Before becoming a mom I thought "Sofie the Giraffe" was an essential! And while it is a favorite of many, there are more urgent things a mom needs in her early days postpartum. After giving birth to my son who is now 3 months old, that Giraffe hasn't even seen the light of day! That's not to say he will not be useful but I'd like to share what I really feel could help new and first-time expecting moms in their first three months.
Price range: between P1,000.00- P1,500.00
One thing mom's really need in the early days of birth is emotional support and physical help. New mom's are exhausted and virtually tied down to their beds most of the time during the first 2 weeks as babies feed every 2-3 hours--mine fed every hour. If you can't give a helping hand yourself, sponsor a helping hand. There are many companies that provide on-call nurses. I suggest to sponsor a night or day time nurse or care givers. Night and day nurses SO helpful during the first 2 weeks post-partum. I had them round the clock for 2 weeks which allowed me to heal well from my cesarian operation and catch up on sleep between feeding my son. If you can't buy a GC from that company, just give cash or a check. Mom's will appreciate this, I promise!
Try these agencies:
Nurse on Call M: 09989809290
Makati Health Specialist Nurses
M:09209689372 T: 028403691, 028945513
2. HAAKAA SILICON BREAST PUMP with LID
available at Rustans', Mothercare, www.milkandhoney.com
Price range: P950-P1,550
Words cannot express how much I LOVE this pump! I started with 1 but now I have 4. The Haakaa is a game changer. Prior to giving birth I thought breast feeding involved a hungry baby and a breast. Soon after my milk came in, managing leaking breasts became a nuisance. Milk would get everywhere as leaky boobs are real! When a mother feeds their baby on one breast, the other non-feeding one gets stimulated and usually leaks causing a "let down". The Haakaa is used in tandem while feeding. The collection from your non-feeding boob can either be placed in a bottle for immediate use (within the day) or stored in the fridge (5-7 days) or freezer (3-6 months) for future use. Until this day, most of my freezer stash is milk collected from the Haakaa.
3. NURSING PADS and MILK COLLECTORS
Available at Rustans'
For the first 6-9 weeks post partum a mother's body is working towards establishing milk supply. Leaking breasts will be a big part of our lives so nursing bra's plus pads are a must. There are cloth and organic nursing pads in the market which I recommend over single-use nursing bra's.
I purchased Avent Milk Collectors which helped collect leaking milk and kept my clothes dry!
4. COLOSTRUM BOTTLES AND MILK BOTTLES
Milk collecting and storing will be the story of her life soon after birth. As a new mom shopping for bottles, I did not know how many I needed. I purchased a gift set of Dr. Browns which gave me 3- 4oz. bottles and 3-8oz. bottles. What I did not know is that extra bottles come in handy to store and collect milk in the fridge. For the first month, colostrum bottles (1-2oz capacity) came in handy as I was just collecting letdown with my Haakaa.
Available at The Parenting Emporium
New Manila store numbers: (02) 7253723 / 7386272
Text/call our Customer Service Hotline: 0917-5614366
Address: No. 29, 1st Street, New Manila, QC (They're on Google Maps and Waze!)
Milk needs to be stored in the fridge if it isn't used. We live in a 2 story house so going up and down to store milk after every session wasn't an option. We thought of purchasing a refrigerator but after considering the environmental cost of purchasing a new fridge I opted to go for a simpler solution so we purchased a cooler which keeps collected milk cool throughout the night. Other uses for a cooler is when milk needs to be transported e.g. when baby goes to my mom's house or out of town trips.
5. ABDOMINAL BINDER
I used a few binders including the one I received from the hospital and two Belly Bandits. The Makati Med binder was great at first but kept riding up and hitting my C-section scar. The velcro would also scratch my baby's legs. The belly bandit was nice at first too but eventually kept riding up and did not look nice when I had to leave the house and wear going out clothes.
I ended up purchasing a WINK binder from Mothercare after reading about the hype and do not regret the purchase. It is quite pricey but binders are an essential part of post-partum recovery. I still use my binder today. Whether natural or cesarean delivery, a binder is important as it aids healing and helps the body "put things back into place."
Your wardrobe will change post birth because your life will revolve around breast feeding so button down anything will help! I lived in UNIQLO pajamas for the first month as they were comfortable and cute!
7. FLANNELS AND TOWELS
I was a bit flustered with the number of towels and muslins I was given but at the end of the day they were all put to good use. Your friend will most likely be given muslins, a ton of them, so purchase the not-so-known towel must-haves like face and bath towels for the baby. Face towels are also useful for bath time or for drying baby's bottom.
8. LOVE TO DREAM SWADDLE UP- SUMMER LITE
available at Rustans', Mothercare and The Parenting Emporium
I purchased the Halo Swaddle and a bunch of other swaddles. Some are still unopened and stored as my baby did not like having his hands bound down. The LOVE TO DREAM SWADDLE was a game changer for me. As a new mom, trying to get my baby to sleep by himself was a struggle. He would fall asleep on my shoulder and the second I put him down he would cry. I read about the importance and magic of swaddling only when my baby was 1 month old. Prior to that, we would swaddle him but he would always find his way out of them and he would wake up because of the startle reflex. I did not really prioritize swaddling as it was more of a nuisance than a helping hand. Swaddling with a muslin works well but every time you had to check his nappy (which is like every 1-2 hours during the first 6 weeks) unravelling the muslin, woke him up. The HALO swaddle uses a velcro and the sound would wake him up too. The LOVE TO DREAM has a zipper that makes life so much easier! I can change my baby's diaper and check on his diaper through the back pocket without waking him up.
Once I read about the 5's c/o "The Happiest Baby on the Block" I took swaddling seriously and purchased the LOVE TO DREAM SWADDLE and never looked back. My baby would be fussy and once he is zipped up in this genius swaddle he would calm down and my arms could finally rest as he could fall asleep on his own in the evening.
Of course there are more than 8 things that new mom's need but I created this list of practical and less common essentials that I see that mom's do not often get at showers! If there's anything else you think I could add, please feel free to leave a comment.