My Pregnancy and Postpartum Essentials

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Everyone has their own list of “essentials” that they absolutely couldn’t live without during their pregnancy or postpartum period. I’d like to share mine. I’ve found that while some of these products are targeted specifically toward mothers, they can be used by everyone, pregnant or not. Here’s my current rotation of products I’m using:

1. L’Oreal ever creme nourishing leave in spray: I’ve always used leave-in conditioners because I have extremely thin hair and I’m always looking for ways to protect it or make it thicker, etc. When I was pregnant my hair looked pretty good, but started falling out in excessive amounts shortly after giving birth. Luckily that only lasted a few weeks, but I’ve continue to use this spray throughout. It has a nice smell and leaves my hair feeling good.

2. Heritage Rosewater: this is probably my favorite beauty product ever. Pregnant or not, everyone should buy it. I usually just spray it all over my face and body after I get out of the shower. It’s nice and cooling and smells amazing, nothing fake about it.

3. Lanolin nipple ointment: you’ll be glad you have this when your nipples are cracked, sore, or bleeding (can be prevented). A must have for all nursing moms.

4. Lavanila healthy deodorant: I’ve always used Secret Clinical Strength and it’s still my favorite deodorant/antiperspirant for how well it works. However, now that I’ve breastfeeding, Max is literally consuming everything I put in and on my body. This is a natural alternative to your usual deodorant. No, it doesn’t work as well, let’s be honest. It does smell really nice ( i have the vanilla grapefruit scent) and you don’t need to worry about your baby ingesting aluminum or other scary ingredients used in mainstream antiperspirants. 

5. Josie Maran coconut water cheek gelee…also known as cream blush: You know that healthy glow you get when you’re pregnant? That disappears pretty fast after you give birth. I like this blush because again, it’s free of your typical make-up ingredients such as parabens and sulfates, doesn’t make my sensitive skin break out, and lasts fairly long (not all day..but it’s easy enough to reapply).

6. Mother’s special blend toning oil: During my pregnancy I applied a lot of various oils to my stomach to prevent stretchmarks. I’m still using this brand postpartum, although not religiously like I used to. I don’t have any stretchmarks on my stomach. Maybe it’s because of this, maybe it’s because of other factors. I still like to use it, even though it mildly smells like popcorn. 

7. Hydrolyze Intensive Under eye treatment: I never used this during my pregnancy, but OMG get yourself a good eye cream because you will be running on anywhere from 1-4 hours of sleep once your baby is home. 

What products were your must-haves? 

Thoughts on breastfeeding + pumping

bahj

 

I can’t even begin to count how many different articles I’ve read on breastfeeding ranging from “things they don’t tell you about breastfeeding” to “power pumping” and beyond. I wanted to share my own personal experience. One thing I can say for sure is that it was a learning process. Maybe later I will write a long post about my birth story, but in a few words, given the fact that Max was born premature, it was a while before I was able to breastfeed him, so I had to pump. I truly had a love/hate relationship with my Medela. I knew I was doing a good thing by providing milk for my baby, yet I felt like I was tied to the machine 24/7. Here are a few things I’ve found to be true about pumping, and then breastfeeding.

1. Engorgement was a very legitimate fear of mine. It happened several times during the first month post partum and it was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced aside from actually giving birth. Nothing really helped, I just had to struggle through it and continue pumping. 

2. I was producing enough milk to feed a small village. Now I know this is definitely not a bad problem to have, as I met many mothers in the hospital who were struggling with their milk supply, but it did mean I had to pump religiously every 3, and sometimes every 2, hours in order to keep up.

3. Your bra size will change- a lot. Or maybe it won’t. All I know is mine changed so drastically I am still learning how to live with it three months post partum.

4. Now that Max is home and I’m breastfeeding exclusively, I no longer have to pump as much (maybe 3 times a week), but I still have to use a nipple shield. His preemie status means he just can’t latch on as well without it yet. This also means that I am sometimes crawling on the floor in the middle of the night looking for this invisible nipple shield that is impossible to find.

5. The baby is now the boss and I have to be available to breastfeed as soon as he starts fussing and rooting. Aside from 1-2 bottles of breast milk that my husband feeds him, Max is pretty much a little leech hanging on me nonstop. 

6. It’s not intuitive. I wish I could say I just lie back on my bed and the baby feeds. Unfortunately I have yet to find a super comfortable position for myself that doesn’t activate at least some minor muscle pain. Oh well, it’s a work in progress.

7. Ignore the first six things- it’s the best bonding with your baby you will ever experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.