get breastfeeding figured out. Super handy and probably one of the things I’m most excited about using when this little one arrives (*organization nerd alert*).

Next on my list of things to prepare for is my own postpartum recovery basket. This one will be put together and kept in the bathroom so everything I need is within reach when I need it. I’ll be completely honest, postpartum bathroom use is rough. Super rough. It hurts to pee, it hurts to poop, and quite frankly it just hurts all the time. So there will be some things I will keep in the basket so I can be as comfortable as possible. For now I’ll just share my list, but I promise when I start assembling the basket I will take lots of pictures and explain everything more fully.

My Postpartum Recovery Basket

  • Cloth pads
  • Postpartum ice pads (kept in freezer)
  • Sitz bath herbs (in glass jar with scoop)
  • Peri bottle
  • Spray bottle with witch hazel & lavender
  • Cloth wipes

Some of these items are pretty self explanatory. Using anything disposable (pads, toilet paper) is so uncomfortable post birth. Especially if you end up tearing or getting an episiotomy. I suggest you look into using at the very least cloth wipes post birth simply for comfort. I love using them all the time so I will already have some on hand for a quick add to the basket. The postpartum ice pads I will be putting together will be similar to the ice packs you get from the hospital, but I will be using washcloths soaked with sitz herbs and witch hazel. I’m really looking forward to using those. And I can promise you, no matter what else you use, the peri bottle will be your best friend. Fill it with warm water, squirt while you pee, after you pee, all the time. It feels incredible.

A second basket I’ll be putting together is a diaper basket. Because I will be using cloth diapers from the very beginning (I AM SO EXCITED! Cute itty bitty bum fluff!) I want to have a basket put together before I’m knee deep in recovery with everything I could need fora few diaper changes. Here’s what on this list:

New Baby Diaper Basket

  • 1 All-In-One diaper
  • 4 prefolds
  • 3 covers
  • 25 cloth wipes
  • Change of clothes
  • Clean blanket
  • Spray bottle for wipes (water, witch hazel, coconut oil, lavender)
  • Wet bag
  • Coconut oil
  • Waterproof diaper pad

I’ll explain this basket more fully when I get it all put together. I don’t want to take up a whole lot of space explaining the types of cloth diapers I will be using on the new baby.

And the final basket I will be putting together will be a breastfeeding basket. This will be significantly smaller than the other two, because I want it to be a little more mobile once I can get up and around a little more.

Breastfeeding Basket

  • Milk catchers (for leaking while feeding)
  • Reusable cloth nursing pads
  • Clean nursing bra
  • Clean shirt
  • 1 clean bottle for milk storage
  • Nipple cream

Again, I’ll explain these in more depth when I get it put together, not for a few more months anyway. But these will be my breast friends for at least a month or more as we settle into the new routine with two nursing babies (Sweet Girl and the new babe).

I have to admit, aside from the nausea in the first trimester, I love being pregnant. It is such an exciting time knowing that my body is creating life and sustaining that life. Knowing that, soon, I will get to meet that beautiful little one. Knowing that we have been so incredibly blessed to be chosen as the parents for this special being.

You can do it mama. You may feel lonely but, I promise, you are never alone.

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