Having a baby involves lots of shopping – for cribs, diapers, clothing, toys, strollers, diaper bags…and so much more. It becomes overwhelming, but it’s also exciting.
But new mothers end up doing quite a bit of shopping themselves – for many things they need, and some that they don’t. Many things that are marketed as a must are simply pointless for new mothers. Here are eight of what we think are the most useless products for new mamas and their postpartum bodies.
8 Luxury Bath Kits
Bath kits seem like a great thing for everyone. Relaxing in a hot tub, soothing your tired muscles with a nice soak, smelling lovely afterwards….Baths are a great way to relax for anyone, to de-stress, and to spend a little bit of time enjoying yourself and the day. Who doesn’t love a bath?
It’s not a matter of not liking baths – it’s a matter of lack of time. There’s barely even time for a five second shower after a baby is born. The life of a new mom is rush-rush-rush to attend to baby’s every need – and in between, do any work, housework, shopping, family business, and other needs to attend to.
If you want to take a bath, ask a friend or family member to do you a favor – come over and watch the baby for an hour or two while you get to take a nice, relaxing bath. Better yet, ask them to take the baby for a walk, so you can have some piece and relax in a nice, soothing bath.
You might be covered in baby throw up, but you still don't have time to take a bath
If you don’t have this opportunity, spoil yourself. Splurge on nice shampoo, conditioner, body wash, face wash, lotion, and other toiletries that are a regular part of your routine. Each day, as you do your daily rituals, you’ll have a little bit of relaxation and luxury, without a nice bath. You can smell and feel nice without a luxurious bath.
And anytime you get a chance, add a little bit of bath oil to the tub and enjoy a few minutes of peace.
7 Thong Underwear
Even if you’re all about the thong panties and lacy panties all other times, post-childbirth, you’ll need to give these up. Just for a little while.
You must be tempted to get a new mom thong, but they just won’t work. Post-partum bleeding usually lasts for at least ten days, and sometimes, can last for as long as six weeks. Just forget about your cute thongs and embrace the granny panties.
Bleeding can be quite heavy post-partum, and we’re serious about the no thong thing. You just can’t put a pad big enough for what you need on a thong. (And you can’t use tampons for at least six weeks after birth, either.) Embrace the granny panties.
You probably won't even want to feel sexy after having a baby right away anyway
Go out and get some pairs of comfortable black underwear. If you really want to stock up on thongs, do so - and plan on wearing these at a later date. They just really are not functional at the moment.
6 Belly Binding Kit
The verdict is out on belly binding kits. Do they actually work? Some new mothers love them; others find belly binding kits absolutely ridiculous. They claim to snap your postpartum belly back into shape within two weeks. Unfortunately, there’s no real scientific evidence to support the claim. Some believe that it helps uterine contractions – but that happens naturally, hormonally, from breast feeding and skin-to-skin contact. So there’s no real verdict if they actually work.
Belly binding is also a really uncomfortable thing to put on a body that just went through the trauma of childbirth. If anything, post childbirth, you want to be more comfortable. You’re running around, up at all hours of the night, constantly wearing clothes that baby spit up on, drooled on. Comfort is more on the brain than looking good. The last thing you want to do is be squeezed into a tight corset-like apparatus in a very sensitive area.
Maybe leave the belly binding out of your wardrobe for the next 2 months
Post-childbirth, new mothers have a lot on their mind. Feeding schedules. Crying. Diaper changing. Doctor’s visits. Dealing with the lingering maternity leave paperwork from work. When to sleep. When to eat. Thinking about the status of one’s stomach and aiming for a flat stomach is not necessarily top of mind for most mothers. Especially when it’s something that doesn’t necessarily 100% work! Belly binding is a skip for most new mothers.
5 Gym Membership
Some women gain more weight than others, but generally, women should gain about 25-35 pounds of weight during pregnancy. While some of this weight is lost with the birth of baby, most women still have a few lingering pounds.
With breastfeeding, moms burn 850 extra calories a day. Some women find the pounds melt off while breastfeeding, but not every woman. Because women are burning extra calories, they’re often hungrier, which means losing weight is a struggle.
Gym memberships seem like a great idea for new mothers: it will motivate you to exercise, and give you a little space from your little one. Unfortunately, it’s also not practical. New moms are super busy and exhausted. The idea of finding time to travel to a gym, exercise, and then travel home can be a little bit overwhelming.
First get your new life as a mom into a routine and then see if there's room for the gym
If you have a gym really close, great. But if it’s not convenient, you won’t use it. Many of us have gym memberships that are simply donations to our local gyms. If you’re not going to actually go, don’t get a membership.
Instead, get a piece of exercise equipment for your house. You can often find great deals on used treadmills, ellipticals, stair masters, or rowing machines on Craigslist. Get some exercise videos online. There are even some free videos on YouTube. Get a yoga mat, exercise ball, and some weights. Work out on your own time – when you have that time – with the baby monitor nearby in case baby needs you. When your exercise routine is convenient, you’re more likely to actually exercise.
4 Sexy Lingerie
Now, your partner might be a little excited for things to go back to normal – like those “wanting to have a baby days” when maybe you’d have quite a bit of romance. However, there is such a thing as rushing it. And sexy lingerie – especially in your pre-pregnancy size – might be pushing it.
While many women love the feel of silky smooth lingerie, showing off their lovely curves, chances are, you might feel a little uncomfortable in your body. After months of being bigger than normal, you’ve suddenly lost a great deal of that weight – and things still aren’t quite right. Your breasts are sore, and bigger than normal. Pre-pregnancy size lingerie is likely to be tight in many spots.
Feeling sexy is a very nice idea, but chances are, you’re too exhausted to even think about the word sexy. Right now, comfort and function are the main aims.
You will wear the sexy lingerie again, it just won't be the week after you give birth
Before you start thinking about sexy lingerie, think comfort. Think yoga pants. Think soft, nothing too tight. Maybe even some nightgowns, if that’s your style. My sister wore her husband’s sweatpants most days after her second child was born because nothing else was as comfortable. Put aside the lingerie until you’re feeling romantic, and lounge about in the comfiest clothes you can. You have more important things to think about than fashion!
If you’re really into lingerie, get yourself some inexpensive lingerie in your temporary postpartum size, and enjoy it while you can.
A few weeks after my friend gave birth, she called me in hysterics. “I’m bald! I’m bald! I need a wig.” Her hair was falling out quite a bit, so much that a coworker had commented on it.
It’s especially hard to lose hair post-partum. In pregnancy, women find their hair looks unbelievably thick, healthy, shiny, and gorgeous. Pregnant women take prenatal vitamins, which are great for hair. Also, during pregnancy, hair goes into a dormant cycle, and women lose less hair during this person.
But no need to get a wig. There are things you can do to prevent hair loss and encourage hair growth. It might take a few months - yes, sometimes even up to a year - for your hair to get back to normal, so don’t worry that the loss is permanent.
Put the wig down and see your hair stylist for a new do until your hormones settle down
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do. Gently brush your hair – rough brushing will only lead to more hair loss. If you have straight hair that gets gnarled, gently comb it in the shower with the conditioner still in it. Then rinse your hair, and combing post-shower will be much easier.
Get a flattering cut – tell your hairstylist what’s going on (And they will be familiar with this!), and maybe even add some highlights or a bit of color to perk things up. Pick up some cute accessories, like headbands and barrettes – you can use them to style your hair in new ways that will minimize how much hair you might be shedding.
To comfort yourself, kiss your baby’s head – bald or with some hair already, you know that this little bit of hair loss was a small price to pay for such a wonderful addition to your life.
This seems like a strange one to add, but it is not something great for your postpartum body. Many women want to commemorate the momentous occasion with a piece of beautiful art on their skin (maybe even adding initials to an already existing piece), but waiting might be a better idea. While the ink from a tattoo is not able to get into breast milk, there are other related risks.
Dirty needles risk transmitting infection, like Hepatitis B, C, and even HIV. Research your tattoo artist carefully, and make sure the parlor is reputable and clean.
Should you end up with an infection post-tattoo, be careful with what medicine you end up taking. Be sure to inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding so you can be sure they prescribe you a medicine safe for baby.
You can wait on that tattoo, your body isn't going anywhere
Also, lidocaine, used as a numbing agent by many tattoo artists can seep into breast milk. Nursing mothers should be cautionary.
La Leche League International recommends that you wait until a year after childbirth to give your body a chance to recover. While many might think this is rather long, on the safe side, many believe your best bet might be to wait until post-breastfeeding when you are feeling back to normal.
Use the time in between to research which tattoo artist you want, meet with them for consultations, and finalize a design. You’ll probably be pretty busy with your new baby that the time will fly. Perhaps on their first birthday, you can celebrate in your own way: with a new tattoo.
1 Breastfeeding Pillow
The verdict is still out on this one – many a women debate whether or not they love breastfeeding pillows. What it seems to come down to is that for many, it’s uncomfortable. For many of those who do like them, they often admit a cheaper substitute (even a rolled up blanket) can serve as a good alternative.
Some hate the idea of the pillow because it makes them a slave to the pillow – they’ll have to carry it around everywhere. No longer can a woman go out for a quick lunch with a friend without needing to lug around a pillow in addition to baby, the diaper bag, and her purse. Minimalists will struggle with needing yet another accessory to have a baby.
Many find when they don’t find them comfortable, or when baby hates them, that there are alternatives – people use them as cat or dog beds, or use them to keep a hot laptop off their lap. But you can do that in much cheaper ways.
Breastfeeding pillows are a personal choice, if it works for you, Great! If not, toss that thing away!
Because so many people fiercely debate on whether or not they’re a good thing, try breastfeeding without them first. Oftentimes, a comfy couch, or even a regular pillow can make breastfeeding just as comfortable.
It’s not a necessity for breastfeeding. Women have been breastfeeding for many years, and their bodies held up just fine and they fed their children without this special pillow. There are so many different products we need for our babies; many will find this is not one that is a must.
What are the most useless products you’ve seen for your postpartum body?