It seems like just a few days ago that I gave birth to one of the most awesome little human beings in the world…Ava Grace.
She went from a pink faced little cherub to a bouncing and darling baby.
Perhaps because I have now joined the “mommy” club, I’m noticing that my Facebook mini feed is full of pregnant women and new mommies. I remember just a few years ago, it was filled with a ton of people getting engaged & married.
Maybe it’s the age–that almost thirty age group that is now cranking out cute little babies like no tomorrow. And I swear, with all the vitamins and health conscious measures that we are all taking, we are certainly creating a race of bionic, ridiculously smart & advanced children (my baby included, of course!).
Being that we are all crossing the threshold into motherhood together, I often get questions from expecting mommies, such as what did I bring to the hospital when Ava was born? Or, what did I find useful the first few weeks of motherdom?
The daunting task of preparation.
I hope that this post is helpful to those who need it or are interested in any nursing product reviews.
First things first: I am an admitted Pinterest junky, and I have no interest in rehab. In my humble opinion, Pinterest is honestly one of the best social media gadgets out there! I made this board to organize all of my ideas and tips related to baby care, including packing my hospital bag. Later, I created this board which is exclusively dedicated to packing for a hospital/diaper bag.
My favorite pin:
I liked this pin because it streamlines what you should bring for all parties involved–yourself, the baby, and the hubby (people always forget about him, but he is an integral part of the team! At the very least, he can get an extra t-shirt). Big takeaways:
- make sure you bring your iPad or whatever Internet/video enabled device that you own
- I was able to videochat with friends and family who couldn’t visit me in the hospital. It was so beautiful to show off Ava to my East Coast family and friends.
- don’t forget your “college shower” flip flops.
- I forgot mine and had to shower in socks…annoying and awkward, to say the least.
- nice nightgowns
- These are a good idea because 1) you want to be comfortable, 2) new and nice pjs make you feel special, 3) you’ll naturally look good for pictures and 4) you don’t want to get a two piece pj set just in case you get a C-Section (think about it: waist bottoms rubbing against a fresh C-Section incision…bad idea). If nursing, you’ll want some nursing friendly pjs, like ones with the bra snaps or ones that button down in the front. I got pjs similar to the ones below:
2. Nipple cream
I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed. But in the beginning stages, breastfeeding was really uncomfortable and painful. Particularly when (::TMI warning::) my nipples got dry and cracked from nursing every two hours (or less). I couldn’t live without this Boobease Natural Nipple Balm (Amazon, $12.79). This is particularly great if you are allergic to wool--most other brands use lanolin, which is a wax made from wool bearing animals. I happen to be allergic to wool. That would have been an awful surprise those first days, so buyer beware!
3. Nipple pads
In the first few days of nursing, your breasts are incredibly sore. These gel pads were such a life saver. Just place them in the fridge and then stick them on–super simple, and super soothing. These are also useful after milk comes in and breasts become engorged. I used to put on the nipple cream and then these pads…even though the box said not to do so. It just felt so divine!
4. Your own comforter
Why, oh why, do hospitals never have nice, thick comforters? I suppose that on a mass level, they would be difficult to keep clean and sanitized for patients. But in a cold hospital, I knew way in advance that the extra warmth was necessary. I was so glad to have my comforter. Not only did it keep me nice and toasty, but it also smelled like home. This is very calming in a hectic environment, when doctors were running in and out of my room every minute.5. Ear plugs & Eye mask I was very lucky–my hospital was almost like a luxury hotel stay. But even in this lovely environment, there was still outside ambient noise and light leaking in through the door. My ear plugs and eye mask were crucial in allowing me to get a few hours of sleep. For me, sleep was hard to come by those first few days–I was so amped up on adrenaline but exhausted at the same time.
6. MintsThis is a great tip that I never used. A friend of mine warned me to bring some mints to the hospital just in case there was a delay in the c-section. As many know, you can not eat anything the day of a surgery, c-section included. She advised that sucking on some mints can cut the hunger pains as the hours pass. Lucky for me, my surgery was scheduled early. However, it was delayed and probably would have been performed later in the day, but the monitors started going crazy and my doctor decided Ava had to leave NOW!
These are my top must haves. What are yours?