May 2, 2013

Postpartum Favorites

I already posted about my hospital-related must-haves for postpartum times. But as a savvy shopper, I didn't just raid the freebies in order to make my transition from pregnancy to motherhood go smoothly. I researched and acquired a number of things that became really important.

Within a week of discharging from the hospital, I realized that I absolutely needed nursing gear. Tanks. Bras. Covers. Tops. Dresses. Ointment. Pads (reusable, waterproof, leakproof, disposable, wool/cashmere... every kind I could find). All of it. I was eager to breastfeed but learning how to do so along with my newborn was challenging. Without the support of my loved ones, my lactation consultants, and my stash of nursing-facilitating goodies, I might not have stuck with it.

I really need to find the time to go back to A Mother's Boutique in Wexford. The proprietor, Judy has a huge selection of nursing clothing and underpinnings and she is a fit expert! In the meanwhile I bought some cheap and less cheap bras from Target, La Leche League, and Anita.

For sleep, I like Gillian O'Malley from Target. I wore Bravado during the day early on. They are surprisingly supportive for tank tops. I like the additional coverage of the tank and the fact that they make regular tops nursing friendly without exposing one's stomach. But my favorite are the Rumina Hands Free Pump and Nurse Tanks. They are softer than Bravado but as supportive. They have two options for coverage (full and regular which both serve their own useful functions). And they haven't faded the way that my dark colored Bravado tanks have with wash and wear. I will be doing a full review and giveaway on Consume or Consumed very soon so stay tuned!

My favorite breast pads were the Lansinoh disposables. Although they aren't as environmentally friendly as reusable, they are absorbent, relatively thin, and affordable. They have two sticky tabs per pad so they tend to stay put better than those with just one. They are breathable so the risk of thrush is decreased. They come in bulk quantities. Of the reusable ones, I liked bamboobies. Soft, heart-shaped, discrete. I just worried about their waterproof layer. For night time (since E is a winter baby) the wool pads were helpful in keeping me warm enough. I also have Lilypads (which prevent leaking) but don't plan to use them until I'm back in the classroom.

Breastmilk storage bags:
I tried a few kinds. The Medela ones attached right to my pump. But I prefer the Lansinoh bags because they freeze so nice and flat, making for easy storage and organization of one's stash!

Hands free pump bustier:
So you can pump and work! 

High-waisted underwear:
They're not the prettiest panties in the world but the Hanes multipack cotton hipsters in a size up from my pre-pregnancy size were great in that once I was out of the mesh hospital underwear, these were comfy, cheap, and sat above my surgical scar.

A good binder:
At the recommendation of another c-section mom, I went with a Squeem. Although I wasn't crazy about the rubbery smell, it definitely held me in well and it provided the counter pressure I so desperately needed when sneezing or coughing in those early postpartum days. Many women regardless of their birth stories swear by binding to promote the return of their pre-pregnancy shape. Although I didn't get this specific binder until I was about two weeks postpartum, I began binding my stomach while I was still in the hospital. Other than the hospital binder, I used this. I don't know if it made a difference because I have no basis for comparison and my waist remains larger than it was pre-pregnancy but it didn't hurt. The counter pressure was really the most important element for me personally. I do wish I had sized down because although it fit at first, it quickly seemed too large to make a difference shape-wise.

Vitamin E and Lanolin:
To moisturize all over!

A water bottle:
To hydrate. Drink "to thirst" as Kellymom says but "to thirst" when you're breastfeeding is more water than you can imagine. My rule of thumb was to have a glass every time I fed her.

I'm going to do an entire post on diaper bags soon but I want to include my favorite diaper bag. I love that it has stroller straps.  More favorites: nursing cover, lightweight scarves (to act as a cover), drapey cardigans, v-neck dresses and tops, layers layers layers, burp clothes.

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