Post partum tips for a first timer - Mothering Forums

  • 1 Post By gillibean
  • 1 Post By arialvetica
Thread Tools
#1 of 12 Old 07-20-2014, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
valerievalira's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 66
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Post partum tips for a first timer

Any tips from BTDT moms for us first timers?

For example: pads. Pre-pregnancy I used a diva cup. So I have no idea what kind of pads work well.

And do I really need the breast pad thingies?!? I usually don't wear a bra to bed and kind of hate the idea of having to use a pad for that part of my anatomy as well as a maxi pad.

And meals: how much should I make and freeze in advance? I love cooking and would rather not go the frozen route- but several moms have told me to prep and freeze. And healthy recipes you know of that freeze and re-heat well?

And any other tips/ tricks?
valerievalira is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 12 Old 07-20-2014, 03:03 PM
flyagaric's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 22
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by valerievalira View Post
Any tips from BTDT moms for us first timers?

For example: pads. Pre-pregnancy I used a diva cup. So I have no idea what kind of pads work well.

And do I really need the breast pad thingies?!? I usually don't wear a bra to bed and kind of hate the idea of having to use a pad for that part of my anatomy as well as a maxi pad.

And meals: how much should I make and freeze in advance? I love cooking and would rather not go the frozen route- but several moms have told me to prep and freeze. And healthy recipes you know of that freeze and re-heat well?

And any other tips/ tricks?
I used any old maternity pads i could find, but i know some use cloth pads... but definitely, i was too sore to use ordinary pads for a number of weeks. (I had a 2nd degree tear though.)

And i did need the breast pads. NEED. You might not! But tbh you probably will... at first the milk just leaks out almost constantly in my experience. And when babe was feeding off one side the other would act as though she was feeding off it too. So lots of leakage, but it didn't last long... a month or so? 6 weeks maybe?

As for meals - DH ran around after me mostly, i didn't prep anything. But i would say it helps to have a lot of stuff in that is easy to eat with one hand and not eaten hot - because at first you will probably be holding baby for all your mealtimes and you WILL spill something on them at some point
flyagaric is offline  
#3 of 12 Old 07-20-2014, 06:00 PM
Theleastofthese's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used some really large overnight pads that I froze for about the first two weeks. I had a second degree tear, and the ice felt good, but I didnt have trouble sitting or anything. After that I used cloth pads, because I usually would use them anyhow because disposable ones give me a rash.

I definitely needed the breast pads too. I made a bunch of flannel ones (but you can buy re-usable ones online, too) and used them for about 7 mos PP. :/. I leaked alot. It is annoying to wear them at night, yes, but it was more annoying if I didnt and woke up soaking wet and smelling like milk. I wore them at night for the first 2-3 mos, I cant remember exactly how long. I found the disposable ones uncomfortable and only used them if I was traveling or somewhere like a wedding. I still have a bunch leftover and will use after this new baby, too.

Meals, i have no idea. We were living with my parents for the first three months, so I didnt cook. My mom helped me sooooo much. I did little things around the house, like laundry and dishes, but not cooking.

I definitely tried to get out of the house too much and overdid it many days PP. But on the flip side of that, I felt good really shortly after the birth, and was able to get out and about. I think this time I will lie low for a bit longer, which will hopefully speed recovery.
Theleastofthese is offline  
#4 of 12 Old 07-20-2014, 08:56 PM
Calycanth's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Moab, UT
Posts: 868
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
I never needed breast pads, so maybe you won't either! But you will almost certainly need giant maxi pads. I use cloth pads for menstruation, but I can't justify spending the money for postpartum cloth.

I also love to cook, but we ate a lot of sandwiches, salads, and other cold foods for a month or so after DD was born. We don't have much freezer space, so preparing a lot of food ahead of time wasn't an option for us.

Some advice I wish I'd had--if people offer to help you/take care of you/cook for you/clean for you, LET THEM. You will need the rest.

partners.gif  +babyf.gifjoy.gif

Calycanth is offline  
#5 of 12 Old 07-21-2014, 06:34 AM
monkeyscience's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Bismarck, ND
Posts: 2,506
Mentioned: 248 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 65 Post(s)
I actually didn't need giant pads. I bought a pack of the hugest ones I could find, but by the time I left the birth center, a few hours after my son's birth, the worst of the bleeding was done, and medium-sized pads would have been fine. It's really hard to know in advance, because everyone is different! (Same with nursing pads - I needed them, but some don't.) I'm also a DivaCup user normally, and react badly to disposable pads - menstrual and nursing. But dealing with cloth pads was not something I was up for PP. I found that the Always Infinity Cell pads didn't irritate me so much. Also, my midwife recommended buying Tucks wipes (by the hemorrhoid stuff at the store), and putting them the fridge. I would wipe with one, or sometimes just leave a cold one in my pad, and it was really soothing.

Also, if you end up getting stitches and they don't dissolve by 2-2.5 weeks - go see someone and get them taken out! My stitches never dissolved, and it hampered my recovery a lot. When I finally had them pulled out at 4 weeks PP, I was like a new person in a matter of days!

As for meals, I froze maybe one or two? But we had/expected meals from church and family members, and dh can cook.
monkeyscience is online now  
#6 of 12 Old 07-21-2014, 08:42 AM
ashleeS's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 320
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I've had all home births, so I'm not sure what the hospital gives, but I was always advised by my midwives to have some depends for those first few days (no leakage there! plus if you have any clots - they're contained better). I did use a few depends from each package, but felt like using them past the second day was totally unnecessary (over kill for me). I always ended up giving the bulk of the package away to another expecting mama. Anyway, for THIS birth (#4) I bought a small "sample" pack of the nicer depends (cheap on Amazon) for the first day or so (since my bleeding had been more like a typical period after the first two days).
Amazon Amazon

I too use a cup (Lunette) when on my period, and about a year ago discovered the world of mama cloth too. LOVE cloth pads/pantyliners vs disposables! A cloth panty liner as back up for the menstrual cup for the first day or two of my period is awesome (and perfect for that last day or two of spotting during your cycle). Over the last year I've built my cloth pad stash up and have some heavy/pp ones too. The last three babies I've just used reg/overnight Always brand maxi pads with wings, but I don't like the feel. Plus, the major flow tends to tapper off quickly but then I spot for WEEKS postpartum. I hate the lack of air flow with disposable panty liners. So happy to have cloth panty liners now that I can just launder with the cloth diapers! They're so much more comfortable! This is the etsy shop I bought my cloth pads from

DS1 2/08, DD 1/10, DS2 12/11...#4 due October 2014
Home schooling, home birthing, breastfeeding, bed sharing family!


ashleeS is offline  
#7 of 12 Old 07-21-2014, 03:50 PM
Homekew's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One thing I figured out for my third birth was that it was helpful to pack some pairs of Depends underwear in my hospital bag. The hospital will give you mesh underwear to hold their big ol' pads in place, but I always felt like I was wearing a ginormous diaper and the mesh didn't hold the pad in place well- not fun. And I also didn't like it when guests would come visit and I had to get up to use the bathroom b/c everything was so bulky and uncomfortable. Depends underwear are absorbent like the big pads, and disposable so easy to just tear off in the bathroom and replace. They were a lot less bulky under my pj bottoms too so just more comfortable all around.

I'll be delivering my 4th child soon and will be sure to pack my trusty Depends once again!
Homekew is offline  
#8 of 12 Old 07-22-2014, 12:43 PM
gillibean's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Ontario
Posts: 1,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I had a couple of herb baths prepared for each of my births - very soothing and healing. To do that I simmered the herb package in a bunch of water and then froze the infusion. I simply added the frozen infusion to a bath. I also saved the herb pack after I had simmered it and a small amount of the infusion and used the pack as a compress. I'd keep it in a container in the fridge so it was nice and cool.

I needed nursing pads. Actually, what worked best was a folded flat diaper in a nursing bra or tank top - I leaked a lot. I know better now how to keep my supply from getting too out of hand though. Also, if leaking is a big issue wear a tight (but not constricting) top. For my first, I wore a really loose top and it moved around so much it was constantly stimulating my nipples and really encouraged leaking and producing even more milk.

Lots of quick and easy snacks are helpful. I find I'm constantly hungry and it's nice to have things to eat throughout the day.

Be prepared to sleep when the baby sleeps. It's tempting to get things around the house done but don't. Just sleep.
SequoiaM likes this.

Gillian - Wife to an amazing DH, Mother to 5 wonderful kiddos.
gillibean is offline  
#9 of 12 Old 07-22-2014, 08:34 PM
seastars's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 96
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I echo what others have said about breast pads/leakage. For me, "leak" is really the wrong word. "Spray" would be more accurate. I do have one close friend who never leaked at all, but the rest were all pretty leaky for at least a while. For me, the leakage actually lasted months. I never wore a bra to bed, but wore a t-shirt and had numerous folded cloths near by for the side I wasn't nursing on. So very messy.

Other post-partum stuff...

I too have terrible reactions to disposables. I found the more natural ones the better (don't remember brands), and I just changed them very often.

Sitz bath - awesome. I had a blend of dried comfrey and witch hazel which I steeped for 10-15 minutes, and then kept cool in canning jars. I ended up at the hospital after my birth, so I just brought home the sitz bath thing from my room. I also kept some in a little spray bottle by the toilet so I could use that after peeing. Very soothing.

And I also found that lightly soaking a small pad in store bought witch hazel was soothing (a friend who had hemorrhoids said it was miraculous).

A big thing for me - every time I sat down to nurse I was *fiercely thirsty. So stashing bottles or glasses of water in any likely nursing spots is a great idea. Snacks too! Just get your partner/support people to keep your stations filled up!

And speaking of food. I had friends organize a "meal train" for us: If you're in a community of people who like to cook and eat like you, I can't recommend this enough. Friends/family can sign up for particular days to bring you food (we had family take care of the first week, and asked one friend to coordinate once the baby arrives with dates starting the second week). You can specify dietary restrictions, time of day best for delivery, and a friend can clearly state "Please just leave meals on the porch. The new family is deep in baby moon, and looks forward to visiting once they're more settled in a routine." Or something. Life saver.
seastars is offline  
#10 of 12 Old 07-22-2014, 09:04 PM
crazyms's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: In a southern state of mind
Posts: 1,239
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
I will back up everything you've been told above. Nursing pads are usually needed at least in the beginning and for some of us are necessary for a while. Like a pp said spray would be a more accurate description than leak. I think cloth pads are nice for postpartum and agree that some depends are good for the very beginning. Depending on where you birth you may or may not already be getting these items but some nice after birth things I liked were sitz baths, peri bottle, and the donut pillow. With major tearing after DS these items saved my bum for weeks!

Freezer meals are a really big help. Even if you love cooking when baby comes you will likely be in baby wonderland for a while not concerned with cooking. Many things can be frozen easily. I hate to even make suggestions for meals since I don't know your diet or what you like. Doing a google search though for freezable meals, OAMC, or something similar will give you lots of results though. One other suggestion if you don't want to freeze meals or a ton of them would be to freeze prepared ingredients. Most of my freezer cooking isn't a whole meal but the components - diced bell pepper and onion; peas and carrots; cooked and shredded chicken; seasoned cooked taco meat; cauliflower "rice", cooked dried beans, etc. Just about any meal we want to make can be cooked in 30 min or less with the ingredients in the freezer ready to go. I will also combine ingredients into homemade meal bags - small bag of meatball, small bag of diced bell pepper and onion, sm bag of tomato sauce all in one large ziploc together so we have all the spaghetti makings combined. This makes it really easy for dh to reheat and cook a meal with little help or direction in those early weeks.

I also liked to have nursing stations set up anywhere I would be with baby like the couch or bed. I would place bottled waters, drop in flavor packets, and easy snacks into a basket. I was always really thirsty and hungry while nursing especially the early weeks so these ready go waters and snacks kept me going without having to move.

Disposables are a new mommy's friend! I know most of us here avoid disposable and I agree but when you've just had a baby we're in survival mode not environmental mode. It may be helpful for you to have disposable plates, cups, bowls, paper towels, etc in the house for the first couple of weeks just to have one less thing to worry with for you and dh.

Michelle mom to DD , DS , & lil DD and spending my days
crazyms is offline  
#11 of 12 Old 07-27-2014, 05:19 PM
arialvetica's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Lots of great advice so far!

I do think you'll need breast pads... have you seen this fountain? This is not an unrealistic depiction of a new mom. Just so you're prepared!

Something I am trying new for this pregnancy is display a chore chart on my fridge. I would never direct someone to it on my own, but I do have some friends who will genuinely want to help and will offer, so I think it'll be easier for me to have a simple list of chores for which I'm comfortable accepting help! Here's my list: I'll keep it in a plastic page protector and put a dry-erase marker with it so I can mark the last date something was done.
jen2 likes this.
arialvetica is offline  
#12 of 12 Old 08-01-2014, 01:47 PM
SierraBella's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 970
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Lots of good advice. What I always tell first time moms is this: Give it 6 weeks! For everything- feeling ok, BFing, getting used to life with a babe, etc. It's a hard adjustment, it really is. I didn't feel at all normal and getting the hang of things until 6 weeks or after.

Stock up food- both freezer dinners and easy to eat snacks. You'll spend a lot of time on the couch, chair, or bed, and you will get sooo hungry but not have the energy to cook, or always have the ability to use both hands. If you are a part of a local mama group, having someone make a meal train for you is always helpful.

Accept help when offered, always. It's not always easy to let people come clean your house, but it is so nice not to have to worry about doing the dishes and being able to focus on just being mama and learning BF and baby care.

Breastpads- some women need them, some don't. I'd have some on hand if you need them, and get some more if you need more. But, I was one of the women that did not really need them, and I still have boxes that I've tried to get rid of- waste of money for me.. but you never know how your body is going to react until you have your baby.

 In Love stillheart.gif with my best friend & mama to three beautiful little boys! stork-suprise.gif Expecting #4 Oct. 2014!
SierraBella is offline  

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 20,151

182 members and 19,969 guests
1babysmom , a-sorta-fairytale , Aillidh , aim4balance , akemi , AlaskAnne , alvarezd22 , americanjuly , angeebaby , annaconda , AwesomeJessica , bananabee , bannerd , belltree , blissful_maia , bluefaery , brennatsi , bruna , busybumblebee , Caffeinatedkat , calico_aster , catladymeow , Chalex , Chanel0716 , chickabiddy , chispita , clar5108 , Claudia Chapman , Crimson8 , Daffodil , dahlia810 , Dakotacakes , Deborah , Dreaming , elliha , Emanresu , EMRguy , EnviroBecca , ErinMomma , Ethelpea , farmermomma , floss&ferd , forestfoster , frugalmama , fruitfulmomma , funfunkyfantastic , girlspn , gossamer , greenemami , Hannah32 , happyhats , here we are , hillymum , hophophop , iarepookie2 , iceface , Iron Princess , IsaFrench , JadePlant , JellyMomma , JennLeaf , Jessica765 , Jordan Check , joycef , jtbuko , justmama , K703 , Kate&Joey , katelove , KShreffler , lightheartedmom , lilgreen , LiLStar , LilyTiger , love2wod , LuaBelle , Mallow , mama24-7 , Mama2ChicknLil , mamabear0314 , MamaChick , mamadance84 , MamadeRumi , mamajax , mamalisa , MamaMayme , mandamamma , mariamadly , Marumi , MDgal , mearph , Melanie Mayo , Milk8shake , minerva23 , Mirzam , MissMuffet , Mizzlulu , MN BabyDust , monkeyscience , moominmamma , MountainMamaGC , MPsSweetie , MrsKatie , MrsKoehn , ms_ilona , muddie , Mummoth , Mylie , MylittleTiger , NaturallyKait , Nenya , nj001 , oasis84 , oldsmom , orangemomma , perkier , pokeyac , prosciencemum , quantumleap , rainydaywoman , Renaissance31 , rocky , RollerCoasterMama , samaxtics , SandiMae , sarafl , sarahl918 , Serafina33 , shantimama , sherryvhkb , shoeg8rl , siennaflower , smilingprego , sofreshsoclean , sortacrispy , Springshowers , StepGirlfriend , SummerStorm22 , t2009 , TealCandy , thtr4me , Tiffa , TourmalineMama , tpodom11 , TrishWSU , typebug , Voondrop , wassernixe , Wild Rose , worthy , zebra15 , zoeyzoo
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.