I had two friends give birth recently, and the memories came flooding back. I remember all the little things I needed that I didn't expect, and a toted most of them around the house with me for the first few weeks in a little basket. So I thought, from now on, when a gal-pal gives birth, I'm gonna make up a care package of this stuff and give it to her.
Note: I gave birth vaginally and nursed, so many of these items are inspired by what I needed based on that.
Here's what I'll include:
- Lip Balm - My lips were so dry and chapped. This might be more true for nursing moms, but I think in general, this is essential.
- Water Bottle with Straw - I couldn't get enough water around the clock, and for some reason, the straw on a lidded cup felt more secure when I was holding a baby in the other arm.
- Breast Pads - Even for mamas who don't plan to nurse, there are a few days/weeks after birth when colostrum leaks, and milk may even come in. For nursing moms these are essential. I love the cloth ones so much more than disposables for comfort's sake!
- Nipple Cream - Not as necessary for non-nursing mothers, but helpful for the early days and weeks if the mother is nursing.
- Burp Cloth - Gals get a lot of these at baby showers, but I had a special one I carted with me everywhere for spit up, eye goop, leaking nipples, all the things.
- Pillow - This isn't necessary, but a bobby or plain down pillow is a nice support for a recovering mother who spends most of the day with a baby in her arms.
- Depends/Pads + Mesh Panties - This is the weirdest, but since new mamas bleed for several weeks after giving birth, it's nice to either wear the adult diapers or have a nice thick pad in disposable panties. Most hospitals will provide these for the first little bit after birth, but I wanted my own stash when I got home.
- Bottom Spray - Since wiping is typically a no-go after a vaginal birth, this bottom spray or a peri-bottle with warm water are a way more comfortable way for new moms to stay clean after potty breaks for the first few weeks.
- Nursing Bra + Yoga Pants - My sister ran out and brought me back this bra and the comfiest pair of jersey yoga pants before I even left the hospital, and I LIVED in them till I was 6 weeks postpartum.
- Mother's Milk Tea - Comforting and delicious, with the added bonus of helping increase milk supply for nursing mamas.
- Pamper Items - Essential Oils, Hand Cream, a favorite face mask, chocolates, carry-out gift certificates, all of these are amazing when you're stuck at home with very little energy or ability to leave the house to feel human. These are all home-friendly items that can perk a mom up and help her do some self-care.