Product Spotlight: Postpartum Mom Essentials — The Bump
August 2019 Moms

Product Spotlight: Postpartum Mom Essentials

Hi all! On to week 2 of our Product Spotlight Mom Series: last week we shared products for labor and hospital bags, and next week we'll look way ahead to nursing clothing and bras, but this week let's focus on the immediate aftermath of birth: postpartum mama needs! 

As I said last week, at this point in our community I know we've discussed these topics before, but it's useful to have all the links in one place in our Product Spotlight spreadsheet for quick bleary-eyed reference to, e.g., recommended nipple cream, so even if you've thrown out recommendations before I'd like to invite everyone to share again what products and methods were life savers for the postpartum period! I know the most important resource is impossible to get (SLEEP!) but second to that, what made your life just a little easier during that whirlwind time? 

First and foremost, how did you cope with the physical care of your delicate bits after birth? For many of us the hospital will supply a lot of products, but it's still useful to discuss in this space 1) so that FTM know what to expect, and 2) mamas giving birth somewhere other than a mainstream US hospital (birthing centers, home births, European mamas) can use as reference. So tell me all about your mesh panties, your peri bottles, your Dermoplast, your witch hazel pads, your Depends, your "cold" pads, your regular long pads for weeks 2-6, your sitz baths, your stool softeners! For CS mamas, please share tips on caring for incision sites!

How about other parts of your body? How did you deal with your poor nipples during early nursing? And your own hygiene and grooming in the rare instances you could pay attention to such things--did you use quick and convenient face-cleansing cloths? Dry shampoo? Did you switch out your deodorant because of hormonal changes? 

Did you have special postpartum outfits? Robes or pajamas or lounge clothing that made you feel comfortable but not too sloppy? How about belly binders, or specific post-birth support garments? Postpartum accessories like little pillows to sit on? Did you eat or consume anything particular to this period, like milk-production-boosting snacks like oat cookies or supplements like fenugreek or particular medications to help with cramping? Or recommendations for quick, convenient high-impact protein snacks to keep your energy and calories up for recovery and (if applicable) getting that nursing flow going? Please share!

Prior and Upcoming Product Spotlights
Me: 36, DH 38
MFI: somewhat short-lived sperm, otherwise unexplained
2012-2016: TTC #1
2015-2016: 5 negative IUIs
August 2016: IVF with ICSI: 13 day-5 blasts, non-PGS tested
BFP on fresh transfer, DD born May 2017
FET #1 planned for January 2019, but surprise BFP December 2018: EDD August 2019

suzycupcake

Re: Product Spotlight: Postpartum Mom Essentials

  • Definitely take the peribottle home. If you can snatch two, even better. If your hospital doesnt provide them, or you are having a home birth and they don't provide them or whatever you can get them on Amazon. I think the Frida company even makes some sort of one, or you can search for a "travel bidet." You just squirt that ever so gently on your lady bits, then I always patted dry with tp. I don't like feeling wet. 

    Stool softener I just took what the nurses gave me, i know it was colace. 

    I know everyone RAVES about the mesh underwear. But I just didn't feel like they gave enough support to really keep the pad and what not in place. Idk if it's because I'm plus size or what, but everything shifted to a weird place with the mesh underwear. They were great for immediately after birth when there was like a giant pad and an ice pack and you are basically just laying around for an hour or two. But once I was up and walking around I wanted something with more support. So I brought some underwear I didn't much care about but that was comfy and had a crotch wide enough for a large pad. 

    Steal the ice packs from the hospital as well. But also invest in some nice reusable ice packs. ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE SPD. I'm not 100% sure this post partum pain was from SPD. But what it felt like was my pubic bone healing. Like coming back together. And it was very very painful. It would wake me up in the middle of the night it hurt so bad. And ice and pressure eased the paid until the ibuprofen kicked in. 

    All of my personal hygiene products stayed the same. I'm super sensitive to scent so when I find something that works and doesn't give me a headache, I tend to not deviate from it. 

    Clothing, I just wore whatever was comfortable. Which is what I usually wear. Plain tshirts, black work out pants. And cardigan/over shirts/soft knit robes.

    Recovery in terms of my vagina and the rest of that area was relatively easy. Other than occasional pain in my pubic bone I was fine. Pooping was never an issue for me. I went in expecting the worst and honestly, it was pretty fine. My labia and what not weren't super swollen, or even that sore. They were tenderish, but it didn't hurt to wipe after like 24 hours. I pushed each of my kids out in 3 or so pushes. None of them were huge babies. So that's probably why. Idk, either way I'm really thankful for it. I will say, and I think I said this in the hospital bag post, when it comes to pads that you buy yourself, don't buy the ones topped with a mesh type thing. I have a reason why. After I had my first kid I had stitches up near my urethra. So relatively exposed as far as genital stitches go. It was the last of the stitches to come out. I was trying out a new pad and it had a mesh type surface. It somehow got caught in the mesh. That pain was worse than any other PP pain I felt. 
    cato99oklahomak
  • A few items worth having on hand post delivery. All of my advise is for a vaginal birth...
    1. The peri bottle. I would consider how many bathrooms in your home you realistically use on any given day and have 1 bottle per bathroom (remember if your nursery and feeding chair is in a different part of the home you may use a bathroom you normally don’t use right now). You don’t want to be using the restroom to realize your spray bottle is downstairs! The hospital will usually supply you with at least 1.

    2. Witch Hazel pads - these just help keep things cool and slightly number down there while healing

    3. The biggest most obnoxious granny pads you can find (think just a step or so shy of a diaper) plus more standard size pads as you ease off of the larger ones

    4. Stool softener. They will usually write a prescription for you or you can just get something OTC. I would start taking it as soon as little one is born but not before (no need to increase pooping all over the delivery table). 

    5. Several pairs of old underwear that you won’t mind getting gros

    6. Basic Advil, Tylenol, etc. I’m not a big fan of more major pain meds post delivery if I don’t really need them but you will likely need something to take the edge off


    BabyFruit Ticker}
    cato99oklahomak
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  • cato99cato99 member
    I brought a few mesh panties home with me from the hospital and used them for the first couple of days until they ran out, and then switched to a pack of cheap soft big panties I got specifically for this phase, which I used for 6ish weeks. You don't want to use cold pads or "padcicles" for too long but for the first couple of days they are life savers! Your hospital may supply some (you fold the pad in half and it releases a chemical that will freeze the whole pad for a little while), or you can make your own (there are tutorials online!). 

    Postpartum care: Every time I used the bathroom, I would use the peri bottle (supplied by the hospital in my case, but you can get a little plastic bottle you fill with water). At the very beginning they recommended you gently squeeze water onto you with the bottle WHILE you pee to interfere with any burning; then after a while you can just use it to clean afterwards; and I patted dry very gently with TP. Then I'd build the pad arrangement: big pad at the base, cold pad (only for the first few days), then a little row of witchhazel pads (I got a few containers from the hospital but Tucks are the same and I had some of those too), and finish off with a spray of Dermoplast directly onto the area a few times a day. One random rec I have is that I got a really pretty decorative basket to house all of these products tidily next to the toilet, to try to trick my brain into feeling like bathroom trips were indulgent little spa-like breaks instead of elaborate engineering events. 

    Hygiene: At the very beginning I showered (at the hospital and when I first got home) but I'm more of a bath girl so as soon as I could (maybe 4ish days in?) I switched to baths with this sitz bath soak (I wanted something specially formulated for postpartum because I wasn't sure if any of the normal bath products like Lush would have anything that could irritate my healing skin). It looks like that bath soak isn't available on its own right now but you can get it with this gift set if the other products look good to you. If you can't make it to the bath or shower, I like Cetaphil cleansing cloths for something quick. I don't know about anyone else but I went through a phase starting at around 6 weeks postpartum with this HUGE hormonal shift that gave me shocking BO (which I never have otherwise). Literally no deodorant took care of it but I just stayed on top of it as much as possible with frequent showers and deodorant (I use Dove clinical strength), so no solutions here but be warned it's a possibility! Eventually it stopped on its own. 

    Boobs: I used various lanolin creams and nipple butters (Lansinoh, Earth Mama), and it was all nice but there isn't one in particular I recommend. I DO recommend these Lansinoh gel soothie nipple pads that you keep in the fridge and oh my god they feel so good. This time around I'll be more extravagant with them and won't limit myself to re-using the same ones a thousand time. Nipple shields didn't really work for me, and I never leaked enough to need nursing pads. 

    Supplements and medications: I wasn't shy about asking for Norco/Vicodin, and I kept to a very strict schedule of that and ibuprofen. If I missed even a dose my cramping would be awful. I took Colace twice a day (they prescribed it for me but it's available over the counter, or you can look into a different stool softener) and my first postpartum BMs (which I had been dreading) were no big deal. I was on a very high dose of antibiotics right after the birth because my placenta went haywire and gave me a crazy infection, so along with that I took Align probiotics. I continued taking my prenatal vitamins and omega-3 fish oil supplements (which reportedly are especially important for baby brain development during the third trimester and the "fourth trimester" if you're nursing). For boobs I took Fenugreek for milk supply (from word of mouth rec, not sure if there are studies definitively proving that it helps with supply) and Lecithin (recommended by my OB to help prevent clogs, after I wound up with several rounds of mastitis because I'm prone to clogging); I wound up using steroids on my nipples for blebs but that's something you should discuss with your OB if you get them. I also took cinnamon supplement capsules because I had GD and it's a ~naturopathic~ approach to help regulate blood sugar. I'm skeptical of woo stuff but I figured cinnamon couldn't hurt. They say not to combine fenugreek and cinnamon because it may push your blood sugar too low, but I didn't take especially high doses of either so whatevs. 

    Clothing: I recommend this robe made from bamboo fiber all the time to everyone who will listen. It's soft yet structured so I felt even my postpartum blob body looked a little more shapely in it, a really good weight so it's never too cold or too hot, has great boob access for nursing but is well cut to be modest, and the belt is attached so it won't get lost in the wash. This is also a great time to invest in nice house shoes/slippers if you don't have some. I also really enjoyed this pajama set (it runs a little large and is very comfy). I got this 3-part postpartum belly binder wrap thing and personally haaaaaated wearing it so I threw it out, but I think it was good (and inexpensive) for what it is, if that's something you're interested in!

    And randomly, you will need a LOT of hydration as you recover and especially if you're nursing. If possible try to swipe one or two big hospital drinking-water cups with the straw, or get your own. For some reason while wrangling a baby, for me the straw setup made it much easier to keep up with water intake than a regular water bottle. I had several strategically placed around the house where I was likely to be lounging or nursing (mainly my bedroom and the living room) so I was never without (and don't be shy about asking others to refill and wash them as often as you need!).

    Me: 36, DH 38
    MFI: somewhat short-lived sperm, otherwise unexplained
    2012-2016: TTC #1
    2015-2016: 5 negative IUIs
    August 2016: IVF with ICSI: 13 day-5 blasts, non-PGS tested
    BFP on fresh transfer, DD born May 2017
    FET #1 planned for January 2019, but surprise BFP December 2018: EDD August 2019

    oklahomak
  • aecmaecm member
    I was a CS mom the first time around and I honestly don’t have a lot to share in the care department. If you have a CS you’ll have hospital discharge instructions that should be pretty thorough....no bathing / swimming for awhile, etc. Between my giant nursing boobs and my floppy post-partum belly, it was kind of hard to get a look at my incision, so periodically DH would take a good look to make sure it was healing well. I was glued back together and I do remember finding glue still on me about a month later. It’s not glamorous. 

    Honestly, my hygiene routine didn’t really change post-partum, and I had to use a nipple shield to breastfeed...which was annoying but definitely spared my nipples from a whole lot of the normal pain. 

    A note on pooping: opioid pain killers cause your bowels to slow down, making poop sit in your bowels and become harder...at a time when you want nice soft poops b/c straining sucks, no matter how you deliver. In addition to taking a softener (like Colace, aka docusate) MAKE SURE YOU ALSO GET A STIMULANT LAXATIVE. A stimulant will help keep your bowels moving at a more
    normal pace while you’re on the Vicodin / Norco / Oxycontin / whatever other opioid you’ve been prescribed.  Senokot should do the trick nicely, and Senokot-S is a nice combo product with both the senokot and docusate.  

    Clothing:
    -There’s no shame in wearing your maternity pants / leggings for several months after you deliver. Sweatpants and yoga pants are also fantastic. High-waisted is better for CS recovery. 
    -My favorite nursing tops came from Gap - they have some super soft stretchy amazing options. 
    -My second favorite nursing-clothing brand was Jessica Simpson. I found her tank tops to be surprisingly supportive. 

    Also - a big HECK YES to @cato99 ‘s point about hydration. I’ve never drank more (and peed less) in my life than when I was nursing. Poor restaurant waiters couldn’t keep my glass full...I was chugging water CONSTANTLY. Breastfeeding is insanely dehydrating. Plan to have a large cup of water with you at all times. 
    BabyFetus Ticker
  • I was a big fan of nursing tops, as they helped maintain some modesty with all the visitors, I also used a nursing cover, but it helped to keep as little exposed as possible.
    My two favorite were this one and I think this one (I had long sleeve and a different color, but I can't find that one now, anyway it was the same concept.)
    Also if you do decide to get a nursing cover, I recommend one with a curved metal top, that holds the cover away from the baby, and lets you look at them, without needing a third hand. I got this one.
    Another point, if you are planning on breast feeding, Tylenol is said to reduce production, so make sure to have other pain-killer options on hand. My hospital recommended Motrin.
    Lastly, I know I have said this in other threads, but do not be embarrassed by depends. I wore then after DS#1 was born, and they were great. Made me feel supported, and I didn't worry about leaking, or dirtying anything.
  • All of my advicr is coming from the perspective of a mom who had 2 vaginal deliveries, may not be the best advice for c-section mamas. 

    A lot of what I needed was provided by the hospital and available to bring home:
    -Peri bottle
    -Mesh undies
    -Dermoplast spray
    -Witch hazel pads/ tucks pads

    Things that I made sure to have at home:
    -Lots of pads varying in size
    -Undies that could get ruined 
    -Stool softener 
    -Tylenol
    -Refillable water bottle on hand at all times. I usually have one anyway but when nursing you drink even more water. 
    -Lots of snacks, especially things you can eat one handed. Nursing makes you hungry.
    - Nursing pads. I used reusable ones with DS that I loved but can't remember the brand. With DD I used disposables. 
    -Some sort of nipple cream/balm. I like Honest Company nipple balm. 

    For clothes I stuck with things that were nursing friendly and cozy yet presentable for visitors. I wore a lot of yoga pants or leggings with a nursing tank and cardigan. 

    My personal hygiene routine remained largely the same. I am less likely to spend time blow drying and straightening my hair with a newborn so it is usually in a messy bun or french braid but that is not too unusual for me. 

    11/2010 Diagnosed with PCOS 
    10/31/11 M/C at 9 weeks
    1/12/13 DD was born
    4/9/16 DS was born 
    9/17 CP 
    6/23/18 BFP EDD 3/4/19 

    dogmomma096BigBadWolf12
  • One more thing and I would imagine this is just for a vaginal delivery but a sitz bath! I never used one without DD but with DS I had a episiotomy and they used suction and forceceps - I don’t even know how scary things truly looked down there. But the sitz bath was really helpful in healing. If you have a 3rd or 4th degree tear I imagine the hospital would automatically provide this for you but even for a lesser tear I think it would still be nice in recovery although not necessary. They can Be purchased from any drugstore or on Amazon. 
    BabyFruit Ticker}
  • Ladies, what does the peri bottle do? Has anyone used “booby tubes” that you can microwave or freeze for engorgement, etc.?
    People think we become mothers when we give birth but the truth is we become mothers the moment we start calling our babies to us in our thoughts, dreams and prayers. Some paths are short and some are so long that you can easily forget where you were headed.

    How I feel all of the time.
    My 7 Year Journey ***Tw in spoiler***
    IVF
    IVF #1 - September 2018; Follistim, Menopur, Cetrotide & Lupron/HCG combo trigger; PGS; ICSI
    Back on Levothyroxine
    FET #1 - October 2018; cancelled, all PGS aneuploid
    FET #1 - November 30th, transferred anyway
    Wondfo BFP 5dp5dt, CB Digi 6dpt, 
    1st Beta on 7dpt 93
    2nd Beta on 10dpt 510!

    TTC #1 since 2011. Tried for 5 years before we knew there was a one year rule.
    Diag w/MS 2016; w/PCOS & IF 2017
    New RE 2018; PCOS diagnosis taken away, IF due to ovary adhesions, but prev. RE insists PCOS IF

    IUI
    IUI #1 July 2017 w/100mg Clo+trigger; BFN; benched w/big cysts
    IUI #2 October 2017 w/50mg Clo+trigger; BFN; benched w/big cysts
    IUI #3 February 2018 w/5mg Femara+trigger; low P
    BFP February; mc March; Subclinical hypothyroid started Levothyroxine 
    IUI #4 March 2018 w/7.5mg Femara+trigger; BFN
    Medicated cycle & TI April 2018 w/7.5mg Femara+trigger; BFN
    Tried several cycles on our own; all BFN
     
  • @suzycupcake From what I understand, the peri bottle is a little squeeze bottle you fill with fresh water (and I also read somewhere that you can add a little bit of witch hazel to it and/or a few drops of lavender essential oils) and spray your lady bits lightly when you go to the bathroom. It helps clean things up down there without having to wipe so you can spare yourself some pain! The ones at the hospital seem to be just kind of a regular water bottle (STMs+, tell me if I'm wrong!), but the FridaBaby Mom Washer one has an angled spout so it's a little more user friendly. 
    Me: 27 | DH: 27
    TTC #1 since 2/2017
    2/17 - 5/18: Metformin + Progesterone, all anovulatory cycles
    6/18 - 11/18: Metformin + Progesterone + Letrozole + Estradiol + Trigger: All BFNs
    Benched 11/18 - 12/18 for testing + HSG with new RE
    12/13/18 - Surprise BFP!! Baby #1 EDD 8/27/19

    suzycupcake
  • @suzycupcake yes as @oklahomak said it’s really just a way to clean down there. No matter how easy your labor may go I’ve never met a woman who is in a hurry to whipe with TP immediately following delivery. It’s just too tender. I used mine a couple of weeks with my first and a good solid month with my second.
    BabyFruit Ticker}
    suzycupcake
  • Another thing peribottles are really good for is helping to bathe baby. All of my kiddos had hair at birth. So the bottle was really useful for washing hair.
  • Oh okay so it’s like a bidet for your vagina. I found a Mom blog after reading your replies and she recommended the Brondell GoSpa Travel Bidet GS-70. It’s $10 on Amazon, has a bigger water capacity, and doesn’t force you to wait in between squeezes for air filling or something like that. Oooh I’m gonna get one now because we used bidets in other countries and loved them. Personally, it’s getting harder for me to wipe in pregnancy and urine keeps back flowing onto my cheeks. Super annoying. 
    People think we become mothers when we give birth but the truth is we become mothers the moment we start calling our babies to us in our thoughts, dreams and prayers. Some paths are short and some are so long that you can easily forget where you were headed.

    How I feel all of the time.
    My 7 Year Journey ***Tw in spoiler***
    IVF
    IVF #1 - September 2018; Follistim, Menopur, Cetrotide & Lupron/HCG combo trigger; PGS; ICSI
    Back on Levothyroxine
    FET #1 - October 2018; cancelled, all PGS aneuploid
    FET #1 - November 30th, transferred anyway
    Wondfo BFP 5dp5dt, CB Digi 6dpt, 
    1st Beta on 7dpt 93
    2nd Beta on 10dpt 510!

    TTC #1 since 2011. Tried for 5 years before we knew there was a one year rule.
    Diag w/MS 2016; w/PCOS & IF 2017
    New RE 2018; PCOS diagnosis taken away, IF due to ovary adhesions, but prev. RE insists PCOS IF

    IUI
    IUI #1 July 2017 w/100mg Clo+trigger; BFN; benched w/big cysts
    IUI #2 October 2017 w/50mg Clo+trigger; BFN; benched w/big cysts
    IUI #3 February 2018 w/5mg Femara+trigger; low P
    BFP February; mc March; Subclinical hypothyroid started Levothyroxine 
    IUI #4 March 2018 w/7.5mg Femara+trigger; BFN
    Medicated cycle & TI April 2018 w/7.5mg Femara+trigger; BFN
    Tried several cycles on our own; all BFN
     
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