Congratulations! You’re a mom! You made it through pregnancy, and labor and delivery, and you’re home now with your brand new baby. Now what?
I had thought the pregnancy was hard and I was so nervous about the giving birth part, I hadn’t really thought about the bringing home the baby part–which is actually the most scary part!
Think about it: pregnancy lasts 40ish weeks, labor and delivery (obviously this depends on each person) but let’s say a 2-3 days, but then once you have the baby, you have to take care of your baby FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Yeah…just a little intimidating.
But don’t you worry! I’ve done this two times now, and I’m here to share with you some essentials that helped me survive my fourth trimester.
*A big chunk of these have to do with breastfeeding. If you choose not to breastfeed, no judgement! Fed baby is best! Feel free to skip on down to number 9!
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Ladies, imma be real. Breastfeeding is rough. Especially the first few weeks. For some people it comes really naturally, but for me it was a real challenge. (I’ll write more about my breastfeeding experience in another post soon! Stay tuned!)
After my first son, my nipples were raw and bloody. It really was brutal. So nipple butter was an essential for me. I was given lanolin at the hospital. I had no idea what that stuff was.
After researching, it turns out, it’s made some wool grease! Eeek! They say it’s safe for baby and mommy, but I felt super gross thinking about how my newborn son was sucking on that stuff.
So after looking around for a more natural option, I found this one and I loved it! It’s soothing on the nipples and it smells really nice like cocoa. I even used it on my lips when they felt chapped.
Still on the topic of breastfeeding. I’m not sure if this happens to everyone, but when I milk was starting to come in, so on like day 3-4, my breast get super super rock hard and engorged and really hot/inflamed. It’s seriously sooo painful.
I put these pads in the freezer and put them inside my bra and kind of massaged my breasts to bring down the inflammation. It helped immensely. I bought these because you can also use these as hot packs as well. I had mastitis when I was breastfeeding my first son, and I wanted to prevent it as much as I could the second time around.
3. Nursing pillow: Boppy pillow
There are several popular nursing pillows available on the market. I used the boppy pillow. It was comfortable and easy to use.
You just use it to help prop the baby up to your breasts so you don’t have to hold the weight of your baby with your arms the entire time. 7 pounds may sound light, but not for 20 minutes at a time 8 times a day–all while trying to work on latch and the rest of your body still healing from labor and delivery. Yeah, you’re gonna want a nursing pillow.
Nursing Pillow: Brestfriend
Here is another option–also very popular.
4. Nursing pads
Leaking happens to a bunch of women. Especially during the fourth trimester, when your body is still adjusting to breastfeeding.
But honestly, I used them throughout the whole time I was breastfeeding. Because I would leak especially during the night if I went longer stretches without nursing.
These are amazing at preventing leakage. And saves you from washing bras all the time! A definite must-have for me.
5. Nursing bras
You definitely want nursing bras if you are going to breastfeed. Nursing bras aren’t sexy, but they are super convenient. And during life with a newborn, convenience trumps sexy (at least for me).
It’s so easy because there’s a latch/hook attached to the strap of the bra, so you just unhook it and bring down the cup and nurse your baby.
There are so many to choose from. I got some from Motherhood Maternity for my first baby, but I personally like these from Amazon better.
They are super comfortable and supportive, and I wore them through most of my pregnancy and then for 14 months after baby number 2. And while they were pretty beat by the end of that period, they held up the whole time.
And if I’m being honest, I got so used to the comfort of these nursing bras, it took me a while to adjust back to regular bras afterwards.
If you are going to breastfeed, a breast pump is not completely essential, but it’s really nice to have. I used a pump more towards the beginning, to get my supply up.
It’s also nice to pump in advance for those nights when you really need some sleep. Someone else can take a feeding shift while you get some rest.
Pumps can be quite pricey, but most insurances will provide a pump for free. I was provided with a free pump even when I was on Medi-cal (for my first son’s birth).
Definitely look into your insurance. My insurance (the second time around which was not Medi-cal) allowed me to rent this hospital grade Medela pump for a year.
I also tried a portable one, similar to the one below. Super convenient because it’s chargeable and you can take it with you anywhere you need to go.
I struggled with supply with my first son, so the second time around, I started taking supplements from the beginning. And I’m so happy I did, because it really helped boost my supply and get off to a good start with breastfeeding.
I loved taking supplements from Legendairy Milk. They use organic ingredients and don’t use fenugreek in their products, which didn’t agree with me when I tried it out with my first baby.
They have quite a few products to choose from. I tried several different ones, but for me, Liquid Gold seemed to work the best. These really did make a difference in my supply especially at the beginning. And I took them throughout the fourth trimester to help establish good supply.
I exclusively breastfed, and didn’t pump so I can’t tell you the exact amount I produced, but my son gained a lot of weight, and has been over 90th percentile in weight. So I definitely produced enough.
I suffered from mastitis due to clogged ducts when I had my first son. (Something no one warned me about. I had no idea what it was until it happened to me.)
It was TERRIBLE. Fever and chills all while having engorged inflamed boobs and postpartum emotions. Seriously THE WORST. I had to take antibiotics to clear it up. So you better believe when I tell you, I did everything humanly possible to prevent it the second time around.
A friend told me about lecithin and how it helps with the flow of your milk. Lecithin along with a few other things I did (I’ll talk about this in another post), prevented me from getting mastitis! Thank you lecithin!
9. Waist bands
I had a c-section with both my boys (first one was an emergency, second was a scheduled). What no one told me before was that it is better for recovery and for comfort for the incision area if it’s compressed. These waist bands come in a set of 3. It says you can wear them all together, but I used them individually. I used the longest ones during pregnancy for back pain.
It helped lift my tummy up. And the thicker one was really helpful for recovery. It helped keep things in place and I felt more secure when moving around with it on.
Along with those bands, I wore these compression leggings from Blanqi for the first few weeks. The material is soft and it’s really high-waisted so it was great for the fourth trimester.
These are a more affordable pair of compression leggings. I tried the maternity leggings from this brand, and I loved them. Haven’t personally tried the postpartum version from them, but the reviews are great!
11. Overnight pads
You haven’t had a period in 9 months, but after giving birth, you will bleed. For weeks. Yes, even after a c-section birth.
And it’s not recommended to use tampons during this time. So pad are a must-have for sure.
Since I had a c-section, I didn’t like that a lot of my underwear were hipster style that hit right at my incision site. I continued to wear maternity underwear that’s a bit more higher-waisted so it covered my c-section scar and didn’t irritate it.
I love these from Motherhood Maternity. So very comfortable! I wore them through the fourth trimester, and a bit after that as well.
13. Large Towels
I mentioned this in my 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Having a C-Section, but I had serious night sweats postpartum. It started on the second night after giving birth. I was still in the hospital and I was freaked out. I didn’t know why I was waking up completely soaked in sweat. And then my body’s temperature dropped super quickly so I was so insanely cold.
I asked the nurse about it and she said it was completely normal. It was just my body adjusting to the hormone levels after having a baby, and also with my body starting to produce milk.
I’m sure this is also different for everyone. I asked a friend about it, and she did not have the same experience. For me, this lasted for a few weeks. So I always had to place a large towel on my bed before I went to sleep, or else my sheets would get completely soaked.
14. Diaper Bag
Yes, you will most likely be spending most of your time at home during the first few months after your baby is born. But inevitably, you will also need to leave the house–whether it’s for doctor’s visits or even just to take a walk.
When you do go out, it’s definitely necessary to have some sort of bag with all the essentials for the baby. Diapers, wipes, and an extra set of clothes is always a good idea to have in your bag.
Of course, you can use any sort of bag for this purpose, but getting a diaper bag is a good idea, since it’s designed with more pockets to store all these baby essentials.
I love these from Freshly Picked. Not only are they very practical and functional, but they are also so stylish and pretty! They come in the regular large size with more space, but they also come in the mini size as well. The Ebony Classic Bag and Cognac Classic Bag are my personal favorites.
They currently have a 20% off sale on their website with free shipping! Don’t miss out!
They are also available on Amazon for those of you who prefer to shop there.
So there you have it! These are my fourth trimester essentials that helped me survive my first 3 months postpartum.
I hope this list is helpful as you start your journey as a new mom! If you liked this post, make sure share on Pinterest!
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