Postpartum was incredibly hard for me, physically and mentally. It’s so so important to understand that it could be the same way for you. Just know that it does get better and do not, I REPEAT, DO NOT hesitate to reach out to anybody for help! Most physicians are pretty vigilant about making sure you are feeling mentally ok – whether its your OB, the nurses in the recovery wing, or even outside breastfeeding consultants, the conversation around postpartum is definitely growing – it for sure has a long way to go – but its growing! If you don’t have any other mamas in your life that could lend you some support, try to see if there are any local mommy groups! Lincoln has a MilkWorks that offers a mommy group that meets a couple days a week that is amazing! Don’t feel shy about researching your options – take control and advocate for yourself.
As far as what you will need, everybody is different because everybody’s recovery is different! I personally had a pretty mild healing period. Here is a pretty simple example of what you could gather before going to the hospital. This is also what worked for me!
- Comfy clothes! Anything and everything that is comfortable for you to wear. Don’t worry about looking cute at.all. Just focus on each day!
- Nipple balm – you may not have used it too much in the hospital but you will definitely want some when you get home!
- Water bottle – you will want to drink a lot of water while breast feeding! Having one around will help with that
- The hospital will give you a spray and a Peru bottle – use them EVERY time you use the bathroom! It will help so so much and will really help with the healing process
- Ibuprofen was my best friend. I would set alarms to remind myself to take it every 6 hours (I think that was it?) you do not want to skip it!
- Have as many snack foods around as you can! I know this sounds bad but learning to take care of a baby and cooking meals are two crazy hard things to do! You will need to eat so having things around that you can just grab and take with you while you breastfeed or whatever you need to do, will help with the stress!
- Coffee or caffeinated tea. I drank so much coffee to stay awake! Water helps a lot too but I would not have been able to survive those late night without coffee!
- One piece of advice I wish I had listened – get outside at least once a day! Even if it’s just to walk to the mailbox, getting outside with your baby will help with any stress you may have
Postpartum unfortunately does not have a timeline for how long it lasts. My own journey seems to go in waves and if I’m being honest, I’m only now feeling like my old self about 80% of the time. If you need someone to go with you to doctors appointments, or be in the car with you while you drive with your baby, or just need someone to pick something up at the store for you, reach out.