The journey to parenthood is full of new and interesting things. After giving birth you will learn about some items that you probably never knew existed! Here are a few must haves that you should ask for at the hospital before you’re discharged.
A peri bottle (officially called a perineal irrigation bottle) is essentially a spray bottle for your vulva (external genitalia). You use it when you’re going pee for the first time post delivery. It helps dilute the urine which reduces stinging and it also helps cleanse the area. It’s gentler than wiping with toilet paper and you can pat dry when finished. To use it you simply fill it with warm water and spray before, during and after you pee. Many people use it for days or even weeks after delivery. It’s a postpartum luxury that everyone should have, so remember to bring it home with you from the hospital.
Never again will disposable underwear be as coveted as they are after giving birth. Usually once you’ve completed the “recovery” time after the birth, you will be given a pair of disposable underwear and a large pad. After birth a considerable amount of bleeding is normal and it remains heavy for the first couple of days. That’s why disposable underwear are great – they can be discarded if there are any leaks. Apparently they should copy the style for regular underwear because everyone comments on how comfortable they are. Typically you will only get one pair from the hospital but sometimes you can ask for another to take home. Obviously disposable underwear are not environmentally friendly so you can buy postpartum underwear from a number of companies and pack those for use instead.
A sitz bath is a plastic tub that fits atop the toilet that you fill with warm water so you can immerse your buttocks and vulva (external genitalia) in the water. It’s useful after birth to help soothe the area after a vaginal delivery and helps with the healing of stitches and/or hemorrhoids by increasing blood flow. You can use warm water alone or add a sitz bath solution to your water. To use it add a few centimetres of water and soak in it for up to 15 minutes. After birth this may be the only self care you manage to fit in, at first. If you are given a sitz bath at the hospital you can usually keep it for use at home. If you aren’t given one, feel free to ask. If your hospital does not provide it you can buy one online or from a pharmacy.
I am not saying to steal a baby blanket from the hospital! What I am saying is that many people leave the hospital with one of those blue and pink hospital receiving blankets. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
During labour and immediately after having your baby, you will see pads on the bed. These are absorbent and allow the area to stay clean since they can be changed frequently. Often, if there are extra unused pads out in your room, you can ask to bring them home. They are great to catch leaks and protect your mattress. You can also purchase them online or from some pharmacies.
For those of you planning a home birth, you will usually need to purchase a home birth kit. This kit typically includes a peri bottle and blue pads (amongst other things). Sometimes your midwife’s birth kit includes a baby blanket that you will be able to keep. The other items listed above will likely have to be purchased separately if you need them. But don’t feel left out, you have all of the luxuries of home!
Those are the 5 things to remember to get (or ask for) from the hospital before you’re discharged. It’s a good idea to ask your support person to try to remember these items as well since you might (understandably) forget. To help you out we’ve created a postpartum hospital checklist that you can download here. This article mentions a few helpful things but the most important thing you need after having a baby is support! Prior to discharge make sure you have a follow up plan for you and baby and have the resources you need. If you need help, Womb & Wellness is here for you. We’ll help you get the specialized care and support you deserve, so contact us to get started.
*Please note COVID-19 policies may affect the above information, please check with your primary care provider or hospital at time of delivery.