5 must-haves for postpartum recovery
After having two boys, two weeks ago yesterday I got my baby girl. Life has been a whirlwind of tutus and bows already because this mom was more than ready for pink! But, now having had three, I have found some particular things that have helped me to get through those first couple weeks of recovery, and I wanted to share... even if it just means I won't forget to have them on hand next time. :)
Usually referred to by their brand name, Moby, these soft jersey baby carrier wraps are a lifesaver when it comes to toting a baby around. There's many different positions you can use, and there's no fussing about sizing.
Whereas she now loves to be carried in one, I've kept myself on bed rest these first two weeks to allow us time to recover and get used to the little routines of baby life. The reason I have this wrap on my list is because I have used it (this time and last) for postpartum belly-binding, a technique used in India to help moms' abs heal and recover good posture. My mommy belly has gone down much faster using it and my diastasis recti was gone by 6 weeks with my son. My version of the technique is slightly different, just because the fabric is thicker than what is traditionally used. I hope to do an article soon on how I use it.
The extra perk to Moby-type wraps is the they can also be used for prenatal belly support. Video on that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAH6Pme9n9U
(PS) I did not buy a Moby brand wrap. I made my own using a no-sew tutorial that I can't seem to find right now. All I did was get 7 yds of 80/20 polyester-cotton fabric from Joann's, cut it in thirds all the way down so I had 3 7-yd long strips. That's it! 3 "Moby wraps" for about $7 each. I gave one with my sister and have a backup.
2. Always Ultra Thin Overnight Maxi Pads with wings
I don't why, but I always seem to forget about these. I remember the giant bulky pads you need for the first couple days. You know, the ones that would work in a pinch if you chopped off your arm? I forget about how you end up needing coverage for weeks after and don't want to go out and about looking like you stuffed a burrito in your pants.
I realized this on about day 4 and ran into the dilemma that I have yet to send my husband to the store for pads. I mean, let's be honest, the pads I had coming into our marriage were more than sufficient for the two periods I've had since getting married. I have three under three... not a lot of time for Aunt Flo to come for a visit. I was trying to figure out what to do because, despite how wonderful he is, my husband would be totally overwhelmed walking into THAT section of the store.
Then my sister called and asked if she could come up to visit in a couple days. "YES!! And... can you get me pads?" Sister to the rescue, and she got me the best thing out there. I love these!! No worrying if your baby has refused to give up the boob for 2 hrs without waking up and screaming, therefore rendering a bathroom break impossible. You are covered. And you're not sitting on an awkwardly placed totally uncomfortable wad of faux cotton.
3. Microfiber Cloth Diaper Inserts
Ok, so this is totally a matter of I found this helpful because it is what I had on hand... not because it's the ideal product for this...
No matter how wonderful the commercial pads are, at least for me, long-term use always brings irritation with it. Even after just 5 days of a period, I am pretty desperate to be done. Postpartum... not fun. About a week in, I needed another alternative and this is what I had. And, honestly, they worked great. Again, I was in bed, so I wasn't moving around or worrying about how they looked under my pants.
Next time, I plan on getting cloth pads, preferably some charcoal ones like these:
This baby is my second born at home with a midwife (my second decided to come 6 weeks early, so he was born in the hospital). I didn't know about arnica with my oldest, but my midwife gave this to me this time and it was a lifesaver! Due to how she was positioned, my baby ended up pushing into my hips rather than where she was supposed to go for about 4 hrs of transition-level contractions before we convinced her to turn. Consequently, my hips have been incredibly sore. If I am not laying in such a way to take as much weight off them as possible, I find myself subconsciously holding my weight up in my arms, which makes my shoulders and upper back sore.
My only relief has been this homeopathic ointment made from arnica, aka leopard's bane. I had never heard of it before, but it helps with muscle soreness, bruising, and swelling from injuries. It's totally safe, so I can use whatever is left after this is all over for bruising on my toddler's head (he's still figuring out the walking thing) and my husband's sore muscles after work.
My midwife also gave it to me to take internally in the form of tablets that you melt under your tongue. This has really helped with postpartum cramping (which is much worse than it was with either of my boys) and any other pain. It acts like a tylenol by taking the edge off and making it easier to cope. Since I am nursing, I try to do what I can to avoid medication, so this is a great place to start before resorting to ibuprofen. There's also a smaller wait period between doses, which is a blessing. Note: you take 4 of these super tiny tablets each time, so the 250-ct bottle is smaller than you would think.
My midwive recommended these to me for acid reflux, which I had super super bad with this baby. Of course, once she was born we knew why! She has the cutest little head of full dark hair. It sounded like a great alternative to the baking soda water I had been using and decided to try it out.
OMGoodness!! Literally two seconds after taking 2-3 of these, the acid reflux was gone! They taste and act comparably to Tums, but are 100% natural. And there's no limit to these puppies. I needed that aspect because I would get acid reflux when waking up in the morning, when drinking water, when I was hungry, when I had just ate... ugh. It was bad. I ate them so much my toddler called them "Mommy candy." LOL
But no one told me the reflux would last through postpartum... plus nausea. Thankfully, this bottle is huge, so I had a solution. And now even my husband pops a few when his tummy is upset (which is frequently.) If you ever use Tums for anything, check these out!
And there you have it! My top 5 products for postpartum recovery. Stay tuned for my next article on my top 5 services for new baby parents.