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They say nature gives you nine months, but between filling out your registry and decorating the nursery, who has time to think about what you’ll need to care for yourself postpartum? Plus, with so much information out there (some of those checklists are REALLY long) it’s hard to know what you’ll actually need — and what’s a waste of money.
We asked Ashley Roman, MD, clinical assistant professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center, what new moms should pack in their hospital bags and have at the ready when they get home. Here’s her super simple shopping list:
Women can expect to bleed for several weeks after childbirth (even if you have a C-section). Have an ample supply of maxi pads at home.
It’s common for first-time moms to tear their perineum (the area between the vulva and the anus) during a vaginal birth. Ouch! To relieve the pain, Roman recommends filling a sitz bath or basin with warm water. Then, you simply rest your bottom in it — how soothing!
See more: Self-care for down there >>
Lidocaine spray, found over-the-counter at the drugstore, can also help relieve pain associated with tearing or hemorrhoids, Roman says. “Don’t underestimate the hemorrhoids. They can be quite a shock, especially if you have been pushing for a long time,” she advises. If your hemorrhoids are extremely painful to the extent that you have trouble even sitting down, you may have to be evaluated by your doctor, she adds.