I am going to do this in two parts; this post will be all about essentials for new mums & the next post will be essentials for the baby. A few of these products are Breastfeeding related but that is only because I breastfeed & these were the products that I found helpful. I don’t mean to exclude anyone at all.
Breast Pads & Lots of them!
In the first few months you will leak, a lot. I remember forgetting to pop my pads in one night and waking up in a cold puddle of breast milk (lovely). If you think that you have bought enough, buy more. You can not have enough of them, Ash used to have to make many Tesco runs for me because I had ran out and was afraid to step out the house just in case I leaked all over the shop.
I can not even describe the pain that I was in just trying to sit down after I had the episiotomy. I could hardly move & the last thing you want to do is mess about trying to get your jeans on. I swear loose leggings are your best friend for the first couple of weeks (at least). You should also make it old clothes because they are likely to get a little bit ruined!
Electrolyte Drinks & Snacks
I always think of Lucozade sport with a certain fondness now, we put them in my hospital bag for labour and I ended up not drinking them until we were back home. I swear they were the only thing that kept me remotely human in the first few days. If you choose to breastfeed you need to be prepared for the joy that is cluster feeding, get yourself comfy on the couch & surround yourself with many, many, many snacks because you will be there a while & breastfeeding makes you hungry.
This is my favourite thing in the world, those kids get heavy quick. The first couple of days I was loving the cuddles & being to close to Milo when he fed but now he is so chunky, I can’t hold him for longer than 5 minutes. Nursing pillows are also super helpful because the baby can rest on this and feed & you have both hands free to eat/apply make up/text.
You honestly don’t have time to even think about cooking, the first few weeks just become a big blur of sick, poo, visitors & mess. Our freezer broke the week before my due date & so all the meals I had been preparing had to be thrown out. However, my super lovely step mum brought us round loads of meals the day we came home from the hospital to keep in the fridge. I’m not kidding they were our lifeline, I remember lying in bed feeding Milo while Ash fed me macaroni cheese (oh the glamour).
Ash’s Tip for New Dads:
Be as supportive as possible.
Do your fair share of the jobs, if they are breastfeeding offer to do most of the nappies or if you have chose to bottle feed split the night shifts equally.
Alex is the one who gets up in the night with Milo so I always try to offer her extra time in bed. In the first few weeks I used to watch Milo for a few hours while he had an early night & now he has a set bed time, I try to get up with Milo in the morning and let Alex have a lie in as often as possible.
When you have had a long shitty day at work try and remember that even though your partner has been at home she has been working all day too & it isn’t easy for her. The dishes & tidying can wait, it isn’t the end of the world if the house is a bit messy. Encourage her to have a nap with the baby while you have a little tidy.
Lastly, offer to make healthy meals for the family, you will all function so much better if you are eating well.