As an overly organized and very eager mom-to-be, when I was pregnant I did extensive research on what everyone was buying and what we really needed vs what was more of a luxury. This post is about our experience during the first 8 weeks of life with a newborn – what worked for us may not work for you, and what I deem to be a luxury may end up being a necessity for you!
This is really important – I learnt very quickly how easy it is to ignore yourself and your needs while you’re in the midst of the craziness of trying to care for a newborn! I was so blessed to have an extremely easy labor and delivery experience so there was a very minimal amount of healing that needed to happen, that’s why I’m not recommending things like ‘padsicles’ etc because while I’m sure those are awesome, I did not need to use them!
Maternity/nursing pajamas – Chris’ grandmother gave us some money while I was pregnant and I knew that I had to indulge and buy myself a treat: soft, comfortable pajamas. The ones that I found were on Motherhood Maternity were so awesome (unfortunately they are not for sale anymore so I can’t link to them!) I absolutely love them. I didn’t want anything frumpy-looking (when you look frumpy, you act frumpy) and I wanted to be able to wear them while I was pregnant, in the hospital, and nursing at home too.
Nursing Bras – I actually bought some nursing bras to wear while I was pregnant as well, since I didn’t want to spend money on regular bras that I ‘d only be wearing for a few months! The first two I bought were from Motherhood Maternity and were really cute. I had put off buying nursing bras because all the ones I had seen before were so ugly and old lady-ish! Thankfully, Motherhood had some lovely lacy ones so I was very pleased. Once I had Baby E and my milk officially ‘came in’ I obviously had to buy some bigger bras so I went to Target and found some that were still cute but much cheaper (I got one for $18 and one for $16 on clearance). The key to buying nursing bras is to find one that is not under-wire (as I hear that is bad for your supply) but still provides enough support! The only problem with the Target ones is that they don’t keep their shape as well as my other ones but for that price, it really doesn’t matter if they don’t last very long.
Post-Partum Support Band – The thing that I struggled with the most post-partum was the back pain and overall tenderness around my mid-section. As soon as I got home I knew I had to find something that offered some amount of support for my back and belly. At the time I didn’t think about the added benefit of the band helping to shrink the belly-pooch but I’m telling you, it worked!!! I wore the band everyday for about two weeks and then every now and then for another week after that and I have regained my shape so quickly! My stomach is back to flat (don’t get me wrong, there is still a good amount of stretchy skin and its not toned at all since I haven’t done any exercise) and I got my waist back too. I will not have another baby without one of these in the future. I am aware that you can buy belly bands for $80, sometimes $100, but my mother in law found one for me at (surprise!) Motherhood Maternity for $25 and it was exactly what I needed. Don’t spend a whole lot if you don’t have to!
Lindt Chocolate – Or any treat that tickles your fancy. So I know that everyone is all concerned about losing the pregnancy weight and blah blah blah. GIVE YOURSELF A TREAT for goodness’ sake! You just either popped a human being out of your body or underwent major surgery and are now having to keep the thing alive and healthy. Have some chocolate. Or some ice-cream. Or anything else your heart desires at the time. I’m not saying that you need to over-indulge, I’m all about healthy eating and am proud to say that 10 weeks post partum I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight. The thing is, it does a weary new mama’s heart good to sit, even if just for a minute or two, and enjoy something that is only hers. For me, it’s Lindt chocolate. Being non-American, I am a chocolate snob. I will not eat Hershey’s unless I absolutely have to. While I was pregnant it was Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt, now that it’s almost fall I am all about Lindt dark chocolate with caramel AND sea salt. What could be more delicious?! Seriously though, it’s like my little reward for having consoled my crying baby after an hour of her having trapped gas. Do it and DON’T feel bad about it.
Mommy-time – Once I went back to work (4 hours every morning during the week) my days became more and more crowded with things that needed doing (the main reason I’m trying to become BFF with my CrockPot). That left zero time to spend in the Bible and in prayer, and zero time to relax in silence! So I decided to set my alarm for 5:30am every day. Sometimes I get up at that time, sometimes if we have had a worse night than usual I stay in bed until 6 or 6:30 but regardless, I make sure I am out of bed before my husband and before Baby E. Sometimes she will wake up so I change her, feed her, and lay her in bed beside her sweet daddy and they snuggle and sleep. I wander bleary-eyed to the bathroom, put in my contact-lenses, stagger to the kitchen to turn on the kettle and rinse out the French Press to make coffee. To be honest, the promise of coffee is really what motivates me to actually get out of the bed at that time. As soon as the coffee is made I high-tail it to my comfy chair in the nursery, wrap my dressing gown and a big old blanket around me and settle down with the YouVersion Bible App on my iPhone. Recently I’ve been doing two devotional studies a day. At the moment I am doing one video study by John Piper called Popular Verses and Revealing Jesus with Darlene Zchech. John’s is just a few minutes long per day and he really gives you a new take on some well-known verses – lots of food for though. Darlene’s is peppered with practical tips at pursuing righteousness in your life and making your relationship with God a priority, and on some days it includes songs on YouTube that you can worship along to as well. This is my special time in the mornings with God, and I am fierce about protecting it. I am so blessed to have a husband who is on board with this plan, and if Baby E starts to fuss I know that during this time he will take care of it and I don’t have to get up and tend to her. Uninterrupted time to myself in the morning is one of the greatest gifts I give myself and one of the greatest ways that my husband serves me. Once I’m done, I can then get on with putting dinner in the crockpot or other bits of housework that need to be done. This helps me too as I hate to come home from work to a messy house! It kills me 🙂
Let me know how you take care of yourself as a mom, whether you’re a new mom or have children that are all grown up, I’d love to hear from you! Comment on this post or send me a message.