In order to take care of your baby, you need to take care of yourself. Here are the things that were most useful to me during those first few weeks. I’ll list the basics first, then suggest some things for breastfeeding as well as formula feeding.
- Netflix/Hulu. You’re going to be on bed rest for at least that first week after you’ve had your baby, whether it be vaginal or c section delivery. You’re going to want to rest with your baby. Get yourself a Hulu or Netflix subscription! Those couple days after I had my baby, while we were still in the hospital, we binge watched the second season of The Flash.
- Easy Snacks. This might require some help from your significant other or a family member. About as important as staying hydrated is remembering to eat! Those first few days, I could barely remember to feed myself because I was so concentrated on the baby. There are some snacks you can make/buy that are breastfeeding specific, but here are some general ideas: crackers/cheese, fruit with pretzels and cheese, dry cereal, sandwiches, protein bars, popcorn. The idea here is things you can make as well as eat with one hand. I ate a lot of white rice slathered in butter…because…well…it’s delicious. We unfortunately ate out all the time due to nobody having the time or energy to cook. Pinterest has some fantastic ideas, click the link or search up breastfeeding snacks.
- Fuzzy socks/Slippers. These were the one thing that I used the most that I also used in the hospital. Fuzzy socks, slippers and flip flops are the only things that graced my feet if I was inside or dared to venture outside. My feet were still a little swollen and sore. Christopher was also born in December so it was still pretty cold here. Chris was rocking his footed sleepers while I was rocking my fuzzy socks AND slippers. No shame, mom pride.
- Comfortable Clothes. While lounging around at home there’s nothing better than a nice pair of yoga pants or sweatpants and a loose tank top. That’s what I lived in while I was on maternity leave. It didn’t matter if I was at home or at the doctors office, I wore leggings and a tank top with a big ole sweater on top. I dreaded going back to work because not only would I be away from my beautiful little boy, I’d be forced to have to wear shoes, normal socks, and a tshirt. BLEHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
These are my top 4 big essentials for the mama on maternity leave. More important than all of these things is help. Do not be ashamed to ask for help. I can’t tell you how many nights I was crying, bawling like my baby was, because I was too tired to function. Too tired to breastfeed him. Too tired to pump after. Too tired to get up and clean off my pumping parts. Too tired to put that measly .5 an ounce of breastmilk into the fridge. Too tired to do anything. I didn’t want to wake my husband up for many reasons. Mostly because he only was able to take 2 weeks off and was back to working 8 straight days without rest days. I was tired, discouraged and I felt so alone, because I wasn’t asking for help.
On the other hand, I was getting more and more frustrated which ultimately led to the 4 month long postpartum depression that I just recently started feeling better about. There’s absolutely no shame in asking for help. Always remember that.