As first-time mothers, we are often overwhelmed with the amount of things we need to get and all the preparations we need to do for ourselves and for the baby. However, we tend to buy things we thought might be useful only to realize later that it’s just impractical and a downright waste of money. Yep, guilty here too!
After three kids, 2 of them are c-section and one a VBAC, I learned a thing or two on how to get ahead of the game given what’s to be expected during the postpartum period. Things that actually made a difference and helped my healing process as easy and comfortable as possible.
So, without much ado, here are the 5 things I really swear by that helped me get through post-partum comfortably with my second and third baby:
1. Maternity padsicles – After you give birth, you will have post-partum bleeding called Lochia which typically lasts 3-5 days after delivery and may continue for up to 4-6 weeks after childbirth. This vaginal discharge contains blood, mucus, and uterine tissue and may seem very much like a heavy menstrual period.
So few years ago I started looking into the benefits of using essential oils, and making my maternity “padsicles” is one of the many tricks I learned and found effective with the use of my oils. There are many benefits to this: not only that Aloe vera has antiseptic properties, the frozen gel in your pad will have a soothing effect and really helps reduce the soreness you feel down there. The Tea Tree oil possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antifungal properties while Lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which may help relieve pain and also eliminate odor. Pure bliss!
What you need:
– Maternity pads or night pads if you can’t find one (regular pads are too small and will soak up quickly so you want to get heavy duty ones)
– Witch Hazel
– Aloe Vera Gel (you can buy one but I made my own using real plant, peeled & scraped the gel part in it and ran into a blender)
– 3 drops Lavender EO per pad
– 3 drops Tea Tree EO per pad
- Lay out the pad without removing the paper where the bottom sticker is
- Squirt witch hazel throughout the pad, I count 1-10 while I do this but recipe calls for 2 Tbsp yet I guess it really depends how big your pad is.
- Add 3 drops of lavender and 3 drops of tea tree EO.
- Add aloe vera gel throughout the pad
- Fold your pad to reseal and put inside the ziplock bag . Done and ready to freeze! Place it at the top part of your freezer (be sure any meat is below it to avoid contamination).
2. Antiseptic/perineal spray – This can be used in either your c-section stitches or vaginal area. It helps your stitches heal faster and avoid infections and itching. Spray in your stitches or vaginal area after shower or after washing, before changing pads.
What you need:
– small spray bottle,
– 5 drops tea tree EO
– 5 drops Lavender EO
– Witch Hazel
Fill the spray bottle with witch hazel and add 5 drops of Lavender and 5 drops of Tea Tree EO. Shake well before use.
Pro Tip: Place it in your fridge, and take out only before use. Ahh, soothing! You’re welcome.
3. Eat lots and lots of Papaya – One of the hardest part during postpartum is going to the toilet. Omfg! I’ve never been more afraid in my life than taking a poop after childbirth and tho we gotta do what we gotta do no matter what, it does not necessarily have to be traumatic!
So eat lots and lots of Papaya and trust me, no stool softener meds can beat this. I took stool softeners for a week soon after my I gave birth to my second baby and boy, not only was it expensive and unnatural, it was definitely NOT effective. I always feared going to the toilet and whenever I did, it felt worse than labor! I even asked my doctor for another kind of softener, also did not work. Papaya did the trick for me and made me lose my bowel regularly, which is every day since. Success!
4. Nipple butter or VCO balm – If you are planning to breastfeed, this is another must-have I swear by. Breastfeeding moms encounter a lot of challenges especially in the first few weeks of their journey and sadly, many had to quit early on because let’s admit it, breastfeeding is REALLY HARD and a SORE, CRACKED nipples only add to the drama of it all.
Sooo, my advise is to add this to your shopping list and should be ready in your maternity bag before your due date. You want to use it soon as you start breastfeeding. Applying a nipple butter helps prevent/heal sore nipples and avoid nipple crack. The nipple butter is a little pricey but if you can afford it, this is the one I used. It is made with natural ingredients, certified organic and is safe for baby.
If you’re on a budget, VCO (Virgin Coconut Oil) is wonderful too and just as safe and effective. In a small tin container or cosmetic jar (make sure they’re sterile) pour the VCO, tightly seal and place in the refrigerator so it forms like a balm. Apply on your nipples before and after feeding. Works like a charm!
5. Use a hands-free pump – As you breastfeed your baby, your other boob will tend to have a letdown too, attaching a handsfree silicon pump on one boob while your baby feeds on the other will help save your precious liquid gold that will otherwise be wasted and leave you with a wet, sticky bra. When I started using it I could fill about 2-4 oz in one feeding, I can just imagine how much milk I could have saved and stashed if only I had this amazing little thing early on!
There’s a known brand called Haaka but there are also less costly ones that you can purchase for less than Php 500. Just be sure that you are getting one that is bpa free and made with silicon so it is safe to use.
There you go! I really hope you can try these 5 easy tips & tricks during your post-partum period and it would be awesome if you can share it on social media too 😀 Remember, sharing is caring!