So, I figured during this part of your life, where you don’t really sleep very much, I’d share some helpful stuff that I and some other mom friends have come across during our postpartum experiences. If this isn’t your first rodeo, I’m sure a helpful reminder won’t hurt. Women helping women. Nothing bad has ever come out of that.
SLEEP. You guessed it, it is Number 1 priority for new moms. It doesn’t matter if this is your 4th time giving birth or your first. SLEEP IS KEY. Did you know that there have been studies done and the bottom line is: if you don’t sleep, you aren’t going to really be able to do any one thing very well. It’s sort of like being in Zombie Mode. Not good for you or your baby, or the rest of our family. Sleep as much as you can, wherever and wherever you can. True story, before kids I never napped and I thought my husband was silly for always sneaking one in. Turns out he was onto something. Brains need zzzzzzs to function properly. Mama, you need to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your baby. When baby sleeps, silence your phone and go to the darkest place you can and fit in a nap. You can always shoop for more diapers/wipes etc while nursing. Which leads me to …
SHOPPING FOR ESSENTIALS. Have you heard of this thing called Amazon? You can buy ANYTHING you could possible need (including pantry items, see FOOD below) and get it within 24-48hrs depending on where you live if you have Prime. If you do not have Prime, now is the time to enroll. With a couple clicks, you can load up on diapers, wipes, diaper cream, pacifiers, crib sheets, changing pads, nursing items, and my favorite: nursing tops that you can actually wear out of the house with leggings. Not that you are really going anywhere (or maybe you are) but it always feels good to look good. Do not underestimate the power of a loose nursing top paired with leggings, anything stretchy without buttons/zippers etc is your friend right now. I know there are other sites out there, and you can use those, I just really like having everything in one place. Saves time, which is like gold.
NURSING. Whether you are breast feeding or pumping or both, You need to meet my bestie, the hands free nursing bra. This product will save you so much time, and you can use both hands to answer emails/texts from your friends, go on FB or Insta, shop online or play candy crush. Whatever you want to do, no one is judging. This one company has a slew of different bras too, including their genius Supermom number: www.simplewishes.com
and no, I did not get paid to link them. I just happen to love the company and their products, plus women should always support women when they can. They also have breast pump options too, just in case what you have isn’t working. See? One stop shopping wins.
Using formula instead, or a mix of both? Again, NO ONE IS JUDGING which path you take. You are loving your little one(s) equally and providing for them equally. Get yourself some bottles in both the 2oz and 4 oz sizes for the beginning. You can graduate to the 8oz bottles in a little bit, but those guys are big league for tiny guys and a sleep deprived mama. Pre-mix your formula and have 2 bottles on the ready in the fridge at any time. Also, found a bunch of amazing formula containers and dispensers on Amazon, having rationed out formula on the go saves time and hassle/spills/etc. All you have to do is pour and shake, et voila! Anything to cut down on time spent doing that so you have more time for you, and sleep.
FOOD. Do not cook. I know, you make an awesome fill-in-the-blank and are really not that tired so you’ll just make some. No. Put down the pan and walk away. Fun fact: my first pregnancy I forgo sleep to bake about 18 loaves of bread. I have NO idea why, but boy was that dumb. Save your energy and let your friends bring you over food, anytime they ask if you need anything. They asked and are willing to help, let them. Food is the one area where you can save on time and reallocate it to sleep, or spending time with your growing family. Trays of lasagna, baked chicken breasts with sauce or premade salads and soups with bread are easy meals, AND will get you the nutrition you need. Sorry, the pregnancy cravings for fritos and pizza with ice cream aren’t going to cut it anymore. You need protein and veggies. And the better you eat, the more your milk will come in and transfer that goodness to baby. Don’t forget to snack on nuts if you can, such loaded goodness. Also, avocados. When your friend’s have run out of cooking power or taking the night off, order in. There is so much out there now a days that you can order food from practically anywhere and chances are that they will have something of a “healthy” nature.
WORKING OUT. So you want to sweat. Wait what? Labor wasn’t enough exercise for you? How about those sutures, do you think they’ll sit pretty through your crunches? Girlfriend, I get it, a thousand percent. You want to try and regain some sort of a middle or hourglass shape as quickly as possible, get fit and tone it up. 10 months is a long time to not be in control of your physical appearance, but you can wait 6 to 8 weeks more. Trust me, you’ve got the rest of your life to sweat it out, get that muscle back, loose some of the baby weight. Now is NOT the time to test the Dr recommended wait time post birth. Even if you’ve been riding that yellow bike throughout your pregnancy (what up soulsters!) your body is still not ready to get back on it. Unless you are an Olympic athlete or Ultra marathon runner, please put on your yoga pants and meditate. Good news though, you are actually working out some muscles just by doing some day to day things like crunching out of bed, carrying your baby (bicep curl into football hold) or light cardio while mad dashing it to the crib when there’s a cry. Also, did you know nursing burns calories? It’s true. I think you’ll find that 6-8 weeks will be here before you know it and then maybe you’ll hit the gym or maybe you’ll skip it. Either way, there is no rush and you certainly wouldn’t want lengthen your recovery by testing your body before it is ready.