Before Baby Comes: Advice From Me To You


(I know I’ve been writing a lot about babies lately, but I thought I’d better write this post while it’s still fresh in my mind! Bare with me, all you non-preggers!)

As I was preparing for Xia’s birth, I scoured other blogs trying to find advice on things that might be good to know or have before baby was born, but I had a hard time finding anything helpful! Since it seems that many of you, my friends, are expecting I thought I’d share my opinion with you on what I found to be useful after delivering baby and the days that followed.

Here is a list of things that I’m glad I had, I wish I had, or I ended up going out and buying after giving birth:

Pain Relief & Herbs:

  • Sitz bath– was really nice to soak in
  • Afterbirth Sitz bath Herbs– a soothing tea soak to use with the Sitz bath
  • Blue Cohosh & Shepherds Purse– herbs the midwife gave me to slow postpartum bleeding. I only had to take 1 dropperfull of each. *Just a warning, this stuff tastes horrible! It’s like drinking straight Vodka! But it works.
  • Tylenol– make sure you have some on hand, just in case. Aspirin and Ibuprofen are not recommended.
  • Peri Cold Packs– I used Feme Pads, but would not recommend them as they only stay cold for about 5 min., then you have to switch it out again. I’d recommend getting something like these Standard Cold Packs, what they use in the hospital. They stay cold much longer!
  • Stool Softener– Try eating a lot of prunes first, but if you haven’t had a bowel movement by the end of the second day (after giving birth), you’d be wise to begin taking a stool softener! It’s a good idea to eat a few prunes every day throughout the pregnancy too, to help keep you regular.
  • Tucks Pads– These are wonderful for postpartum relief! The cooling sensation eases the pain while healing. Line your menstrual pad with them after using the bathroom, it really helps!

Other Postpartum:

  • Some new undies in a bigger size (granny panties, no thongs ladies!); stretchy cotton is good.
  • Overnight menstrual pads with wings; lots of them.

Breastfeeding:

  • Lanolin– One of the things I had to have hubby to run out and get for me! (CVS has a generic brand that’s probably cheaper.)
  • Nursing Pads
  • Soothies– I’ve used these with all three of my babies. I could not have survived the first few weeks of breastfeeding without them!! ( I think Walgreens may carry these as well as many online retailers.)

Food:

(*Bethany, hope this helps!)

If you don’t have a husband who cooks, or somebody who will be coming to stay with you and cook for you for at least the first week, then I would highly recommend freezing meals before baby arrives. If I hadn’t prepared, my kids would have had pizza every night for two weeks (if I know my husband)!

Here are the meals that I froze and what we thought of them:

Crispy Chicken & Rice Casserole– a regular in our home; we love this recipe, and it freezes very well!

Stuffed Jumbo Pasta Shells– another favorite of ours which also freezes very nicely.

Easy Cheesy Corn Bake– this one was good, and the kids ate it, but it wasn’t one of those meals that they would ask for. I cut it into squares and froze them in a Ziploc bag, and thawed them out as a side dish.

Sweet & Sour Pork– definitely a keeper in our home! We loved this recipe.

Easy Peezy Pizza Dough– I loved that this could be made in the bread machine. Easy to make and freeze, and it was good too! I sprinkled garlic powder around the crust before baking, then rubbed butter on it once it was done. Very good!

Mandarin Orange Chicken– Yuck!! We all hated it. A total waste of good oranges!

Turkey Meatloaf– Didn’t come out very good. Meatloaf’s freeze well, but mine wasn’t very tasty.

Mashed Potatoes– I love the idea of making a huge batch of mashed potatoes, then freezing them in individual serving sizes using a cupcake tin. The only problem is that sometimes when they are nuked in the microwave they turn out watery. Maybe if they thawed in the fridge first they’d be better.

Apple Bread– We LOVE this recipe. Just make sure that it’s cooked all the way through before freezing it!!

Banana Bread Muffins– As always the kids loved having these for breakfast and snacks.

Waffles– I made two huge batches and froze them for breakfasts.

2- Bean Chili– another staple in our home. This was the first time I’d frozen it; it did well. I poured it in a freezer bag once it had cooled off, and laid it flat on it’s side in the freezer to take up less room. Yummy!

Hamburger Casserole– this one we’ve made for years, but this was the first time I’d frozen it. It did really well and was just as good to eat. (I don’t have the recipe on my blog yet, but I happened to find the exact same recipe on another site, so I’ll link to it.)

Of course, there are tons more freezer recipes that you can find online! I really enjoyed having meals pre-made, and am planning on continuing to cook and freeze meals ahead of time just to make my life easier!

Baby Gear:

There’s a ton of stuff you’ll need, obviously, but here are two things that I’m especially glad I had in the first days…

  • Leachco Nap ‘N Pack– I loved having this beside me in the master bed for the first week! (Now me and baby sleep in the nursery, with her in her crib or on my chest, and hubby gets the master bedroom to himself so he can sleep!)
  • Papasan Seat– This is another thing I had to buy after baby was born. (I totally take back what I said in a previous post about not needing a bouncer!! I had forgotten how much Titus loved this when he was a baby.) I’d sold his, but I found another one on craigslist and bought it for Xia. She loves it! It’s been a lifesaver.

Well, I hope this has been helpful to some of you! If you have any other questions or want any advice, please feel free to ask away! I’ll be glad to give my humble opinion. And if you have anything to add to this list (something that might be overlooked by an expectant mother) please do share!


Kendra
About Kendra 1106 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

11 Comments

  1. A friend of mine just had her baby at home and I was blessed to be there! The midwife used a great strategy as far as ice packs go. She took maxi pads and soaked them in the herbal sitz tea and froze them. They served double duty! Just make sure you don’t get the pads that let fluid leak out of them.

  2. Hi, One of my clients sent this to me as something I might want to do for my clients–better than the information I give them now that is more about getting “ready” for the birth and not so much about after. Thank you so much for the ideas and taking the time to write it out there for women. I like your website too! I grew up on a farm, but have lived in “middle territory”–out in the country, but not really farming for the last 27 years. Just couldn’t seem to turn my city boy husband into a farmer and was too busy being a midwife all that time to “farm” myself. A simple garden, a few chickens and that has been about it for us. I’m going to subscribe and learn from you! Thanks!

  3. Reheating frozen mashed potatoes – either whip in some cream cheese before freezing, or reheat in a saucepan on the stove on low heat (so they don’t scorch! btdt) so the extra water can evaporate and your potatoes will be all nice and thick. My stove has a “keep warm” burner, which is awesome for slowly reheating those potatoes. Or do twice-baked potatoes – those turn out well if you thaw ’em first.

    Otherwise, just nodding along with the rest. 🙂

  4. Hey thanks for the food info. I’m definitely going to have to get some stuff made, I just have to decide what and how much. I also thought I’d share where I found some of birthing supplies you mentioned. When I had my first one, my midwife had me order a custom kit from here http://www.babybirthandbeyond.com/ it was really nice to have everything in one box. I also had quite a bit leftover and didn’t even have to order one for my second. I will now for my third but anyway just wanted to share that.

    Also, I read one of the comments about struggling to breastfeed. Well. Oh man did I have a horrible time with my first. I too sought a lactation consultant after many visits with my midwife and after 5 weeks of painful scabbing I couldn’t take it anymore. My midwife suggested taking my son to a massage therapist. She knew someone certified in cranial sacral therapy (which is head and face). The massage therapist said my sons pallette wasn’t centered and after 2 sessions (5-10min @ $1.00 a minute) I never had an issue with him again.

    When I had my second baby the massage lady (Sarah) saw him right away the next day and we nipped that in the bud immediately!! So I guess I’m saying that sometimes you have to think outside the box. The lactation lady we had just kept telling me to hold him differently. Well it didn’t matter how I held him he was still pinching.

    Needless to say that with the third one coming up Sarah is now a dear lifesaver of mine and she is on standby!

  5. Looks like a great list! As soon as we move I’m going to start freezing meals. I figure I’ll want to use them occasionally before the baby’s born too LOL!

  6. I’d add something like (or exactly) a miracle blanket. I have twins and once they grew too big to swaddle in receiving blankets, I had some tough nights until I busted these out in a middle of the night, sleep deprived stupor. Wrap ’em up tight like a burrito for a quick back to sleep baby.

    Also, boppy pillows, especially with twins.

    Our bedroom was upstairs so a cooler for formula (I could not exclusively breastfeed). Up and down stairs with a c-section was not a good idea.

    Your daughter is just adorable and I can not believe how good you looked right after she was born. Good for you!

  7. I breastfed my DD, but we really struggled. The lactation consultant at her pediatrician’s office recommended I use a nipple shield as I apparently had issues in that department; a lot of women don’t realize the setbacks that can be had from flat or inverted nipples that a shield can fix (and for about $4, to boot). There’s a lot of debate about the shields as some people believe they will slow down milk production and they should only be used for a short period of time. But I found the only way to know was to try it. My milk production did not suffer, but DD was never able to feed without it. The lactation consultant told me it was better for her to feed with the shield than to not have breast milk at all. I strongly suggest moms to consult with an expert, but for me it was worth it and whenever I think of having another baby that’s an item I would definitely put on my “to buy” list.

  8. Thank you for this. I am not expecting, but this will be very helpful to have on hand when hubs and I do have a baby. We will be first time parents, and any and all advice is super helpful!

    Thanks!

  9. I know some people really like lanolin, but I couldn’t stand the texture or the feeling on my skin. I’m currently nursing my 2nd and have found that this nipple butter works better for me. Their “booby tubes” also work well; I’m guessing much like the soothies. For cheap comfort, a head of cabbage stored in the fridge does wonders! Just peel off a few leaves and tuck in your bra. Sounds crazy, but I think it works!

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