You’re having a baby! Congratulations! If you’re looking for the 5 must-have-items for new mamas, here are a few recommendations my families have sworn by over the last few years.
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#1. Padsicles featuring The Honey Pot Company
Whether you have a vaginal birth at home or in a hospital, padsicles will become your newest treat. I love all things The Honey Pot Company! They are a Black woman-owned feminine hygiene product company based in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ll do another post about all the benefits of using their natural, plant-based lines, including a product review. But for the recently new mamas, this little pad infused with mint for cooling, lavender and aloe for healing, will help your lady parts recuperate from the hard work of labor.
For my clients, we simply unwrap the pad, douse with witch hazel or water, then wrap up again. I place each pad in foil or parchment paper to keep them separated and not frostbitten, then place in the freezer. These are a great project for a partner to help make once you’re home. Each time you use the restroom, which should be every 2-3 hours ;), take a little homemade spa treatment with you to place in your underwear. You will be oh so glad you did!
#2. Perineal Balm and Spray featuring Earth Mama Organics
Next, I recommend continuing to give all the love, honor, affirmations, and good vibes to your perineal area with a balm and spray. Earth Mama products are a cult-favorite among my crunchy mamas. With their easily comprehensible ingredients list and amazing results, it is easy to see why!
The spray is a great option for those who may not want the pad-sicles, AND can be used in conjunction. If you had a c-section, the balm is a great option for your incision site as well. Savor all the minutes you can in the bathroom for some self-care. Sit, breathe and release (you may need to mentally tell yourself this during initial visits to the “throne”). Thoroughly clean your nether regions with warm water in a peri-bottle, then spritz with the perineal spray and enjoy the cooling mint sensation. Next use the balm for a very gentle massage. This is especially helpful if you experienced or are trying to prevent hemorrhoids. Step into your lovely postpartum undies, line them with a pad-sicle, and voile!
#3. Manual Silicone Breast Pump featuring Haakaa
For parents who breastfeed, and/or for those who need help with a letdown even if they are not breastfeeding, a manual pump is a phenomenal choice. I’m a bit of a reproductive system geek, so there will be future pieces about the galacto-wonders of the breasts and breastmilk. However, here I want to highlight that manual pumps are great options for building a storehouse of milk.
When baby goes to feed on one side, or you’re pumping on one side, simply attach the manual pump to the other side. It helps to keep your nursing pads/bras from soaking through, and your breasts from feeling the tension of being overly full. Manual pumps can be used to catch colostrum, the earliest milk filled with fatty goodness for babies, so that it can be used later. Saving milk is particularly helpful for parents who may have a baby in the NICU or who’s little one has other challenges latching on their own. This model is also great because it has a lid so the risk of losing all of your hard-earned milk is much lower.
#4. Meal Trains featuring Your Support Circles
One of the many key ingredients to a smooth recovery is eating yummy, nutritious meals. Any new parents will tell you, though, that cooking can easily slide far down the list of priorities when caring for a newborn and recovering in the initial postpartum phases. Plus, there are usually at least 1 or 2 folks who care for y’all and have been incessantly asking how they can help you. Well here’s how: a meal train.
If you know someone gifted in organizing or simply just excited to serve, ask them to orchestrate a meal train for the first 2-3 weeks that you’re recovering. You and your partner can make the process smooth by listing some of your favorite meals, snacks, restaurants, etc. This is also super helpful when there are other children in the home. In the time of COVID-19, I strongly suggest having folks order from a place certified in food preparation with coronavirus considerations, and having them drop food off like any other delivery person with a game of ding-dong-dash.
There are definitely opportunities to wave a “Thank you!”, but more than likely you’ll be happy to not have to entertain small chat when you’d rather be eating or asleep. Check out my meal train request template for a jumpstart on how to ask and get the train chugging along.
#5. A Postpartum Doula featuring Sweet Bee Services
My final recommendation, for this list, is a postpartum doula. I am 10,000% biased. However, the benefits of me as your postpartum doula, especially with my specific training, can include the following and then some:
- Having someone to make you an almost endless supply of padsicles
- Having a trained professional to provide the emotional support needed for the ups and downs of the first few hours and weeks of life with a newborn
- Snack preparation and/or meal train coordination
- Trained eyes and ears to support you with postpartum anxiety and/or depression battles
- Sibling transition support for other kiddos in the home
- Infant care while you shower (a coveted 15 minutes or so of peace)
- Overnight doula support so you can get more uninterrupted sleep
- Assurance that you have a listening ear, passionate advocate, and consistent affirmation that you are doing a phenomenal job at being a new parent (even when you least feel like it)
If you’re looking for a postpartum doula, I’d love to support you! You can book a consultation, or leave me a message in the contact section. If these suggestions helped, and if you have others, feel free to leave them below in the comments.