Yes, yes, I know, pregnancy is only three trimesters – the very definition of trimester makes it so. But, the postpartum period should be included, because it is very much part of the process and in my opinion, the most intense three months.
Here’s what got me through:
1. Lanolin cream: As we figured out nursing, my nipples went from normal to sore to cracked in a matter of days. I found the Lansinoh lanolin cream really helpful for the repair. Bonus: You don’t have to wipe it off before nursing. I also used the Lansinoh Soothies when I came down with mastitis and thrush. They stay cool in the fridge and can be used for days.
2. Stool softeners: The hospital will most likely give you a stool softener each day you are there. Keep it going at home for at least a week. You don’t want to put any additional strain on that area and you won’t be back to eating regularly for awhile.
3. Postpartum popsicles: I found these on Pinterest. Ice cold relief. Enough said.
4. Button down shirts: I found that being as put together as possible made me feel better than baggy sweats and my husband’s t-shirt. Button downs make for easy access to baby’s food (a necessity when she’s screaming her head off) and they are an easy way to look like you at least got out of bed, even if you didn’t.
5. Nursing pads: A few days after having a baby, boobs are like “whoa, we’re going to take this whole feed the baby thing seriously.” Until your milk regulates (around 12 weeks), keep a bunch of these handy to avoid leaking through too many shirts. Not into one-use items? There are quite a few re-usable brands out there.
6. Ibuprofen: Pushing out a baby is hard work and painful. You probably won’t (legally) find the strength of Ibuprofen the hospital provides, but a few of these puppies will make a world of difference.
7. Tucks: They aren’t just for hemorrhoids! I sent my husband and his mom out for these on day two. It was the best decision. They aren’t freezing and hard like the popsicles but offer sweet relief to your tender areas.