The Ultimate Maternity Leave Resource - get step by step guidance!
I created this step by step guide to help you feel a little less overwhelmed, and a little more in control of YOUR post natal life.
So that no matter what happens, you’ll know where to turn.
Childbirth lasts one day (hopefully!), but motherhood is forever.
I’m here to help you prepare for the forever part.
Sometimes we all need a break. Enjoy some time for yourself with these relaxing meditations.
Practice Self COmpassion
Fostering self-kindness helps us stop judging ourselves too harshly, mindfulness reduces our tendency to ruminate on problems, and connecting with our common humanity helps us realize that life can be tough sometimes.
APPRECIATION & GRATITUDE
Practicing gratitude and appreciation improves physical health, sleep, and psychological health, while enhancing empathy and helping us connect better with others.
ALLOW OTHERS TO SUPPORT YOU
Social support has well-known benefits for physical and mental health. And when you allow others to help you, you're really giving them a gift. Helping others makes us feel happy, promotes social connection, and evokes gratitude. In other words, it's very good for our health.
Wise Mama Physical Recovery Checklist
In addition to rest and taking it easy,
these items will help ease the physical discomfort post birth.
And here's the full list
- Super absorbent pads. You can expect to bleed for several weeks after childbirth, even if you have a C-section.
- A Sitz Bath (Motherlove Organic Sitz Bath Spray Soothing Herbal Spray for After Child Birth).
- Lidocaine Spray (New Mama Bottom Spray Earth Mama Angel Baby).
- A Squirt Bottle (take this home from the hospital or if you forget, grab the Fridababy Fridet MomWasher) .
- Disposable Ice Packs (or make your own out of a diaper).
- Nipple Cream (Motherlove).
- Witch Hazel Pads (Tucks pads).
- Cold compresses / Ice packs (or use cabbage or frozen peas).
- Stool softener. They’ll give you this while you’re in the hospital, but it’s good to have more at home in case you feel like you need it.
- Motrin or ibuprofen.
- Hemorrhoid cream (Preparation H).
- Disposable undies (you can take a few pairs from the hospital)
The Wise Mama Hospital Packing List
- Your phone and charger.
- Driver's license or other ID, your insurance card, and any hospital paperwork you need.
- A list of people to call/text after the delivery. Make the list beforehand so you don’t forget someone important when you’re exhausted post delivery.
- Your toiletries (toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, deodorant, brush, makeup, and hair bands. Hospitals usually provide soap, shampoo, and lotion, but you might want your own.)
- Both your contacts and glasses, if you wear them.
- A bathrobe. If you’re going to have visitors in the hospital, a robe is probably something you want to pack. Get a comfy one that you’ll be able to use at home as well.
- Comfy PJs. There is no point to planning to get out of your PJs or even the hospital gown they give you while in the hospital. So bring two pairs of comfortable PJs that you can lounge around in while you get to know your baby and recover.
- A few pairs of comfy socks and slippers.
- Flip flops or shoes you can wear in the shower.
- Comfortable nursing bras and/or tanks.
- Several pairs of comfy “granny” panties. Make sure the waistband is loose enough that it won't press on your abdomen at all.
- Whatever will help you relax and feel comfortable (i.e. your own pillow, but make sure to have a bright pillowcase so it doesn’t get mistaken for a hospital one, music and something to play it on, sleep mask, earplugs to help you nap during the day.)
- A notepad or journal and pen. You might want to track your baby's feeding sessions, write down questions you have for the nurse, note what the pediatrician tells you, etc.
- A comfortable going-home outfit for you.
- Vitamins or medications (ask your doc before taking).
- A water bottle. Staying hydrated will be key for your recovery as well as for breastfeeding.
Items for Labor - Vaginal birth
- Think about your 5 senses (touch, taste, sight, smell and sound) and how sensory elements could enhance your birth experience. You'll likely not use any of this stuff, but it’s nice to have just in case!
- A tennis ball for back massages.
- Essential oil or scented shower gel - warm water can be helpful in easing the pain.
- Music and/or recorded meditations.
- Your birth plan if you have one.
Items for C-Section
- You're likely to be in the hospital for two to four days after a c-section, so bring extra clothes. (Although you might end up just chilling in the hospital gowns provided since they are quite comfy)
- Pre-op recorded meditations for relaxation.
Items for your partner
- Phone and charger.
- A camera or video camera with batteries, charger, and memory card.
- Comfortable shoes and a few changes of comfortable clothes.
- Snacks - healthy goodies like nuts, protein bars, and fruits to keep everyone from getting hangry.
- A bathing suit. If you want to take a bath or shower during labor, you may want your partner to get in with you to support you or rub your back.
Items FOR your baby
- An installed car seat. You can't drive your baby home without one! Make sure it’s been properly installed ahead of time.
- Baby clothes for the hospital stay - snap or zip ups are the easiest for diaper changes.
- A going-home outfit.
- A blanket for the car ride home to snuggle your little one with in the car seat.
- An extra bag to take home any gifts or goodies acquired during your hospital stay.
- Although the hospital will give you swaddling blankets, Velcro swaddles like these below are a lot easier in my opinion :)
What not to bring
- Lots of cash or other valuables.
- Diapers - the hospital will give you all you need!
- Sanitary pads for you - you'll bleed after delivery whether or not you have a vaginal delivery or a c-section, but the hospital will provide all you need.
- A breast pump - if you need one, they’ll have it.