project baby {post-partum essentials}

PostPartem_Essentials

much like my pregnancy essentials post, this was a long time coming…

one thing that I really didn’t think about too much when I was pregnant was not being pregnant. & by that, I mean, I didn’t really think about post-partum recovery. I assumed that since I was a low-risk pregnancy & that a c-section was not likely in the cards for me that I would bounce back to normal pretty quickly. whatever normal means once you have a newborn that is. oh boy was I wrong. just because I wasn’t recovering from major abdominal surgery (which is what a c-section is!) doesn’t mean I didn’t have a recovery period. birthing a child is no small feat!

even though I am the type of person who gets dressed & ready every day (nope, I do not hang out in my yoga pants all day, even if eloise & I don’t leave the house!) I definitely focused on comfort for those first few weeks.

{one} comfy pants & shorts. it was the summer when I had eloise & it was very hot so I mostly wore t-shirts & comfy, loose pants or shorts. I focused on drawstring or elastic-waisted things which were fortunately starting to be on-trend last year (I stocked up on a few pairs that I wore at the end of my pregnancy & then into post-partum). I was particularly fond of these Gilligan & O’Malley Knit Pajama Pants that I picked up at Target for my hospital bag. I wore them home from the hospital & they quickly became a favorite. I didn’t want anything tight or clingy around my mid-section for a while, so elastic was my best friend for those first few weeks!

{two} lalabu nursing tank. this is actually a tank that I didn’t get until eloise was a few months old, but I wish I would have had it as soon as she was born! it is a nursing tank with lots of great features including a long length, thick material, & the ability to be worn with or without a bra. but the best feature is the little pocket in the front that is meant for holding baby. since it isn’t a baby carrier per se, you still have to support baby a lot, but it is nice to tuck that little one right near you without the fuss of a moby wrap or ergo. I wore it long after eloise had outgrown that little pouch pocket, especially when I traveled or at nighttime since it was so easy to nurse in. the only downside I found was that the top of the pouch doesn’t really stay flat under your shirt, so sometimes it looks a little wonky.

{three} nursing tank. I had a few simple nursing tanks from Target but I never really liked them too much. they were ill-fitting & seemed redundant since I was wearing a nursing bra (so many clips!). I figured if I found just a simple stretchy tank top I could just pull the front down when I nursed. plus, wearing a tank under your shirt when you are nursing is nice if you have a shirt that has to be lifted up during a feeding (I still wear a tank under everything these days!). the H&M Basic Tank fits perfectly & is $6 so you can stock up! I like this one because it doesn’t have a built-in shelf bra; maybe this is a personal preference, but having that additional bra inside was really uncomfortable for me. if you don’t mind the built-in bra, Target has some similar tank tops.

{four} nursing pads. if you are nursing, you will more than likely need nursing pads. they are good for absorbing extra milk (& preventing leakage thru your shirt) & will prevent any ointment or cream that you are using from getting onto your bra &/or shirt. there are two different types of nursing pads – disposable & reusable – & I am most definitely in the reusable camp. I found that disposable pads are really scratchy & not very comfortable; on the other hand, you don’t have to do laundry if you run out. my preferred nursing pads were Bamboobies & I still use them if I have extra supply or any leakage. & while Bamboobies makes thicker overnight pads, I used these Satsuma Organic ones which were great for nighttime.

{five} sleepmask. while the old adage “sleep while baby sleeps” is somewhat misleading, I did find that I was sleeping during the day quite a bit those first few weeks (okay months). I had always used a sleepmask when I was traveling, but daytime naps before I was pregnant weren’t really a thing. but, since I did sleep during the day when eloise was very little & we didn’t have a window covering on our bedroom window, I found that a sleepmask was imperative! the one that I have is my favorite & I have had it for years; it is silky on the inside & the elastic isn’t too tight around my head. this is the Sleepmask that is shown above.

{six} reusable water bottle. yep, same bottle as in my pregnancy essentials post. I think it sort of goes without saying that you need to stay hydrated during recovery from childbirth (natural or c-section) & for nursing. if you are anything like me, you will be so thirsty post-partum that you can’t get enough to drink (I was the same way with food those first months – so hungry!). I kept my Camelback Eddy Insulated Water Bottle on the sidetable in the nursery, upstairs near the couch, & at my bedside – one each place. I wanted to be sure that I never was without water & the last thing I needed to do was haul around a water bottle (since I was already trying to keep track of my phone for pictures & tracking feedings, & eloise!). you could also leave glasses of water in various parts of your house too, but I am way too clumsy for that!

the other thing that should have made this list was nursing bras! I waited until after my milk came in to go & get fitted, just because I wanted to make sure I was getting the right size (& bras are not cheap!). my advice is to get a few really comfy nursing bras from Target that fit you in the last few weeks of your pregnancy, & then wait until you are ready to venture out with the babe to your local Nordstrom* & get fitted. Nordstrom will convert any bra into a nursing bra, so don’t feel limited by what small selection of nursing bras are in the store. it is going to be a bit of a splurge, but if you plan on breast-feeding for any length of time, stock up on bras! also consider buying a bra (or two, or even a supportive nursing tank top) for nighttime. (& if you don’t have a Nordstrom where you live, ask around to see where other mamas got nursing bras locally. the best thing you can do is go get fitted so you are wearing the right size.)

fellow mamas – what were your post-partum must-haves?

M

this post contains affiliate links.

*this isn’t a plug for Nordstrom & I was in no way compensated for or asked to talk about Nordstrom, it is just the only place I know that converts bras to nursing bras. if you are crafty though, you could probably DIY it!

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