Old Navy Maternity Lounge Pants - I bought a pair of these pants in my third trimester and wore them every weekend through Hannah's birth. I bought a second pair and basically lived in them for the first month after she was born. They are so comfy and were the only pair of pants (maternity or otherwise) that I could wear for some time that didn't hurt my post-C section abdomen.
Coconut Oil - Everyone already knows that coconut oil is magical, but I've found a ton of new uses for it postpartum too. Since it's all natural and not harmful to baby, I use it as a nursing moisturizer instead of traditional lanolin. And after my C-section I had bandages and sensors that were removed from my body that left heavy duty adhesive residue behind. It was almost impossible to remove, no matter how hard I scrubbed. I used coconut oil and it came right off! It's also a great way to incorporate healthy fat into your diet, which is especially important for nursing moms. I use it in my lactation cookies recipe.
Slipper Socks - Make sure you have at least one pair of these in your hospital bag! They'll likely give you a pair at the hospital, but it's nice to have your own-- the cozier, the better. They're comfortable enough to sleep in and wear all day, but having the grips on the bottom means you won't skid on the slippery hospital room floors. We have hardwood floors at home, so I like to wear them around the house too while I'm carting Hannah around with me.
Mustela Belly & Bust Pregnancy Skincare Set - I started using these products when I woke up in the middle of my third trimester and tons of stretchmarks had suddenly appeared on my belly. Mustela is not inexpensive, but so far theis been more effective than I imagined a topical lotion could ever be. You can use them during pregnancy, afterward, and they're safe for nursing moms too.
Dry Shampoo - Because there are a lot of days when you don't have the energy, time or desire to wash your hair, dry shampoo is the best quick fix. It will buy you a day (or two) without washing so that you can concentrate on other important things like sleeping, drinking coffee and carrying your little baby around. Dove is my go to brand for a dry shampoo that's light, not stiff, and blends well.
Bump in the Night Nursing Nightgown & Robe - I originally purchased this set so that I could have a thin and comfortable robe to wear at the hospital. This ended up being one of the best purchases I made for my postpartum self. I was in the hospital for several days so it was really nice to have a comfy nursing-ready nightgown as an alternative to my hospital gown and the robe was great for when visitors came by-- as well as for walks around the floor. Since we've been home, it's received just as much wear since it's so lightweight, loose around my abdominal area (which was sore for a few weeks), and it makes late night nursing sessions easy. Plus, it's cute and not frumpy, which cannot be said for most of what you're wearing at the hospital and in the following weeks!
Itzy Ritzy Nursing Happens Infinity Scarf - When it comes to taking Hannah out and about as a brand new mom, one of the biggest sources of anxiety for me (beyond her having an uncontrollable meltdown) is the idea of having to nurse her in public. If I don't have a bottle ready on hand, this nursing scarf is a godsend-- it opens up big to provide tons of coverage on my front and back sides and provides nice support for baby too.
Baby 411 - I know pretty much nothing about being a mom to a newborn. That coupled with the fact that I worry too much about just about everything is a recipe for disaster. This book has helped to keep me a little more sane during these first several weeks. Like when Hannah has several bouts of body-shaking hiccups in one day and I start to panic, this book (which is also recommended by most pediatricians as the 'go to' baby parenting book) lets me know that it's normal and that I can calm down.
Old Navy Sleeveless Split-Back Tank - This isn't a nursing or maternity tank, but it has been my #1 favorite postpartum top. It's loose fitting and flattering around my midsection and is perfect for wearing over a nursing cami. Within a few weeks of our return from the hospital summer had arrived, so this has been a perfect top for wearing around the house and out and about because it's sleeveless, cute, and functional. It's also an amazing price so I own it in 3 colors now!
Heating Pad - You'll never need a good heating pad more than you will as a mom to a newborn. Mine has never seen more use than it has recently. From post-C section abdominal pain to clogged ducts (a painful reality of new motherhood) to the neck and shoulder cramps you never knew you could experience from carrying around an 8-lb. baby, the pain is real. And a heating pad is a super helpful item to have in your recovery arsenal.
In addition to those items above, there are few other less tangible things I have relied on to help get through the first few weeks:
- High Brew Coffee - High quality cold brewed ice coffee in a can is the easiest way to get your caffeine fix on mornings where baby just wants to be held or you're too darn tired to brew your own coffee!
- Glow Baby App - I started using the Glow family of apps when we decided to try for a baby. The Glow app is a great fertility tracker which prompts you to download Glow Nurture, their pregnancy tracker app. Once baby arrives, they offer Glow Baby which I am currently using. It allows you to track the times and details of each feeding, diaper change, and sleep cycle, which is immensely helpful as the more tired you are, the more difficult it becomes to remember when those things last occurred. The app also features helpful FAQs for new moms and developmental milestone tracking too.
- Instacart - Especially in those first few weeks, just the idea of going to the grocery store felt overwhelming... forget actually going. But just because I didn't feel up to going didn't mean that milk, cereal, and bananas would magically appear in my kitchen. Thankfully, Instacart is available and I could have these items (and pretty much anything else from my local grocery store or pharmacy) delivered to my door within hours of ordering them. Try Instacart today and use code ACOLVIN71 to get $10 off your first order!