During pregnancy our body prepares for an unparalleled task, to maintain a life inside our uterus for 9 months and achieve its maximum development. For this reason we women focus all our energy on eating healthy, going to our medical appointments, and following all the indications.
And everything goes well until the day of the birth, at that moment we enter an unknown and little mentioned stage by maternity books and the women around us, the postpartum. The physical and hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy are interrupted and the body must quickly return to its previous state. All of this happens as we adjust to new life and take care of a newborn.
Postpartum is full of emotions and changes, it is common to wonder if you are doing the right thing, to doubt your ability to take care of your baby, and even to feel loneliness and sadness. And if we add to this the difficulties in establishing successful breastfeeding, the challenge becomes even greater.
To cope with postpartum and breastfeeding, in addition to the support of family and friends, there are many other tools and accessories that will facilitate this task. Here is a list of the essentials.
After childbirth or cesarean section, heavy bleeding known as lochia is very common. Having large, absorbent pads will help you feel comfortable.
Breast milk production during the first few weeks postpartum can be greater than the newborn’s demand, causing uncomfortable spills in the bra. Disposable or washable pads are a perfect choice.
Although breastfeeding is known as a natural activity for all women, the reality is that it’s not always. That romantic idea of holding your newborn while he or she feeds from your breast and you smile is often nowhere near reality. If you do suffer injuries caused by poor latch-on, hydrogel patches can be your salvation in relieving the pain.
Milk production is not constant during breastfeeding, sometimes your baby will sleep more hours than usual and will not be able to completely empty the breast, the accumulation of milk in addition to causing discomfort can be painful. It is therefore advisable to have an electric or manual breast pump.
A breast pump is also useful for mothers who return to work and want to continue breastfeeding. This will help them maintain an optimal level of production during the hours they are away from home.
Finally, a nursing pillow has been a lifesaver for women who choose to breastfeed their newborns. Achieving a comfortable position while holding a baby and trying to heal injuries such as a cesarean section, a tear, or an episiotomy can be challenging. U- or S-shaped pillows will be your best allies.
The postpartum period and breastfeeding have become idealized over time, but for many women they are difficult to cope with, where doubts and emotions are overwhelming. We must keep in mind that feeling this way is more normal than we think, and that our best option is always to seek help from those around us and have the right accessories to improve our days.