So, you’re having a baby and you do lots research and spend lots of time preparing your home, nursery, and self for your labor and delivery and for bringing baby home. You register for all the stuff. You take a birthing class. You pack a hospital bag. But there is one area that is rarely talked about and that definitely needs to be: how to be prepared for what happens “down there” after you have a baby. Like, you know a baby is coming out of your lady parts (unless you have a c-section). But there are so many things that can happen afterwards that you really should know and be prepared for and that no one really talks about. So I thought I would help some mommas out and tell you what I put in my postpartum bathroom survival kit, for all those issues that might come up, down there…
You might think you should wait until after you have a baby to see what “issues” you have to deal with and then hit the drugstore to address those issues. But after having three babies I would say that there are definitely a few things you should have on hand ahead of time, and a couple of other things I would buy for the “just in case” situations, because when you’ve just had a baby and have a terrible case of post-labor hemorrhoids, you’d really rather just have the stuff to treat it rather than leave your house. Trust me.
So here’s my list of must-haves to put in your postpartum survival kit for all of your issues south of the border:
- Two types of pads: thicker heavy-duty ones, and thinner ones — both with wings. Even if you have a c-section, you’re still going to bleed after and you’ll need these for a while. And I use the really big pads with the mesh underwear the hospital gives you for the first few days.
- The Fridababy Fridet MomWasher: Yes, the hospital will give you a squirt bottle to wash yourself with, but trust me when I say you NEED the Fridababy MomWasher because it is SO much better. The MomWasher is a peri bottle that makes the post-delivery healing process cleaner and easier. They designed the bottle to be held upside down (duh!) and gave it a longer, angled neck. This is great for cleaning and addressing all of the issues that can pop up (pun intended) *down there* — I honestly can’t believe I ever went through a postpartum phase without it. It has been a huge help to my recovery this time around. Get one. Take it to the hospital with you. Thank me later.
- Hemorrhoid aids: You might get some ‘rrhoids, and you might not. You might think you’re in the clear because you don’t get them while you’re in the hospital, but then they appear once you’re home. If you do get them, you’re gonna want some relief. Like immediately and without having to figure out how you’re going to leave the house to get it. So I would have medicated wipes, medicated cooling pads, and hemorrhoid cooling gel on hand just in case. Put some wipes and gel in your hospital bag as well, because if you get them immediately all the hospital only gives you hydrocortisone cream (or at least mine does). It is so not enough.
- Cold Therapy Packs: For tearing, ‘rrhoids, and soreness, ice packs can be a lifesaver. I like to have at least two on hand to rotate and have frozen ahead of time, and the kind made with the gel pearls are my favorite.
- Stool Softener: They’ll give you some in the hospital (if they don’t, ask for it especially if you take any pain medication!) but you probably want to have a bottle at home for after. No one really tells you that sometimes going to the bathroom for the first time after baby can be as scary and painful as actually having the baby — and honestly, that doesn’t even cover how terrible it can be. Drink plenty of water, have stool softeners on hand, and if things get rough just remember you pushed out a baby so you can totally do this — as my L&D nurse said when I was pushing to deliver Quincy: “push through the wall.”
Take all of the above, put it in a cute basket, and find a spot close to the toilet to store it and have within reach when you need it.
If you want to pick up a MomWasher of your own you can use promo code MOMWASHER15 to get 15% off the MomWasher from the Fridababy website. You can also find it at CVS locations throughout the US. Now go make yourself a postpartum bathroom survival kit! Stay tuned for breastfeeding and newborn baby survival kit posts coming soon.
This post was sponsored by Fridababy, but the opinions are my own.
As the mom of two boys already and someone who had her last baby just 17 months ago, you’d think I’d be all stocked up on the latest goodies for baby #3 (and myself). But I’m not! So many great brands and products have launched since my last baby that I’m really excited to try out this time around. My list is even bigger than what you see here, and I’ll be sharing even more down the road but I really wanted to celebrate the arrival of baby three with a giveaway and figured I have more time to do that now than when he actually gets here… So, here are some goodies I’m excited about and am giving away to one lucky reader:
- 4Moms bounceRoo: Would you believe I have never owned or used a bouncer with my first two babies!? So when 4Moms, a company whose products I already love, released the bounceRoo I knew it was time to try one!
- Smart Changing Pad from Hatch Baby: I think I might be the most excited about this product, because it is such a game changer! The Smart Changing Pad from Hatch Baby tracks your baby’s weight and growth so you know that baby is getting enough to eat at each feeding. This is especially huge for breastfed babies since many moms don’t know how much they produce at each feeding. It can also track diaper changes and sleep, and it sends and syncs all of the info to your phone using their free app. It’s seriously brilliant and I can’t wait to use it.
- Wildbird Ring Sling: I’ve also never used a ring sling with my other babies but have always wanted to try one. I figure when you have two other kiddos to keep up with, you can use all of the baby wearing help available. Plus, they seem so simple and are so beautifully made that when I discovered Wildbird I knew I had to try one of their slings. (The winner will get $45 shop credit to put toward getting one of their own.)
- Ergobaby 360 Air: Another baby wearing must-have is the Ergobaby. I have used one with all of my kids — I had an original with Charlie, the 360 with Calvin, and now am excited to use the 360 Air with baby three. Living in So Cal where it is hot most of the year, the Air will be a welcomed addition to my baby wearing collection and Ergobaby is my old standby favorite. And my husband loves baby wearing with our Ergos too.
- Milk Snob Cover: A nursing cover that also functions as a carseat cover is such a must-have. You really need a couple of these in your mom arsenal — one for the diaper bag, and an extra for the car or when the first one gets dirty. And with so many stylish designs it’s really hard to pick just one.
- Everly Bar Necklace from Made By Mary With Love: Some of you may remember my double vertical bar necklace (you can see me wearing it a lot on instagram – here’s a good photo of it) that I have worn since Calvin was born with his and Charlie’s names each on a bar. It is such a treasure. But rather than adding a third bar for baby three, I am putting all three of their names on one bar (because I am really and truly all done having babies this time). The Everly Bar can accommodate all three names and will hopefully never leave my neck.
- Doie Lounge Robe: Every momma needs a luxurious robe and some soft and comfy pjs when they have a new baby. Even if you have a hundred robes, putting on a new soft robe feels like a treat when you aren’t feeling exactly human or pretty. The robes from Doie Lounge are so soft and pretty they’ll motivate you to take that time for yourself and hop in the shower or bath for some momma time.
- Little Lotus Swaddle: Man, I love a good swaddle. Swaddling = good sleep. A really good swaddle = consistently good sleep, which is SO key to, you know, sanity. What is so cool about the Little Lotus swaddle is that it is made with special, NASA-inspired fabric that helps regulate baby’s temperature — cooling him if he gets too hot, and warming him if he gets too cool. We live in an old home that is heavy on the charm but holds cold in the winter and heat in the summer (and was built long before central AC), so I’m always worried about the room temperature in the nursery, and this swaddle will help me relax a bit while it helps baby rest better. It is also easy to get on and off baby and allows easy access if you need to change a diaper without waking baby. Plus, every sale helps a baby in need, which you can read more about here. I can’t wait to try one with baby three.
- Baby Basics from June & January: Even though I have lots of clothes and blankets from my first two babies to pass to baby three, they were all born in different seasons and therefore what Calvin wore as a newborn in the summer won’t work for baby three who is a winter baby. Plus, every baby needs his own fresh set of baby basics, don’t you think? June & January continuously comes out with great basics for baby in different styles and colors. Their fresh baby hats, bandana bibs, blankets, and apparel are must-haves for every baby wardrobe. (The winner will win $50 shop credit to choose their own baby basics.)
- Freshly Picked Moccs: Calvin is passing down a few pairs of Freshly Picked Moccs, and the ones he wore before he was mobile are in perfect condition. But, I want to get baby three his own crib moccs so he’ll always be able to save his own first set of baby shoes, and then Calvin gets to keep his as well. Plus, you really can’t ever have too many pairs of moccs!
- Bath & Body Essentials from Tubby Todd: Calvin had terrible eczema during his first few months and I so wish I had Tubby Todd back then. While the boys love their bubble bath, I haven’t yet tried the lotion, and their dream cream is on my must-try list. I love that the products are 100% all-natural! (The winner will get a $40 credit to stock up on their own Tubby Todd goodies.)
- Wood Gym from Nin and June: I love a beautifully made piece of baby gear that is also super functional. Bonus points if it means I can save myself from having and using (and looking at!) an ugly piece of plastic to entertain my baby. This modern wooden play gym from Nin and June will be a welcome addition to my living room and I’ll happily look at it all day long. (The winner will receive a $65 shop credit to put toward their own wood gym or other purchase.)
So many great brands and baby goodies to be excited about, and I can’t wait to spoil one of you with all of the things! The giveaway will run from 1/18/16 thru 1/24/16 and a randomly selected winner will be announced in the entry widget below sometime on 1/25/16 (unless I’m in the hospital having baby three — in that case it will be announced as soon as I can…) Rules and instructions listed in entry widget below as well.
Now go enter! (If you are on a mobile device, this widget may take a little time to load, FYI)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
If you’re expecting a baby and are going to give birth in a hospital, you’ll need to pack a hospital bag with essentials for mom and baby. At 36 weeks I finally finished packing mine (aside from the few things that I can’t pack until it is time to go). I posted a photo as I started packing on Instagram and many of you requested a full list. So here’s my complete list, linked up to what specifically I’m packing in my hospital bag for me and baby 3:
First, I thought I would share my bag. I use the Weekender from Birdling Bags and it is the perfect size, is compartmentalized into three sections (which is perfect for dividing things up for labor, postpartum for me, and comfort items, snacks, and baby. I love love love this bag. Aside from this bag, I put my nursing pillow and throw blanket inside the case of my bed pillow and that is all I really need for my stay. Now for what’s in the bag:
- ID AND INSURANCE INFO which you’ll need when checking in.
- PHONE AND CHARGER (I’d also recommend buying and bringing an extra long cord because sometimes you can’t reach where you need to charge your phone without one, and you don’t want to have to get up to get your dying phone after you have had a baby)
- CAMERA (if bringing something other than your camera phone)
- DELIVERY GOWN: I’ve brought my own delivery gown to the hospital and worn the same one for both of my other babies, and plan to wear it again the third time around (yes, the exact same gown has survived two births no problem!) While this isn’t essential — the hospital does provide one to you — it does feel nice to have your own that is cute and yours.
- NURSING PAJAMAS, ROBE, NURSING TANKS: Similar to bringing your own delivery gown, bringing some soft and comfy nursing pajamas or a nursing gown and a luxurious robe will make you feel human again after you have a baby. I’ll be packing my James Fox Co Gown (which would make a great delivery gown or is also perfect for after), my Belabumbum nursing pajamas, my Doie Lounge Robe (this robe is so soft and feels so nice you guys!), and some leggings and a nursing tank and cardigan to wear home (remember, you’ll still likely look and feel at least 5 months pregnant — don’t think you’ll be walking out in pre-pregnancy jeans!)
- WARM SOCKS OR SLIPPERS: I tend to get hot so I prefer to have slippers I can slip on to walk around the room and slip off when I get back in bed, but others get super cold in the hospital and love to have warm socks. I pack both, just in case.
- NURSING SUPPLIES: The only thing I’ve ever used or needed in the hospital is my nursing pillow and nipple balm. I also throw in a couple sets of Bamboobies nursing pads (my favorite ones), just in case but my milk doesn’t come in immediately or heavy so I have never needed them at the hospital, and a couple of nursing bras (my favorite is this Cake Lingerie nursing bra). Some women bring their own pump as well, but I’ve never used mine at the hospital (they have some and usually you can borrow one if you need it). But in case you’re wondering, this pump has gotten me through both babies and still has plenty of life left for baby 3.
- HOMECOMING OUTFIT FOR BABY, plus any special blanket or hat you want baby to wear at the hospital or on the way home. I’m hoping to take a personalized hat and swaddle from Boco Baby (like I did with Calvin), and am packing some pants and a side snap tee from June & January, and a blanket and bonnet from Petite Soul (more for taking photos and less out of necessity). Shirts are better than onesies those first few weeks due to the cord stump. But the hospital does provide shirts, blankets, diapers, and even a hat so you don’t need to pack enough to dress him or her for your entire stay.
- SNACKS, CANDY, GUM, SPRITE: I pack some special treats for myself, some snacks, some Oat Mama lactation bars, gum, and a 1 liter of Sprite in case I get nauseous during labor (they won’t give you anything but ice chips before you deliver and I am not recommending you disregard medical advice, but sneaking a couple sips of Sprite saved me during both of my labors, so I pack some.)
- COMFORTS OF HOME: These aren’t necessary but might make you feel more comfortable during your stay (I didn’t pack them with my first and did with my second, and loved having them the second time around): Your own throw blanket (this is my favorite) and bed pillow (make sure your pillow case is distinctive so they don’t take it if they come in to clean your linens), speakers to play music if you like, and anything else that will make you as comfortable as possible.
- EXTRA (EMPTY) BAGS: You leave the hospital with a lot of stuff. Diapers, bulb syringes, thermometers, some side snap shirts, mesh underwear, etc. etc. etc. Extra empty bags come in handy to haul your stuff home.
- CASH AND CHANGE FOR VENDING MACHINES
- FLIP FLOPS (for the shower)
- FACE WIPES: These feel so good to clean up with after labor and to refresh without having to get out of bed, or if you can’t get out of bed.
- CHAPSTICK OR LIP BALM: A must! This one from Zoe Organics is my absolute favorite ever.
- ESSENTIAL OILS: Clary Calm roller, Serenity to diffuse. And I like this diffuser. (this is my first time taking oils to the hospital but I’ve been a convert since Calvin was born and I started using them regularly and I’m excited to incorporate them this time around)
- PHOTOS OF OTHER CHILDREN: If you have other kids, it’s nice to have a photo or two of them with you.
- TOILETRIES: That first shower after you deliver feels like such a treat. Pack travel sizes of your favorite shampoo, conditioner, face wash, etc. Don’t forget a toothbrush and toothpaste, a hair brush, and deodorant. Also, hand lotion and lip balm are musts for me because I get so dried out after labor (I actually pack The Cream from Zoe Organics because you can use it on your hands, your face, pretty much anywhere you’re really dry). I also packed some tinted moisturizer and mascara so I could throw on a tiny bit of makeup, but I wouldn’t pack your full arsenal of beauty tools — maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t bother with fixing myself up much while in the hospital.
- WHITE NOISE: I would add a white noise app to your phone so you can drown out the hospital noise when you are ready to get some rest. My room was next to the nurses’ station last time and it was constant noise and activity
- INFANT CAR SEAT: You’ll need one of these properly installed for the hospital to release you (and they do escort you out and check)
- SOLLY BABY WRAP: Because I love it so much, I’m throwing my Solly wrap into my bag. It is nice for a little walk around the halls for bed cuddles when your arms are tired.
Oh, and there is a mini bottle of champagne in there as well, because champagne is always a good idea A couple other random thoughts: if you have other children who will be coming to meet the new sibling, bring a small wrapped gift to each one from the new baby. Also, I didn’t include baby or memory book because my hospital does not do footprints or handprints for you, but if yours does you might want to throw one of those in your bag as well.
I mentioned a lot of stuff, so I thought it might be helpful to name a few things you don’t need to pack for the hospital (in my experience and opinion):
- medicine: the hospital will give you whatever you need on a schedule and keep track of any doses
- diapers or wipes, unless you want to use something specific
- baby grooming things (the hospital has and provides you with these)
- underwear or sanitary pads: the hospital gives you mesh underwear (some women don’t like these but I actually love them those first few days, plus you don’t want to ruin your own underwear) and sanitary pads, so save your own for when you’re back home. You might want to pack one pair of your own underwear but I wear the mesh ones for days (they’ll even send you home with some!)
- entertainment items: I took an iPad and a book last time and didn’t touch either one. If you do have time and feel like doing more than zoning out to your hospital television while cuddling your newborn, you can always just use your smart phone.
- you don’t need a ton of clothes for yourself. Your gown, a set of pjs, and something to wear home is plenty.
- I don’t pack a bag for my husband. He’s on his own to pack for himself, and now that we have kids he is only there for labor/delivery anyways. After that he stays at home with our other children and visits when he can.
- pain relieving spray or ice packs are also provided by the hospital
I hope some of you find this helpful. Is there anything you pack for the hospital that I left off my list or anything I listed as unnecessary that you’ve found you needed? What is your number one essential for the hospital?
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