OK guys, this post is for us girls (read: check out now).
When I was six weeks postpartum, I wrote this post, and I'm telling you, these are a few things (things the books don't tell you) that I want to share with you moms-to-be.
We do all sorts of reading about what we need for the big arrival, but most of it covers stuff you need for the baby, not stuff for YOU (the most important person). If you're not comfortable and stress free, your baby won't be either (or your husband and other kids). So, here is what I needed, and imagine you will too:
Lip balm. Giving birth and nursing sucks all of the liquid out of your body, and as a result your lips will be drier than the Sahara Dessert. So, go get yourself some Lypsyl, Chapstick, whatever. I had my Vichy Aqualia Thermal Lip Balm literally strapped to my body. Trust me.
Antiperspirant. If you want your hubs to continue sleeping in the same bed as you, get some extra strength antiperspirant. I don't know what kind of hormones are released for the first few weeks post birth, but you do a lot of sweating when you're sleeping (even when it's only a few hours). I bought Secret Clinical Strength and I have found it to be most effective. I put it on at night before bed and don't smell like I've been working out for hours when I get up to feed L'il E in the night.
Nursing pads. You need these (I didn't think I would either)! In the first few weeks, when your milk is coming in and your breasts are like, "WTF!" they will be leaking like crazy, especially at night. You can buy the disposable ones, but I much prefer the softness of the reusable ones (I use Bamboobino). They are a little bit more high maintenance (you have to wash them daily), but the disposables irritated my skin, and trust me, your nips are already hurting, you don't need something to exacerbate the pain.
Soft bras. If you're nursing, you're going to need several bras, because you're wearing them around the clock (you need something to hold those nursing pads in place). As I mentioned above, your nips will be killing, so all you want is something super soft. I tried several, but the winners for me have been Elita Silk Magic and Medela Nursing Bras. They're not sexy, but, honestly, who cares.
Nipple cream. (Men, boys, guys, if you're still reading, I told you not to.) I'm all for natural products, but when it comes to this stuff, buy Lansinoh Lanolin Topical Treatment. I bought the olive oil nipple cream and it doesn't work—the hubs can attest to this (I sent him out to Shoppers late one night on the hunt for the Lansinoh cream, because I was so desperate).
Reading material. You're going to be feeding your baby at least six times in a twenty-four hour period, and since they feed for roughly forty minutes, that's almost six hours of your day. During the day you can watch TV, but those late night feedings are BORING. Set up a little feeding sanctuary in your baby's room, with a few good books, your iPhone, and a glass of water. The forty minutes will fly by and you'll actually enjoy it.
Take advantage of your husband. When your hubs gets home from work, don't hoard the baby, let him have some quality time and take this opportunity to do something for yourself. Have a bubble bath, go for a walk alone—whatever it is, DO IT. Your hubs is more than capable of taking care of junior, and so what if he doesn't do every little thing like you do? It doesn't matter.
These are just a few things, but, trust me, you'll find it helpful. Please add more if you think I've missed anything. Remember, it's all about you.
Good luck, mamas!