May 18, 2009

Top Ten Items a New Mother Needs

My darling friend is with child. With FIRST child, mind you, and she wanted to know from all moms everywhere, what essential baby item she can not survive without.

Luckily, I'm here to help.

I generally get first time moms the same thing. Not a pack of onesies, not cute little outfits. Nope. Been there, done that. Trust me, you'll get plenty of that stuff from everyone else (*cough*cough*grandmas*)

No, the things I think you need come from a special place. I like to call it the:

Holy Hell I Just Birthed a Baby, My Crotch is on Fire, Please, Please, Help Me Now List

And so, without further adieu, the things I think a first time mom most absolutely needs:


2. Nursing Pads

3. Nipple Cream

4. Breast Pump

5. Maxi Pads - ginorm ones

Because if you've had an episiotomy like I've had an episiotomy, regular pads END in the middle of your stitches and rub them into oblivion, thereby causing a rather unpleasant burning/chafing/how much blood am I supposed to be losing anyways type of sensation that was entirely preventable had you just bought the right pads in the first place.

In fact, I suggest you skip the maxi pad aisle altogther and walk over to bladder control. Grab the supreme count, overnight, heavy, LONG pads. They rock hard core.

6. Stool Softener

I bet no one's told you about the first bowel movement post baby...

It's terrifying.

7. Tucks

Directions for use: Put them on your bottom. 

8. Hemorrhoid CREAM

9. Gentian Violet

10. Belly Band

So, seasoned mothers, is there anything you would add to my list?


  1. I certainly wouldn't call myself 'seasoned' like my amiga here but I do feel the need to add the good ol' fashioned not-so-much-a-squirt-bottle, but sorta is....
    I'm not sure what it's called but you use it to wash your nethers in the hospital. Then if you are crafty you steal it, continue use for next 2 weeks, then use it to rinse off babies hair during baths.
    Also-take everything not nailed down in hospital.
    This includes insisting that you want to pump in the hospital-they will give you a kit that is VERRRRY valuable that since your bodily fluids are now a perma part of it you get to keep-and all the parts work with your Medela pump!This also includes the recieving blankets-they were the few blankets that were big enough to swaddle with after the first month!

  2. Nice list. But you've got to save that kind of information for after the baby. You're gonna freak her out. :P

    I want to add Grapefruit Seed Extract to your yeast remedies though. Get it at the health food store. Dilute it in water (google it for diluting directions) and wipe that all over your nipples. Clears up thrush like a charm. And no purple mess.

  3. I can not agree more with Marie...if not nailed down; take it. I had one nurse tell me this very thing; they will throw it out due to germs or something (not exactly what she said but close)!

    The other thing is will help cool the fire in the crotch!

  4. Oh, crackled nipples -- takes me back. Nothing like bleeding nipples to make you feel like an instant martyr. With baby number two, I avoided this nightmare by using a secret weapon that a powerhouse lactation consultant told me about - olive oil! Seriously, it is insanely effective, smells kind of good, doesn't hurt the baby, and is always available (at least in my house).

  5. I suggest storing your Tucks Pads in the fridge. Mmmm, very nice.

  6. Marie - You're thinking of the hospital grade sitz bath. SO NICE.

  7. Lavender oil on baby's bum clears up really bad diaper rash in a hurry. BEST Stuff even better than desitin.

    Also take some time and get away WITHOUT the baby with your honey. He needs some well deserved attention as well. (After you have recuperated and are not THAT SORE anymore.

    It is one of the most painful and GLORIFYING experiences in your life. I wouldn't trade my birthing experiences with anything. I LOVE MY CHILDREN! And I also LOVE being a mother. It's great. The pain goes away--but your children will be with you for always---(Even after they get married and have children--then comes the BEST part GRANDPARENTS!

  8. But great list you made! I couldn't agree more.

  9. Good list.

    I have an Ameda pump, slightly less than the Medela, but just as good (and I used it every day at work for a year each with my babies.)

    I always get friends the book Nursing Mother's Companion Guide because you think nursing will come easy, or that someone will help, or that people won't give you stupid advice, and you would be wrong.

    So it goes into my new mom kit with strict instructions to read it BEFORE the baby comes.


  10. Two words: double pads. Because just one wasn't enough (for long), and the second one added a cushiony layer for those of us that did NOT have the episiotomy, and tore to the 4th degree. Without double pads, I might never have been able to sit upright, by the 3rd week after birthin'.

  11. FANTASTIC list! It reminded me of the time I spent all night sleeping with a bag of frozen corn on my rear-end to soothe the cantaloupe sized hemorrhoid I inherited from birthing my first son and his huge head...

  12. Oh..I agree with the derma stuff for the ol' vah-ja-ja..I would have been lost without that..

    I would add a babysitter.. to stop by at least once a day so that she can get her nap on.. (I like to dream big)

  13. Your friend is a lucky girl. I so needed this post 12 years ago.

  14. You nailed it!!
    And double thumbs up on the Tucks!

  15. I'm officially a little freaked, but I'm SO writing all this down. T minus 4 & counting . . .

  16. Very comprehensive list, it's just missing the GRANNY PANTIES. Oh holy hell, you needs them.

  17. I agree with everything on the list, the squirt bottle definitely, that nursing book is awesome, mega huge pads for the organ-sized clots you will pass for days, the Lansinoh that will save your boobies...everything.

    Ask for a few extra pairs of the fabulous mesh underwear they will give you to hold your Depends in place for the first couple days (yeah, the hospital pads are that big for a good reason). They were so comfy on my nethers, and held my pads in place great. Plus, if you leak, they are really easy to get clean.

    If I could tell you anything about first time motherhood, it's that it's great. However, you will not feel like yourself for a good two months. You will have body fluids coming out of everywhere, you'll be swollen and tired, and trying to figure it all out.
    BUT...power through it! Nursing gets easier- it does- and you will eventually feel like your old self again.
    If you get the blues and they don't subside after a few weeks, make sure you talk to your doctor about it.

    Welcome to the club!

  18. I loved my Boppy Pillow for nursing, but it also works great as a raised donut pillow for sitting on the first week and keeping pressure off your sensitve areas!

  19. Everything I was going to add, was already covered. Except Epsom salt baths post baby. HOT Epsom salt baths. Soothes the nether regions!

    Also, steal that water bottle thing that your kids will turn into a squirt gun and use it every single time you go to the bathroom. It will feel oh so good! (with very warm water!)

    I also say get yourself either some Fenugreek or some Blessed Thistle. It helps with milk supply. Its especially good if you have other kids, and aren't able to lounge around all day long. Take a couple a day, and it helps your body to keep producing a healthy milk supply!

    I also say sleep when the baby sleeps. You just had a major surgical event happen (even if you had the baby vaginally) SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP. Even if you have to hire a YW to come and watch your other kids... do it! It will be the best money you ever spent!

  20. I personally liked the adult diapers better than pads for the first 3 days or so. They don't move around, leak, or anything. If you can get over the fact that you are wearing them. Also, my midwife made me "honey pads" these are giant maxi pads lightly drizzled with water, and a little honey, placed on a cookie sheet and placed in the freezer. Let me tell you, it's not often that the thought of sitting on something FROZEN sounds good, but after childbirth, it was heaven!

  21. Definitely swipe the sitz bath from the hospital. After my first episiotomy it was the only thing that didn't hurt.

    Excellent list!

  22. Woohoo! Great advice. I love it that you wrote it up with 'real', honest advice...not the fluff about onesies and baby wipes, hehe.

  23. Wow, that's quite an eye-opening list. I haven't had any kids of my own, but we're heading in that direction. I think I'll have to print this post so that I can be prepared. Yowza.

  24. Make sure you steal all the blue bed liner pads from the hospital because they're great for protecting your sheets when you get home!

    Also, tucks are wonderful! I would line my pads with them and it really helped.

    When I had my first baby the hospital had some kind of pad that had a cold core (like the ice packs in first aid kits) which were heavenly!! However when I went back for future deliveries the hospital said they didn't have them anymore and instead they filled surgical gloves with ice.

  25. The hospital sitz bath with Beta-dyne works wonders! I was super sad when the hospital didn't have one with my second, so I was really glad I kept my first one. Really hot water and a little Beta-dyne kept the region nice and clean!

  26. my crotch hurts just reading about all this...

  27. After my second baby the pads weren't cutting it (heavey bleeder + clots) and were irritating my sensitive areas. So I used adult diaper thingys. They're like a super-pad, but with wider and with little belts to hold them in place. Hubby laughed at me, but I felt so much better wearing them and had zero leakage.

    Another thing you'll need is Dr. Highands Teething Tablets. Sure your baby won't start getting teeth immediately, but you never know when they'll start and Dr. Highland's are life-savers! They're good to have on hand becuase some kids cut teeth lots earlier than others.

    Some hospitals have little water-bottle thingy's that gently squirt water onto your while also soothing. And there's a sometims a special mix packet that you put in the water that feels heavenly!! I don't remember what it's called. Ask you nurse your nurse about it.

    And finally, make sure to get some good Diaper Ointment. You never know when you're going to need it, but when you need it immediately! Different brands have worked differently on each of my kids. A few solid ones are Desetin & Butt Paste.

    Good Luck!

  28. I think the comments here are just as funny as the post! Hey loving the ning btw... ;)

  29. TVille4:36 PM

    I'm 25 weeks pregnant with my first, and this list (and the comments) alternately scared me, and made me laugh so hard I nearly peed (of course, being pregnant, that happens more often than I would like to admit...)

    Ahh...the practical side of childbirth...

  30. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Lots of them. Ask for stuff you need, even if they say you can't have any more. Ask for help with breast feeding - they are paid to help you! Ask for extra time in the hospital too, because then you actually get to rest and the nurses will watch over the little screamer. If you run low on any of the supplies they give in the hospital, ask for a full package of more. Diapers, tucks, large size pads (oh my gosh those were wonderful!), because either you will NOT find them outside the hospital (as in the pads and squirty bottle) OR your husband is going to bring home the wrong thing. And you're not gonna wanna shop.
    One last thing - don't freak out over breast feeding. Chances are the kid isn't going to want to latch on. Keep trying. But, it is OK if you don't breast feed or if it takes awhile. That is natural and normal. After all, its the first time for both of you.

  31. Ooooh, snag the package of Pampers, if your hosp uses them. The hospital pampers are DIFFERENT from the regular ones. The hosp ones have a special blue "indicator" stripe that tells you when your baby pees. That is super useful for tracking wet and dirties if you need to. The regular ones don't have it.

  32. oh! Olive oil for the INSANE cradle cap (because it's so horrifyingly ugly), plenty of Mama Milk tea (my production started low and exploded after tea drinking) and Raspberry leaf tea for tightening up the old baby house.

  33. Wow! I've had two kids, and two C-sections, and I've got to say that I didn't need a lot of this stuff. Lucky me! Yikes...