First 24 Hour Essentials
There are plenty of lists out there for what your newborn baby will need in the first 24 hours, but what about mom? What should every mom have on hand for the first 24 hours after giving birth? I mean, besides a change of clothes, deodorant and maybe a hairbrush.
As I was preparing to give birth to my second child, I thought a lot about what I wanted to have on hand that first day. Here is my list of must-haves, and why I think they are essential!
A Gallon of Coconut Water
Ditch the Gatorade and rehydrate with Coconut Water instead. It is much higher in potassium, a type of electrolyte, and lower in sodium. Even if you didn’t have Edema (water retention) during pregnancy, you’ll have a lot of water weight to loose soon after. Sodium can cause you to hold on to that water, leading to higher blood pressure, whereas potassium actually alleviates edema. And it has more vitamins and nutrients than plain water.
Especially if you are breastfeeding, you’ll need something to snack on that only requires one hand like Trail Mix. You’ll also be famished after your marathon birthing session, and sitting down for a big meal might not be on your mind in the first day. A box of chocolates might be tempting, but having a few nuts in the mix will help you recover more quickly.
Washed and Sliced Fruit
Like trail mix, a prepared bowl of fruit is easy to munch on while lying next to your bundle of joy. It is sweet enough to get your blood sugar back to normal, and helps rehydrate and replenish your system. I also appreciated the distraction of mindless snacking while mentally recovering. Eating fruit was an activity my zoned mind could handle when I wasn’t sleeping, unlike reading a book or watching tv.
Especially if you’ve lost a lot of blood, you’ll want to make sure you replenish your body’s iron to help combat dizziness, fatigue, and other symptoms of anemia. Postpartum Anemia can be a real problem, so you might as well make your first real meal iron rich. Some women are ready to chow down on a big steak right away, but I opted for Palak Paneer, a spinach and cheese curry.
It might sound like a the punch line to a joke, but I used these during and after my births. If your waters don’t break so much as slowly leak over many hours, you can imagine how handy a pair of adult diapers could be. I used mine for the first day after giving birth as well, and even stuck an extra pad inside for maximum absorbency and less worry. The last thing I wanted to do was have to get out of bed to change clothes or sheets because I didn’t change my pad in time.
This might be a 24 hour essential for home birthers, since there isn’t an orderly on hand to clean up, but I suggest it for all moms in the first few days at home. Unless you are a fan of changing sheets in the middle of the night, I recommend sleeping on a Chux Pad for the first week. It’s a good backup for your Adult Diaper, and if you don’t douse it with your newly engorged milk makers, your newborn will undoubtedly blowout a diaper or have a massive spit up while lying next to you.
Although your nipples might feel fine for the first few days, they will get sore; it’s only a matter of time. I recommend repeated applications of Nipple Cream every time you get a chance in the first days, even if you don’t think you need it. You will be happy you did.
The first bowel movement after birth can be a scary thing. I’ve heard some moms say it was worse than pushing! I prefer Smooth Move Tea to other laxatives because it is delicious. But like other laxatives, you have to take it several hours before it does its magic.
What are your postpartum essentials for the first 24 hours?