8 'Freebies' Every New Mom Should Take Home From the Hospital

Once upon a time, I was a beauty editor, and the freebies that would thrill me were the makeup, skin care, and hair samples I would receive from publicists and marketers who wanted me to review their new products. Fast-forward five years. I'm a new mom of a sweet newborn, and beauty products are no longer the only freebies that excite me.

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Just days ago, when I was being discharged from the hospital with my little one, I packed my bags full of goodies. These items truly helped me recover from pushing a human out of my nether region.

When it's your time, moms-to-be, I recommend taking this "shopping list" with you.

Disposable Underwear

I don't know what I was thinking buying "cheap undies" in bulk from Amazon.com a month before my due date. Guess what? The disposable underwear from the hospital is kind of amazing. Not only is it awesome to not have to wash potentially disastrous underwear postpartum (yikes!), these stretchy, mesh-y boxer shorts are way more comfortable than you think. Plus, if you have those night sweats for days after delivery (yes, your hormones can cause this), the lightweight fabric of the disposable bottoms will keep you feeling a little less sweaty down there.

Heavy-Duty Sanitary Pads

Set those tampons aside. You won't be needing those for a while. Instead, you'll use the thickest maxi pads the world has ever seen. Luckily, you won't be going out much, so who cares that you're practically wearing an adult diaper?

Perineal Irrigation Bottle

Sounds sexy, right? Yup, model and new mom Chrissy Teigen thought so too. In fact, she made headlines for tweeting her discovery and appreciation for the squirt bottle after giving birth to baby Luna.

The nurse probably will give you one or two of these at the hospital, but try to score a third if you can. No, you won't be stocking up for rainy days -- let's hope you'll only need to use this cleaning method for six weeks after delivery. You'll want to have a couple at home (in different bathrooms if you have 'em) and one in your purse for when you pee when you're out and about. I have one in our downstairs bathroom, one in our upstairs bathroom, and one for travel. I never leave home without it!

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And in case you don't know what this bottle is for: You can use it (filled with warm water) to give your sensitive area a quick rinse during or after urinating. It'll make peeing less painful and cleaning after the fact less invasive (even toilet paper can feel harsh).

Cloth Wipes

Unless you're buying the softest toilet paper around, thin cloth wipes are the next best thing for wiping your "front" and "back." Rinse with the irrigation bottle first, then use dry cloth wipes in a "dab-dab-dab" motion. Your nurse will show you how immediately after your first bonding session with baby. Yup, your nurse will take you to the bathroom and show you how you will relieve and clean yourself during your recovery. Fun stuff.

Witch Hazel Pads

No surprise here ... If you deliver vaginally, expect pain -- ranging from a lot (sorry!) to a little (if you're just that lucky) where you tear. Witch Hazel pads will give you some relief. Merely line three up on those heavy-duty pads for the appropriate coverage. Tip: They won't stick there, so you'll have to strategically and carefully (like a balancing act!) bring your bottoms up so the pads stay in place.

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Numbing Spray

If you're especially uncomfortable down there, you can also numb it completely -- though only temporarily -- with a numbing spray. Don't worry about the fact that it comes out of an aerosol can; it won't sting at all. You may want to spray after you go number one for a quick fix while you're healing.

Receiving Blanket

My husband and I bought dozens of receiving and swaddle blankets for our baby, but so far, none have been better than the ones from the hospital. They might not be made of the most luxurious fabric, but the baby seems to love them. Plus, they grip really well, making swaddling easier for beginners like us. We don't know what we'll do when our baby grows out of hers!

Disposable Diaper Changing Pads

Once baby is home, you'll find that he or she might pee or poop during a diaper changing session. Those fancy cloth changing table covers you bought with the fab pattern probably need to be washed, and these disposable pads will be a great alternative until you've got any "free time" to do laundry.

NON-FREEBIE: Commercial-Grade Breast Pump

So, okay, you won't get this for free, but I recommend renting one if you're planning to breastfeed. Hospital pumps are more powerful than the store-bought ones and can get the job done faster. Once baby is home with you, every extra minute free counts!

Ask the nurses or lactation consultants at the hospital about renting one of theirs. Also, call your health insurance because the rental fee may be fully or partially covered under your plan.

 

Image via Ysolt Usigan

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