Giving birth is one of the most basic and intrinsically mammalian acts that humans are still in touch with today. The first time I witnessed a woman giving birth, I was astounded by the animalistic nature of it--the panting, the sweating, the crying, the bodily fluids...
Emotionally, childbirth is completely invigorating and magical. Physically, it's incredibly taxing on the body and the psyche. Some of the things you might experience after childbirth include hair loss, sallow skin, under-eye bags, stretch marks, melasma, and broken capillaries.
When being admitted to the Labor and Delivery floor at your hospital, you are provided with minimal toiletry accommodations. And despite the fact that you are about to transform into super mom, you may not pack everything that you need.
Hospitals usually give expectant moms cleaning spray (a less abrasive alternative to toilet paper), shampoo and conditioner (normally generic), and bar soap. You will be able to shower, especially if you are admitted for a prolonged period of time, like in the instance of a C-section, and there are hospital photographers to take a photo of you and your little one, if you're feeling up to it.
My recommendation is to bring your usual skin and hair care products and whatever makeup you feel like you need, if any. In addition, I suggest the following products to optimize your self-care routine while you're in the hospital.
Ole Henriksen Grease Relief Cleansing Cloths
Giving birth is a sweaty event. Afterward, when you are too engaged in caring for your newborn to wash your face--or if hormones are in overdrive, making your face and décolleté greasier than usual--cleansing wipes are a godsend.
Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Dry Shampoo
When getting out of bed to shower is too exhausting, as it very well may be, dry shampoo is nice to have on hand.
Mustela Stretch Marks Care Oil
This oil is great to use during pregnancy and after delivery. Have your partner or a friend or family member rub it on your legs, feet, arms, and abdomen. (Note: do not use this on your abdomen if you've just had a C-section). It's a good way to enhance circulation, pamper yourself, and moisturize your skin.
In addition, the nurse in your unit will tell you to massage the skin over your uterus (called the "fundus") to help shrink it back to its normal size; this will be part of the assessment of your healing.
Lansinoh HPA Lanolin for Breastfeeding Mothers
This product is important for breastfeeding comfort. Since it sometimes runs out on the L&D unit, bringing your own may be beneficial. It can also be used for chapped lips!
Appearus Bamboo Charcoal Microfiber Washcloth
These antimicrobial washcloths are much softer than hospital linens, and can double up for diaper duty later on at home.
Self-care is an essential part of childbirth. Remember, if you aren't feeling your best, it will make caring for your newborn a lot more challenging.
I hope this was helpful to any expectant moms coming up on their delivery date. August typically has one of the highest birth rates of the year!
Any other questions about what to expect at labor and delivery? I'm all ears.