Friday 5 August 2016

Postpartum Essentials

Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter £7.75 from Amazon // Elvie Pelvic Floor Tracker £149 from John Lewis // Pyjama bottoms £10 from House of Fraser // Hana Baby Wrap £43.99 from Hana Baby // Washable Breast Pads available from £7.40 from Amazon // Maternity Pads £0.99 from Superdrug // Cheeky Wipes Kit from £39.99 from Cheeky Wipes //

I’ll be honest and say I haven’t been that organised this pregnancy. I haven’t been obsessing over which changing table to choose or scouring John Lewis for the perfect changing bag. Second-time around, I’m winging it. We already have most of the things we need. Friends have been really generous and given us lots of beautiful hand-me-downs so we’re pretty much sorted for this baby. That said, there were a few little bits and pieces I knew I needed.

First of all, nipple cream. You can’t breastfeed without nipple cream. It’s just not possible. When I was pregnant with Ebony, a very lovely and generous friend spent a crazy amount of money on a breastfeeding gift set for me. Included in this set was the nipple cream I now swear by. It was wonderful. It was vegan, natural and, most importantly, it worked. So I ordered some more for this baby because I’m pretty sure breastfeeding is going to have a learning curve again (sob).

This next one might not be something you find on every list of postpartum essentials, but I think it will be in the future. The Elvie is a must-have for new mamas who are worried about their pelvic floors. Sadly, many women simply accept that their pelvic floor will take a beating during pregnancy and birth, but it doesn’t have to be this way. In France, all women are offered sessions to improve their pelvic floor muscles after birth. In the UK, many women simply accept incontinence and prolapse as being the norm. The Elvie hope to change all that. It’s an electronic device that syncs with your phone and gets your pelvic floor muscles into shape. If you find yourself forgetting to do your exercises or not really knowing how to do them, The Elvie could be just what you need. The company have very kindly sent me one to try out, so this is in my pile of postpartum essentials upstairs.

All new mothers deserve new pyjamas. That should be written into law. I mean, yeah, they’re probably going to get covered in blood and baby sick and pretty much all bodily fluids going, but you earned them. You deserve to be comfortable. I bought a pair of baggy pyjamas from House of Fraser because I just want something I can slob around the house in for those first few weeks (I will wash them in this time, don’t worry. Well, my mum might, she’s very helpful).

One of my absolute favourite things about Ebony’s babyhood was babywearing. I borrowed a Sleepy Wrap from a friend and I used it all the time. I walked miles and miles with Ebony snuggled up against my chest. We walked everywhere and anywhere and it was lovely. There is nothing nicer than having your baby in kissing distance, being able to breathe in that beautiful head smell and still having your hands free to do other things. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I became excited about buying a sling of my very own. I spoke to my very wise babywearing friend, Ellie from Peekaboo Slings, about what I wanted. I wanted a stretchy wrap but one that wouldn’t get too sweaty. Ellie recommended the Hana Baby wrap which is made from bamboo and so is much better suited to sunny days. The lovely people at Hana Baby have very kindly sent me one of their award winning wraps to review so I’ll be writing up a full post once the baby is here.

Breastfeeding is going to be my fulltime job for the foreseeable future, so I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed. Luckily, I have plenty of breast pads left over from my last career as a breastfeeder so I didn’t need to buy anymore this time. If you are in the market for breast pads, however, I can strongly recommend the washable ones listed above. They’re washable which means they’re better for the planet. The lace allows them to hold in place your bra. This may not sound overly important but when you’re breastfeeding, your bra will be the size of a marquee and any other breast pad will get lost in there. Trust me, I’ve had both laced and non-laced, the ones without lace end up everywhere but near your nipple. Invest in the lace. You won’t regret it.

Maternity pads. Ah joyful. Just thinking about the bloody storm soon to hit my knickers makes me feel queasy. Maternity pads are a necessity. You may think you can get away with regular pads but that is because you don’t know you are about to pass clots the size of your head. You need maternity pads, at least for the first day or two. Then you can move onto flimsier pads if you want.

Finally, I needed some wipes for the baby. I am not a fan of putting chemicals onto my baby’s skin. I avoid most regular brands of baby wipes because I don’t trust the chemicals used (and also because they’re often animal tested or include animal-derived ingredients). I’m a big fan of reusing things, I hate the disposable culture we have that means so much crap ends up slowly rotting in landfill each year. Because of this, I was keen to give reusable wipes a try with Ebony and I found them so easy to use. The wipes were soft on her skin, easy to use and easy to wash. I wanted to get another kit to use for the new baby to make sure I had enough in circulation. The lovely people at Cheeky Wipes very kindly sent me a kit to review which I’ll be doing as soon as I’ve had a baby whose bum I can wipe (come on, baby, hurry along now).

So, help me out, what am I missing? What must-have items do I need to make an emergency dash to the shop for?  

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