And here’s a separate list for the mothers. Sorry, dudes. This (again) is not a post for you. Because there’s a good bit of things you’ll need post-baby, too. But first, some advice: Don’t expect to “pop back” like those stupid facebook Moms make it look like. (Also, this is the only time I’ve ever really disliked Princess Kate… for making it seem like a walk in the park to DELIVER A TINY HUMAN.) It takes time. Your body must heal, you need to adjust, and it took 9 months for your body to grow a human. Give yourself a little grace to lose the baby weight and start feeling good again. And just a baseline, I’m at 11 weeks now and with walking almost every day (no serious exercise), I can fit into my pre-pregnancy “comfortable pants”. The skinny jeans are still out of reach.
You’re going to want these things before the baby comes, because basically… you’re going to need them immediately one day, and don’t want to run out to the store to get them. Because “running out” to the store= high stress and freak out and OMGICAN’THANDLEIT.
Nursing Tanks– You’re going to want at least 4 of these (they get messy sometimes). Don’t bother buying a Nursing Bra beforehand… because it’s basically not going to fit. You’re going to grow and change in ways that you didn’t think humanly possible, and for the first 4-6 weeks, these nursing tanks allow for that.
Nursing Pads– Again, things get messy sometimes.
**Side note- I had some STUPID HARD feeding issues from weeks 6-8. Two rounds of Mastitis, and one plugged duct. And it was because of a couple things: overdoing it, wearing the wrong bra, and a tongue tie.
On Overdoing it: I figured… I’m a mom! I can do this! Back to my old self! So I strapped Brooks in to my Ergo and did yardwork for 4 hours. STUPID. Mastitis is one way your body will tell you to CHILL OUT.
Wearing the wrong bra: After I was cleared by the doc at 6 weeks, I was ready to go! T25 (A shorter version of Insanity.)! Lose that Baby Weight! So I drug out the old bras, put a second one on just for extra support and NOPE. They were WAY too small, not supportive, and just a bad idea. Plugged Duct there, which is ATROCIOUS.
Tongue Tie: Brooks was born with a *slight* tongue tie, which they told us about in the hospital. I wasn’t worried about it, and didn’t think any more of it. And the more that buddy grew, the more aggressive he got with his eating. AKA, the more my bits got torn to shreds. Instead of sucking like most babies do, he was overcompensating and essentially chewing. I went to see a lactation specialist at my pediatrician’s office, and she immediately diagnosed it. They clipped his tongue that day, and he immediately started eating differently, thus emptying the milk-holder each time.
Okay, back to it. At week 6, I went to a lactation store, got appropriately sized, and purchased a few actual nursing bras. (And I got rid of the two that I bought beforehand.) Here’s the link to the store in nearby Chesapeake.
Once you get sized, buy yourself some new dang undergarments. I bought this as an Everyday Bra, and La Isla was recommended to me for workout gear… and they work just fine, thankyouverymuch. (This will be the only time I ever post on my undergarments. IT’S ALL FOR THE PEOPLE.)
So in the time that my bits were torn to shreds, I used this balm EVERY TIME. It’s got some natural soothing junk in it, and you don’t have to wash it off before you feed the little one.
There are things called “Soothies Gel Pads” which are little saucer things that give some extra relief… I personally wasn’t a fan, and you have to rinse off before you feed. Some people swear by them and love them.
At the other end of the spectrum (ahem), I used this Balm RELIGIOUSLY for a few weeks. I don’t think I need to go into more detail.
PANTS. Basically, you’re a completely different person than you were pre-baby. But your body is still trying to get back to it’s used-to-be shape. But you’re still wearing maternity pants. By the third or fourth week of that nonsense, it’s time to start feeling like a human again. I ordered a pair of these these pants, which are stretchy, but still feel like real jeans. And they’ll shrink to fit your body as you shrink. I’d totally buy another pair, too. But, for the love, don’t tuck your shirt in like the model does.
Also, you’re going to want to get a few shirts that are flowy and give you some extra room in the midsection.
I bought two books that helped immensely…
The Girlfriends’ Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood. This helped me realize that pretty much everything that was happening was completely normal. And it talks you through a few things in a way that’s not condescending.
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. Around week 7-8, my brain was completely fried. I was getting about 6-7 hours of [interrupted] sleep, sleeping on the couch, sleeping in a chair in his nursery… just bad. This basically helped us realize we were attempting to make Tiny Human into the baby we wanted (I’m a cool parent! I can take my infant anywhere! He adapts to anything!), rather than the baby he is (one that needs to nap in a peaceful place, for an uninterrupted amount of time). I started writing down his daily activities and noticed his patterns… and adjusted my schedule to fit that. Now, he’s getting the hang of sleeping for longer periods at night (not completely there yet), and Mom is getting some relief. I could talk way more about this book, but basically… it’s awesome. A gentler way of teaching your baby to put himself to sleep.
Again, feel free to add to the list if you have suggestions! I’ll add more items as I think of them-