I am a stay at home Mum to 3 under 4 and know first hand packing for labour can be a daunting task, especially as a new Mum. At the end of the day there are some essential items you will thank yourself for packing that you may not have thought of and aren’t on your standard “what to pack” list.
Maternity pads are an obvious priority, but pack plenty as postpartum bleeding can be heavy and unpredictable. You may find you need to change pads every few hours and if you do get stitches frequent changing is a hygiene must! One interesting tip I have heard is using incontinence pants (think adult nappy/disposable underwear) for the duration of your hospital stay - it saves your panties from any leaks and means less washing to go home with!
Black underwear is a must, treat yourself to some high waisted briefs (yes - granny undies). Whether you have a c-section or a vaginal delivery you will find high waisted briefs comfy. They provide some extra support to your stomach and the elastic won’t sit directly on your stitches if you have a c-section.
Since I mentioned stomach support I should let you in on a little secret - SRC Recovery shorts. Do yourself a favour and buy them! I stumbled upon them at a baby and pregnancy expo, got measured and bought them. They provide compression and support to your stretched stomach muscles and encourage them to return to their pre-baby position. After 3 babies I have no abdominal separation and I put it down to these shorts. The shorts are recommended for both c-section and vaginal deliveries. The light compression increases blood flow which promotes healing and they support your weakened pelvic floor. They are an all round winner in my book.
Your lady business will need some extra special care after delivery. When you wee post delivery it will likely burn and it’s due to the stretching that took place, any tears you may have and trauma to your urethra. There are a few ways to combat this little hurdle but my tried and tested recommendation is Ural. It alters the pH of your wee and it doesn’t burn! If you have ever had a UTI you will know what I mean. I sipped Ural through labor and for a day after and never felt the burn. It’s available over the counter and is inexpensive.
Something I never gave too much thought to with my first baby was my first postpartum bowel movement. Not the most interesting topic but one that you should not neglect. After delivery everything downstairs is tender, pack some Metamucil. It will help the process and minimise any further pain to your lady business, enough said.
If you choose to breastfeed - the reality is it can hurt. Rite-Aid Hyrdogel Breast Discs are amazing! They are disposable gel discs you pop in your maternity bra over your nipple. They keep the nipple moist and prevent drying and cracking. If you need some extra relief you can pop them in the fridge before application. These little lifesavers will quite literally save your nipples!
It may feel like your arming yourself for battle, and that it’s all doom and gloom but the reality is the best is yet the come.