Tuesday, July 1, 2014

8 Postpartum Favorites

With Atticus being 6 months old tomorrow, I thought it was high time that I share my postpartum favorites--the things (and people) that made my life so much easier in my early postpartum months.

Postpartum Ice Pads from Pampered Mama--After delivering a baby, many moms are very tender.  After my first two children were born, I made ice diapers by soaking and then freezing size one diapers; they functioned as both a pad and a diaper.  Ice diapers do provide some relief, but as they melt they can leave a new mom feeling rather damp and uncomfortable.  During my pregnancy with Atticus, I discovered a wonderful solution.  Pampered Mama sells postpartum ice pads. They are cloth pads that come with a food grade ice pack that can be inserted into the pad.  They provide all of the relief and none of the dampness.  As an added bonus, they can be used as regular cloth pads when the ice pack is not needed.  For those who are curious about cloth menstrual products, this is a great way to try them out.

Heat Pack--  Ish bought me this heat pack for Christmas, and it quickly became one of my favorite things in the early weeks after Atticus was born.  It helped me cope with some intense after pains when the motrin wasn't quite cutting it.  It also helped to resolve several issues with blocked milk ducts.  I would use it before nursing Atticus, and it made the ache from the blocked ducts far less noticeable as well as helping to actually resolve the blockage. 

Reusable Waterbottle-- Shortly before Atticus was born, friends of mine gave me a Camelbak Water Bottle.  As a breastfeeding mom, this bottle has been my constant companion.  Not only am I able to keep well hydrated through out the day, the bite spout and straw makes it so I can easily drink while nursing with out having to even lift the bottle.  I will warn you, the one liter bottle is pretty heavy when full, so if you want something lighter weight but with comparable convenience, you can always opt for a child sized Camelbak.

A Fantastic IBCLC-- Breastfeeding has not ever been a completely easy journey for me.  In fact, I have a whole lot of breastfeeding baggage from all my nursing woes.  Thankfully, I have access to a wonderfully supportive and incredibly knowledgeable lactation consultant.  I often tell other nursing moms that I wish I could send Katie, my lactation consultant, to them in the mail (although now I can send her to them via her blog and online courses).  Although nursing has been going mostly well, Atticus's crazy latch and a few of his nursing mannerisms had me concerned (and honestly in pain).  Katie was able to sort out the issues, give me some strategies to change Atticus's behaviour, and a prescription to heal the trauma the poor latch had caused.  If you are currently pregnant and plan to breastfeed, I highly recommend finding and interacting with an IBCLC before you have your sweet little babe. 

Placenta Encapsulation--You ate your what?!  The majority of women don't give their placenta a second thought after baby is born, but there is evidence to suggest that consuming placenta can be beneficial to a mother.  One of the potential benefits is hormone regulation, which can help ease or prevent postpartum mood disorders.  As I  had panic attacks for the first 7 months after Liliana was born, I decided that placenta encapsulation was probably a good route to go. After 6 months, I can say that this has been my smoothest postpartum experience yet.  Although I feasibly could have encapsulated my own placenta, I decided to have it encapsulated by a friend who is a placenta encapsulation specialist. If you are local to Delaware and want your placenta encapsulated you should check out Placenta Encapsulation by Dawn. Otherwise, you can search for one here.  

Birth ball-- I purchased a birth ball during my third trimester of pregnancy per the advice of my chiropractor.  I ended up using it some in the quest to get Atticus head down before he was born, but it has gotten much more use since he was born.    Before we figured out that Atticus has reflux that needs to be managed with medication, he spent a few hours every night being a total fuss-bucket.  The birth ball saved me several hours of being on my feet an bouncing a super fussy baby at the end of an already long day. Just a note: if you are looking to purchase a birth ball, be sure to get a size that is appropriate for your height.

Friends and Family-- There really is no replacement for having a fabulous support network in the months following the birth of a child.  I have been so fortunate that friends and family have been able to come to my aid in countless ways.  If you have older children at home, asking friends and family to help with their care can be invaluable.  Help with meals, laundry, and other household tasks kept our household functioning in the first couple of months.  Being able to get moral support over the phone and via text message also eased the transition into life with a newborn.

Snow days-- Delaware isn't known for being excessively snowy, but this winter it was.  Since Ish works in education, he had a ton of snow days this winter.  Having him home for extra time during the week was such a blessing.  Obviously snow days aren't something one can plan on, but they sure were nice.

What are some of your postpartum favorites?

Linking up for List it Tuesday at Real Life at Home and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

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