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There are countless lists out there of every post-partum item you should have stocked in your mommy care bag. From witch-hazel to granny-panties, those lists are great and helped me a ton, but I found there were a few unmentioned items I picked up along the way that I absolutely fell in love with. Keep in mind that I had a c-section and chose to breastfeed so this list is more tailored towards those needs. You can absolutely get by without these products, but they were game-changers for me.
Amazing. I first heard about this hands-free pump through my Obstetrician. After doing a bit more research and reading the overwhelmingly positive reviews, I decided to purchase it. I was still pregnant at the time and what sealed the deal was the price. It sells for only $24.00 CA so I figured even if it didn’t work out I wouldn’t be breaking the bank. I’ll admit that I didn’t completely understand how to use it at first. However, after watching a few how-to videos and practicing a handful of times it ended up being very easy and straightforward. I packed it in my hospital bag and forgot about it until the delivery day, and I’m so glad it was in there. My son ended up being born with a congenital birth defect that meant he was unable to swallow (read more about that here). He was taken from me shortly after birth and brought to the nursery (our hospital doesn’t have a NICU). He was then flown out the next day to a pediatric center in Ottawa, Ontario 9 hours away. Unfortunately, I was not able to go with him because I had just had a c-section, so my husband went, and I spent an extra day in my home-town hospital recovering. During that time I began to pump and store colostrum using the Haakaa silicone pump. I continued to do this during the long drive to Ottawa (worst drive ever by the way). It was an easy way to collect some of that early nutrient-dense colostrum to give to him when he would be able to have it. When I finally arrived in Ottawa and got more of a crash-course on pumping from the amazing NICU nurses, I started using my Medela Swing electric pump. However, I didn’t stop using the Haaka. During the day, I would use the hospital grade double pump, but when I wasn’t at the hospital, I used my Medela pump on one breast while the Hakka was attached to the other. Most of the time the Hakka would collect as much as the electric pump would! Once Calvin started to breastfeed and I didn’t need to pump as often, I used the pump to collect the let-down of my non-nursing breast as an easy way to build a small stash of milk. This was much better than letting all of that milk go to waste into a cloth or nursing pad. Today, now that my son is 8 months old, I keep the Haakaa on my bedside table and use it in the middle of the night or early mornings when he decides to grant me with a longer stretch of sleep and I wake up engorged. It’s perfect for this! So all in all, I can’t say enough good things about this pump. I’m actually thinking about purchasing a second one for when I go back to work!
This was a bit of a random discovery. I had a tube of this left-over from the last tattoo I got and never thought to use it for anything else. Until my c-section incision started to really itch as it was healing. Regular creams did hardly anything when it came to soothing the scar, until one day I saw the tube lying there and decided to try it. Now, I try to remember to apply it after every bath or shower. It’s made a huge difference for me!
Want to know a not so fun thing that happens to you after you give birth (like we needed another)? You stink. I have never been someone who struggles with body odor. Any deodorant use to do the trick, and I vividly remember some days forgetting to put some on and it wasn’t a big deal. Well, I can tell you that that is not the case anymore. It’s definitely improved over time but I still sweat a lot more and smell a lot worse than ever before. Sexy, right? Anyways, after trying two other deodorants I had on hand as well as baby powder, I ended up picking up the Dove Clinical Protection Antiperspirant and it made all the difference. The only downside is that I usually try to stick to cruelty-free products and it is not. So, if anyone has a bomb cruelty-free deodorant they can suggest that’d be highly appreciated.
This stuff truly is multipurpose and continues to serve many functions 8 months into my post-partum journey. I was originally gifted a jar from my mom as a bum cream for Calvin because we cloth diaper. It works great at creating a barrier without causing stains or repelling issues with the diapers. However, I also discovered that it works really well as a nipple cream. It goes on smooth without any goopy, sticky feeling. I recently discovered that it also works great on Calvin’s cheeks as a barrier from the wind. It gets pretty darn cold where we live (it’s -15⁰C right now which is nice compared to the -30⁰C to -40⁰C we had been experiencing for a couple of weeks) so I apply it before we head outside for walks. Not to mention, it healed a teething-rash he developed while cutting his first tooth. I’m telling you, this stuff is gold.
- Crocs (yes, I’m serious)
I am not the least bit ashamed to say that these were an essential for me. I’m a proud wearer of the Croc, or should I say the knock-off-Croc. I lived in them for weeks after giving birth. My feet swelled up so much after delivery that I don’t think any other shoe, besides something you slip on, would have fit. I also spent my first two weeks walking back and forth between the pediatric hospital my son was in and a hotel nearby, so I needed something comfortable I could slip on and go. Style was the last thing on my mind. Even if it was, let’s be real, I probably wouldn’t have cared. If I’m being completely honest, I really love Crocs. I always have. They’re just so practical. I’ve had the same pair for about 11 years now, and they’re not even name-brand. I can’t even tell you what brand they are because my mom picked them up at a flea market in Barrie, ON when I was probably 14 years old. Eleven years and they are still in great shape! Yet another reason to love ’em! All joking aside, even if you’re recovering at home, any kind of slip on shoe is a must. Whether you choose the highly-controversial Croc or a fashionable pair of sandals is up to you.