Being a new mom is so amazing but also so challenging. It’s uncharted territory and you have to learn as you go. These are the products that helped ME personally throughout Connor’s first year of life. I used them all and love them all! Stay tuned for part 3 of 3 of my Baby’s First Year Series coming next week: Toys/Activities!
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1. Bellefit Postpartum Corset– I have found that people either love or hate postpartum corsets. I’m in the “love it” camp 100%. The idea behind a postpartum corset is that it aids in healing by helping to compress your uterus back to it’s original position/size. Which can help your tummy return to “normal” quicker. While I did find that to be true, I also just honestly thought it was super comfortable. I liked the way it felt to wear it and I wore it pretty much 24/7 (yes, even to sleep!) for the first several weeks after I had Connor. I used the size chart and initially bought a medium and then after about two weeks I ordered the small and switched to that because the medium was too loose. It seems the size chart may have changed since I ordered– because according to what it says now I probably should have started with a large (I am a size 4 120-125lbs normally, but during pregnancy I gained almost 40 lbs). I’m definitely glad I got a medium, so if you’re in between sizes I would maybe size down. It WILL be really tight initially, but the medium I bought was too loose after 2 weeks of use.
2. Honest Company Nipple Balm– If you’re nursing, this is a necessity! Especially in the beginning.
3. Milk Snob Nursing Covers– I’m happy and comfortable to nurse my baby wherever and whenever he needs, but I prefer to use a nursing cover and I love these Milk Snob ones. So many cute colors and prints. They also double as a car-seat carrier cover, so they are great for blocking out the elements (hot sun, wind, cold air, etc.). If you don’t use a cover- more power to you!
4. Sheet Masks– Newborn babies can take up all of your time and energy to the point where you may forget you are actually a person too. Occasionally my husband would take the baby and I would get a half hour to myself to just sit in the bathtub or lay on the bed with a sheet mask on. I would instantly feel refreshed and like a real human again.
5. Wonder Weeks Book/App– This app was recommended by a friend and I was SO glad I purchased it. I also purchased the book which is more detailed than the app and I enjoyed reading that too as Connor went through various “leaps” in his development. The app reassured me that Connor was “on track” with his development, gave me a heads up as to when to expect fussy behavior and why, and the book provided all of this in more detail and also provided activities for each leap to help Connor develop new skills. I recommend it for any new parent! The link is to the book– just seach “Wonder Weeks” in the app store to get the app!
6. Nursing Bras: Kindred Bravely and Bravado– I lived in (and still continue to live in) Kindred Bravely crossover nursing bras when I’m at home. They are ridiculously comfy and convenient for nursing and I LOVE how they come in “busty” sizes (e.g. you can order a small or a small “busty” for more space in the cup without adding space to the band). I love Bravado clip-down nursing bras to wear out of the house because they offer more support but are still really comfortable and don’t have underwire.
7. Brooks Fiona Sports Bra– This is NOT a nursing bra, but the straps are velcro so they are completely adjustable and they come undone easily to nurse. I have two of these and use them all the time- they provide great support and I like how they don’t have any padding.
8. Target Spanx High-Waisted Leggings– These were my favorite leggings to wear right after I had Connor. I love how high they come up (literally all the way up under your boobs) because if you lift up your top to nurse your whole stomach isn’t exposed. I also like the gentle compression and they were even comfortable to wear over my Bellefit corset. They aren’t see-thru at all, but I would suggest going up a size. I have a size medium, but I’m typically a small. I still wear these regularly.
9. Easy Tanks and T-shirts- Before I had Connor and immediately after, I bought a bunch of cheap tank tops and t-shirts from Old Navy, Target, and Aerie and I am SO glad I did. Newborns spit up on the regular and I definitely wouldn’t want to be wearing nice, expensive clothes when it happens. My “uniform” as a new mom was leggings + a tank/t-shirt that is long enough to cover my butt or joggers + a loose t-shirt front-tucked to add a little shape. Casual and comfortable but not sloppy-looking.
10. Brewers Yeast– Brewers yeast is great for milk supply! I made these lactation cookies so much throughout the past year and I would often sprinkle some brewers yeast into my oatmeal or mix it into a smoothie to help with supply. I never really felt that I had an issue with low milk supply, but I did eat “milk-boosting” foods regularly (e.g. brewers yeast, flax, oatmeal, etc.).
11. Manual Pump– This was game-changer for me. I used my regular electric pump for the first 6 months of Connor’s life and then I had an issue while we were traveling and the pump wouldn’t work on batteries while we were in the car. It was awful and when we got home I immediately bought a manual pump as a “back up” or to bring to events (I packed it when we went to a wedding and it took up way less space than my electric pump). Once I used it, I never went back to the electric pump. Literally. I ONLY use my manual pump now. Granted, I only pump 2x week (one time on each of the 2 full days I work), so if I were pumping several times a day an electric pump may be better. However, the manual pump is WAY more gentle and it’s actually very quick to use.
12. Tone it Up app- Home workouts were the ONLY way I was getting any exercise in (other than walking and lifting up my babe 100 times a day). Search “studio tone it up” in the App store. You do have to pay for it, but it truly is a lifesaver for anyone who struggles to find the time to actually get to the gym. I was able to choose workouts that easily fit into my day (10-20 mins usually. They have longer ones but those didn’t work for me in the beginning), and they have so many to choose from– yoga, HIIT, toning. Highly recommend!