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06 February 2010

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Amy F

Wow, that's a whole lot of useful info. I too bemoan the lack of postpartum info out there. So many birth stories and belly pictures, but no one posts photos of the 4-days-pp belly which can be really scary if you aren't expecting it.

I've been stuck with a baby in the NICU but not checked in myself for 3-7 days with the boys, so I have a weird combination of postpartum hospital/homebirth experience. My favorite blood-catching approach is to buy a pack of Depends and use those until they run out (4 or 5 days), then a couple days of granny underwear with a prefold inside, and by then I'm down to a medium cloth pad. I'd usually sleep with a hiked up nightgown on a chux pad.

Barbara C.

If you give birth in the hospital, they give you these mesh spanky panties that really breathe. You also receive ice packs over your maxipad. After about 24 hours of ice packs, you graduate to spreading Tucks pads along your maxi pad. They also give you a Sitz bath if you have a lot of stitches.

There are other tips I give for the hospital like keeping track of when you're due for meds and ask your nurse 30 minutes before, pack lots of simple snacks to eat one-handed, request extra fruit with your meals to stash for later, and bring a book or two you can read one-handed.

When my milk comes in it REALLY comes in. Last time I slept at night with my breasts hanging out and cloth diapers bundled underneath. It offered some relief between nursing periods.

When we moved to a multi-level house, I just made sure to have two of everything, one for each level: bouncy seats, diaper-changing areas, articles of baby clothes.

I'm fairly lucky in that my parents come to stay for four or five days when I give birth. They're with me all day to help out with me and the kids while DH is at work, and then head to their hotel for a break at night.

bearing

re: ice packs, my homebirth midwives make these frozen herbal compresses of comfrey root and goldenseal. They're for the first 24 hours and they are really nice. I only needed to use three of them this time around before the swelling and pain subsided.

Lisa

Thanks for this great advice! Some of things you mentioned had never occurred to me.

Sara

Our doula brought me pads soaked with witch hazel and then frozen. They were lovely.

Alicia

I had a small tear that did require a couple stitches along with what the midwife called a "skid mark" on the right--and I have to disagree and say that it looked every bit as bad as it felt, and I was NOT prepared for the appearance. Sitz baths, calendula gel (which had the added benefit of preventing maxi-pads from sticking, and a squirt bottle that I virtually emptied on my perineum during every voiding were lifesavers.

I appreciate several of your tips and will hold them in mind to make our second pp trip better than the first. Thank you!

Barbara C.

I also forgot about the squirt bottles they give you in the hospital (although you can buy them at most drug stores). You fill with warm water, squirt, and then pat dry with t.p. instead of wiping.

I always take two or three. I keep one in each bathroom at home, and then I use one for rinsing the baby's hair for the first three months or so.

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