Motherhood is fun but may not be an easy job, it needs commitment, patience and perseverance. Especially if you do not have much extra help around, and that is me literally. But hey somehow without a manual we get through it. Motherhood is a journey full of lessons especially how to handle certain encounters the next time we come across them. I had my third baby a few weeks ago and with every baby that I get to have, I get to discover more strength that I did not know I had. I also build more respect for every woman who has mothered a child out there, big shout outs!! Before I continue here is one of the not so important but fun facts that I find interesting, did you know that pregnancy can leave you with a permanent increase in foot shoe size? I was a size 37 (EU) before my first child but I am at 38 now heading to 39. I literally had to give away all my cute 37 pairs when I realized my foot was not getting back to the past. Anyhow lets move back to the point…..
In the past centuries when a woman gave birth, they were pampered by the elderly women of her family in order to recover from pregnancy and childbirth. She would be expected to stay in bed, bond with her baby and receive healthy meals to help her heal. Even though this is still practiced in some cultures around the world like in Africa, today most mothers want or have to be up back to their feet getting things done. Amazing how strong women are right? Those who have important jobs or businesses to run will want to get back as soon as they can to their work/careers and those like me with older children and no much extra help available have to take care of other kids and home. So there is no room for keeping in bed all day and expect things to find you in there. This can make motherhood extra stressful and also difficult to recover gracefully both physically and emotionally. The good news is that there are some things you can do to pamper yourself to feel good and also heal smoothly as well as accessories that can be helpful for you and baby during the whole process especially the first weeks.
Today I want to share some of these things and accessories that could make this journey much easier, many I wish I had known about the first time I became a mother but hey we learn along the way.
This is a bath that can be used after birth with healing herbs that aid healing, prevent infection and soothing pain and hemorrhoids in the perineum and vaginal area. Child birth can come with these complications and an afterbirth sitz can be soothing and relaxing. You can make your own afterbirth sitz bath (Will make a separate post for this) or buy an already made one with a mix of the essential herbs and oils. Sitz bath are especially good for mothers who have had tears after vaginal births but also for c section moms especially if you developed hemorrhoids or any problems with the perineum. To use the AfterBirth Sitz Bath, you can place the herbs in a muslin bag and drop it in the usual bath tub and then soak in. However if you have had a c section you are not allowed to soak the incision in a bath but you can use a special tub that fits on your toilet by soaking in the herbs and then sitting over it making sure that your perineum (area between your vulva and anus) is soaked. If soaking in a bath might be time consuming for you, there is an alternative of an afterbirth sitz soothing spray which you can conveniently use anywhere.
This is particularly for your baby and it helps keep your baby’s health in check. I particularly love this one and highly recommend it but there are a variety out there. This particular one contains 21 items including; Medicine syringe and pacifier medicine dispenser help parents measure and easily administer the proper dosage to baby, Nasal aspirator relieves baby’s nasal congestion, Forehead thermometer and digital thermometer for an easy, accurate temperature reading, Emergency information card for quick reference to doctor’s number, Nail clippers and 5 emery boards, just the right size for tiny, newborn fingers, Comb and brush, Teether, gum massager, and finger brush provide relief for teething baby.
Before giving birth to my first child, I thought breastfeeding was as easy as inserting the nipple into the baby’s mouth and milk will start flowing. If you are a first time mum you may want to read my first time breastfeeding experience so that you do not go through what I went through. This is not to scare you at all, if I must mention I breastfed my older two for at least a year each and hoping to do the same for this one. I will make a detailed post of these essentials but here is a summary of some of my must haves for successful breastfeeding; lanolin cream, nursing bras and/or tank tops, nursing pillow, Lactation tea and/or Fenugreek tablets, Lactation cookies, cold therapy for engorgement relief, nipple shield, breast shells for inverted nipples, nursing covers.
One of those oils that works from head to toes for all, I can not do without coconut oil because not only do I use it for my self but also for my babies. It is solely what I use as a diaper cream as well for the rest of the body. It is also great for keeping the breasts and nipples moisturized during breastfeeding and the baby can feed without having to wash it off. It also helps to prevent stretchmarks on the breasts. Check out my detailed post on the many uses of coconut oil.
Provides support to the sagging and weak abdominal muscles and in turn helps support and relieve pain in the back or pelvic area. The abdominal muscles do connect to the back muscles and so weak abdominal muscles can lead to back pain. You may also feel like your organs are falling out when getting up from the bed especially after multiple pregnancies and tummy binders will help you keep everything in place. I always request one in the hospital but if your hospital does not provide one, you can buy one yourself. If you have heard a vaginal delivery a binder like this one that wraps around the belly works great, however with a c section delivery it may be uncomfortable for the incision and one like this panty-like corset works great at giving optimal support to not only your muscles but also incision.
With two super active toddlers, there is no way I can personally survive without one. It is always mama this, mama that in my house and for this reason I can cater to the older kids by wearing my baby. It also keeps you sane from a crying baby and helps you get things around the house done. There are many brands out there and you can choose one according to your budget. You can also get a baby wrap or sling instead if you prefer the traditional way of wearing your baby.
This is a good buy for baby wearing mamas. I actually use mine during pregnancy as well in the last days when my other jackets do not fit. It works very well as a maternity jacket and also does a great job keeping your baby warm when you are wearing them.
A baby cradle and swing are suitable for moms who do not prefer baby wearing, especially c sections moms who might need some time before they can start baby wearing. They help to soothe or entertain your baby while you get other things done. They are ideal for moms with older kids because you get time for the older kids while your baby is being entertained by the swing.
A baby monitor helps me get my things done while watching the baby at the same time while he sleeps. I could not do without it with a new born especially. I can also play with my other kids while the baby sleeps.
This is a must have especially for moms on the move who love traveling because they are light and can be conveniently packed. I have found pack and plays to also be useful when you have a home with more than 1 level. Having one downstairs and another upstairs for instance makes it very convenient for managing your kid’s play and sleep time.
Other things that will be useful during this time include;
- Meal planning: This is a very important aspect if you want to keep sane meal wise after the birth of your baby. Some people prefer to cook meals and get them frozen for that time but I personally prefer to plan meals and have the ingredients for those meals cut out and frozen. So that I can easily prepare a fresh meal, a good example is soup vegetables which you can cook and have them frozen in zipper freezer bags. To plan my meals I resorted to a traditional meal planning book which is well designed and makes meal planning very convenient for me. In addition to meal planning, have a well planned out schedule as well.
- Healthy snacks: Buy and store plenty of healthy snacks including; protein bars, fruit and nut bars, granola bars and lactation cookies.
- Disposable plates, cups, forks and knives: Much as these seem far fetched, they are really helpful because they will help you keep some sanity from a sink full of dishes, or having to start and empty the dish washer frequently.
That is just about it. What accessories were useful after the birth of your baby?