I figured that I would do a blog post this week to round up my ‘must haves’straight after having Ellie. When I was pregnant, I loved reading blog posts on this sorta thing, so why not do one myself now that I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt?
1) PADS, PADS AND MORE PADS!!! When I was packing my bag for going into hospital I thought I had plenty of pads to do me while I was there. You’d also think that being a midwife and seeing the aftermath of having a baby that it would have given me a fair idea of how many to bring, right? WRONG! I stayed for two nights after having her, and ran out of all my pads by the afternoon of my second day. In the following two weeks or so, I think that Boots could have given me shares in the amount of pads I bought! Thank god for their long running offer of 3 for 2 on maternity essentials. I hope they never get rid of it as it also is mix and match for things like breast pads, which I assure you I could also have shares in now too!
2) BRIDGET JONES’ KNICKERS While I’m on the topic of all things glam in the ‘new mother’ world, I highly recommend buying yourself at least three packets of Bridget Jones’ underwear to rotate for the first couple of weeks until the bleeding calms down. Yes, they are ugly! and yes you may have VPL under your clothes, but there is no other option (believe me, I tried the other options waaaay to quick afterwards…..don’t do it!…..think guitar string over an open wound….not good!)
3) Brand New PJs and Slippers There is nothing nicer than having fresh new pyjamas to make yourself feel somewhat better after having a baby. You spend majority of the first week in them, and treating yourself to a few new pairs in Penneys is a must in my opinion. My advice is to stay away from anything fleeced as you will bake on the maternity ward. If breastfeeding, cotton ‘shirt style’ nightdresses are super handy for feeding. Also, if opting for bottoms, stick with dark colours. No matter how many flipping pads you have on, you will stain them!
4) Arnica Tablets I found these brilliant for aiding my body to heal after delivery. I had a lot of bruising and swelling with my episiotomy so I opted to take these. Within a week of taking them I really noticed a difference, and virtually had no bruising by then. Read the label carefully on how to take them as they have to be handled a particular way.
5) Reusable Cold Packs. Similarly to the Arnica, I found that cold packs really helped with reducing swelling down below. I was unfortunate enough to get a bad infection in my episiotomy very soon after having Ellie, and the burning sensation from my stitches was horrific! My other half was great and went and got me reusable cold packs from Boots, and they were a life saver! Just pop them in the freezer and reuse as many times as needed. I used anti-bacterial wipes in between uses, and would pop the pack into a sandwich bag (to use as a cover) and would throw away afterwards. The cold pack is also AMAZING to use to help with engorgment when the milk ‘comes in’ if you’re breastfeeding. I am sure I looked a right sight with cold packs down my bra and in my bottoms, but I couldn’t have been without them!
6) Dream Genii Pillow I have mentioned this pillow before in a previous post, as I really love it! I got it as a gift while I was pregnant to help with pelvic pain and backache. Since having Ellie it has now doubled up as a fantastic nursing pillow. It’s long enough to wrap around your whole body, or to Cucoon around your baby while feeding lying down to stop them from rolling back. I still use it everyday so it has been well worth the money in my opinion.
7) Multi Gyn Compressses I hadn’t heard of these until one of my best pals arrived in to visit me the day after having Ellie with these bad boys! She knew that I was in agony with my stitches and so kindly brought these in with her. They are basically a little ‘gel like’compress to place against your episiotomy. You put it on for at least 20 mins in order for it to work, but you can leave it on for a couple of hours if you like. I got so much relief from them, and purchased another box when I got home to have for the following week.
8) Lanolin Cream/ Nipple Shields. I was lucky enough that my baby latched very well from the onset, and has fed great since. However, that didn’t mean I escaped any discomfort for the first few days. I certainly wouldn’t say that breastfeeding is sore, but it can leave you quite tender until your nipples get used to it. I used Lanolin cream and shields for maybe 5/6 days overall . Although I didn’t need them for long, I would have been lost without them! If you plan to breastfeed I would recommend having them on standby beforehand as I sent my poor mother out on Christmas Eve evening in search of nipple shields as I didn’t plan ahead! Not ideal!
9) Belly Support Band I absolutely loved this! I didn’t buy the well known brand Bellybandit, but what I purchased ‘The Tummy Tucker’ was essentially identical. I got mine in Mothercare and used it for the first 6-7 weeks. I found it helped to bring my tummy muscles back together, and also helped my posture so much, especially with feeding. I wore mine most of the day and night and only took it off for a couple of hours here and there. Make sure not to buy it a size up as it won’t do the trick. I was a size 6-8 pre pregnancy and got a XS which fitted perfectly. The Velcro is adjustable as your stomach returns to normal in the following weeks.
10) Nice Fancy Shower Stuff. With a newborn you really begin to appreciate things you took for granted before having a baby. I have never enjoyed my daily shower more than I do now….. I literally feel like I’ve had a spa treatment! For those 15-20 mins I get to be alone and enjoy such a simple luxury! I feel so good when I am fresh, and I absolutely cannot stand not feeling clean. I bought some lovely Sanctuary Shower stuff for my hospital bag, and it really perked me up to have a lovely hot shower with it (avoid using anything perfumed/scented near your stitches FYI….rinse whatever you use on your body thoroughly !!!)
11) A Giant Water Bottle when you have a new baby glued to you, it can be difficult to keep getting up and down to get yourself glasses of water throughout the day and night . With breastfeeding I find that I am constantly thirsty, so now I fill a large 2.2litre bottle every morning and bring it around with me to sip on throughout the day. I often fill it twice. It’s a handy way to make sure you’re drinking enough, and stops the hassle of being stuck under a sleeping baby and feeling that your mouth is as dry as the Sahara desert!
12) Uniq One Spray I love this stuff! With a new baby I barely get time to brush my hair, let alone put treatments into it! I love this spray from Revlon as you simply put it in while the hair is wet, and that’s pretty much it. It has 10 different effects on the hair (heat protection, conditioning, detangles, anti frizz …) and it smells AMAZING! With minimal effort, my hair has stayed in pretty decent condition considering that it has been neglected since December!
13) An Easy to Use Travel System I opted for the baby bundle package from Baby Elegance for €999 which basically included everything you need to start of with for a baby. The package includes the Beep Twist travel system, which comes in a variety of colours (I opted for the grey!) and is so simple to use. I have no patience for anything fiddley or gadgety, and I love how simple this has been to use. I got cabin fever very quickly when I got home from hospital and really wanted to get out for a walk and fresh air. I love how easy to use my pram is, and getting around with it has been effortless!
So that’s my list of favourites with a new baby! If you got this far without nodding off for a snooze, thanks for reading!