Having a baby is one of the most exciting times in life. You look forward to the day when you will go home with your baby and begin your new life together. You plan for that day for nine months—going to the doctor, reading books and visiting websites—because you want to make your pregnancy and delivery the best experience possible.
Before you know it, your baby will arrive. Your maternal instincts will kick in, and you'll begin to put your baby's needs before your own. But your body is still changing and healing after delivery, and you'll need to be prepared to take care of yourself during that time, too.
- After delivery, you'll experience postpartum bleeding for about four to six weeks. Stock up on a variety pack of pads before baby arrives. In the beginning, you'll need the larger ones, but you can switch to the smaller pads as you heal.
- Don't use tampons. Your body is healing, and inserting a tampon can increase the risk of developing an infection.
Perineal pain or discomfort
Ice packs will be your friend for the first few days or week after delivery. The hospital will provide you with ice packs, but you may want to have some on hand at home just in case. You can find perineal ice packs on Amazon.com, or you can make your own using a baby diaper. To use a diaper as an ice pack:
- Open the diaper.
- Use scissors to cut a small opening inside the diaper, giving you access to the inner layer of the diaper.
- Place a handful of ice into the inner layer of the diaper, positioning it in the center of the diaper.
- Secure the opening where you inserted the ice.
Wearing the mesh panties that the hospital provides or larger briefs will also help you stay comfortable after delivery.
If you plan to breast-feed, consider taking a course on breast-feeding before baby arrives. Many hospitals offer courses through their childbirth education department. Using a lactation consultant after baby arrives can be helpful, too.
Other than a breast pump (which you can get through your insurance company), you'll also need some breast pads and lanolin cream.
Taking care of your health and comfort post-delivery will make your experience as a new mom even better.