Labor & Delivery Prep

There is SO much that can go into the Labor and Delivery prep.
Some people do nothing, some people obsess over it

I for some reason was completely obsessed. I’m going to clue you in on a few things I did during pregnancy and a few things on my “wish list” for labor and delivery.

This advice will vary A LOT depending on what you want to do with your labor. For me, I wanted to do it as unmedicated as possible. But one thing I learned through the entire pregnancy and now in the “mom role” is expectations are the robbers of happiness!
Meaning, have things you’d like, but do not cling to them, because when things go awry you don’t want to be disappointed.

Pregnancy

This is what I did to prep for labor:

1. Books



A Mindful Pregnancy
this book was written by the creator of the meditation app HeadSpace (which I also loved to use… especially during the pandemic.). This helped me to stay calm and present during my pregnancy.


Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth This book is INCREDIBLE for helping you to understand that your body and to work on eliminating fear. Basically let your body do what it needs to and get out of your own way. Because literally if you are afraid, you trigger the flight or fight response in your body telling your body “this is not a safe place/time to have my baby” this makes your cervix go NOPE but your body is going… well it’s happening… and that conflict of interest creates a lot more pain. Your body is trying to squeeze something out of an opening that’s not wanting to be open.

What I found interesting was there are women who have given birth IN COMAS!!… GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY!

How I did this was Hypnobabies

What my midwife recommended was start by reading the book and then if it’s something that sounded interesting to me to get the course.

Hypnobabies is “hypnosis” or I thought of it more as a meditation to get you through labor. It was a bit of a commitment, there is a course that walks you through tons of labor information and then there are recorded tracks you listen to practice completely relaxing. The tracks are about 30-40 min but I found them to be soo calming when I was stressed out about pregnancy in general. And honestly I fell asleep most of the time I was practicing with them.
THEN when you go into labor there are tracks for that specifically. I started listening to my tracks on the way to the hospital (I think you’re supposed to do it a bit sooner) but it worked for me. My contractions looked like me listening to the tracks and moaning a bit but I was relaxed.
My labor was fast. I had back labor and labored at home, when we arrived at the hospital at 11pm I was 6cm dilated.
I started pushing at 2am and baby was born at 224a. My doula told me, in her experience, women who use hypnobabies have a faster labor.
Let me tell you, while I was at the hospital I swear I was in a trance until she was out. It was pretty incredible.
My Birth Story Here.

2. Spinning Babies

I took this class in person. You learn about a variety of techniques to help during labor to get baby out, or to “spin” the baby into position so they come out as they should. My back labor was due to the fact that the little lady had her hand UP BY HER HEAD.
I tried a few of the spinning babies techniques using the rebozo which relieves some of the pressure on your belly. I also did inversions while contracting to allow her to “float” and then reposition herself when I came back up right. This meant my knees were on the couch and my forearms on the floor, with supervision.
Make sure you talk to your midwife or doula about this, this can help if baby is breech, but you also don’t want to flip baby. Also, the hospital was concerned the chord could get kinked, talk to your Doula 🙂

3. Probiotics

I use LoveBug and have worked with their team to learn A TON about probiotics and how important they are for for pregnancy, labor and baby. I have an entire video that talks about it all!

LIVINGONAONEWAY will give you 15% off your order!

I took these probiotics before I was pregnant, during and now post.
Taking probiotics can decrease your chances of testing positive for your Strep B test at 36 weeks. What this means is you won’t have to have antibiotics during labor. As most of us know, antibiotics strip us of all of the bactrica not just the bad stuff and in receiving them during labor your baby is also exposed.

4. 6 Dates a Day!

Here is an article explaining how eating 6 dates/day (75g) in the last month of your pregnancy can improve birth outcomes! Even though dates look like little cockroaches you can eat them straight up or in smoothies (search “date” on this page and find a few recipes) or even energy balls!

5. Raspberry Leaf Tea

Raspberry Leaf Tea is known to be great for uterine health. So you’d think it would be great for pregnancy. In late pregnancy, maybe. Again, I’ll let you look this up but in the granola world this is a common recommendation for a number of labor reasons. Some studies claim shorter 2nd phase of labor, others claim to help induce labor.

6. Perineal Stretching/Massage

Here is an article if you’re interested, its essentially stretching or massaging of your lady bits to prevent tearing. I was determined to do this because I was terrified of tearing… but as I got closer I just couldn’t freaking reach so I didn’t end up doing this. Some people ask for help from their partner, I didn’t do that either.
Another way to prevent tearing that I’ve been told by several people is if your OB or midwife is willing a warm compress as your crowning can help with tearing (as does laboring or delivering in the tub).

7. Twerkout

I honestly have no idea why I insist on calling it a “Twerkout” but thats what I call working out.
I worked out all through my 2nd and 3rd trimester.
1st trimester is about survival… AND CREATING ORGANS. I gave myself a break here.
Starting in the 3rd trimester I found out about Expecting and Empowered (LIVINGONAONEWAY gives you $10 off) and am SO glad that I did. The program is created by 2 sisters, a nurse and a physical therapist and they give you week specific workouts to help with labor and delivery.
I especially love their postpartum guide It starts week 1 postpartum and it is ALLL rehab until week 6.
If nothing else check out their Instagram for tons of tips!

LABOR AND DELIVERY

Unmedicated? Epidural? C-section? VBAC?

I’m about to tell you what I did.
Is it the right way? For me, yes.
For you, I don’t know.
But I wanted to mention some here so you can decide (or look it up) and decide for yourself 🙂

Remember when I said expectations can rob you of your happiness. Labor and delivery is a huge place for that.

1. Hypnobabies

Hypnobabies is a training I did through my pregnancy to helped me to be ready to accept whatever came my way to get baby here healthy. My “Birth Plan” was to have a healthy baby, healthy mama.

2. Midwife instead of OB:

If you’ve read Aliya’s Birth Story you know that my midwife didn’t make it to the labor and that I was telling the stranger (the OB) delivering my baby my requests in between yelling the f word and pushing.

First let’s talk about a midwife. When you become pregnant you’ll likely choose to work with a Doctor or a Midwife.

whattoexpect.com says: “Is a midwife a doctor? No, a midwife is not a doctor. While licensed and certified midwives are highly trained, they cannot perform cesarean sections on their own. They can prescribe epidurals and labor-inducing drugs, but they are less likely to do so compared to doctors.”


I chose to work with a midwife through my pregnancy and (I thought) through my delivery because they take more of a natural approach to pregnancy and delivery.

3. Deliver in a Hospital

With covid a lot of people began looking into home births. One incredible doula I spoke to told me wherever you’ll feel the most comfortable. Some people feel more comfortable in their home, others feel more comfortable in a hospital. I hate hospitals but I did feel safer in a hospital. I planned on doing my natural thang, but being inside the hospital close if me or babe needed anything.

4. A TUB!

I made sure the hospital we chose had a tub. I asked my midwife and a few doulas for some suggestions on hospitals. I figured they’d know which hospital would support an unmedicated birth. Depending on the hospital and your midwife/OB you may or may not be able to deliver in the tub. But water therapy (shower/tub) is second to an epidural for pain!

5. Food

My midwife was great, and said that food was okay, my delivery was pretty fast but I did eat some of these chia squeezers and they were PERFECT for me. A little bit of energy but super light and no spoon, Seth just squeezed it into my mouth while I was in the tub! lol

6. Induction

My mom went 2 weeks over with me and 10 days with my sister and was induced both times so in my head I was fully prepared to go over the due date. (She was born ON her due date!) I did not plan to talk about induction until 2 weeks after due date.

  • Stripping membranes: There are a few ways they can induce labor one is stripping your membranes. For this you need to be dilated a certain amount and they use their finger to strip the membranes between your uterus and the amniotic sac. Its effectiveness is up for debate.
    I was never dilated enough to have this done, but when I went in for my appointment I was worried about if I should do it or not!
  • Pitocin: Another way they can induce you is with Pitocin, there are very valid reasons to be induced, so again, do what you and your doctor discuss is right for you. If I didn’t have to be induced I didn’t want to.
    Pitocin often causes pretty intense contractions after it’s given, so typically people request the epidural because of the pain, which is fair!
    However, the epidural can cause the contractions to lessen… to which you may be given more pitocin to get them going again and sometimes this can cause fetal distress leading to a c-section.
    I do know several people who have gotten pitocin as well as had induced labors that went well. I just wanted to avoid any intervention.

7. Epidural

I think it’s obvious at this point that I didn’t want one. To be totally honest, my labor was so quick and intense at no point did I even think about it. Legit the thought didn’t even enter my head (I give credit to hypnobabies).
Epidurals often help in labor when you’ve been laboring for hours and not progressing. Often if you get an epidural your body can relax and progress as it needs to.
From reading Ina May’s book you learn how the uterus actually works and that if you have huge fear going into labor your body could enter fight or flight and the cervix won’t open. Simultaneously, your body may continue to try and push the baby out, which causes extra pain. Surrender to your body and let it do its thing with no fear. I worked on fear clearing a lot.

8. Constant Baby Monitoring

I wanted the option to not have baby constantly monitored so that I could be mobile but also get into the tub if I wanted.

9. Episiotomy

An episiotomy is where they will cut your perineum a bit instead of letting you tear naturally. My midwife (as well as the OBGYN who delivered) told me the only way she would give me an episiotomy was if baby was in distress, in which case I was all for it! You also heal better/faster from a natural tear than an episiotomy.

10. Fear of Tearing

THIS WAS MY BIGGEST FEAR. I started out thinking I would do perineal stretching and massaging but it got freaking hard to REACH! So I didn’t finish that. The tub is supposed to help, slow pushing as well as a warm compress while you’re delivering.
ANYWAY, I told my midwife that that was my biggest fear and she told me that many women don’t even know they tear afterwards, and she was right! If they didn’t tell me I tore (I had a 2nd degree and a labial tear) I wouldn’t have known… She even let me know she hadn’t seen a tear like this in a long time… Thanks lady. And thanks Aliya for coming out with your hand by your head lol

11. Pitocin after delivery if necessary

After you delivery you are given pitocin to stop the bleeding. However, sometimes it’s given routinely and not necessarily. The OB said I had some bleeding so she started me on it and when I stopped bleeding she stopped the pitocin giving me only a 1/4 of what is normally given.

12. Placenta

No, I didn’t eat it, but I did ask to see it! It was pretty incredible and as strange as this may sound, when they “delivered” it there was this feeling of relief.

13. YES to Delayed cord clamping

I believe this is standard practice now but if not, wait to cut the cord until it is done pulsing! 30% of babies blood enters them from the time they come out until the time the cord stops pulsing!

14. YES to the Golden Hour

I wanted all tests, all treatments, all everything to be delayed after the first hour. I wanted that reserved to skin to skin time, family bonding and breastfeeding.

15. Treatments for baby

We opted out of the eye ointment and the hep B and we did Vit K. There are very real reasons to get these for some people, talk to your doctor or midwife.
I also didn’t want her to be washed, I wanted to keep the vernix to help protect against infection and baths can sometimes

If you have any question please send me a DM on Instagram!

My HypnoBirthing Birth Story

She’s 9 weeks old… like how is that even possible already?!?!! She’s smiling back at us and sleeps descent through the night which I am so grateful for. 

Anyway, let’s get to it:
Saturday night (May 2nd) – I had some contractions, but I only knew I was having them when I would touch my belly and it felt tight, they didn’t really hurt. Seth was at work and was completely panicked that I was going into labor and asked if he should come home. I told him no, I’d KNOW when I was going into labor… I’m not kidding when I tell you he wasn’t so sure haha he thinks my pain tolerance is high and that I might not know, and that I wasn’t taking it seriously HAHA

Well I’d gotten some contractions that I could feel but nothing too intense and rode that out for the night. When Seth got home at like 3am from work I didn’t tell him I was having contractions because I wanted him to get sleep if I did go into labor. 

Sunday May 3rd

By the morning contractions were gone. I was a little frustrated. So I went on a 2 mile walk to get things moving, ate all the spicy food and anything else Google told me to do. That afternoon they came back suuuuper irregularly, 5 min apart 1 hr apart.
(What you look for is consistent contractions about 5-10 min apart).

330p – Seth reluctantly left for work.

630p – The contractions slowly got to about 5-10 min apart AND I lost my plug so I called Seth to tell him and and he immediately came home.
These contractions we’re fun. I was having back labor which means the pain and the contractions were being felt in my low back and not in my belly and that I needed to be on knees during a contraction.
So we tried a few hippie things like inversions (thank you spinning babies). I put my knees on the couch and my elbows on the floor during contractions. The idea being she floats up and out the pelvis a bit and reposition herself so the back labor would stop… no such luck but this did start to make my contractions more regular.

9pm – Seth left to go get some snacks because my cousin had just given birth and she said because of Covid they weren’t able to leave the room and they didn’t have enough snacks. While he was gone I was on the phone with my sister and the contractions were now coming CONSISTENTLY every 5 min so she told me to call my midwife. 

945pm – Just as Seth came back into the house the nurse on the phone told me to come in and if anything progressed to call 911… haha which of course freaked Seth out a bit. We started grabbing the hospital bag, I grabbed the couple of things on my list that I still needed. Seth was moving very slowly, I don’t think he fully understood that we needed to go NOW. His cooler was “sticky” so he decided to wipe it out before he put the snacks in… like, no.

10 pm ish – We headed to the hospital and that’s when I plugged in my hypnobabies and started listening to the guided hypnosis or meditation.

I tried to surprise Seth with a “Dad hospital gift”
(an idea I had seen on a pregnant facebook group. Someone asked “what are you guys getting dad for the hospital” some of the answers were “A BABY” others were cute care packages. I decided I wanted to be cute).
However, the iced coffee I bought couldn’t sit in the truck of my car it had to be in the fridge… so he found it and I spilled the beans but told him not to drink it.
SO on the way to the hospital we were driving past a gas station and he looked at me in horror and said “I FORGOT THE ICED COFFEE”… I looked back and him and said “AND?” he immediately changed his tune and said “oh right, yeah, nevermind” now he tells me, we were driving right past a gas station and I knew I could get it quickly! hahah omg… 

11pm – By the time I was checked in and in a room they checked me and I was 6cm dilated (10cm is when you start pushing) and they said I’d be staying (NO SHIT).

Then they told me my midwife had a flat tire and wasn’t going to make it but I couldn’t think of anything except these contractions.

Midnight – I asked if I could get into the tub, I’ve heard it’s second to an epidural for pain.
Because I was having back labor I had to be on my knees the entire time, and Seth pushed on my back for counter pressure for EVERY CONTRACTION to help me get through them. But they only last 1 min so you just have to get through that minute.

I started shaking (this is called transition) and as I’m shaking and Seth is asking me if I’m cold I’m trying to explain to him “No, Seth, this is actually called transition, it means we’re getting close” this might have been the only thing I said to him the whole time. I was IN THE ZONE with the hypnobabies in my ears. I swear my eyes were closed for like 90% of it.

Monday May 4th

Sometime between midnight at 2am… time became a blur – I felt my water break in the tub (it felt like I was peeing in a pool… not that i’ve ever done that… babhah) and I asked Seth to get the nurse, she confirmed it had. After that the contracts became more intense. I just kept one hand on Seth’s leg, who was sitting next to the tub. When a contraction came, I squeezed his leg and he’d get up and push on my back. Then when it was over I squeezed it again and he’d sit down. He was incredible.
The nurse told me to let her know when I felt like pushing. She said she couldn’t explain it but that at some moment I would feel the urge to push. Idk why she couldn’t explain it. It’s like when you wait until the last moment to poop and then you get to the toilet and your body PUSHES… it felt like THAT. You’re welcome. 

So I eventually I got that urge and calmly told Seth “I think I’m ready to push” Seth told me later I was so chill about it that he didn’t really expect it to be true lol
She checked me again and said that I was fully dilated and could push but I had to get out of the tub… Um excuse me?

You know when you’re so drunk… actually let’s say we have a friend who is so drunk. The one that’s SO drunk in a car and you need to get them to the house and they tell you they cant, like its too far, too difficult, they CANNOT get there. THAT was how I felt when she told me we needed to get out of the tub and go into the bed that was 3 feet away.  The nurse and Seth helped me and believe it or not I made it.
I’m pretty sure in this hospital you can labor in the tub but not birth.

So I got to the bed and was on my knees and was shaking (transition remember) and I managed to say …. “I can’t even twerk like this when I try”.

Just before 2am – I was laying on my side for a bit and my body was pushing a bit, and my water broke again all over my leg. As a few other nurses were coming in (all of them wearing a mask and a face shield because Covid) they had me lay on my back because baby girl’s heart rate dropped for a moment while I was on my side.

2 am – The doctor told me to do a “test push” which apparently I did well so they started setting up shop! Turned on a bright light (because I had been in the dark previous to this), put a trash bag looking thing at the end of the bed and told me to start PUSHING.
“Push through the pain” is what they told me and that’s what I did. Seth was still supporting my low back even as I was laying on my back in my ear encouraging me every second! You have to wait for a contraction to push so that is what we were doing.

Because she wasn’t my midwife and didn’t know my “birth plan” (which was ultimately healthy mom, healthy baby) in between pushes I’m yelling “DELAYED CORD CLAMPING”, “NO EPISIOTOMY”, “ONLY VITAMIN K”, “ONLY PITOCIN IF I NEED IT” and they were fantastic and did everything I wanted!!
When baby crowned they asked me if I wanted to feel. Normally I probably would have said yes but I felt like my arms were supporting me in the perfect way and I didnt have the energy to release one of my arms that was supporting me up to feel.
I said “I CAN’T” and they said “Oh no, that’s okay!!” haha
I also screamed bloody murder at one point and YELLED “F**K!!!!” at another moment. They told me “what happens here stays here” thanks team.

224am – SHE WAS BORN!! After 24 minutes of pushing, she was here, and she came out with her hadn’t by her head so… ouch.

You guys, I was legit somewhere else from 11pm – 224am. SOMEWHERE ELSE. I had these great plans about doing the “baby mama dance” in the hospital. Doing some vlogging, keeping family updated, putting oils in my diffuser. NOPE. NOTHING. I didn’t even know where my phone was… I didn’t once wonder were it was. I was so present and just making my way through the contractions. At few times I think I fell asleep between contractions… But as soon as she was placed on my stomach (because she had a short cord). I looked around the room and was like “there are THREE nurses in here!”, there was a new baby in my arms I didn’t recognize, Seth was giggingle he was so excited and I was in shock. And she started feeding as soon as the cord was cut!!

I thought I’d be one of those people that started crying I was so excited but nope. Total shock over here (see above photo).
Seth told me he cut the cord and said it was like cutting a rubber. I don’t remember him cutting the cord. I also don’t remember when they put the hospital gown on me after the bath… but I was wearing one.
I had to wear a mask during labor and I don’t remember that either. It didn’t bother me, because like I said I was somewhere else, but the nurse ended up pulling it down at the end lol.

Wow people.

If you’re interested in Hypnobirthing I can do another post on that. But you start practicing during pregnancy and it was truly amazing.
My midwife told me to start with reading a hypnobirthing book and if it was something I was still interested in to buy the course!
If you are interested in a natural birth I’d HIGHLY recommend Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth. The first half is stories, the second is the meat and potatoes. I may have skipped some of the stories to get to the goods.

If you have any questions head over to Instagram and send me a DM!

xo Shay

Bringing Baby Home: Minimalists Must Haves

What do you REALLY need the first few weeks home with a newborn? Some people think NOTHING 🙋‍♀️.
Other people think if they need every possible thing or they’re not prepared (I admire those people).
Therefore, this list will differ depending on your personality type bahah!

About me:
I’m not a perfectionist, you’ll likely find typos… hopefully you can read through them like a 4th grade teacher.
I like to consider myself a minimalist, I don’t want extra stuff I don’t need, but will pay top dollar for the things I do need.
Less but better.

With that being said, this is what I’ve found to be the essentials in that first month:


For the Babies:

1. Food (your boob)


I went the breast feeding route so I was able to skip the bottles… for now. But I had to get the nursing bras and the boob pads and a few other things (found in the mom section).

2. Clothes


I put 2 outfits on my registry and have an entire closet full of clothes until about 6 months. People always want to gift outfits even if you don’t ask for them because BABY CLOTHES ARE SO GD CUTE!
There are also lots of people who are trying to giveaway their entire lot of baby clothes when they’re done having babies. If this happens to you, like it did for us, make sure to pay that forward! Lets be honest, even “used” baby clothes (if they don’t have poop stains) are basically brand new.
For the registry, I used babylist.com because I could add something from ANY store.
See something cute on Insta? Add it.
Target? Add it.
Amazon? Add it.
Anyyyywhere!!!
You can even sync your Target/Amazon lists with your babylist, here’s an article on how.
I didn’t do that, I just went 100% with babylist. PLUS they have seriously helpful guides on anything you’re trying to learn more about, car seats, strollers, high chairs, etc!

3. Diapers and wipes

Cloth Diaper (Bum Genius is what we have)
Wipe Warmer (we skipped this)

We will be cloth diapering eventually, but we wanted to start with disposable and take on the cloth when we felt we had a grip on the rest (I don’t even know if that’s a real expectation). Apparently breastfed poops are water soluble so “clean up” is literally an extra load of laundry.
People will tell you pampers through infancy are worth the extra $5 over off brands because of the amount of liquid they’ll hold. I’ve tried both now and I don’t notice a difference.
We use sensitive skin wipes… just because… and we don’t use a wipe warmer it hasn’t really been an issue for us. I’ve heard the warmers are great when you’re home but create an absolute baby monster when you’re out and about without it!

4. Burp rags

The amount of things I’ve used a burp rage for…
A friend gifted me my favorite ones so I asked her where she got them.. surprise AMAZON. Here’s the link.

5. Somewhere to sleep

This is different for everyone, are you co-sleeping? Having a bassinet next to the bed? Crib? All of the above?
We’re co sleeping with a snuggle me organic to start. This can be a cultural and controversial topic, but for us it works. Please do your research so you do it safely or decide if it’s right for you and your family.
I also picked up this bassinet because it swivels over the bed and the side comes down to easily get her out. I grabbed mine off FB marketplace because they’re a little pricey and they can only be used until about 6 months (or until they show signs of sitting up).

6. Bath

I got this tub because the sling is so great for an infant and keeping that belly button dry (you need to keep it dry while its on and for about a week after it falls off).
Con is that it’s not compact AT ALL.

I also got baby washcloths from my registry, but totally not necessary if you want to use regular ones. I usually use an adult towel bc it feels warmer to me, she’s always so cold when coming out of the tub! But… also the baby hooded towels are cute af (registry item maybe). You decide.
We also have a “Blooming Bath” flower thing for the sink that we’ll use once her belly button is totally dry and healed up and she can sit up on her own!


Okay, what about us… the moms?

First thing is first, how did labor go, and how are you feeding your baby?
These will make a big difference on what you need after baby is born.

First, I had a vaginal birth with a second degree tear + labial tear.
PS tearing was my #1 fear and I can honestly say I wouldn’t know if they hadn’t told me.

Second, I’m choosing to breastfeed exclusively to start.
So with that information this is what I NEEDED for the first week:

1. Friday Mama’s Postpartum Kit

This was literally listed on my registry as “the gift I wish I didn’t need” and I was SO grateful I received it. It’s like $100 but I’ve used everything inside.

Some things inside the kit:

2. Peri bottle

You’ll likely have some of those magic disintegrating stitches so you will not be wiping any time soon, instead you’ll essentially use a hand held bode. The hospital gives you one, the frida mom gives you a better one. If you don’t buy the frida mom kit, at least buy this squirt bottle.

3. Mesh underwear

I think the reason why they’re so good is because they are not compressive and are more of a “boyfriend” fit which makes them sound cute.. they’re not. But they allow the GIANT diaper pads to stick with ease. I’d say you’ll need about 10. One a day for about a week plus a couple extra.

4. Pads

Girl, the ones the hospital gives you are actual diapers… I can’t even comprehend them lol GREAT for when you use them but HUGE.

When I got home I had SUPER DUPER pads super duper long for over nights and others that were laughable because they were so thin.
Well let me tell you, you don’t need long pads. But I’d still stick with the extra absorbent for about the first week. Now I can use the thinner “9 hr protection” ones. 

5. Witch hazel pads

Witch hazel is supposed to help with recovery. I used some of the witch hazel circle pads they give you at the hospital, then when I was out of those I used FridaMama’s witch hazel full length liners (80 count with the hospital ones, 24 with Frida Mama).
OR you can make “Padsicles!” this is AMAZING for recovery! Get some witch hazel with Aloe and spray it right on the pad, throw them in the freezer for at least an hour and you’ve got yourself a padsicle!

6. Numbing cream

I got 2 tubes from the hospital and then one extra lidocaine from target normally used for hemorrhoids.

So lets review:
1 Spray yourself off instead of wiping with the peri bottle
2 Wear your mesh underwear
3 Stick a pad to it
4 Lay down a few witch hazel pads
5 Put a line of numbing lidocaine before you
6 pull it all up.
PRO TIP. Hang on to the front and back of the underwear when you pull up, otherwise it all falls out and when it hits the floor you must start over.. and likely your baby needs you by this point.

7. Epsom Salt

Epsom Salt is typically pretty cheap at Target. Get the original and add some essential oils or grab this one with lavender already in it! If you have any sort of tearing from birth, this is an amazing thing to (try) and do for 10 min/day. I was told 3-4x/day but that wasn’t realistic for me, I got about 1/day.
The magnesium in epsom salt baths makes your muscles feel SOOO MUCH BETTER!

8. PADsicle

Make your own (mentioned above) or buy FridaMama’s


Breast feeding

1. Haakaa IS. A. MUST.

I have a whole freezer full of milk and have never used my electric pump. I just throw this on one side while baby nurses on the other and it catches all of the mlk that is let down!
I recommend THIS set up, with the suction on the bottom of the haakaa so it doesn’t spill and a lid incase you’re out and about… or even just on the couch.

2. Nipple butter

ONEWAY20 for 20% off! expires 7/31/20

I tried 3 different kinds and my favorite was an organic kind from earth mama.
I liked the way it smelt, the consistency of it and that you didn’t have to wipe it off before baby feeds (but I did anyway).
If you’re determined to breastfeed you must endure the first 2 weeks of raw nips. It’s just the way it is. I remember choosing which side she’d nurse by which was LESS damaged.
I’d recommend buying 2 of the smaller size so you can have one at your breastfeeding spot and the other by your bed, or in the diaper bag etc.
I went through one small one, and needed to get another and wish I’d just bought 2 from the start.

3. Boob pads

Your nipples leak… are you surprised by anything anymore?
One side leaks when baby is feeding on the other, they leak when you put on nipple butter, the leak when you get out of the shower, they leak all night, you get the idea.
I’ve tried two kinds these bamboo ones which are soooo comfortable and another that were not made from bamboo, a smaller circumference a had a seam down the middle making them extra uncomfortable.
However, the ones I love only give you two pair. I use oe at night and one during the day (and was doing laundry every day just so I had these clean), I found this bamboo pack that I haven’t tried but they have 7 pair instead of 2 and might be worth trying!

4. Nursing Bra

LIVING20 for 20% off!

I thought a nursing bra was something I could go without. But at week 4 I realized how I was living in my house during covid, was not how I could live in the real world… I’d have to be much more discrete
Also, because I plan on nursing for… a while. I think this is an obvious investment for easy nursing. 90% of the nursing bra recommendations were for Kindred Bravely so thats who I went with! My favorite is the sublime nursing bra! I think I love it because it’s something I’ll wear even when I’m done nursing!

5. Breastfeeding pillow

Please talk to a lactation consultant in the hospital or at your pediatric appointment about breastfeeding. The tips they gave in the beginning made all the difference.
Sometimes I uses this pillow other times I just use a regular pillow so for me this is hit or miss.


FITNESS and REHAB:

LIVINGONAONEWAY gives you $10 off.

I know what you’re thinking… WTF!
I just pushed out a child why are you talking about fitness?!?! I can hardly get myself out of bed! But this was SUCH a huge part of my healing!!
Expecting and Empowered is owned by two sisters. One is a physical therapist and the other is a nurse and the first 6 weeks of “workouts” are pelvic floor rehab!
I started in the 3rd trimester and continued into postpartum.
I think being fit helped with my labor (I arrived at the hospital at 11pm 6cm dilated and little lady was here at 230a). I also had a lot of separation in my abs and now almost 7 weeks postpartum I have noticed the gap has SIGNIFICANTLY closed because of the workouts in the guide
As an ambassador I have a discount code for you!
LIVINGONAONEWAY gives you $10 off.


Quick note, most of these links are affiliate or referral links meaning I make (a small) percentage of each sale. What this also means is I’d be so grateful if you do decide to buy, you click these links to purchase!