In the early weeks after Jane was born, we were so blessed by family and friends who helped us in a number of ways. They brought us meals, cleaned, and held Jane so that I could sleep, and I really could not have gotten through those first weeks without them. And because those things were so helpful to me, I like to pass on the blessings to others if I can. So if I had an unlimited supply of cash, I would make a care package for every new mom of my acquaintance which would include:
Motherlove nipple cream. This stuff is the best. Dry, cracked nipples are no match for this salve. Can anyone say “Ahhh, sweet relief!!”?
A 1-Liter water bottle. The nursing mom gets sooo thirsty and she needs water as her constant companion.
Gift cards to restaurants, or home cooked dinners with enough for leftovers, as well as some bagels for breakfast.
Gift certificate to come over and clean the house, or a professional maid service. Dust bunnies and dirt were literally driving me crazy when I was too exhausted and sore to clean. Next baby, I will definitely invest in a maid service, at least temporarily.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by La Leche League. I wish that I had started to read this before Jane was born, because it is just a wealth of information about what is normal, and I needed a shift in my perception of normal.
B-12 supplements. They have made all the difference for this exhausted momma.
A hug and some encouragement. I needed to know that “this too shall pass”. Yes, it is wonderful to have a newborn, but it is also truly awful. You are being pushed beyond your limits and learning how to care for a tiny human. Every new mom needs to know that she is doing a great job, because every new mom thinks she isn’t.
Contact and meeting information for La Leche League. This group of women saved my sanity.
Some good books for passing the time while nursing.
A mommy journal. It’s not like you have a ton of free time, but it’s nice to be able to write down some memories to recall for later when you won’t remember a thing.
Lansinoh nursing pads. These are very discreet and absorbant. It’s great to have washable pads, but in the early weeks, who has time for more laundry?
On the subject of Lansinoh, their milk storage bags are the best. They are less expensive than Medela, hold more milk, and are easier to store.
I would need a pretty big budget to provide all of these things for every new mom, so in the meantime, a hug, a meal, and LLL info are usually what gets passed on. What were your “must haves” in the early post partum days?