Thursday, July 14, 2016

How I Prepare for Baby: {Postpartum Care}

Now that I've talked about what I prepare for my hospital bag, and stockpile for the house, I also have a separate list for things I personally need for my postpartum care.

First, I do want to say that it's going to hurt. If you delivered vaginally, it will hurt. If you used pain medicine, it will hurt. If you did it all natural, it will hurt. If it's your first baby, it will hurt. If it's your 10th baby, it will hurt. It will hurt to laugh, cough, cry, sneeze, and just about anything that is not lying or sitting still. Plan on it now! I'm not sure what it feels like after a C-section personally, but I'm sure it's another form of the same pain.

Second, you will bleed a lot. Your body did not lose any blood for 9 months, and you even increased your blood volume during pregnancy. Plan on losing tons of blood for several days. It will be new and bright red blood. It'll be old and brown blood. It'll be a mixture of the two. Just keep in mind any postpartum care tips from your doctor to be your guide for if you need to be seen. Lots of really large clots, unusual smells, etc. are a good reason to check the care instructions. And if you're a first time mom, know that you can call your doctor's office at any point with questions about that. That's part of their job!

When it comes to after care, I know there's a very popular thing known as padsicles. I get to use ice packs at the hospital, but I was told after Jillian's birth that it wasn't good to do it for a long time. With that in mind, I used them up until I leave the hospital, then do my own little concoction that does not involve cold. Whether or not that advice was sound, I've not had a hard time with my own postpartum care. I use Always pads because I like them best. I buy the super heavy overnight extra long with wings. Basically, it's the huge, thick purple wrapped ones that should be called "The Big Kahuna." Some people have suggested getting Depends or another brand of adult diapers. You can do that, but mesh panties with these pads have worked for me, and I haven't lost any pants or underwear to staining. I place the pad in the underwear, and line up 4 Tucks witch hazel pads in line the overlaps. I use the perineal bottle to rinse off, pat dry with toilet paper, then spray myself down with the Dermoplast. {You MUST use the blue cap kind. If you get the red cap kind, it will burn to the high heavens. Trust me.} After that, I pull up the new pad, and off I go! After David's delivery, I had bought a large pack of Tucks Pads, but I didn't get through half of it before I didn't need them anymore. This time, I just got a regular size.

As I mention periodically, I had a breast reduction surgery in 2007. Because of this procedure, and how it was performed on me, I cannot breastfeed exclusively. I usually only have a somewhat usable supply for about 4-5 weeks max. Trust me, no tea or cookie will help. I've tried many things, as well as consulted with a lactation specialist, and it's just my reality. Because I do have a supply, I still need things like nursing pads, lanolin, milk bags for storage, and I have some reusable ice packs to help with engorgement.

On top of all that, I like to make sure I have at least one of every toiletry item I need. That way, I don't run out of shampoo 3 days after giving birth! I added my vitamins and calcium supplement because it's good to take those all the time. Plus, my body will need to be replenished once the baby is earthside. And I added the stool softener out of precaution. No matter how many times you give birth, that is a tough hurdle to get over!

Here is my postpartum checklist

_Pads (3)
_Tucks Pads (1)
_Dermoplast (1)
_Lanolin Cream (1)
_Nursing Pads (4)
_Ice Packs for Breastfeeding (1)
_Breastfeeding Bags (100 Count)
_Shampoo (1)
_Conditioner (1)
_Body Soap (1)
_Loufa (1)
_Toothpaste (1)
_Deodorant (2)
_Prenatal Vitamins (2)
_Stool Softener (1)
_Calcium (1)

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