Friday, November 14

New/Expectant Mom Essentials

I have been working on this post for months now, and I know you can find a million and one of these lists on any number of websites all over the internet. So, sorry, but this post is here by request of my sister Whitney. She knew I had been trying tons of different things and that I was sort of a minimalist and would give realistic recommendations that would work for her whenever she decided to add to their little family of husband, wife and pup.

So I have tried to make this very simple and categorize things by topic. These products are all tried and tested and proved honorable! According to me. Every mom and baby is different and will find what works for them. So take this however you want.

Stretch Mark Prevention
-Bio oil
-Burts Bees mama bee belly butter
-Vitamin E

I basically had no hope of not getting stretch marks, as I am prone genetically. I got them as a 12 year old on my hips when I grew 4 inches in 7 months. So I was positive I was going to be covered in them when pregnant, unless I took drastic action.

I got a bottle of vitamin E pills from Walmart as soon as I learned I was expecting. I took 2 a day my entire pregnancy. This helps the elasticity of your skin, important if you want your skin to be able to stretch without ripping.

Drinking water is probably the number one best thing you can do to prevent stretch marks, (though nothing can stop genetics) as it hydrates you skin which help it regenerate and be elastic.

I ordered the belly butter and bio oil on amazon after hearing and reading phenomenal things. I applied the butter every morning (because it soaked in fast so I didn't have to worry about getting dressed right after) and the oil every night. Make sure you apply it all over! I didn't apply it on my bottom and hips because I didn't think those places had to stretch much for some reason. You think as an anatomy and physiology teacher I would have been smarter. I ended up with a few marks there because I started applying it too late.

Preparation for Labor 
Evening primrose oil: This is a pill in gel form that softens the cervix. Take it by mouth and/or poke a hole in the casing and insert vaginally starting a few weeks before your due date. You can also squeeze the oil out and rub on the perineum to help with tearing.
Squats: helps strengthen the muscles down there, and later in pregnancy it can help start labor - they helped get me started.

Postpartum Care (for vaginal delivery)
Tucks- little round thin pads soaked in witch hazel, come in a small little round tub. Give beautiful relief after tearing. The hospital gave these to me, but I also bought more at Walmart. They are a dream come true. I used them for about a week.
Also, stool softeners. But they're a given. Take them. Enough said.

The hospital also gives you (or at least they gave me) two different kinds of numbing stuff (a spray and a gel) that help a ton. They also give you squirt bottle -it will be your best friend - use it.

And don't worry, you don't have to use these things for ever. You only ever hear the horror stories of delivery, and postpartum care, but its not always bad. I only bled for about 12 days and it was just light occasional spotting after the first few days. Yes, your sore for a while but I managed my pain with ibuprofen and only had to take it for a week. (For reference, I had a second degree tear, but I actually tore in 3 places, and it took them an hour to stitch me up.)

-Lanolin: Soothes sore and cracked nipples. The hospital gave me a little tube and when we went home Kelly went to Target with the tube and showed it to a worker and asked here he could find more. I swear by it.
-Lansinoh cold/hot packs: a DREAM for engorgement starts when your milk comes in (stick them in the freezer). They have little soft covers that clip into a circle and fit into your bra. You can also microwave them and use for mastitis.
-------> Story: When my milk came in, Kelly went to Target. Once he found the breastfeeding isle, he bought basically everything he could find to help me be comfortable. He came home with tons of stuff. Some of it I didn't need and returned, but I tried most of it. I honestly was blessed and had/have a really easy time with breastfeeding but you can't help getting engorged in the beginning and there are things that can make you comfortable.
-Boppy or other nursing pillow you like. I really like the Boppy. Its big and supportive and Lyla can sit in it too and be propped up.

-Baby carrier you like, I love the sling but I also made my own wrap and I love it, too.
-Any stroller you love: I require a jogging stroller because the big wheels allow me to go anywhere I want and I can still go for runs. In the two months since she has been born I have taken that sucker to farms, parks, stores, everywhere. It allows me so much freedom. I don't have a car during the day but the stroller (and the location of our home) makes it no I am not stuck.

Diapering: Find diapers you like, not much to say here. I have tried three different brands because I had them all as gifts from a baby shower. I prefer Huggies little snugglers as she has a tiny waist and skinny legs and these hold everything in. They also have a band a the top in the back that keeps the blowouts from going up her back.

Butt paste: Desitin does NOT work on Lylas little bum. She got a diaper rash pretty early and we were sing the desitin a ton to no avail. Butt paste is better, BUT make sure to get the "natural" one (green tube instead of yellow) instead of the regular one (only about 80 cents more) because the regular one has boric acid in it - bad  for babies and their skin.

Well I think that's all I've got. There are other products I could talk about but these are the ones that I really needed early on and helped me make the transition from pregnant teacher and wife to stay-at-home momma.

What products would you add from your experience?


  1. Awesome list! I would add a comfortable nursing bra, plenty of snacks you can eat with one hand, and a quality water bottle.

    1. I totally agree with these-especially the water bottle! My water bottle has always been my best friend but especially when nursing. As soon as she starts eating I am suddenly parched!

  2. That last comment was from Maren Otterstrom :)


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