It's been a while since I've written, so I need to start off by apologizing for that. The past few weeks have been preparation for Passover, as well as the actual Holiday itself, which meant tearing my home apart, cleaning everything in sight, and somehow getting it back to normal in just a matter of days. Because that's what us Jewish people like to do. Drive ourselves crazy for a month to celebrate one tornado week of holiday that is all turned upside-down again in the one night following.
Anyway, it had me start thinking about the craziness our little newborns cause, in a similar type of way. How much time we spend planning and cleaning, and reorganizing, only to have everything thrown up in the air completely again, the day/night the little one is born. I figured I'd write this post about 5 key things that are REALLY necessary for you and your newborn after birth, as opposed to all the random things everyone buys you as gifts.
So let's start all the way at the beginning with your hospital bag. Here are a 5 good tips to help you get through those first nights in the hospital with your little one.
You might think I'm crazy, but this was one of the best tips I got while training to be a Birth Doula. If you can put a glob of vaseline on the shiny bum of your newborn, right after birth, removing that tar-like meconium (your baby's first poo,) will be 100 times easier. Just saying. Feel free to try it out, and get back to me.
Essentially, if you haven't had a cesarean, the pain killer they give you after birth will be just Ibuprofen/ or Advil. You can prevent a lot of time bothering the nursing staff, and waiting for pain relief by bringing your own bottle of Advil with when you go into the hospital.
3. Stool Softener
Have your friends started telling you yet about all the horrifying experiences they had trying to poop after their baby was born? Get on top of that, before it comes back to bite you. Your first poo after baby can be quite painful, as everything down there is pretty sore. Avoid that by starting ahead of time. Make sure that during pregnancy you are eating tons of veggies, and maybe even taking a regular natural stool softener like Psyllium husk capsules. Make sure to keep while hydrated during and after birth as well. Avoiding constipation will lead to a quicker recovery as well, and less pain on stitches, if you have them, when going to the bathroom. You can also ask for a glycerin suppository to help things move along for the first time. Make sure you poo within the first 24-48 hours after birth, otherwise tell a nurse you need help!
4. Sleeping Mask and Ear Plugs
Hospitals are loud and bright. As long as you're not rooming in, or if you are, have someone to wake you when the baby cries, having an eye mask and ear plugs is one way to guarantee you'll get better sleep, even if your roommates baby is screaming at the top of his lungs, or her loud family are visiting.
5. A good Lactation Consultant
Last but not least, many hospitals offer complimentary LC's to come help you out during your first day there. Establishing a good latch is something that can completely change your nursing experience forever. Hiring a private LC to come and meet you at the hospital is almost ALWAYS more worth it. The cost of a good LC will always be less than the cost of Formula for a year. Just think about that for a moment. As daunting as the price might seem at the time, consider it a worthwhile investment for your future.
I hope these small tips make a BIG difference in your New-Mama life, even before you get home! Leave comments below to let me know if they helped, and stay tuned for a new birth story soon!