Like most first time mums, I honestly did not know what to pack for the hospital. I was so excited for my little girl to come, so much so that I had packed a whole month before my due date. Then I unpacked and packed again. This happened a few times. In the end, I managed to stuff everything and the kitchen sink into a 100L suitcase. I can’t really remember what I packed but I do know that almost half of it went unused. So because of this, i thought i would share our top 5 essentials for new mums.
Looking back at those couple of days spent in the hospital and those first few months (I like to call them the Dark Ages because most of it is pretty hazy) I really wish somebody gave me the low-down on what I really needed!
1. Nipple Balm
A good Nipple Balm is essential for mums looking to breastfeed. This wasn’t a priority on my list but those first few days were agony. I used Avado Organic Nipple Care Balm Avado Organic Nipple Care Balm, $12.99 / 60ml as there are no nasties and the balm is 100% edible meaning that it won’t be harmful to bubs!
I also found that even if I did bleed (yes, unfortunately, those first few days of breastfeeding are not fun but it does get better), a little bit of this balm really helped to soothe and speed recovery of my cracked nipples.
2. Good Quality PJs
I’m adding good quality PJs to the list because I lived in them from the second I got out of the hospital gown after giving birth. I had bought my PJs from a discount department store and they did the job but if I were to do it again, I would treat myself and invest in some really lush nursing PJs because normal sleepwear just doesn’t cut it when you’re trying to breastfeed at stupid o’clock after half an hour sleep!
Hotmilk Lingerie Sleepwear
Hotmilk design a wide range of sleepwear that isn’t daggy and they are reasonably priced too. Another upside is that their cup sizes go all the way up to H (yes ladies, your boobs really can get that big whilst breastfeeding)!
Sorella Organics Maternity Sleepwear
Sorella Organics is a luxury organic sleepwear range for men and women offering some maternity sleepwear options. It is made out of certified organic and fair trade cotton and created in Australia and Fiji.
3. Recovery Shorts
My mother had recommended getting a belt for post pregnancy when she learnt I was pregnant. The woman had two kids and didn’t have a stretch mark on her! So, did I listen to her and wear my belt after giving birth? No! Do I wish I did? Yes! But at the time, putting on a constricting belt after being hooked up to machines for over twelve hours did not sound like fun times to me.
What the belt and recovery shorts are supposed to do is help support your stomach post birth because guess what happens to the skin after you get rid of the tiny human that used to live there? It hangs and it really isn’t pretty! The belt was definitely not comfortable to wear when I finally got around to it but I definitely feel like it helped my body recover.
Recovery shorts are not cheap so the alternative is to find a pair second hand. I lived in my belts for the first couple of months so I definitely recommend two pairs which can be costly bought new.
4. Nursing Pillow
I didn’t have a nursing pillow when I was breastfeeding (seriously, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing!) and I definitely think that this would have helped me tremendously with positioning!
5. Pigeon Bottles
I wish I had known about these bottles when I was preparing for my baby. I learnt about them through my lactation consultant who really tried to help me the best she could when bubs wouldn’t feed. In particular, the peristaltic bottles are great for mums who breastfeed while baby-wearing but who would like to bottle feed too as it mimics how a baby’s tongue draws milk from a mother’s nipple.
Another tip from my lactation consultant is that the wide neck teats fit into Avent bottles (I haven’t tried this personally).
Don’t forget some amazing organic baby clothes! A definite must have! You will also need to plan your baby shower before bubs comes along, unless you are one of the lucky ones and get your baby shower organized for you.