Why is this musician writing about diapers on her website? Well, I'll tell you why. This musician just had a baby, is trying to survive through a pandemic, and genuinely likes to help people. I thought it might be nice to write out for any pregnant or birthing people who happen upon my blog the various products and supplies I actually used and liked during my pregnancy and postpartum journey. If you like this blog, check out the other topics in the series by scrolling through this link! (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but as always, I only recommend what I actually think is worthwhile.)
Diapers and Wipes
Our friends who were kind enough to throw us a baby shower had the wonderful idea to incorporate a raffle where attendees were invited to bring diapers (and/or wipes) ranging from NB to size 2 in exchange for a raffle ticket. The winning ticket received a gift card to a local restaurant. People really came through, thank goodness - we are still using the gifted diapers and wipes going into month three! It's also been a great way to try out various brands - there is so much out there and it can get overwhelming. So far, we've been digging the Huggies Little Snugglers diapers and Huggies Natural Care wipes. But honestly, every baby is so different. I would encourage you to try out different brands until you find a great match for your little and then stock up once you know what works for their bum and your budget.
We got this awesome changing pad for the nursery as a hand-me-down from friends, but if you don't feel comfortable buying this bougie little booty pad, I promise that something affordable and simple like this portable waterproof travel pad will do the trick. We have one for the diaper bag and one for the house (we lazily change a LOT of diapers in the living room). No matter what kind of pad you get, I also recommend snagging a few soft/washable liners. Those pads are nice for easy cleaning and all, but they can get pretty dang cold, and the last thing you want is a cold and shrieky nakey baby. (Wipe warmers are a little extreme imho, but do you boo).
We do diaper storage two ways in our casa. For the changing table, we have this cute and compact little caddy that holds a few other items like creams, clippers, etc. And for a more utilitarian approach, we have this portable cart, which we use to store everything baby and breastfeeding-related. Love and use them both, but cart for the win if you struggle with storage options for tiny spaces like we do.
I knew going into this whole smelly shebang that I wanted a Diaper Genie, as I have changed many a diaper of my friends' kids and have had the unique opportunity of testing out various dirty diaper disposal situations prior to becoming pregnant. We got a hand-me-down version of the hands-free version, which was great until the little foot pedal kept breaking. So off we went to the store to get a replacement, and all they had in stock was the Expressions model. We were wary at first because it didn't have the foot opener thingy, but I actually ended up liking it much better. Despite it's smaller size, it holds a shit-ton of diapers. People in the reviews seem weirded out that you have to slide the diapers in with your hand, but in my experience, they just glide ride in. I've never had anything disgusting happen, even with poopy diapers, plus I'm always thoroughly washing my hands after a whole diaper changing debacle anyway. Either way you go, I just don't think any other brand of diaper pail comes close to controlling odors. PS - don't forget to stock up on some liners...they have name-brand, but the generic kind work fine as well!
Tbh, I don't really use cremes on Riv's little tush unless her skin seems to be a little more irritated or red than usual. Or mayyyybe after a bath if I'm feeling like giving her a little spa day. I don't really have a fav, but so far I've used and had no problems with good ol' fashioned Desitin. I also like Weleda creme and this nifty Diaper Lotion Potion spray.
I admire you so much, but I've got nothing for you. I practiced cloth diapering once for one of the kiddos I watched, and I knooooooow it's so much better for the planet, but I just couldn't make myself swing it in this household. It wasn't even the poops that grossed me out - it was this persistent faint spell of urine, even on a clean dipe. Maybe one day I'll revisit being a better human. Please don't judge me too harshly.
Okay byeeeeee! Don't forget to check out these other blogs in the series!
*Postpartum Recovery Products I Actually Used
*Postpartum Vitamins and Supplements I Actually Used
*Pregnancy Products I Actually Used
Hello birthing people of the world. I'm back with another post in this pregnancy and postpartum series - hope you're finding them helpful so far. Today, I'm going to be spilling the tea on postpartum recovery products I actually used. I hope to baby Jesus that your labor, delivery, and healing experience is quick and painless, but just in case you're having trouble like I did, here are some suggestions for ya:
First suggestion: If you give birth in a hospital or birthing center of some sort, take everything. Pads, sprays, ice packs, underwear - whatever you can shove in a bag, take it. And after all that runs out, check out my below recs! (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but as always, this is all the shit I actually used).
I had a lot going on downtown after River came literally ripping through my vagina. I was also extremely swollen for about a week after her arrival and couldn't have worn my own underwear if I even wanted to. Disposable mesh undies were the solution for awhile. Pro-tip: get a size bigger than you think so you can shove in them all the other crap I'm about to recommend. It's gonna be a party down there. A pity party, but still.
These Stayfree super maxi pads were absorbent without being annoyingly bulky. They come 66 to a pack, which is important when you're going through a billion of them a day. I will be forever haunted by visions of my bathroom trash can full of these bloody suckers, but they got the job done.
I had never even heard of witch hazel pads until the day I gave birth, but I sure had a close relationship with them in the weeks following. I was BFFs with these soothing circles. The nurse taught me how to line them up, three to a pad, like a little salami sandwich for my torn perineum to munch on. For awhile there, these were the only things in the universe that gave me any kind of comfort. Oh yeah, and I guess my baby, too.
Consider perineal spray as a condiment for your your little witch hazel sandwich. Just a little zhuzsh to keep the whole thing so fresh and so clean. At first, I used the hospital grade Dermoplast (which makes it sound like you're drywalling your vagina or something), and when I ran out, I ended up ordering the Earth Mama kind.
I just used the straight-up squirt bottle from the hospital, but if you're angling (I crack myself up - get it? Angling? Cause it's at an angle?) for something different, check out this one from the fine folks at Frida.
I liked having hemorrhoids about as much as I like figuring out how to spell hemorrhoids. Something is just not right about your insides on your outsides. (Newborn babies are the exception). After delivering River, it was difficult to sit upright at all, let alone try to take care of her needs from a seated position. In a genius move, my sister took the cushion out of her car and brought it into my house so I could have a little comfort while seated. It helped a lot. And once we ventured out into the world, I took that m-f-er with me. In the car, to the park, to restaurants - everywhere. No shame in my game. Swollen veins in my rectum, sure. But shame? No.
Once I got the all-clear to resume bath time (and could actually tolerate the act of sitting), I stocked up on lavender Epsom Salt. Love me a good soak on any given day, but baths were especially sacred to me during the "fourth trimester," and I imagine they will continue to be throughout parenthood. Mama needs some me-time, ya know what I mean? Also, I'm no doctor, but I think this stuff really helped the healing process along and soothed an otherwise very angry perineal area. (PS - if you're into CBD, head straight to Magic Mama Co for all your bath bomb needs, plus so much more).
If you've ever experienced back pain or cramping of any kind, I highly recommend ordering a Tens unit. Even before pregnancy, I used this device on my raging cramps during periods and also on my aching back after intense workouts. This magical machine has come in handy yet again during my postpartum journey. I don't know how the science of it all works, but who needs a practical explanation when the proof is in the pulses? I always feel so much better after each session. I wish human bodies just had this feature built-in!
Armrest Drink Holder and TV Tray
Okay, before you laugh at me for these seemingly non-relevant, superfluous purchases, I want you to picture a tiny ass living room with no space for a coffee table. And then picture my swollen, torn, exhausted, non-walking self trying to nurse a baby and pump at all hours of the day/night while also trying to manage some sort of nutrition for myself. This over-the-couch drink holder and this portable TV tray made life just a little more do-able. The TV tray also makes a great mini-desk for late night work-n-pump sessions (this is literally where I work on my new line of journals!)
That's all, folks! Hope any of these ease products ease your postpartum journey in some way. Stay tuned for additional recommendations based on my experience. In the meantime, check out past posts below ICYMI!
*Postpartum Vitamins and Supplements I Actually Used
*Pregnancy Products I Actually Used
Yo! I’m back with another blog that will only be remotely interesting to pregnant or birthing people. Today, I’ll just be focusing on vitamins, supplements, and teas I used postpartum. (If you missed my last post about products I actually used during pregnancy, peep it here.) As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but I’m not here to tell you how or where to shop. Just want to show you what I used - you do you! And make sure to consult with your doctor before taking any of this shizzzz cause I am by no means a medical professional. I am by no means any kind of professional, for that matter.
Postpartum Vitamins and Supplements I Actually Used
Daily Prenatal / Postpartum Vitamin
If you recall from my last blog, I used both SmartyPants Prenatal Formula Daily Gummies and Solimo Prenatal Vitamins & DHA Gummies throughout pregnancy. I’m still taking the Smarty Pants during this postpartum stage since the others are unavailable. I’ll probably continue to take these until around the six month postpartum mark.
Trying to up your lactation supply is a mindf*ck. My flow was pretty much no-go in the beginning, and it’s nothing to write home about now, but I chalk it up as a win that I have been able to keep up with my growing gal as we enter into her third month. She’s a thirsty little B. Here are some teas and supplements I’ve been taking to help me out. It should be noted that I never take more than 2-3 of any pill per day no matter what the directions state because I think anything more than that in a supplement is a ploy to get me to run out of said supplement and buy more. I realize this may not be the best way to go about taking supplements, but money doesn’t grow on trees. I have no idea which of the below are helping and which ones aren’t, but down the hatch it all goes every morning:
These products aren't necessarily postpartum specific, but I feel I should mention them because they seem even more crucial to my diet than ever. Protein is so important for women, especially when nursing, but if you're like me and can't ever seem to get the recommended amount, I recommend this Orgain Powder for fruit smoothies. I also gotta give a shout out to Chia Seeds - those tiny little suckers are not only good for you, but they really help fill you up, and they taste pretty good (or at least fine) in pretty much anything from water to smoothies to oatmeal.
Something people don’t talk about enough is how freaking terrifying and painful it can be to pee and poop after vaginal births. Doctors usually prescribe a stool softener upon discharge so the hospital door doesn’t hit you in the hemorrhoids on the way out, but my poop problems lasted long after those were finished, so I kept taking an over-the-counter stool softener until everything felt a bit more regular.
Because I had a gnarly perineal tear, peeing was basically a horror show for the first few weeks. Since there was so much going on down there, I took a cranberry supplement in hopes of preventing a UTI from showing up uninvited. Not sure if it was the reason I didn’t have a UTI, but I guess it was not not the reason. *shrug shoulder emoji*
Joint Pain Relief
After giving birth, I developed some not-so-fun arthritis symptoms. All those years in a corporate office, and I never experienced carpal tunnel. Six days into breastfeeding, and I could barely move my wrists. Go figure. There was also lots of joint pain in my ankles and back, so I added these big ol’ Kirkland Glucosomine pills to the mix.
General Pain and Anxiety Relief
I took prescription vicodin and xanax as needed. Pretty sure they don’t sell that on Amazon, soooo you’re on your own there…
Trust me when I say you don’t want to be asking your sleep-deprived self if you remembered to take your meds at three in the morning while your fussy baby is hanging off your boob. With this big fat pill box, you can throw in everything you’ll need seven days at a time, and even sort by time of day if necessary. It seemed like silly, superfluous buy at first, but it really did free up some much needed extra time in my day and extra space in my new mom brain. If you’re taking multiple meds and supplements, I can’t recommend this enough.
Okie doke, that wraps this one up. Check back soon for additional recommendations for postpartum parents!
Okay, so I know this is my music website, but y’all, I just had a baby, and I’m not about to start a whole new website for a few pregnancy and postpartum-themed blog entries. Besides, I am not a big fan of the whole niching down thing. I’m a whole-ass person with a multifaceted identity, mkay? Plus, I’m just really at that stage in life-slash-the pandemic-slash-motherhood-slash-late stage capitalism where doing things the lazy way is an act of resistance. I will not be shamed.
That said, I’ve been wanting to write blog series where I tell folks all about the products I actually used throughout my pregnancy and after delivery. For transparency’s sake, I will say that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, but I am legit only publishing these posts in hopes of helping any pregnant and birthing people who trust my opinion as they wade through the waters of “WTF is actually useful?”
I know folks have strong feelings about shopping on the ol’ Amazon marketplace. I do as well, and they are complex – probably worthy of a whole other blog entry. But until then, this new mama is trying to help other new parents and feed her family at the same time, so feel free to kick rocks if you’re not down for those causes. Away we go:
Products I Actually Used During Pregnancy:
It took us old lesbians like a billion years to get pregnant, so I was trying various prenatal vitamins for quite sometime before we finally got the BFP. At first, I took Ritual Prenatal Vitamins, which were great in terms of ingredients. But some cons: They were kinda spendy, I didn’t love the subscription model, and the hint of lemon flavor that I loved in the beginning kind of started making me feel like I was ingesting Pledge wood polisher.
From there, I moved on to SmartyPants Prenatal Formula Daily Gummies. They were tasty little gummies, and I dug the omega-3 action because mama comes from a long line of ladies with mental health issues and from what the internet tells me, fish oil is good for the brain.
I switched it up yet again when I realized that the Smarty Pants gummies didn’t include Iron. I didn’t want to have to supplement that separately, so I decided to go with Solimo Prenatal Vitamins & DHA Gummies. These are the prenatals I was taking when I found out I was pregnant, and rocked with them all the way through the first few weeks of postpartum life, until they became “currently unavailable” on the Amazon site. Rude.
Thankfully, I never had my head in a toilet bowl throughout my entire pregnancy. There were, however, a couple early months where I felt pretty dang woozy. Two things got me through: Preggie Pops and Sea-Band wristbands. The former helped for those short but intense waves of yuck, and the latter were great for all-day wear. Neither product eliminated nausea altogether, but they both smoothed out some of the rougher edges of the experience and helped me avoid a trip to Barftown, USA.
Heartburn Relief & Sleep Aid
All I have to say is: Tum-ta-tum-tum-TUUUUUUMS for the win. I went through like four bottles of extra strength Tums in my last trimester. I hope you don’t hit the level of heartburn that I experienced, but if you do, stock up on these chalky little miracles.
I think every Buy Nothing group on Facebook has one of these U Shaped Pregnancy Pillows listed on the daily, but just in case you don’t see one or don’t feel comfortable washing a stranger’s pillow case, make sure to snag one. Seriously. Sleep is soooo hard to come by in those later months, and this pillow will help you catch some crucial z’s.
I’m not someone who ever had an elaborate or regimented skincare routine to begin with, but I did try my hardest to slather on some of this Bella B lotion on my legs and baby bump after showers. Did it make all my cellulite miraculously go away? No. Did it prevent post-delivery stretch marks from forming on each hip? Also no. But I like the way it smells, I like the consistency, and who knows…maybe those stretch marks would have been a lot worse without it. And as far as I’m concerned, my stretch marks are effing awesome. I earned those suckers. But yeah, I still like and use the lotion.
I don’t know if it was the pandemic or the popularity of online shopping or WHAT, but geez Louise, it was so hard to find maternity clothes in actual stores. I don’t know what made me think I would be this cute pregnant lady in adorable flowy maternity dresses, but that vision was squashed pretty quickly because I hated the idea of buying something fancy that I couldn’t try on in a store. I ended up just wearing a lot of sweatpants and T-shirts like every other dang day of my lesbian life. That said, I did spring for some staple items that made pregnancy just a bit more comfy - like these maternity jeans, this maternity swimsuit, and these workout-slash-pajama maternity shorts.
As my body grew, I had no choice but to go hunting for new undergarments. These Caramel Cantina Nursing Bras were my favorite for lots of reasons: padless, wireless, soft enough to sleep in, supportive enough for light workouts, annnnnd I knew I could use them to nurse after the baby came. I ended up going back to buy another 4-pack so I could have enough to last me through one laundry cycle! For undies, I first tried the cute below-the-bump “panties,” but I did not dig them at all. Correction: all I did was dig them out of my crotch because they kept sliding down. Back to the interwebs I went, and I found these Intimate Portal Maternity Foldable Briefs which worked wayyyy better for me in terms of fit and coverage. I bought two 6-packs, and they are still essential skivvies for my postpartum comfort.
Okay, boom, there you have it. Wishing you a happy pregnancy and hope any of these items help make your experience more comfortable! Stay tuned for a few more blogs with recommendations for postpartum life!