So I know I promised this post to you guys a while ago, but as you can imagine with a newborn, life gets in the way. I think one of the biggest essentials for a new mom is that time away from work to really bond with baby. And blogging truly is work so its no different. I did a few posts here and there, but most of time I spent with my girl. Now that we’re fourteen weeks in (and I quit my full time job), I plan to really dive back into the blogosphere. I already shared my post of essentials for baby, but I think we can all agree, mom needs her own essentials.
That being said, it took a while to get here. To feel normal again. Childbirth was a walk in the park for me compared to recovery. I literally feel bonded to the products in this post. Whether they got me through the pain or helped me kick off my breastfeeding journey. They got me through the real shit.
And let me tell you, breastfeeding is no joke. Now that we’re where we are, I do it with ease, but those first couple weeks are engraved in my brain. When I needed all the pillows, creams etc. And without them, who knows if I would’ve kept going. I remember so vividly, day three at home with Ryleigh, my boobs were in so much pain, she wouldn’t latch, but was screaming because she was hungry, I was so thirsty, Will came over to give me water, spilled it all over me and the baby, and there we were, the three of us, exhausted and sobbing. But now we’re three months in and I absolutely love breastfeeding, I feel so connected to her and its a hell of a lot easier than washing a billion pump parts and bottles.
I’m not gonna lie to you and if you’re a mom who gave birth vaginally, you’ll likely agree that a squirt bottle is your absolute best friend for the first few weeks. I gave birth vaginally to a big 8lb girl, she fractured my tailbone, I had a second degree tear and I had to have two catheters inserted. I was in serious pain. This squirt bottle provides so much relief. You fill it with warm water and let it flow. I kept one in every bathroom and in my shower.
Ok, so everyone tells you the mesh panties are the way to go. I hated them. The pad never stayed where it was supposed to and I was constantly uncomfortable. Someone told me about these and holy necessity. But let me add, no matter how “sexy” you make an adult diaper, it will NEVER be “sexy.” But it will be effective. No additional pad necessary. I wore these for 3-4 weeks. I wasn’t leaving the house much and I was in oversized sweats so they didnt bother me. And to be honest, I think I wore these under tighter leggings too. I loved the comfort in not having to worry about leaking and they’re high rise so the actual comfort is pretty legit too.
I use the spectra S2, it wasn’t covered by my insurance, but the only one that was covered got terrible reviews. I was able to submit it for refund from my FSA. And honestly I would have spent the money myself because this journey is tough enough, you want to have a good pump to get you through. Granted I don’t need to pump for work, BUT I did have to have a three day supply 8 weeks in, so we started offering a bottle early on 1x a week to get her used to it.
This hands free pumping bra is an absolute god send. I remember the first time I tried out my pump, I didn’t have this and I had to use both hands to hold the bottles and I was like WTF I’m literally incapable of doing anything for 15-20 minutes because god forbid you move an inch and the bottles spill everywhere (yes, this happened). So this just attaches to your nursing bra. I keep this and an extra clipping nursing bra in my pump bag in case I’m not wearing the right bra to attach. Battery pack and rechargeable batteries are clutch for time away when you don’t have an outlet. I used this when I was in a wedding, while I’m in my car and sometimes when I’m pumping in bed and not right next to an outlet. And of course a pumping bag is necessary. Keeping all your junk in one place makes life so much easier. This bag by Sarah Wells is HUGE and has enough pockets for all the things I just mentioned.
Manual Breast Pump
I didn’t use this until a little later down the road, but I find it to be incredibly useful on the go. I even use it when I wake up in the morning (assuming baby slept through the night) with engorged breasts and would prefer to not have my baby hit with the fire hose. I manually pump a bit out (4oz or so) in about 10 minutes and I dont have to worry about hooking up to my bulky pump, I do this right in bed as I’m waiting for her to wake up.
I used this baby religiously for probably the first 4-6 weeks. While thats a short shelf life, I found it to be 100% worth it. If you’re like me, you’ve yet to build your mom arm muscles and this pillow supports baby, so you can focus on the real task at hand without your arms shaking. It also has a little pocket that I found to be super convenient to hold my nipple cream and spit up cloth. How many times was I covered in spit up, thanking the lord that I had one shoved int that little pocket.
Unless your nips are made of steel, you will need this in the beginning. Now I’m nipple cream free, but its a straight addition in weeks 1-4.
Nursing Gel Pads
These little babies were great when I was super sore at first and even now, when I dealt with a clogged duct. You stick them right in your nursing bra and either have them chilled in the freezer or pop them in the microwave for soothing heat.
Excess Milk Accessories
These nursing pads remain in my bra and have since day one. They catch any excess leaks, you need them. Milk bags are for all the milk you plan to store, complete with lines for date and oz. These breast cups I only used a few times, but they were great for catching some of that excess milk that you didn’t want to lose in a nursing pad.
I didn’t understand this at first. But once I started using it, I realized how awesome it is. I would stick this on while baby is nursing on the other side, it caught at least an oz or two. You’re making food, that shit is liquid gold, you don’t wanna lose it!
I ordered every nursing bra under the sun. I first tried with the ones from Amazon, and while they were cheaper, I got what I paid for. They weren’t comfortable and the pads constantly got messed up. These have been my favorites. They’re definitely pricey, but I wear them every single day and to bed, so they’re totally worth it IMO.
This was one I didn’t think about until someone messaged me saying they lived in these. Since I gave birth in the heart of summer, I actually did live in these in the beginning. They have easy access for breastfeeding and nothing tight around your southern regions. I pulled on a diaper under these and I was set to go.
I got into these more when I started wearing real clothes (and by real clothes I mean pants) and to be honest I tried A LOT of them and A LOT of them suck. This one IS amazing. It’s pricey, but so worth it. I have one in every color. The material is grade A heaven for comfort and sucking you in to make you look like a goddess. Ok, maybe not a goddess, but I felt pretty damn good in this tank.
I bought all of these on the recommendation from fellow mamas. While I didn’t get through all of them just yet, I read a bit of each of them and each of them put me at ease in various aspects of being a new mom. I plan to get back around to them at some point, but trust me any bit of feeling like you aren’t alone or crazy is a necessity.
This is the girdle I used and honestly I felt like a million bucks whenever I wore it. And by felt, I mean “looked like” because trust me, this thing isn’t comfortable. But it does suck you in, especially when you’re feeling all the lacks of confidence right after childbirth. You could hardly tell I was wearing it under most clothing! Use code ‘neverbeenso’ for $20 off!
As hard as is it, remember being a new mom is tough, whether its your first kid or your a mom to many. Baby needs a ton of attention, but so do you. Take care of yourself, mama.