POSTPARTUM PANTIES: A WOMAN NEEDS POSTPARTUM PANTIES! These are not a splurge in one’s budget, this is a must-have-item for a woman’s recovery and wellness. Here is why:
- Almost all women have stitches after having a baby, whether it be in the lower tummy from a C-Section or perineal stitches in the vagina. Without good support, there is risk of stitches and wounds opening up. With snagging of stitches and/or opening of wounds comes risk of infection and/or complications during recovery. Furthermore, if a woman’s wounds seep, postpartum panties can help bandages remain clean and dry.
- A woman will experience postpartum bleeding. I was told by my OB/GYN and specialist heavy bleeding was to last approximately a week, and progressively get to light spotting after. THIS WAS NOT MY EXPERIENCE. I had heavy bleeding for weeks and light spotting for months. This is another reason to have postpartum panties, to support and keep thick or large pads in place to accommodate the extra flow.
- Most women will experience some cramping due to their uterus contracting to get back to normal size. Firm compression and shape-wear may help with this discomfort. Additionally, it helps pull in the tummy, hips, and waist.
POSTPARTUM SHAPE-WEAR: I began wearing postpartum shape-wear before I was even discharged from the hospital. I firmly believe it is one of the reasons my body was able to “bounce back” (for lack of a better phrase) the way it did because, as mentioned above, shape-wear helps pull in the tummy, hips, and waist. At the time, I couldn’t afford to get multiples and all the items I would utilize today. However, some of the first purchases I made while still pregnant were from Belly Bandit. I got a Belly Wrap, a Mother Tucker compression nursing tank, and a belly shield. I wore these items so much after having my baby, I quite literally wore them out. I purchased some other products later in my postpartum journey. I wore a Belly Wrap/Corset for 8 weeks, almost 24 hours a day, after giving birth. I wore compression shape wear during the day past the mark of six months postpartum. Personally, I recommend every woman utilize some form of shape-wear during her postpartum period. A woman’s body just did an incredible thing and brought life into the world, naturally that same body will need to recover. And, one needs to remember it’s just as important for a woman to take care of herself and her body, as it is to take care of baby.
Belly Bandit: Belly Shield (For wearing under belly wrap.)
Bellefit: Postpartum Medical Grade Girdle (Several different kinds available.)
NURSING BRAS: It’s recommended to get fitted for a nursing bra while pregnant. I had my lactation consultant fit me with a nursing bra retailer during my third trimester; they taught me a great deal. A good rule of thumb is, too tight isn’t right. For example, if you have indentations where the band and straps were, or your breasts are spilling out of your bra cup, it’s time to get a different bra. A woman’s breasts will change in their own unique way through a pregnancy, postpartum, and nursing journey. However, based on my experience, what I learned, and what I was taught, I recommend getting fitted around eight months of pregnancy. Your breasts should be approximately the same size at eight months of pregnancy and eight weeks postpartum, when your body has learned to regulate its milk supply. When getting fitted at eight months of pregnancy, it’s ideal to have the back band of the bra fitted on the loosest hook and eye. This will allow room for one to tighten the back band postpartum as one’s rib cage contracts; the bra band provides 80% of the support of a bra.
I highly recommend against using a regular bra to nurse in, lifting a regular bra over a breast to nurse puts a great deal of pressure on breast tissue. Additionally, during the first eight weeks postpartum, there will be considerable variations in breast size as one’s body regulates milk supply. I do not recommend using an underwire nursing bra until two or three months postpartum to allow time for one’s breasts to regulate. Furthermore, a cupped size bra will compress and impede the breasts as they learn to regulate.
I recommend getting at least three day-time nursing bras and three night-time nursing bras (one to wear, one to wash, and one to have clean). The following are some of my favorite nursing bras.
NURSING TANKS: If you can’t afford to invest in a large (or even small) nursing wardrobe, cover the most basic of basics with a few nursing tanks. One of the best things about a nursing tank is it can work with your existing wardrobe. By layering pieces you already have with a nursing tank, you can make a breastfeeding friendly outfit at little to no cost. I personally like some form of a compression nursing tank for the earlier postpartum and nursing days. However, it is also important to me to have a wide tank strap. My breasts were out of control in the early months of breastfeeding, going bra-less wasn’t an option. So, a wide tank strap that would cover my bra straps was something I always was on the hunt for.
NURSING MUST-HAVE-BASICS: When I started breastfeeding, I had a goal to make it six months. Had I known we would’ve made it past two years, I would’ve invested a considerable amount of money in a nursing wardrobe. After my baby was a few months old, she had little interest in nursing under a cover. Since she exclusively nursed, breastfeeding in public and in the presence of others became a norm for us. Nursing in public, or in the presence of others, is easier (and often less stressful) if one has the proper clothes to do so. There is a reason there are so many brands and nursing clothing lines available today, it makes a mother’s ability to nurse conveniently and discreetly easy because of designed accessibility. Another great feature to most nursing clothes, they are designed to wear during pregnancy, and after. This creates a longer life-span for each item and a better investment for your body’s pregnancy and postpartum transitions.
NURSING PAJAMAS: One would think this would be a no brainer, but it was one I totally spaced. I got one nice nursing nightgown and robe for the hospital and first days after. I ended up living in that nightgown and robe for at least 8-12 weeks. If a working mom, maternity leave will still be at least six weeks. I’m willing to bet a significant amount of money, a large amount of that time will be spent in some form of pajamas. And, so you have enough pajamas to rotate through wearing, washing, and dirty cycles, get more than one set.
It is my hope this post is found helpful to many expecting and new mom’s out there. Please feel free to contact me with any questions 🙂