Birth and Postpartum Essentials

I dedicated a whole post to pregnancy essentials so I thought birth and postpartum essentials deserved their own post too! Once you grow the baby, you still have to deliver and take care of him. 😉

TMI is about to get real, but someone has to talk about it.

Labor

We took a birth class while I was pregnant that was INCREDIBLE for preparing for what to expect during labor and delivery. If you’re expecting a baby in the Treasure Valley, you really need to go take Confident Birth with Kyndal May. Some of my favorite items we used in labor were suggestions from her class.

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Hot Rice Sock – Heat was incredible during active labor and this hot rice sock did the trick. Bless my sweet husband’s and doula’s hearts for holding this on my lower back for hours on hours on hours. Side note shout out to the amazing humans who support laboring women. All of these items are useless without supportive people!

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Birth Ball – Don’t these stock photo ladies look thrilled to be using a birth ball? While it’s technically just an old-fashioned exercise ball, you want to make sure you have the proper size so your hips are higher than your knees (because, gravity). It felt good to bounce through contractions and keep open hips. I think I spent half of my labor on a ball in one way or another.

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Water – The bath tub gets lots of publicity for labor comfort for good reason BUT the shower is also fantastic. The half of my labor I wasn’t on a ball, I was under water. 🙂 Some people deliver under the water but at the very least it’s useful for contractions during labor.

Postpartum

So now you’ve carried the baby for 40ish weeks, labored and delivered the baby for 40ish hours, so now you get to take care of your wounded, just-ran-a-marathon state of a body. Besides a massive package of the biggest pads you can find, these items were my favorite.

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PadsiclesPadsicles are amazing. I didn’t realize how SWOLLEN everything is because hello, you just had an 8-pound child work his way out of you. Enter: icy, cold vagina hugs in the form of Padsicles. I made some in early labor to keep my mind occupied but got a little carried away with the quantity. For me at least the cold only felt good for the first few days.

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Sitz Bath – Midwives are wonderful in so many ways–especially since they gave me an herbal sitz bath mix for postpartum use. The warm water and herbs are soothing, comforting, and relaxing. Your perineum will thank you.

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Peri Bottle – Everything is so sensitive for several days so using a peri bottle to clean up is far superior to toilet paper. It’s also like a mini spa sesh everytime you need to pee. Win-win.

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Lanolin – Your poor nipples are about to report for duty and they deserve some love. Slather on this lanolin after every nursing session until the sensitivity diminishes. You’ll also want nursing pads. I used disposable for the first few weeks until I was up for laundry but switched to washable bamboo pads and haven’t looked back.

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Midnight Snacks – Newborn tummies are incredibly tiny which means you’re filling them up often. I’d wake up in the middle of the night for a feeding completely ravenous so having some easy snacks near your bed is essential. It takes a lot of calories to feed another human. Water nearby is also essential.

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Tissues – Never in my life have I been as weapy and hormonal as the first several days postpartum. Apparently that’s normal but still made me feel like a hot mess. Sometimes I was so happy, sometimes so sad, sometimes so tired–just generally emotional. Keep lots of tissues nearby because the tears will be plentiful.

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I’d love to hear your birth and postpartum essentials. Or your whole birth story. Or whatever. 😉 Yay for babies!

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