Obviously, based on your situation and your body and baby’s needs, what you need will be different, but these were things I definitely needed and were thankful to have in those first four weeks postpartum.
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#1 Pillows to sit against in bed
I used a reading pillow with arms like this, but sometimes I also bunched up my pregnancy pillow behind my back. You just need something so you’re not relying on your abdominal muscles every nursing session.
#2 Peri Bottle
The hospital gave me some (now I use them to wash the baby with). If you want something that works better, get this one by frida.
#3 Water Bottle
As soon as you sit down and can’t get up, baby starts drinking and then you get desperately thirsty. Every. Time.
#4 nursing nightgowns
I hardly went anywhere for two weeks so I wore my nursing nightgowns all day every day. I got mine from Target, but Motherhood Maternity also has good quality clothing (wait for a sale – they happen often).
#5 Frozen Witch Hazel Padsicles
They’re great; I used it 2 or 3 times and it was so relieving. There are different recipes online; I followed this one.
Just like you get instantly thirsty when baby nurses, you also get hungry. I preferred nuts and snack bars because they supplied short-term energy from carbs and long-term energy from protein. I had a soft storage bin that I kept on my headboard with nursing essentials, a little side table next to my rocking chair in the nursery, and the snacks on the dining room table next to the living room.
#7 Lanolin Nipple Cream
If you’re breastfeeding, this is amazing (especially those first two or three days when your nipples are getting used to sucking every two hours). Kaiser gave me more than enough just with the samples they gave me so I didn’t have to buy any.
#8 Breast Pump and vibrating implement for engorgement
Kaiser sent me a breast pump for free so check with your insurance to see if one is provided (I believe every insurance company is required to provide one, but how and when they do so varies. Some insurance companies use websites like yummymummy or aeroflow.) Breast milk storage bags are not included so you’ll need to buy them. Pumping helps keep engorgement at bay (you don’t want to get mastitis, and it’s just plain uncomfortable) and something that vibrates helps. I used a leg massager we had, some people use electric toothbrushes, or they make “lactation massagers” like this. I breastfed Lily so if you are feeding your baby formula, I’m not sure how useful these would be, but I know you still want to watch out for engorgement so you don’t get mastitis. (If you want a great course on breastfeeding and/or pumping, I suggest the Ultimate Breastfeeding course on Milkology by Stacey Stewart.)