I waited a while to write this post to make sure I was firm on my ride-or-die postpartum products. Postpartum rocked my world. I was SOOOO unprepared in so many ways (physically), but thanks to places like Modern Milk, I was educated and had a support system to share stories and tips with.
So, here's the thing... postpartum is hard whether you have a c-section or vaginal delivery. I can only speak to postpartum vaginally and first child, but after sharing stories with my support group, I know a thing or two about c-section births as well.
You're emotional. You still look pregnant. Your organs feel like they're just floating around. You're bleeding.... a lot. You're struggling to nurse and getting used to being naked and feeling ugly. You were someone's home and then you squeezed that entire home out of you and now you're they're food supply. Dude.... women have a lot of power. Can you BELIEVE we can grow a human? I keep waiting on Nixon's parents to come pick her up.... like, you're really mine? SO WEIRD.
Taking care of yourself is KEY. But that is SUPER difficult when a tiny blob depends on you 24/7 for survival.
The good & bad news is the first week is the hardest, at least, it was for me/us. Every week got a little bit better. Sadly, I was still peeing on myself up until recently and she's almost 11 weeks old. I'm still wearing precautions, especially when I work out. Not something I planned on doing at 33 but here we are. I plan on seeing a physical therapist to sort that out soon. Btw, everyone, whether you're peeing on yourself or not, should see a physical therapist that specializes in women's health after labor to make sure everything is aligned. Because if you let this shit go, you pay for it later. Peeing on yourself when you sneeze? COMMON, but NOT normal. It doesn't fix itself and leads to major problems down the road.
Working out hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. I stayed pretty active during pregnancy except for the last few weeks. I was dealing with high blood pressure that only spiked when I was active so I was told to rest to not cause further problems. THAT WAS SO HARD AND ANNOYING and I got really out of shape. Add 6 weeks to that (you have to wait at least 6 to workout again after delivery) and I was super flabby and out of breath just walking up my stairs. This is not the way I like to live life. Going to my first barre class was interesting. I legit wore a diaper (i'll link the best ones below). I had some groin pain but got through it. It was the first time I had ever felt self-conscious in a workout class. I felt chubby and weak. I wasn't in a great place taking that class and I realized I needed to shift my thinking. I created a human. Feeling good is my only priority because I need to show up for her everyday. I want her to grow up with a mom that is physically and mentally healthy. I want her to know that her size does not define her as long as she's happy and healthy. Shifting my focus has really helped! I was able to go to a hot yoga class recently and OMGOMGOMG life changed. I missed that more than ANYTHING. Some pregnant women choose to do hot yoga throughout their pregnancy because their bodies are conditioned to that type of heat. Since I only did hot yoga twice a week to supplement other workouts, that wasn't enough and I had to give it up completely while pregnant. It was so nice to be back. Sometimes I would get in my head when I couldn't get into a pose that was easy to me before.... I wanted to scream I JUST HAD A BABY GUYS to everyone but then I would look around and see other people struggling and working on themselves. A reminder that no one cares what I can do in class... they're not there for me. They're there for their own practice and all thanks to muscle memory and routine before baby, I'll be back in no time. Now it's just finding the time to get there. HUGE thanks to Modern Milk for all of their classes that incorporate baby.
Ok, here's the thing. This post is not sponsored. I may have received some of these items for free but thanks to mom-brain, I don't even know which ones. I use these and I've used other brands/things and the ones I'm linking are my favorite.
willow pump - this pump is expensive. I know that. I also know that I got it for free because I remember.... However, it is worth it. It saves SO MUCH TIME. While trying to increase my milk supply I was told to pump 8 times a day. This means that I have to nurse Nixon each time, then I have to hand her off and pump after... alll day, every day. Talk about a NIGHTMARE. Without the Willow Pump I would have had to give up breastfeeding. Seriously. Sometimes I would prep the pump and jump in my car to head to an appointment and stick my pumps on while I drove. THEY ARE AWESOME. Put them on your registry, you never know!
nipple cream - I looked for quality ingredients that weren't just a bandaid... I wanted healing properties and I wanted it to work. This one did... and I tried every organic one on the market.
vitanica - This is basically Mother's Milk Tea in pill form. Will save you time and trips to the bathroom. You can take double what the bottle says (lactation specialist approved) since it's a Herbal Supplement (only if you need to).
nuroo - The best "around the home" baby wearing device EVER. I've tried across the board. This one is meant for skin-to-skin (supports healthy lactation too) but you can use it with or without clothes. It's the EASIEST to put on and take off. You can do it alone and take it off WITHOUT WAKING BABY (soooo good).
mom diapers - these are AMAZING for postpartum bleeding and incontinence. They're also super discreet if you need to wear them out of the house. Take 8 to the hospital with you.
mom washer - this is ABSOLUTELY necessary. It's sooo much better than what the hospital supplies you with. Take it to the hospital with you.
vitamins - listen, mental health is important. This is THE most important thing you will do for yourself postpartum. Eat healthily and take your vitamins. These are the best and most convenient I have found! They're perfect for during pregnancy as well.
pelvic ice & shapewear - this was THE absolute best. I would wear this to hold my tummy in so that my organs didn't feel as if they were floating around. It's also so nice that it has a wearable ice pack... SO necessary for recovery.
relief with pads - believe me, this stuff is AMAZING for hemorrhoids.
perineal spray - so necessary to replace the chemical smelling version they give you at the hospital. Works just as well but unlike theirs, this one has healing properties. Don't forget to pack it!
I would love to hear your postpartum stories and what worked for you! Leave a comment below.