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PP mama care - what do I need to buy?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Basic question from a first-timer. I like the threads about having the fridge/freezer stocked and having guidelines for DH after birth, but I need to know a little more about how to take care of me.

Mesh panties- Are they reuseable? Can I just buy some cheapie bikini-cut panties to hold in the giant pads and throw them out when I'm done? Which works better? I'd rather not bleed on my clothes and mesh doesn't seem like a good idea.

Pads - How big & how many? Should I get the extra-long ones or the extra-thick ones? Or both? I've read to soak them with witch hazel then freeze them to soothe the nether-regions, but if they're soaked with witch hazel they can't soak up anything else, right? I'm not doing cloth. :

Sitz bath - Do I need to buy one of these or does the hospital give me one? Does it vary by hospital, b/c I don't want to be without one (I think!).

I'm sure I'm forgetting a millions things. Help me out experienced mamas! TIA!
post #2 of 36
Thanks for asking, Dee. I was wondering the same thing. (I haven't worn pads since I was a teenager, so I have no idea what is available in that arena these days...)
post #3 of 36
I use cloth...but with DS the hospital totally stocked me up on pp pads. I think I switched to regular ones within a week or so.

As far as mesh panties go...I'm a big fan : I would wash them and reuse. They sound bad, but, they really were sooo comfy. They held pads on better than any undies I tried. I just pulled out my old meshies and DH laughed at me...shocked that I had saved them.

Sitz bath, I never had one. I did just sit in the tub when I needed to, but, I might try one this time around. I took my peri bottle with me everywhere though!
post #4 of 36

here are MY OPIONONS .... (remember i had a 4th degree tear adn MUCH swelling -- much swelling.)

i too had not worn pads since junior high -- i was a tampon girl for what 20 years ........................

1. mesh panites..... the hosptial gave me mine. and extra to take home -- i wore them for first few days whiel the bleeding was really hevey -- but i think day 3 or 4 it was a lot lot lot better, maybe before that. i know that once i ran out of the mesh ones, and yes they are resuable, i wore my normal underware and didn't stain any. i liked the mesh panties -- they are sung without being really tight. kept everything in place.

what i did was spray the pad attach to the mesh apnties with a pain reflief spray -- like for sunburns. then place tucks medicated (which haz) pads over that, next to my skin.

I did that for the frist 4 or 5 days -- but again i tore bad.

for a while, right after the birth, i also had an ice pack stuffed in there. they had ice bags with fluffy cotton wraps -- the nurse would bring it full of ice, and i would use that on top of the pad / in place of the pad ... not sure how long, he was born at 1 am and all that night i know i had ice on, the nurse would help me change it when she came to check vitals. it was hard for me to do alone -- i hurt and it was awquard. not sure how long i kept the ice packs on......all night, then some.....

As far as mesh panties go...I'm a big fan I would wash them and reuse. They sound bad, but, they really were sooo comfy. They held pads on better than any undies I tried.

2. i bought the hevey over night long pads... i know i used all of one package, but i still have some left from the 3rd package (i had a package upstaris and downstairs).

the really hevey bleeding only lasted a shirt time, after that it was just like a period that kept going.

after that i did wear the liners for a while.

ALL bleeding was over by 4 or 5 weeks pp... even the pantie liner potting stuff.

I would not soak them with anything.

I used the witch haz tucks -- kept in the freezer the first few days -- laying them on the pad. I think if you soak the pad in anything, then it isn't going to soak up the stuff you need it to.

3. bath -- the hospital did not give me one. i never used one. i had a bottle with a top like a sports top they gave me to squirt water on my privates after a potty break ............... in teh hosptial they had a little sprayer that hooked to the water by the toliet, built in, kinda like a diaper sprayer or something -- that was awsome, the water temp could be ajusted like like a sink ................ but i never used it -- i would wipe VERY GENTELY with a tuck or two ... pat actually i didn't like the wet feeling the water bottle left me with.

i did soak in the tub, 2x a day, with epsion salt in the water ... advice of CNM.

--------------------- when you birth in the hosptial they stock you room with stuff -- mesh panities, pads, diapers for the baby and you can request more, but that way each time you need something you go to the cabnet, you don't havbe to call the nurse -- and generally everyone i know has taken the "extra" home with them when they leave. so when we were leaving there were 3 or 4 or 5 mesh panities in my stack, i packed them. (and the 3/4 full package of pre-mee diapers). --------------------
post #5 of 36
Ditto to most of the stuff Aimee said. I had both my kids at a birth center and they didn't have mesh panties. I just used my regular panties (watever you would normally use during heavy flow AF. I don't think mesh panties are necessary at all.

For pads, I used the overnight Always with wings the first few days. Then cloth or regular thin Always w/wings after that.

No sitz baths here after either birth. But I did have the peri bottles and I think they put something special in the bottles immediately postpartum (maybe some witch hazel or herbs mixed with the water.) I just put warm water in it after that. Used it for a few days.

Other things that you will need:
Breast pads and lots of them whether you are using cloth or disposables.
Lanolin for sore nipples
And possibly a postpartum or nursing tea. I always have to have nursing tea to help my milk come in (I also struggle with low milk supply), but you have no way of knowing how that will go ahead of time, unless you are already leaking colostrum.
post #6 of 36
If you can find a postpartum herbal mix online for the bath (there are a few), I would soak in herbs as often as possible.

You may want a peri bottle. A squeeze bottle to put warm water on your hoo-ha as you're urinating and/or afterwards to cleanse. The hospital may provide one, I would call.

Once you're home, if you're planning on not being up and around much, you can use hand towels in bed or on the couch to hold the pad in place for a few hours.

Rubber gloves and witch hazel: Fill the fingers with water and tie them off and cut the filled fingers off. Freeze. Those can be put in your peri area to soothe and cool. Wrap one in a wash cloth soaked with witch hazel and lay against the sore area.

Witch Hazel compresses are a great idea.

If you have some small tears that are hurting when you urinate, use the peri bottle or better yet, draw a warm bath (just a couple of inches) and sit in the tub to pee.
post #7 of 36
I used the mesh panties for just the first day or two, which I liked bc I could just throw them away, then I used my own black cotton underwear--no stains on black!

I would buy the biggest pads you can find--seriously--and with wings for sure. Also get lots of pads in different sizes as the bleeding is less. I had to use some sort of thin pad for a few weeks and I kept running out bc I don't usually use them either.

I used a peri bottle that I bought myself--you know those bottles you can buy at the store that are for ketchup or mustard, with a tapered tip? It was perfect, but a water bottle with the right top would work too. I had to use warm water every time I peed bc it stung so bad.

A couple times a day, I did a sitz bath in warm water in a little tub thing that goes over the toilet (which they gave me at the hospital and I took home), but this time I'm using an herbal sitz bath. I heard that my hospital will give you an herbal sitz bath, but I'm allergic to witch hazel, so I bought my own from here:


I'm going to make some ahead of time and freeze some pads with it too. The frozen pads are the BEST, OMG! They gave me some sort of frozen pads at the hospital, but the idea of frozen pads with herbs sounds heavenly to me.
post #8 of 36
I used condoms for the ice packs. Best thing ever. Just fill them so they are not full, flat like a pad and lie them in the freezer. Just wrap some gauze around them and it feels great for the first two days pp. You can reuse them. I think I had 5 and that was plenty. Hope I won't swell as much this time though.
post #9 of 36
Condoms would be much easier than the glove idea and I can see how they're reusable (for freezing!)
post #10 of 36
Originally Posted by ChiaraRose View Post
I used condoms for the ice packs. Best thing ever. Just fill them so they are not full, flat like a pad and lie them in the freezer. Just wrap some gauze around them and it feels great for the first two days pp. You can reuse them. I think I had 5 and that was plenty. Hope I won't swell as much this time though.
You are brilliant!
post #11 of 36
Originally Posted by GinaRae
...I can see how they're reusable (for freezing!)

I still have a pair of mesh panties from one of my other births. Easily washable and reusable. I started wearing regular panties after a couple of days. Your hospital, birth center, or homebirth midwife will have the meshies, but confirm ahead of time if you're not sure and want a pair. (My homebirth midwife last time around carried them.)

Peri bottles are great--your hospital, birth center, and/or midwife will also have these. I have a couple floating around. Filled with warm water (and perhaps a squirt of iodine or herbal bath), they really do a great job keeping you clean during those first few heavy bleeding days. Since you (or your insurance) is paying for it, take it home!

For sposie pads, I'd buy one large pack of the largest, longest pads you can find. Then another pack one step down, and a third a step down from that.

Sitz baths--just fill up your tub a couple of inches with warm water and epsom salt, and soak your birthy parts in it for 20 minutes at least once a day for those first few days.
post #12 of 36
I also bougth in 2005 a pack of the dispable bed pads, about 24 inches square. I put on on the bed and one on the sofa aftrer my water broke. and i think i might have had on one the birth ball -- i know the doula we had last time, who home birthed, talked about useing them at her home birth --

when we got home i put on under my sheets in case my pad leaked at night the first couple of night -- it never did.

But the big ol pack of them ... i used 3 or 4 in 2005. Sis had a baby in 2006 and i sent her twn of them.

I am due again in 07 as is my other sister -- i have sent her some to have on hand and i have enough for me, and will still have extra too

They are by no means necessary -- but our Bradkely Teacher suggested them, so i got them -- they are cheap -- in teh alie with the adult diapers and so on.
post #13 of 36
I loved the mesh panties and pads at the hospital and used them while there. I also loved the ice packs they put in for the first 12-24 hrs or so, but didn't use anything like that after that time frame. Once home I wore regular undies and used overnight/heavy flow/long type pads and they worked fine.

The hospital did give me a sitz bath thing, but I don't think I used it as much as I was supposed to. I did do the squirt bottle thing all the time though.
post #14 of 36
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the great tips!

I just bought a huge bag of 45 extra-long super pads without wings. Waaay back when I wore pads the wings bothered me so I thought I didn't want them. Sounds like I need to buy different absorbencies too so maybe I'll just exchange the ones I got for ones with wings.

Love the frozen glove/condom idea!

Good to know the hospital might hook me up with some things. Guess I'll have to call and ask.

One more question - what are nipple soothies? I've heard they're the greatest thing ever but haven't seen anything actually called "Soothies." Is this it?

Edit: Doh! Busted shopping for coffee... here's the soothie link, I think.
post #15 of 36
that link takes me to coffeee on amazon.com

post #16 of 36
Oh man that made me giggle- I suppose you could put those little senseo bags on your nipples? The cooling might feel nice?

Soothies are these:


I used them when DD was weaning and things were sore because her latch got weird. They are like a sticky goo on one side and just cloth on the other- I don't know if I'd like them for the constant-nursing-newborn phase. I just used Lanolin and regular cotton nursing pads at that point when I felt like a needed something- Generally though I left my nipples alone.
post #17 of 36
Soothies are great. Keep em in the fridge and stick em on when you're sore.
post #18 of 36
: UGH- I have sooooo much to learn. I did not give this a thought.

What else do I need to know????
post #19 of 36
First timer here...

Why isn't this in any of the books????????

Thanks to all you wonderful experienced mamas for the information. Keep it coming.
post #20 of 36
My first was a C-section, so my nether regions weren't sore... just my incision site.

You don't need a sitz pan to do a sitz bath. I've done a lot of sitzing in the last for vulvar vestibulitis and my method was thus:
  • have a bowl full of ice, water and a towel available nearby
  • run water in the tub as hot as you can stand, sit for 2 minutes
  • stand up and apply icy towel to pudenda for 30 seconds
  • repeat about 3 times
This is a GREAT way to fight inflammation and relieve pain.

I had a peri bottle, but it basically gave me what felt like diaper rash.

RE: post-partum bleeding, I used the big hospital pads and mesh panties while in the hospital (three days) and then regular pads and underwear at home. The first week was like a heavy period. There was some random bleeding on underwear and sheets a couple times, but really, I think if you are used to dealing with periods, post-partum bleeding is not a major struggle (although I don't know if you have less bleeding with a section than with a vaginal birth... I also hemorrhaged during my section, so may have had less blood in the area later, I don't know).
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