5 Maternity Bag Essentials for Kiwi mums
These maternity bag essentials are important, but often overlooked, in the usual “hospital bag for birth” lists. Whether you birth at home or at the hospital you may be wondering “What will I need for my natural birth preparation kit, to support me in breastfeeding & healing after my birth?”
You may not realise that these items are necessary or even that they exist! Many mums spend a lot of time thinking about what to pack for baby and often overlook themselves in this process.
Say what?? If this is your first time giving birth, you really need to ad this to your maternity bag essentials.
Belly binding is an ancient practice that involves wrapping the entire midsection tightly after birth to help the uterus shrink back to it’s original size. A few great benefits of belly binding is that it supports your hips and back until such time that the relaxin hormone (which softens your pelvis for delivery) reduces.
Many first time mothers are surprised to find that their bellies don’t just shrink back straight away. After the birth your stomach forms a loose pocket where baby used to be and this can be very uncomfortable. It takes time for your skin, stomach & uterus to shrink back to normal. Belly binding makes the process considerably more comfortable.
You may experience strong after-pains as your uterus returns back to it’s original size. Postnatal binding after birth will ease the cramps and provide pain relief.
Your hips may be very tender and sore after birth. They may also be much wider than before your pregnancy. Binding your hips after birth, whilst the relaxin hormone is still circulating, will help bring them back into a smaller diameter. This will provide much needed support and relieve any left over pelvic pain.
If you are planning on breastfeeding, or even if you aren’t, you simply cannot neglect to pack nipple cream into your hospital bag. The act of giving birth will release powerful hormones that bring on milk production. This process can be hot and uncomfortable and you will thank your pregnant self for planning ahead.
If you are in the process of establishing breastfeeding for the first, or second or third time, your nipples will require extra protection and moisturising. A good nipple care cream will include natural safe ingredients for protection and healing.
And whilst we are talking about breastfeeding, what happens if you have an over or under supply of breast milk? You do not want to worry about this in the chaos which is the first few days of getting used to a newborn. So the solution is to have this tea packed and ready to go.
A good herbal breastfeeding tea will not only help when milk supply is low, but will help to regulate supply so that you do not end up engorged with too much milk and a newborn who fusses at the breast. A Good breastfeeding tea will nourish you, supporting your healing after birth as well as supporting your baby’s digestion and nutrient absorption.
You may or may not have an episiotomy,. Regardless you will be very sensitive and swollen with possibly even a few nicks in your vagina or perineal area. Now is the time to start the healing. A good perineum ointment will provide you with much needed relief and help things down below to get back to normal faster.
An oil will be easier to apply whilst you are sore. Make sure your ointment contains St John’s wort oil as this has been shown to be very effective in healing skin as well as any nerve damage that may have occurred.
You may think that taking supplements are only useful during pregnancy, but this is not true. Even if you are not breastfeeding your body has been through a lot and you will need to build your nutritional status back up again.
If you are breastfeeding it is especially important that you continue to take your multi & fish oil supplements so that you and your baby gets the optimum nutrition possible. It is very important to take a high quality supplement, this is not the time to skimp out. A poor quality supplement will not provide much benefit and where fish oil is concerned you definitely need to know that it is pure and effective.
Looking after yourself now will save you a lot of health problems further down the track.
For more information on getting prepared for having your baby, check out the Ministry of Health’s website here.