Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Mommy Must-Haves

When I try to think back on the first month of my daughter’s life, everything is a little hazy. It seems like all I did was hold her, feed her, change her diaper, and sleep. She was a relatively easy baby and slept pretty well from the get-go, but I still felt like I was in some sort of survival mode. Not only did I have a new baby to take care of, but my poor body took a while to recover from a tough 30-hour labor.

I don’t know how I would have made it through the first month without three items I happened to have on hand: stool softeners, frozen maxi pads, and a Moby Wrap.

Maybe you’re reading the phrase “stool softener” and wondering why it made the list. I’m not sure if my experience was unique, but going number two was terrifying for me after giving birth. Not only was I extremely sore (the doctor told me I had received the equivalent of about 15 stitches), but my number two wasn’t of a consistency that came out easily. To put it bluntly, I felt like I was trying to push rocks out, and that the rocks would tear my stitches. After spending agonizing hours in the bathroom, thinking to myself that I’d rather go through another 30-hour labor than be in this situation, I finally began to take stool softeners regularly. Trips to the bathroom were still scary, but a lot more manageable.

I wasn’t prepared for how much pain I would be in after I was finished giving birth. I had heard labor was painful, but no one prepared me for the aftermath. The hospital had ice packs for me to use “down there,” but they didn’t get quite cold enough to relieve the pain and soreness. Once I got home, I bought a pack of overnight maxi pads with wings, put water in the middle of them, and put them in the freezer. These home-made ice packs gave the best relief out of anything else I had tried. They fit perfectly in regular underwear, and were so refreshingly cold.

The stool softeners and frozen maxi pads were very important, but my number one, most-needed baby product, one that I highly recommend all new mothers purchase, was my Moby Wrap. It was comfortable, adjustable, and easy to use. If my daughter was ever crying and I couldn’t figure out how to get her to stop, all I had to do was put her in the Moby Wrap. It was like magic. She would instantaneously stop crying, and usually would fall asleep within five minutes. Even when she wasn’t crying, I’d put her in the Moby Wrap, and she’d be content for hours. It was an easy way for me to keep her close to me and still have my hands free.

Did you just have a baby? Congratulations, and take my advice: if you don’t already own these items, send your husband out to buy them.

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