Checklist for mommy?! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 03-08-2010, 03:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi mamas,

Geez, there is so much stuff people are quick to tell you what to buy for baby, I have read many different checklists which include things like number of diapers, outfits, crib, multiple sheets, receiving blankets etc...

What I have not found is an idea of what a mama should make sure she has for herself in the weeks after having a baby... Seems like its definatly possible for mamas to get lost in the birthing of her baby and not atend to her needs too. I'm a new mother and really dont have a concrete idea of what I should have for me. Im guessing things like nursing pads, nursing bras, nursing pad/pillow, sanitary napkins and ugly undies!

Any suggestions or items that you found helped you in the beginning?


1st time mama, welcoming a new being to earth in April
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#2 of 9 Old 03-08-2010, 09:14 AM
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* Comfy jammies with drawstring. I've got a couple of pairs of those maternity-to-nursing ones.
* Comfy clothes that are smaller than your 40 weeks size but that still fit a bigger you (for clothes and jammies keep in mind comfort in getting them off and on when you go to the bathroom, too)
* Tucks medicated pads or something similar--kept in the fridge
* Maxi pads--keep some in the freezer!
* Peri-bottle for in the shower and after using the bathroom--usually you get one from the hospital if you're delivering there. If not, get one!
* Nursing bra(s)
* Nursing pads

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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#3 of 9 Old 03-08-2010, 09:14 AM
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In addition to the items you mentioned - Lanolin. Meals in the freezer, and things that are really fast and easy to prepare. A really huge water bottle. Depending on where you are giving birth, you will probably be provided with a peri bottle for rinsing down there, and mesh undies. I love the mesh undies. If you aren't provided with these last two things, they can be ordered easily.
Oh, and lactation tea, the number of someone who can help you with breastfeeding, and the meeting times and locations of your local LLL. Breastfeeding was torture for about three weeks until I got broken in. Be prepared that it may hurt like hell, but hope that you are one of the lucky ones who has no discomfort.

Home water birthing, non-circing, delayed vaxing, co-sleeping, babywearing, extended nursing Mommy to DS1 5/08, DS2 5/10 and wife to sweetest hubby ever.
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#4 of 9 Old 03-08-2010, 11:59 AM
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to both PP's. I just want to second a few things.

-nursing pads (lots, I leaked like crazy!!!)
-lanolin (saves lives)
-boppy pillow for nursing
-tucks pads (I used the witchhazel pads and they work great.)
-large size maxi pads (once you run out of the ones the hospital give you, you'll need the big huge ones for a while)
-water bottle (NECESSITY!!! with a straw. You'll get thirsty quick while nursing)
-meals in the freezer for sure.

I'd also consider trying to find something comfy to sit on. I really wished I had one of those doughnut things after I had DD. I was so swollen and had stitches down there, sitting hurt. I also wish I would have left the hospital with a nipple shield. I know they are a little contriversal, but DD couldn't latch at all. They sent us home with me still pumping and feeding her with a syringe. They also sent little bottle of formula 'just in case'. One night I actually took out a bottle and stuck it in her mouth. Then I cried and changed my mind. I went back to the doctor, got a nipple shield, and was at least finally able to feed my baby. So I'd also definitely second the contact numbers for LLL.

Also, as far as the comfy clothes go, I second that, but will add that you may want to make sure you have at least one outfit you can go out in that is comfy and fits. You might end up like me with cabin fever. I wanted out of the house right away. Also, pick yourself up some nursing tank tops if you don't already have some. They are amazing. Especially for night time when fiddling around with stuff isn't ideal, but your still leaking everywhere so you need to wear something.

Happily unmarried to DP guitar.gifParenting: DD (March '06) energy.gifwaterbirth.jpg, DS (August '10) fly-by-nursing1.giffamilybed1.gifhomebirth.jpg, and our furry kids dog2.gifGuiney Pig, dog2.gifPo the POlice, and cat.gifMrs. Puff. Loving WAHM life in the Mortgage Bizz with DP.

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#5 of 9 Old 03-08-2010, 12:13 PM
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A lot of these things depend on what type of birth you have. If you end up with a c-section, then the peri-bottle, tucks, frozen maxi pads, and mesh undies are totally unnecessary. Definitely be prepared that you might need them (and if you have a vaginal birth, you WILL need them!), and figure out where to get them, but you can send DH or someone out with a list post-partum for these things.

Frozen food that is easy to prepare is a must, and help cleaning and cooking is one of the best things friends and family can do. Also, you'll want to stock up on healthy snacks and juice, as nursing will keep you constantly hungry and thirsty. You'll probably want some comfort foods, too! Lots of pillows help for nursing -- the boppy always seems too low for a newborn.

I love the ideas of the clothes that fit you post-partum. You'll have to go out and get them at some point, but they are definitely a necessity. The comfy jammies and clothes are also a must. Also, right after birth, you'll want some kind of robe that looks decent, since you may be entertaining in it! (or you could be running around topless like me since your nipples are so sore) Nursing tops are also a great thing to already have, from tanks that go underneath your shirt and thus hide your belly, to tops made for discrete nursing.

Definitely, definitely find a local breastfeeding support group, like LLL or something similar. It is a great way to meet people who are going through the same things as you, and who you can share experiences with as your children grow.

Your issues with breastfeeding will also depend on you and your baby getting used to it. Some women leak a lot and need lots of nursing pads, others not so much. I only leaked for a week, while a friend of mine leaked for months. Some women need a nipple shield, others don't. Some women get scabs on the nips, others don't. Lanolin is definitely a help for anyone, though, and you have to expect it will hurt in the beginning!

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DS1 (6) jog.gif , DS2 (3)sleepytime.gifbaby.gif DD is here!

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#6 of 9 Old 03-08-2010, 03:50 PM
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A comfy nursing area (chair, rocker, couch with pillows, whatever) with a stable table within arm's distance. For that table:

a cordless phone
snacks to eat (nut/fruit mixes, healthy snacks are good)
water bottle
tv/cd/radio remotes (if wanted)
books to read

For me, these were the necessitites. I need a phone to call friends, because I found the early days of drowsy baby/lots of nursing to be very dull. Sweet, but dull. I also liked reading books and listening to NPR...anything to keep my mind active and happy. Movies were sometimes really great...just sit back with baby, watch an enjoyable movie, and snuggle.

Food-wise, it was great if people helped with healthy snacks. Little stacks of cut-up veggies, snack foods, pre-made salads, granola...whatever worked. My appetite is always HUGE at the start of nursing, so I like to keep healthy snacks nearby and try to avoid some of the calorie-heavy meals people bring by after babies (casseroles, oy!). After a while, fresh fruit and veggies were just heavenly compared to all the frozen and boxed foods I'd been eating on the fly.

Immediately post-partum, cold packs were AWESOME on my perineum. I'd put them underneath my pants while sitting down to nurse, and it always felt so great (I had stitches).

Clothes-wise, I thought yoga pants and some large t-shirts were great.

Couldn't have gotten by without my sitz bath and the little spray bottle for urinating.

You don't use a lot of lanolin (one tube has lasted forever), but it's nice to have when your nipples are sore at first.

Never really used breast pads...I only leaked in the first couple of weeks, and I thought it was a lot more comfy to just wear a zip-down light shirt over my t-shirt. The leak stains wash out anyway.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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#7 of 9 Old 03-08-2010, 04:26 PM
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As I've been told and read, the only truly important things a new mother needs to do is rest and sleep when the baby does, eat and drink well, and take care of you and your babies' needs. Housework and juggling daily activities can all wait until you are feeling better. I hope I can follow the advice. Here is my postpartum list that I am working on, I know I am repeating what PP stated.

I look forward to what other posters recommend, I've already written down what PP have recommended.

Physical Items:
~ comfrey or witch hazel (frozen) compresses or honey for perineum (tears)
~ sitzbath herbs
~ arnica tablets for abrasions, bruising and muscle soreness
~ for afterpains: a bottle of Afterease tincture or homeopathic magnesium
~ Depends (so that I can save my underwear the first days pp) and extra-large menstrual pads
~ nursing pillow
~ washable or disposable nursing pads
~ some lanolin or other product to soothe sore nipples
~ nursing bras
~ nursing nightgown or comfy pajama's (button top for ease of nursing)

My Nursing Spot:
I plan to prepare a place to feed the baby (rocking chair by the window) with a small CD player, books, sports-bottle for water, snacks and my nursing basket (lanolin, nursing pads, chapstick, hair tie, burp cloths) on a nearby table.
~ Some good postpartum books that I bought: After the Baby's Birth: A Complete Guide for Postpartum Women by Robin Lim AND The Year after Childbirth: Enjoying Your Body, Your Relationships, and Yourself in Your Baby's First Year by Sheila Kitzinger AND A Nursing Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding

My two favorite postpartum traditions that my friends and I have provided for each other:

1. Set-up a Meal Tree that involves family and friends who will bring meals after the baby is born. Have a good friend set it up for you by informing participants of any food allergies/preferences, inform what are breastfeeding friendly foods/meals and create the list. When babe is born, she calls everyone on the list to let them know. Then that same friend will bring a meal the following day and then each friend on the list brings a meal on consecutive days. Beyond being a Life Saver, this helps control how many visitors you receive and will also create a special time for that person to meet the new babe. My friends and I always provided a main course, salad and dessert. As well as, making our meals in double portions so that there were leftover's for the following days lunch or could be frozen, thus extending the time of when the new parents needed to take on the cooking.

2. Create a "Thank You for Your Offer to Help List". Make a list of things we need help with, so when a family member/friends comes over to visit and then asks what they can help with, you can refer them to the list (I'm posting ours on the fridge) and they can choose what they want to do to help from that list.

One of my favorite postpartum websites (so far) and this great article called "The Postpartum Plan: An Outline for New Parents" at

Bekah (33): Doula and CNA sharing a great life with DH for 10 yrs now, momma to DS Baron (7/10)
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#8 of 9 Old 03-08-2010, 11:35 PM
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Great suggestions!

I never had a Boppy but I <3 My Brest Friend pillow.

TIVO if you watch TV, and maybe even if you don't. I haven't had cable for years except after DD was born. You'll be trapped on the couch nursing and TV is a welcome distraction after a while.

A good pediatrician. Sounds like it's for baby but it can help with your sanity if you have a baby with reflux or other medical condition.

Dee, mommy to Miss M 11/07 and little Miss I 5/10/10!
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#9 of 9 Old 03-09-2010, 11:57 AM
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After my babies, I wore jammies for the first week or two, to remind me and everyone else that I was taking it easy. If I'm dressed, everyone (including me) expects me to be "normal". So, this is an easy reminder.

Lots of food!! Snacks, a huge water bottle, and frozen meals are a lifesaver.

I second the TIVO suggestion. With #1, I watched the entire series of The Waltons. LOL. With #2, I watched a lot of Curious George.

Ibuprofen and stool softeners. I had c-sections, so I don't know if this is as helpful after vaginal births, but I'd suspect so.

Nursing bras. At first, I use really cheap Walmart bras (less than $10). I have 3 to rotate (one to wear, one in the drawer, and one in the wash). THey are stretchy and comfortable, and they'll fit a pretty big range of sizes, despite what they say officially. It was nice to have these already on hand.

Sposies. Yes, they are for the baby, but it's nice to not have to wash diapers if you don't feel up to it.
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