Monday, March 3, 2014

Pregnancy, Postpartum & Baby Favorites

     All in all, my experience has been that pregnancy, postpartum and baby don't require a tremendous amount of stuff or money. While I do have or have used other products, these are some of the ones I've found to be the most helpful and ones I've used nearly on a daily basis. Most of the post-pregnancy items pertain to nursing because ..well, Tennyson is only six weeks old and that has been our main focus each day. This favorites list will change as he grows and our focuses change. For now, my favorite pregnancy, postpartum and baby items are:

1. [Pregnancy] Body pillow & cover
     It didn't take long before I began creating what became known as my pillow forts. I used about 4-5 pillows to sleep comfortably. The best purchase I made during pregnancy was a body pillow. Best $13 spent. 

2. [Pregnancy and/or Postpartum] Belly support band
      I didn't quite reach the end of the pregnancy when the baby belly might needed to have been supported. However, I really, really wish I had one for postpartum. When I was making my list of preparations, I had included a belly band for postpartum. I've read how they aid in the belly regaining it's shape faster, so I thought it would be helpful. I didn't quite get to that point. I did get to the point of another postpartum use which is support after a c-section. I cannot express how much I wished I had this support! I believe it would have helped that post op "guts falling out" feeling as well as provide support to keep the muscles toned and scar thinner. It would also probably help the dgree of diastsis recti that resulted from the pregnancy. Two weeks had already past before I could try to find one, and so it wouldn't have done as much good. However, if there is a next pregnancy, then this item will be ordered asap.

3. [Postpartum] Loose fitting clothes & shoes

        After my c-section delivery, I didn't want anything to touch me. I wore the hospital gown until I couldn't. I then wore the same three outfits over and over. The roominess and flow of maxi dresses and skirts were ideal. They stayed clear of the incision, which was wonderful. The same applied to sleepwear. A nightgown was essential. I found a couple that even had a long button section at the top which has been perfect for nursing at night. I will absolutely be purchasing more of this type of clothing for next postpartum time.
         As far as shoes, I wore my Crocs as much as possible. I learned that one way the body tries to get rid of excess pregnancy and/or iv fluid is through swollen feet. My feet doubled and crocs were the only shoes that I could still wear. Also good to know for next time. haha. 

4. [Nursing] Nursing cover

      I am so grateful for this cover! During our multiple hospital stays people would walk into the room constantly. With the cover, I could nurse or pump without as much concern for someone walking in on me. The beauty of breastfeeding is that we can go out and all that is needed is me, the baby and this cover. So nice!

5. [Nursing] Nursing pads (Disposable Nursing Pads & Cloth Nursing Pads)

       These are essential for breastfeeding. I have had quite the supply and let down since the very beginning. I can soak clothes, bed sheets, and even the baby very quickly. Nursing pads are essential for me. I used the disposable ones initially. I really disliked how uncomfortable they are. I also didn't care for the price considering how many I was going through. So, I purchased cloth nursing pads. Nursing pads are like most cloth vs. disposable products in that in my opinion cloth is by far superior. They're so much more comfortable and keep me feeling dry. The disadvantages however are that they do require frequent washing (vs. the convenience of throwing them away after use). Comfort and cost make them worth the extra effort of washing in my opinion. I still use the disposable ones when I'm out though just so I don't have to carry around the used nursing pad. When we start cloth diapering and carrying a wet bag for those, then that may change.  

6. [Nursing] Nursing bras

       This is another item I wasn't prepared with by his surprise delivery. Like the belly band, I really, really wish I had some nursing bras since the beginning. The bras I had were great pre-nursing, but so very uncomfortable and inconvenient when nursing. It was two weeks before I got to the store to get some. I found a set of two bras for $13 at Walmart. Best $13 spent. I bought a couple of sets and am so glad I did. 

7. [Nursing] Breast Pump 

       I had purchased a single pump from the store prior to his arrival. Having had the expectation of him arriving at term and being able to fully breastfeed, I thought a simple single pump would suffice. Of course, that changed once he arrived seven weeks early. Mamas of preemies are dependent on a double pump for weeks to months while the baby grows and learns to nurse proficiently. I am so thankful the hospital worked to purchase this pump for me through my insurance. Apparently, one provision of the Affordable Care Act is that insurance companies must cover breast pumps. Whoo hoo! Not only is the pump itself of a superior quality than that which is typically sold in store, but the accessories are so helpful! I can easily pack the interior of the bag like a diaper bag and carry everything all at once. No one would even know you're carrying around a breast pump! The smaller tote with ice pack is also helpful when needing to transport pumped milk. We called it his "lunchbox" when I would carry what I had pumped at home to the NICU. haha. It has been extremely helpful during all our doctor visits and hospital stays. We're working towards exclusively breastfeeding, but until then I'm very grateful for this item (and for no out of pocket expense for it)! 

8. [Baby] Moses Basket 
          When we first brought Tennyson home we realized that we didn't have anything to place him in downstairs in our home. Everything we had gotten previously wasn't appropriate for a preemie. He actually spent the first week home napping in a laundry hamper until I could find a better solution! A pack-n-play came to mind, but I still didn't favor the massive size and the fact that they cost more than our entire crib set. I then found a perfect solution in a moses basket. It fits him well, was really affordable (<$30!), and doesn't take up a lot of space. It's so nice to have him able to nap and be downstairs with us! 

9. [Baby] Fleece sleepers

       He has lived in these fleece sleepers. For one, it's one of only a handful of clothing pieces available for a preemie. Second, it's cold here and preemies tend to require greater concern for maintaining body temperature. Since the material is fleece instead of a knit or cotton I was able to go without layering a onsie underneath it. 

       Swaddle wraps are wonderful! We've used them as a blanket substitute since a baby can't have anything in the crib to sleep including a blanket. We've also noticed that he sleeps better wrapped up. When unwrapped, he may move and startle awake. We've gotten into a habit of wrapping him up anytime he sleeps. Hopefully that will also help him understand sleeping time versus wakeful time.  The only downside of these are the velcro tabs. They make a mess during the wash by sticking to everything. 

*Note: Reviving Homemaking is not an affiliate of Target or Khols. No compensation or influence of opinion was had by the retailers for the  inclusion of products in this post.

Reviving Homemaking is an affiliate of As such, a compensation is received for items ordered through the product links provided in this post. All opinions are my own. (Thank you for supporting Reviving Homemaking through this affiliate!)

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