We’re almost 3 months in with our baby girl, Annie. She’s the best, you guys. Such a chill baby, and puts up with the chaos so well. I’ve been having lots of convos with other moms or moms-to-be and apparently they think that now that I have 3 kids I have my crap together (which is funny, ’cause I don’t) but I keep bringing up the same things when they ask me advice on all the things, so wanted to share! So, here is my list of must haves for labor and new mommy-hood, and stay tuned next week for my list of must have items for baby!
1) MATERNITY SUPPORT BELT | At almost all of my maternity sessions, mommas ask me if I wore a support belt. The answer? YUP. Especially if I know I’ll be on my feet all day. It’s not super comfortable if you’re going to be sitting, but it helps SO much for those who work on their feet. I would include the photo below, but the listing photo is a hot mess, so you’ll just have to click the link! Ha!
2) COMFY LABOR OUTFIT | No matter how you give birth, you’re a freaking rock star. Why not feel even more amazing in an outfit that you feel cute in instead of those drab hospital gowns? There are a few different places you can get them, but everywhere I checked only had super loud floral patterns, didn’t carry curvy sizes and/or cost over $50. No thanks! I got this gown from Amazon, and it was SO comfy, and kept me covered when I wanted to be, but still had easy access for monitors. I’ve even worn it at home for pajamas for easy nursing at night. Underneath, I wore a black lace bralette. Again, kept me covered, but I still felt pretty and powerful. Hoorah! You can get bralettes everywhere, but for my curvy momma friends, it’s a bit harder to find something that is actually supportive. I found the JACKPOT at Torrid, and this is the one I ended up delivering in. SO cute.
3) ESSENTIAL OILS | No joke, when I applied my Clary Sage and Jasmine, my contractions got noticeably stronger. Magic! Actually, science, but it felt like magic! If you’re not enjoying essential oils yet, you are seriously missing out. There is literally an oil for everything, whether you’re pregnant/nursing or not. Oils have completely changed my approach to how I care for my family. Go here, look around, and let me know if you have questions getting started!
4) A DOULA | Friends. I can’t express the value of a doula. I had one for Oliver’s birth, and again for Annie. My husband is a pretty phenomenal birth support person (I seriously wish I could bottle up labor Donald, he’s amazing, ha!), but there is something powerful about having another woman in the room who has not only delivered babies of her own, but has helped so many other mommas deliver theirs. We hired Renee Forred of Bloom Birth Services and she. was. amazing. My favorite thing she did, by far, was take handwritten notes of everything that happened. I’m such a sap when it comes to random details like what I ate, or what time this or that happened. After an emotionally traumatic birth, I’m SO grateful for these notes that helped my brain process all the things. Studies show if you have a doula present at your birth, you’re less likely to get a c-section, more likely to deliver without needing pain medication, and more likely to report a positive birth experience. So many wins. Get yourself a doula!
5) A BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER | Obviously, I’m gonna plug this! 😉 We hired a birth photographer for Oliver’s birth and again for Annie’s birth. I seriously regret not having one for Owen. Being able to relive the moment your child was born is invaluable. Annie’s birth was not easy for me, so the photos are also helping me process everything that happened. Photos are powerful, friends. Jessica Bonestroo shot Annie’s birth and as you can see from the photos in this post, she was awesome! (Oh, and psssttt, I’m going to officially start offering Birth Photography services in the near future! Pregnant momma’s, let’s chat!) 😉
6) DEPENDS | Yup. I went there. I read about using Depends in a mom group and it blew my freakin’ mind. I’m so sad I didn’t know about this with my first two babies! They are disposable. They are comfy. They are discreet. They provide a backup layer of leak protection. Those magical mesh panties from the hospital don’t even compare. Trust me on this. I got the cheaper Target brand and they worked great. Pack them in your hospital bag along with your super cute, gigantic pads and you’ll be set. Bahaha.
7) PUMPING BRA | Are you someone who can pump both sides without a pumping bra? If you are, you are a magical unicorn. I CAN NOT. I don’t know how some women do it. For those of us who want both hands free to
do the dishes surf social media, get yourself a GOOD pumping bra. I got this one this time around and it’s like the dang Cadillac of nursing bras. The band size is adjustable, and it HAS STRAPS so you can actually do things while pumping without the bottles filling with milk and falling down. I’ve done my makeup while pumping numerous times with zero issue. It’s amazing. (Side note, I also love that this company actually uses REAL post-partum moms as models, YES.)
8) SPECTRA BREAST PUMP | I had Medela pumps with both of my boys. They were fine and all, but I’ve heard amazing things about Spectra, so I thought I’d give them a try. GUYS. NO COMPARISON. I got the Spectra S1 and I LOVE IT. It’s so much more compact, the suction isn’t as yank-tastic as Medela (pumping moms will know what I mean!), it’s a lot quieter than Medela, and IT HAS A NIGHTLIGHT & TIMER. Thank you and Amen. I ordered mine through Milk Moms and she took care of all the insurance stuff for me, amazing! (Pro tip: I had a million Medela parts (valves/shields) and with this little piece, they all work with Spectra so I didn’t have to buy all new accessories. SWEET.)
9) MEDELA TENDER CARE HYDROGEL PADS | These puppies will sooth the sorest of nipples. Throw them in the fridge for extra comfort. These have saved me through 3 nursing babies. Another pro-tip: forego the expensive and toxic lanolin, and just use plain ol’ coconut oil for sore nipples. I made myself a roller ball of plain coconut oil and it worked like a charm. Plus, coconut oil is a natural anti-fungal, so it will fight off any threats of yeast/thrush, and it’s completely safe for baby, so no need to wipe it off before nursing.
10) ZZZ PAL PILLOW | This dandy little pillow was invented by a local mom/chiropractor! It saved my neck through many NICU chair naps, and is now my husbands go-to pillow for recliner snuggling with Annie. It’s so soft and comfy, and comes in lots of colors, including my choice, mint teal of course! Check her out on Insta, too! @zzz_pal
11) SOLLY BABY WRAP | Ok so this is kinda for momma and baby. But with two other kids, I NEED both hands free, so baby wearing to the rescue! I loooove this wrap. I have multiple styles for baby wearing, but this one is so snuggly and light weight, perfect for a summer baby. It’s made of some kind of magical, stretchy, yet supportive fabric that comes in so many classic colors and patterns. I’ll be so sad when Annie gets too big for it! When she does get too big for this one, we’ll move to our Soul Slings ring slings (also good for newborns), Fidella Fly Tai Mei Tai or our Tula full buckle.
12) doTERRA LIFELONG VITALITY SUPPLEMENTS | Guys. Good supplements are a GAME CHANGER. I can literally feel the difference by 10am if I don’t take these first thing in the morning. These have helped me keep my energy up, and keep my immune system strong even with the lack of sleep a newborn brings. I’m currently taking the half dose to save some dollars and I feel awesome. I can’t imagine if I took the full dose! I’d probably become that magical unicorn mom I mentioned earlier, ha!
I could go on with more things, but this blog post has become more of a novel so I’ll stop myself! Have questions about anything else, or have other items on YOUR must have list? I wanna know! Drop a comment below! And stay tuned for next week, I’ll be posting my list of must have items for babies!
Keep on, keepin on, mommas, you’re amazing!
Love & Hugs,