Becoming a new mom is oh so joyous - but it can also be oh so overwhelming! Especially when it comes to finding eco-friendly products for you and your new babe. I’m here to help! Read on for my top 10 favourite must-haves for new mamas!
My 10 New Mama Must-Haves
1. A good breast pump
You’re told, “breast is best.” But no one tells you how hard breastfeeding can be. Someone once told me if you can commit to the first six weeks, you’ll make it. I know it’s not for everyone, but I was adamant about wanting to breastfeed. And I must say, it does get easier. However, breastfeeding is a completely personal choice and doesn’t appeal to all new mamas.
That being said, a breast pump is key - and absolutely worth the investment! It’s a wonderful tool to have available when - or if - needed. In fact, even for those who don’t plan to breastfeed but need to express their milk, a breast pump (either manual or electronic) is a handy device to have.
2. Nipple cream
If you plan to breastfeed, you want to make sure that you take good care of your nipples. Sore and cracked nipples are normal, especially for first-time moms as you are still adjusting and learning the correct way to latch. I’d recommend a natural nipple balm to keep nipples moisturized that is also being safe for baby. My favourite is Earth Mama’s Nipple Butter, made with safe, natural and organic ingredients.
3. Nursing pads
Disposable breast pads are convenient, but can sometimes be uncomfortable and itchy. I love an organic bamboo nursing pad instead. They’re soft, organic, washable and reusable, which means not only do they feel great, they’re good for the environment - and baby! - too.
4. Nursing/Pumping cover
A nursing cover is a no-fuss way to breastfeed your baby on the go or when the nursing room isn’t available. You can do it just anywhere with a nursing cover. It also allows me to use it to cover when I pump in the car (when I'm super engorged)!
I love the selections at Tiny Tapir because their products are eco-friendly for sustainable living.
5. Milk boosting supplies
I’ve realised everyone is different when it comes to this, but I’ll definitely recommend a few products to help with milk production, including red dates drink, fenugreek tea and Pegaga by PurelyB.
6. Baby wrap/sling
These things are amaaaazing! Why? Well, a baby wrap, sling wrap, ring sling - whatever you may call it - keeps your little one close while leaving your hands free! I must say, I survived mostly at home alone, with the help of this wrap. I managed to cook and do most of the housework with the help of baby wrap. I recommend a Moby Wrap or a Boba Baby Wrap.
7. Prenatal Vitamins
After having your baby, your body is still severely depleted of a lot of necessary nutrients. If you are breastfeeding, it’s even more important to make sure you are taking your prenatal vitamins regularly since you are now providing nourishment for two different beings.
I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t take prenatals routinely postpartum with my second child like I did with my first. I was busy and forgetful, so taking vitamins wasn’t at the top of my priority list; I ended up with cracked nails and hair.I wasn’t getting all of the nutrients I needed, and your hair and nails are one of the most obvious places you can visualize this. But once I started retaking Pegaga by PurelyB I noticed an improvement within a month or so.
8. Water Bottle
When you're breastfeeding, you have to make sure to hydrate your little one and yourself. Therefore, it’s important to keep a water bottle within arm’s reach at all times so you remember to drink enough water throughout the day. I prefer reusable glass (silicone sleeve for easier gripping) or stainless steel.
9. Sports Bras
I have tonnes of nursing bras, but my advice is to also make sure you have some really comfortable sports bras. You don’t know how swollen you might be, so get a few one size bigger than you normally wear.
They are really great for sleeping in, too. Since I had to pack several breast pads in my bra at night (or risk waking up to milk all down the front of my shirt), I heavily relied on ultra comfy sports bras for easier sleeping. Find ones that are affordable and easily adjustable so you can take them in or out as your breast swelling goes up or down.
10. Essential Oils
Two of my favourites are ylang-ylang and geranium. The combination of these two oils was a lifesaver for me after birth. Mixing these two oils with coconut oil helped tone and tighten the uterus and slow bleeding and it also helped my belly skin tighten quickly postpartum.
Please note that I am only referring to pure, therapeutic grade essential oils. Quality is extremely important when it comes to essential oils. Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil like coconut oil. I encourage you to do your own research as well so that you can be confident in the decisions you make for yourself and your baby.