So you've done the hard yards, had that precious babe, but, now what? Everything you've read and studied for has been about the birth, but what about the recovery? What have you done to prepare for YOU mumma. Are you ready for what happens next? When you've come down from that sweet sweet baby high? No? Well let me help you, because frankly, I don't feel there's enough emphasis on mums postpartum IMMEDIATE needs. I'm not talking PPD, how to handle visitors, what to do with the baby blah blah. While those are important, you can find so much info on them, so let's skip over them, and backtrack to day one. To the bits mums don't talk about often, but you really should know.
Leaving the hospital, taking that anxious car ride (YOU'RE DRIVING TOO FAST SLOW DOWN!) home. You're back, the baby is settled in and you realise you're in a shit tonne of pain. Hm. What do you have in the house? Because if you're like me, I had a few Panadol tablets and that was about it. I didn't even CONSIDER what the next 4-6 weeks looked like for ME, I was so focused on my son.
Here's what you'll need, and i'm not talking scented candles. I'm talking the physical shit you REALLY need, from somebody who is always unprepared and learnt the hard way:
There's a chance you might need to be cut open (either by C section on down south), ouch to both. I was the down south cut job, super fun. good times. They sent me home with TINY ice packs that just did not cut the mustard (why is that a saying?). So stock your fridge with soft ice packs, frozen pees or I actually read somewhere you can freeze giant marshmallows, they stay soft and cool. That sounds like a good option. I used ice packs ALL. THE. TIME. I couldn't sit without one, the pain was next level and mentally I wasn't ready for that.
These are not for your face my friend. You'll want to shower, I took as many as I could get in the first week, it was both a luxury to feel clean and also a few minutes being away from everybody. But how do you clean the wound? Bet you didn't consider that huh? Same. So I used what I had, face cloths. The soft kind you buy for bubs, to SOFTLY clean where I needed. Are you cringing? It's fun being female.
One item that made my healing so much easier? You know those shower heads you can detach and move where you want? Get one. Go to Bunnings and install one. You can thank me later. If that's not an option, there's this device I WISH I knew about, I'll post a link to it, but basically it's a specially made cleaning device that would have saved me searching the house for a pump water bottle! WTF Alysha, what did you need a water bottle in the shower for? Well, I said I learnt everything the hard way. I didn't have a detachable shower head, I also didn't have this amazing cleaning device. So I used a pump bottle filled with shower water to spray the regions I needed to. #DIY
DRUGS - SO MANY DRUGS:
Normally, I don't take pills for headaches or cramps, I'm both too lazy and kind of just ride it out. But after birth, especially after MY birth, I was in pain. Like, lots of it, everywhere. Your body goes through a marathon, no matter the birth. You ache, I was bruised in many places, it's just a painful time. So (check with your doctor first, I'm certainly no doctor) I had both nurofen and Panadol and popped those bad boys whenever I was allowed, after I got the OK from our medical team.
ummm... what? Yep. Birth is glamorous friends. Nothing, I repeat NOTHING! is more terrifying than going to the toilet after birth. To help, ask your doctor what type of laxatives are safe for you and have them ready BEFORE you give birth. Trust me, nobody likes to think about it but you'll have to face this scenario, so let me help you be a little less "how the fuck" and more "I got this".
Seriously, i CANNOT stress this enough. Get them. 3 packs. STOCK. UP. Why? Why can't you just use maternity pads? Well, frankly, they adult diapers and way more comfortable, discrete and (in my opinion) offer more protection, especially at night. BUT, there's a but! Not ideal for the hospital if you end up needing a catheter. Why? Because they way (most) styles are don't allow for much movement (which is why they're great for protection), but while you've got the fun catheter in, they can allow leakage (learnt that the hard way #bloodeverywheresendhelp. So yeah, pack some in your hospital bag as well as maternity pads.
So there you go friends. Get this stuff before you go into labour so it's at the ready when you're home and NEEDING it. Sure, you might not need it all, but, I didn't have any of this stuff and I needed it. Don't be like me.
Bye for now