Monday, July 14, 2008

saving my life one product at a time: postpartum month one

This post began as an email to a friend of mine who is fairly recently pregnant (due in January). She wanted to know about some of the things I couldn't live without - the things she might not hear about, the things not so obvious but oh-my-goodness-I'd-die-without-them.

So I started thinking and writing, writing and thinking about the little things that have made all the difference in our post-pregnancy world. And then I realized: dude, this could be a nice series of posts. Without further delay, I present to you...

IFE, ONE PRODUCT AT A TIME (postpartum month 1)


Oh my. For the NIPPLES. Because no matter what they tell you, no matter how awesome breastfeeding is (and it really really is awesome), it also TOTALLY HURTS in the beginning. And the nipples need som
e TLC. TLC to be found in this stuff, because it soothes and relieves the ouchy. I actually had more than one tube of this stuff stashed around the house and in Bean's diaper bag.


Possibly the best piece of advice I received after Bean was born. Emily came to my hospital roo
m and handed me a box of these and said IT'S OKAY TO CRY. About mid-week two, the tears started and they didn't stop. For DAYS. I cried because I missed being pregnant. I cried because I felt terrible. I cried because Alice was so beautiful. I cried because my mom was leaving. I cried because my boobs were sore. I cried because there wasn't anything good on television. I cried because the cats looked at me wrong and DUDE I'M GOING TO BE A TERRIBLE MOTHER PLEASE PASS MORE KLEENEX. I ran through one box and called Emily to tell her (mid-sob) I NEED MORE KLEENEX. So she came over with a pack of FOUR and also a chocolate milkshake. Kleenex (and a very sweet friend) got me through.

Eucerin lotion. Listen, I have the driest dry skin that ever dried. So I know what I'm talking about when I tell you that my skin post-pregnancy was the DRIEST IN THE LAND. So to recap, I not only had a small girl child learning to nurse on my oh so very ouchy ouchy breasts, but the skin itself was OH THE HUMANITY chapped and dry and so very scaly. I was not a pretty sight. But Eucerin lotion? ROCKS MY WORLD. You can apply it until the cows come home and your skin will just drink it in. It's lovely and fragrance-free (so it won't bother baby). I've tried a million and one creams and lotions throughout my life, and Eucerin, by far, is the best stuff for the job.

Basic Comfort nursing pillow.

This isn't personal to the Boppy and all Boppy lovers out there - but the Boppy so did not work for me. Alice was rolling off the thing from day one and it made me nuts. I figured I was nuts enough already without the added Boppy-shaped headache, so when I tried the Basic Comfort nursing pillow at our breastfeeding center, I didn't hesitate to buy it. The Basic Comfort nursing pillow had me at HELLO, people. So awesome. Where the Boppy is round and rolly and quite frankly a little on the smallish size - the Basic Comfort is large and flat and has a really soft cover that is removable for washing. It is the Cadillac to the Boppy's sub-compact is what I'm saying.

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp.

I want to send this guy flowers. Chocolate. Precious jewels. There isn't a day that goes by when I don't use the methods Dr. Karp describes to soothe Bean. I really don't know what I would have done if I hadn't read this book before she was born. Dr. Karp explains so clearly what a baby is experiencing in her first three months and how best to soothe her. So he not only covers WHAT TO DO but also WHY YOU'RE DOING IT. Which is so helpful to me. I'm all about the why. Why does swaddling work? Dr. Karp tells you. Why should I be making a maniacal shhhh shhhh SHHHH noise in Bean's ear? Dr. Karp tells you. Why should I be patting Bean's back and rocking like a lunatic? Dr. Karp tells you. It's FANTASTIC.

Alrighty, my friends. That's it for month one. I'd love to hear what stuff YOU couldn't live without during those early few weeks of baby's life.

Next up: miracle products from month two.


ya ya's mom said...

things i couldn't live without...the ready made meals my wonderful friend brought three times each week for a couple lifesaver!!! ummm....diapers/wipes both upstairs and downstairs and oh yeah!!! soothies...they're round gel thingies you put in the fridge so they're cool and then on your ever-aching nipples.

wandering nana said...

When I think back to my first (hundreds of years ago). They didn't have all the stuff that you have to have today. One thing that did help was a swing and with grandkids a bouncer. The dumbest thing I've ever seen (sorry, don't mean to offend) is the plug in container that is suppose to keep wipes WARM! My daughter hated it, it dried them out and took up space. And babies slept on their tummies which I think helped them to sleep better.

Whimsy said...

Great calls - yes, the swing was helpful in that first week... it's become my lifesaver again and again, taking a huge role in month four, especially. I'm not a fan of the wipes warmer either, actually.

And YES: I had diaper changing stuff in our living room AND in our bedroom AND in Bean's room. The pooping is sort of non-stop for the first couple of months!

angelalois said...

1. burp rags. we have two and they are getting the spit kicked out of them. we need more more more. 2. sleepers. i thought onesies were the only things babies wore. I was so wrong. Those first few weeks when you don't leave the house, they're in sleepers and gowns all day. The gowns are actually better than sleepers since you can lift up, change diaper, pull down. 3. a CD to dance around the house with. sometimes he's inconsolable so I swaddle and dance around the house. I feel weird dancing to Led Zepplin (although Shane would have no problem doing that), so I have listened to the same one baby CD over and over. I just went and bought 3 more.

ok that's all for now. and I wish I would have bought more than 2 nursing bras. Maybe like 5 would be appropriate.

tearese said...

That nursing pillow looks great! I shoulda had one of those. Our boppy is smushed flat from Joseph using it as a pillow.
With Elora the tons of handmade burp clothes from my mom were great, but Joshua didn't really need them.