NB: This is a bare all, I’m-not-holding-back post so don’t read it if you’re the blushing type.
You don’t need
- Carriwell maternity hospital pants. I don’t quite know what my plans were with these but somehow I thought that the mess of childbirth would mean that I could never wear normal pants again so I bought 4 of these used one and then laughed at myself. It’s a flimsy piece of gauze that is supposed to hold a pad. Ya. No.
- Mineral oil/talc. Most people seem to love gifting baby oil and talcum powder at baby showers when really you’re just giving someone a by-product of petroleum and some powdered magnesium to rub onto their precious newborn. Yay.
- Belly band…if you didn’t put on a lot of weight and you didn’t get stretch marks during pregnancy, your skin has a lovely amount of elasticity which means your stomach will shrink back, I promise. I bought myself special pants to help move my stomach back and I haven’t used them….though I might for wearing under a slinky LBD.
- Nappies and baby changing things ARE available in abundance at the hospital so you don’t need to pack them. Save yourself some space and leave them out.
- Pinterest. I love Pinterest but labor cannot be put into a one-size fits all box. Posts about making yourself witch hazel and aloe vera pads and freezing them are great…if you tear. Then there are the posts about breast pumps which make you want to rush out and buy one before you even know whether you CAN breast feed.
Your experience will be unique to you so take every thing you read with a cup of salt – you don’t want to be spending unnecessary money.
You do need
- Granny pants. There ain’t no time for being sexy. If you’ve had a natural birth, chances are you have no inhibitions left (it completely disappears when a nurse comes and “tidies” up your downstairs region and you just lie there letting it happen) and so it’s easy to set aside the frilly underpants and grab those “crimson wave” goodies which you could use as a parachute. Good. They will be your best friend for the next week as you have to use the below….
- Pads with wings. You’re going to have a delightful amount of bleeding, lighter than a period, but lasting far longer. They will give you wingless, stickless pads in the hospital which do help but they move around so much that you spend half your time trying to pull it out of your bum and worrying that people can see it.
And yes, pads are not nice to wear but tampons are OUT for the innings (they can give you an infection/introduce bacteria) but I’m pretty sure you’re not going to want to put so much as a whisper (I’m not talking chocolate bars) up there for the next few weeks.
- Natural, scent-free soap/shower gel. Your nether regions have just come under fire and if you tore, you are not going to want to put anything scented down there. Also, your baby is a sensitive little soul so drowning yourself in perfume will affect them.
- Sudocream. I swear by this stuff though my bank balance does not. It’s my go-to for burns, grazes and cuts because it just works. It is more expensive than other creams but so worth it and it’s great for them *cough* lady parts.
- Syringe. That first toilet trip after pushing out a baby will feel like a game of Battleships. You won’t know where the pain could come from but you know it might and if you’ve torn, then you know that something is about to get sunk. Even despite not tearing (God is good), I still didn’t want to risk anything and so the syringe was used with warm water whilst emptying bladder as a means to wash and soothe anything that could potentially sting. Marvelous.
And an additional one, WIPES. Wipes for you and wipes for the baby. Just wipes. More wipes. ALL THE WIPES. Coz those babies get finished fast.
I’ve just realized that this post is pretty much all about the V. Meh.