The fourth trimester is truly a challenging time for any mum –along with the joy of having a new little being in one’s life, routines are being adjusted or established whilst one is recovering from a slew of messy, painful things. I truly do not know how you amazing beings do it; I barely survived!
Here are a few things that I found I absolutely couldn’t do without, and would bring them with me if (if) I were to do it again…
1. Fridababy’s Fridet The MOMWASHER (aka the fancy and only peri bottle you need).
It’s not just about baby, mums. You need to take care of yourselves as well, and even the littlest details can make the biggest difference in your recovery. Touted as being way better than the standard squirt bottles that the hospital hands out, this item truly squirts the competition out of the water. Initially, I worried that this was an unnecessary splurge, and that the birthing centre/hospital was going to provide me with one for free anyway. But I am so glad I got this. Thanks to the long, angled narrow neck, it truly reaches where standard peri bottles cannot, and I love how it can be held upside down. Just close your eyes, and squirt where it counts. No awkwardly aiming that standard peri bottle and trying to position yourself just so anymore. Also, hooray for being able to use it as a portable bidet as well!
Just a little tip, I put in a teaspoonful of Epsom salts in the bottle, shake it, and then squirt. For those moments when you just don’t have the time to soak in a bath, this is better than nothing in aiding with post-recovery.
2. Stretch mark oils.
If you happen to have luck and genetics on your side, you probably won’t need any. But for the rest of us, myself included, we must slather these concoctions on religiously, hoping for them to fade away almost completely into the rest of the skin that has seen and done so much. Be proud, love yourself, and know that it’s OK to mourn our mark-free days. Credit goes to my husband for being so supportive that I almost feel I need to enter, “Have an amazing husband” to this list of postpartum must-haves.
Back to oils… I used Bio Oil and Palmer’s during the 2nd-3rd trimesters, but didn’t feel that they helped much. I continued to use both post-delivery, but when scouring the internet during one midnight breastfeeding session, I came across Mamma Mio. Promising “no nasties” (yay, natural products!!), and a very high percentage of effectiveness in fading stretch marks, I had to give it a go. They recommend 12 weeks of thrice daily applications. I am currently in the middle of it, but I am documenting and definitely going to share the results!
3. Perineal spray.
Down there is a bloody, painful mess the first few weeks. I was initially wary of spraying anything down there besides water, but oh that soothing, cooling feeling!! This is a necessary, ladies. I got the Peas in a Pod Perineal Spray, and it promises only natural, useful ingredients, such as witch hazel, lavender, and peppermint. It definitely helped me heal more quickly. If there is a next time, I’m going to spray this concoction heavily on some pads to put in the freezer (as padsicles), and have twice the cooling power at my disposal.
4. A well-designed nursing scarf.
The honest truth is that while you’re getting used to baby latching on, etc., life continues, and this means having to go out. If you’re not bottle-feeding or pumping, or perhaps your pump supply ran out, then a good nursing scarf can really make things so much easier under public scrutiny. I’ve tried a few different nursing scarves, from Perlimpinpin’s soft nursing scarf that wasn’t able to withstand sagging and thus, hard to cover up cleverly, to Bebe au Lait’s cotton nursing scarf that was not as soft, but more ‘crisp’, which meant it would drape and stay as you wanted it, but it was just not wide enough to withstand a baby’s occasional kicking or arm-waving… Enter Skip Hop’s “Hide & Chic” nursing scarf. The fabric is soft and breathable, being a blend of cotton, polyester, and spandex. It’s also got a mesh window so you can peep at your baby but no one else can (unless they’re sitting right beside you) which stays contoured thanks to a bit of flexible material inside. I personally could do without the flex material, as I’d rather move my hand up to allow me to see through the mesh window myself, and I am paranoid that somehow, at the right angle, someone a few feet away could still see inside. Other than that, the scarf is actually long enough to hide baby (and boob) thoroughly, and I appreciate being able to check up on him discreetly.
5. Treat yourself.
It can be anything — from diving into a book you’ve been meaning to read, taking the time to do your hair and nails, or getting something you’ve had your eye on.
For now –because I will need future pampering, let’s be honest– I treated myself to two things that have to do with becoming a mother.
This Merci Maman necklace:
Isn’t it pretty? I love how delicate yet substantial it is. The engraving is just so elegant, and I love how you can’t really see the writing from far away. It is like a special little secret that you need to get close to in order for it to be revealed. If you read my post on charm bracelets, you know all my jewellery needs to have deep, personal meanings attached to them. This is definitely one of the most meaningful pieces I now own, besides my wedding ring.
And the other self-treat was this enchanting stuffed toy duo of Peter Rabbit and his mum:
Based on this illustration by Beatrix Potter…
I adore Beatrix Potter’s characters and this is a cute, soft bunny version of baby and me. I simply had to have it to mark my entry into mummyhood. 🙂
What were or are your postpartum must-haves? Am I missing out on something? Let me know !