Things I now know and can offer to moms-to-be…
- Extreme Thirst – Since delivery I have been the thirstiest version of myself. And this is perfectly normal. If you are breastfeeding and/or pumping you are losing a lot of fluid. My doctor recommended that every feeding I drink at least an entire glass of water. I can tell you, I can do that and then some (as long as it is within arms reach).
- Swollen Feet, Legs, Hands and Face – I never had much swelling while pregnant, but postpartum I was (am) swollen! My feet looked like I had tensor bandages on under on socks and I had to leave the hospital in my slippers because I couldn’t get my boots on. Glad we brought those hard soled slippers.
- Sweat – Much like changing our baby’s onsies, I find myself changing almost as often because I am sweating nonstop, especially when I am sleeping. My Doctor said that is perfectly normal but all the more reason to drink as much water as you can.
- Overpack – I regret following the advice of sites and pins that suggested bringing only the essentials in our hospital bag. I recommend bringing more than you think you will need. Sure, it is a hassle to cart around for your partner (or whomever) but ultimately I believe it beats having to have that person leave to go restock if you find your stay is longer than planned.
- Bring Lanolin Ointment – I never thought I would be pumping on the birthday of my son, but sure enough I was. I didn’t pack lanolin but was lucky to be given some freebies from the hospital to tie me over until the onsite pharmacy opened. My personal preference is Lansinoh (no endorsement). I tried this and Medela, I found the Medela too slick; it made it hard to properly use the pump and shield.
- Milk Mishaps – I should have asked a nurse or lactation consultant for help with pumping sooner (or latching, but they were on top of that). It sure would have been better than hoping it’s all good and hurting my tissue, which may have interfered with milk production/collection. If you pump be careful trying to get that last drop out before you seal the container…my tapping resulted in a spill of more than a drop -,-
- Pump Settings – I didn’t know that a breast pump has settings. It does. I was assured by one RN I just needed to turn the power on and go…. The LC later informed me this may be why I was having a hard and painful time as the settings were too high!
- Comfortable Shoes – My partner offers the advice of making sure support people/ labour coaches wear comfortable shoes. Although the discomfort is nothing compared to giving birth, the person (if like Matthew) will be standing basically the entire labour.
- Slow Cooker – A genius invention that has mostly sat in our cupboard until now. We found a few easy recipes and are doing the fill and forget method of cooking that this appliance allows. Highly recommended.
New parents out there, what did you not know that you can now share with soon to be parents?