Wednesday, August 10, 2011

NEW MOM ADVICE

I'm sure what I deem a completely magical baby item is another person's most useless piece of crap ever.  But here are my two cents of general-ish comforting advice….

Rob your hospital room blind. And by "rob" I mean help yourself to everything that is not nailed down, because it is legitimately yours to take anyway. A lot of this stuff will be for the baby, but even more of it is for you. Feminine pads, mesh underwear (oh!  The best postpartum invention ever), nipple cream samples and that gloriously big plastic grown-up sippy cup from your nightstand. Take it ALL. If you don't need it or love it, fine. It was free anyway. (Well, kind of. Thanks, insurance!)

You CAN leave the house. No matter how well prepared for baby you think you are, you'll likely make at least one or two trips to a store in those first few days. So if you realize that your nursing bras don't fit or you don't like your nursing pillow or craving some specific food or it's time to downgrade from the industrial-sized maxipads, you CAN leave the house. (And don't let anyone give you crap about taking your baby out of the house to go to Target, OMG! or wherever.) Personally, you CAN piggy-back shopping trips or errands onto the doctor visits.

Now, having gone through the postpartum…thing…three times now, there are a few things I have used and depended on and have stocked up on again. Please note that your mileage will very likely vary:

Nipple stuff. I always use basic ol' lanolin.

Sleep bras and nursing tanks. avoid underwire. At first! You still want to keep your fun bags supported and contained, and you DEFINITELY want easy, easy access.  During my first pregnancy, I was told to not bother with any nursing bras at all until afterwards — just go with some sports bras until you know what size you'll need!  Pfft.  What a crock! 

Pillows. So many pillows. Yes, yes, a nursing pillow is great, though you'll never reach a consensus on which one is the best, and you might never actually make up your own mind either. You need something to support your back and arms while you master nursing sitting up in bed or on the couch. Something to hold against your c-section incision if you cough or sneeze or laugh (ouch!). Pillows, man!  Pillows.

Water. I already mentioned the Hospital Cup, right?  The big grown-up sippy cup thing?  Staying hydrated is SUPER IMPORTANT while your milk supply amps up, and it's hard to do if you're dependent on someone else to keep refilling your average-sized water glass.  Get something big and convenient and keep it by your side at all times.

Netflix and snax.  I know this is beyond the practical stuff, but I suggest amping up on funny movies and tv shows.  And snacks.  Lots and lots of good, easy-to-eat-with-one-hand snacks.  And remember that it's okay to cry or be stunningly disgustingly happy, or both. Your hormones will be normalizing, and you might be at either end of the spectrum at any given time.  Just ask Pete. :0)

Oh, holy cannoli!  I almost forgot.  Dry shampoo.  Hey, don't judge me!  I'm simply a tired, rushed woman.  But it's a stupid—obvious thing I've learned.  If you haven't taken the plunge, now's the time. 

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I am incredibly grateful for your comment! I will respond as soon as possible. XOXO, Mandi

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