The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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“Squirt bottles are so key,” Roman says. After a vaginal birth, hemorrhoids may make it difficult or uncomfortable to wipe after emptying your bladder or having a bowel movement. Filling a squirt bottle with some simple tap water can help you feel cleaner after you use the bathroom.
This household staple also helps to relieve pain around the perineum.
Another simple drugstore product, witch hazel pads can also help relieve pain associated with tearing and hemorrhoids.
Cold compresses and warm washcloths, combined with gentle massage, might help with breast and nipple pain, but as far as all the other feel-better products they sell for breastfeeding moms, Roman says she’s more of the “see how it goes” philosophy, as opposed to buying in advance.
Cracks and sores in the breast or nipple should actually be evaluated by your physician, Roman warns, because they could indicate yeast or a bacterial infection. However, some women experience very little breast pain at all, so save your money on creams etc. until you’re sure you need them!
See more: The best ways to prevent and treat sore nipples >>
You’ll feel more comfortable if you pack your own pillow, clothes, pajamas and toothbrush to bring to the hospital or birthing center, Roman says. She also suggests using the mesh underwear that hospitals often provide after delivery. They may not be sexy, but they save you the hassle of messing up your own underwear -- and they’re actually pretty comfortable.
Remember: The postpartum period is a delicate time. If you notice a sudden increase in pain or anything out of the ordinary, call your doctor. And you’ll get sick of hearing this advice, but try to nap when the baby naps during those first weeks at home, rather than checking your email or doing housework. “You need to be well rested in order to remain healthy and take care of your new baby,” Roman says.