38 Weeks: Props For Mom

August 21, 2012

We tend to put so much focus on baby stuff, that often a stocked house of things to help mom are forgotten until they are needed.

Based on recommendations from friends and some of you, I’ve stocked up on the following:

Big overnight pads + stool softener. You just never know…

Pads   Colace

Washable breast pads

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Two kinds – an organic kind from Babies R Us and Medela brand

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Gel pads – you can freeze them for comfort

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Nipple cream that I’ve seen a few bloggers recommend (and lanolin too)

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A blog reader sent me these sitz bath tea bags ages ago and I tucked them away…until now!

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That throw-away stash of underwear…

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Gina also sent me some fenugreek [Fenugreek seeds are thought to increase milk supply]

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I’ve been sipping raspberry leaf tea since 37 weeks started.*

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I like it better iced than hot (although I do like it hot but iced is easier to sip between meals in the summertime). I put 4 teabags in 4 cups of boiling water and steep for 15 minutes. Then store in the fridge in a pitcher and sip 1 cup a day.

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I might increase the cups per day as 39 weeks gets closer. I’m trying to be conservative introducing the tea. The tea is thought to tone the uterus and prepare it for efficient contractions – it is not supposed to induce labor.

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I also started taking evening primrose after 37 weeks by mouth. A conservative one gel per day. I might try it the other way when I reach 39 weeks. Caitlin wrote posts on both raspberry leaf and EPO on her Babble blog for more info and sources. EPO also won’t induce labor – it is thought to help soften the cervix so when labor does start, it dilates and effaces easier. My only goal by taking these is to hopefully make labor go more smoothly.

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I also read in Fit Pregnancy this summer that dates have a compound similar to oxytocin that meant women were less likely to need medication to start labor or keep it going. Who cares if this is just a wives tale – I like dates! So I’ve been eating them more.

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One thing I have changed my tune about: castor oil. I used to think I might try it on my due date, but the more I’ve read about birth, the more I consider it an intervention. Baby might not be totally ready to come out yet and I don’t want to jump start things (unlike those things above, castor oil CAN induce labor with the cramps it causes the intestines). So unless I have an induction with pitocin scheduled for the morning, I don’t think I’m going to mess with castor oil.

*Talk to your doctor or midwife before doing any of these things!!

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{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles August 21, 2012 at 8:09 am

I read the same article in FitPregnancy about the dates and was going to say something to you—– I LOVE dates and finding another reason to eat more of them in the last few weeks has been nice. I just had one with my daily morning water. I’m 40 weeks tomorrow! Ahhhh, so I guess we’ll see!

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2 Susan August 21, 2012 at 8:14 am

That nipple cream and those gel pads were a god-send! I’m so glad you went ahead and purchased them!
I did castor oil as a last resort. They were threatening a c-section if I didn’t have her by a certain date (I was going for a vbac) so I was in dire straights. Be prepared for lots of comments on that one. :/ Anyway, it worked for me!
This is all so exciting!!!

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3 Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple August 22, 2012 at 10:33 am

The gel pads were essential for the first 3 weeks.

And the overnight pads.

Though you’ll need disposable pads for your bra for overnight. Once the baby gets to be older and sleeping longer, the rewashable ones leak. I use those during the day.

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4 Allison k August 21, 2012 at 8:29 am

The stool softener…it’s not a “you never know” situation…it’s necessary! No matter what type of birth you have.

I never used nipple creams. I put some on my first few hours of nursing, when my nipples were on FIRE and Anderson refused to latch and gave me this horrified WTF look! I lived for the soothing freezable gel pads!

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5 MissPinkKate August 21, 2012 at 9:06 am

Definitely take the stool softener regularly right away! Waiting until you’re backed up is too late and owwwww does it hurt.

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6 Jill August 21, 2012 at 9:37 am

This is the most common piece of advice I’ve received from my friends who are moms (regarding post-birth comfort). The general message seems to be that post-birth bathroom time (friends also suggested a little bottle to squirt water on your *insert-euphemism-here* while peeing) is basically a gong show, but that the stool softener certainly helps.

I’ll be interested to see how the reusable breast pads work for you (I’m only 22 weeks, so still making lists and planning what kind of everything to get), since I keep reading that disposable ones absorb better. I would imagine it’s individual to each woman. Keep us posted :)

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7 Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple August 22, 2012 at 10:34 am

Reusable ones work fine for me. But now baby is 6 weeks and is sleeping longer stretches (5-6 hours), so I need disposable ones at night.

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8 Janna August 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

The hospital nurses in Bozeman didn’t even give me an option.
Immediately after Birth:
-Stool softener at 5pm.
-Giant diaper pad with an ice pack made of a newborn diaper filled with crushed ice. They also put a hemmoroid wipe and a topical anesthetic (for pain and swelling).
-squirt bottle for cleaning the vaginal area routinely
-600mg of IBprofen at 5pm, 10pm, 5am, 10am.
Basically, I would make it a priority to listen to what the nurses in your hospital suggests. They have learned from a lot of trial and error!

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9 Diane August 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Must take stool softener!!!! Not a maybe situation. Don’t wait until too late. I had a bad bad experience in that department with my first. I don’t want to go into details, but it was more painful than the birth itself…..

Just don’t even think about not taking the stool softners.

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10 JennD August 22, 2012 at 10:16 pm

I would add picking up a box of Tucks. If you end up getting stitches, you shouldn’t use toilet paper for a week or two. Also, a topical anesthetic like Dermoplast helps with pain.

Best of luck to you. : )

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11 Lauri August 21, 2012 at 8:31 am

Depending on how your dleivery goes and if it is vaginal or C section, how much you tear, etc, you might need an inflatable donught to sit on for awhile. I wouldn’t purchase one now, Matt can always run to a drugstore and get you one, but just something to think about.

http://www.amazon.com/Alex-Toys-Inflatable-Donut-Cushion/dp/B004QXYQFW

I woudl also stock up on some Ibuprofen meds – Motrin or Advil – for pain. I never took the prescribed narcotics b/c I didn’t like the way they made me feel, but I was taking Motrin round the clock for the first several days home…

Also, if they offer you things at the hospital – take as much as psosible!! If you need ice packs for soreness try and get a bunch more to take home!

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12 Mary August 21, 2012 at 9:10 am

I totally agree about the pain medication. Keep Motrin on hand. You’ll get lots of cramping in the beginning while nursing (my doctor told me its because of the extra release of hormones). Even when pumping you’ll feel the cramps and they do kill.

I am not a pill popper what so ever but I couldn’t refuse pain meds while in the hospital and especially when we went home. Best of luck Kath!

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13 Kylene August 21, 2012 at 9:17 am

Totally agree with the “donut”….I actually used my boppy pillow! Just sat on it with the opening facing the front. It wasn’t necessary with my other kids but def with the first!!! And take the ibuprofen religiously….I found with all my deliveries that if I kept it up there was much less pain while nursing (those cramps are WAY worse than labor pains). Good luck-can’t wait to see your little man! :)

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14 Katelyn August 21, 2012 at 8:43 am

I hope these next few weeks go smoothly for you, sending positive vibes your way!

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15 Allison August 21, 2012 at 8:44 am

The joys of motherhood. I didn’t really know what a hemorrhoid was until my son was born. Suffice it to say, his birth involved a lot of pushing. Stool softener is a good thing, although they will give you some at the hospital.

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16 Nicole August 21, 2012 at 8:53 am

You just may be the most prepared mama I’ve run across (that’s a good thing!). I agree about the castor oil. Not only can it cause you to start labor dehydrated (never a good thing since it’s hard to re-hydrate IN labor with all the hard work your uterus is doing) but it’s thought that if it loosens your stools and causes diarrhea, it can also do the same to baby and cause a higher chance of the baby passing his meconium in utero before or during labor.

I know you know this but at the end of the day, he will come when he and your body is ready–and not a moment before :) It’s thought that the baby’s lungs secrete a hormone that initiates labor by signaling that his body is ready for life outside. Sometimes knowing this helps mamas be a bit more patient as they wait. And of course remember that the average length of first-time pregnancies is 41 weeks and 1 day, not the 40 weeks that we’ve been told. I always have my moms re-calculate their due dates on the first day of class so they start thinking in terms of that date instead of the 40 week one to hopefully avoid sadness when they pass that 40 week date LOL

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17 Sarah August 21, 2012 at 8:53 am

Looks like you’ve done well to stock up!

Good idea with the stool softener – I found that the entire time I nursed, I needed to take them. It seems that all the water in your body goes to it, so there’s less to help with digestion.

My experience with Fenugreek was that my little man was VERY gassy! I tried it for about a week, and he didn’t get any better – so I stopped using it. But I know some people are very successful with it – I wish it had worked for me!

And the gel pads – they only last a day or two – they might even say not to use them more than once. I bought them thinking I could use them over and over again, but no such luck!

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18 Amanda August 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

On the castor oil topic- My birth class instructor told us about a woman she knew. She took castor oil at 37 weeks to “move things along.” Because castor oil is a laxative and it crosses the placenta, it not only made the mother’s bowels move, but also the baby’s. The baby was born at 37 weeks, but it’s lungs weren’t quite ready yet and the baby inhaled meconium which was likely caused by the castor oil considering the baby wasn’t post term. The baby spent a few weeks in the NICU due to that decision :( That story alone is enough to make me cautious about using castor oil! Considering the due date is only a guess you never really know when the baby is ready to meet the world!

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19 KERF August 21, 2012 at 9:29 am

Yikes! I would definitely not want to mess with anything that early

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20 Liz August 21, 2012 at 10:13 am

I had no idea about the side effects of castor oil. I took it at 38 1/2 weeks and it made me violently ill. It didn’t work and I ended up going into labor on my own on my due date. Stool softener and frozen gel pads are awesome. I used hydrocortisone cream for the hemorrhoids because the Prep. H cream burned.

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21 Erica { EricaDHouse.com } August 21, 2012 at 9:00 am

Didn’t know that about dates – maybe that’s why I find them so addicting!

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22 aimee August 21, 2012 at 9:10 am

i don’t know if it was coincindence or not, but i have been taking the EPO (‘that’ way) for 2 weeks, one at bed time..and my midwife said my cervix was very soft at my appointment today. (38wks) so maybe it really does soften! have you heard eating alot of pineapple helps too? something about a chemical that breaks downs fibers around the cervix (in a good way). my doula suggested this to me. and i love pineapple so why not! :)

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23 Alison August 21, 2012 at 9:11 am

Yes, castor oil absolutely something used for inducing labor, not at all like RRL and EPO that just gently gets your body ready. (Just confirming what you wrote!) I used castor oil at 41w2d to save myself from a hospital induction/repeat cesarean. It was NOT fun but it worked… a couple hours of diarrhea and wretched intestinal cramping that eventually turned into uterine contractions, it was most definitely a last resort type thing. My son was born 6/28, I just finished writing my (med free!) birth story if you’re looking for something to read while you wait! :) http://mamasweeds.com/more/vbac/my-vba2c-birth-story/

So yes, castor oil is definitely something to only use under close supervision of your care provider!

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24 Ashley August 21, 2012 at 9:15 am

I’ve heard many people have success with castor oil but like you said I would stay away :) In fact, I did. My son was 17 days late!!! My midwife told me that just in the same way it makes moms go to the bathroom it can do the same for babies, increasing the chance for meconium in the amniotic fluid which is scary. Good luck, sounds like you are doing all the right things!! :)

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25 Amanda August 21, 2012 at 9:19 am

When I had my son, my doctor recommended that I not use any creams and instead use my breastmilk for nipples so that it wouldn’t turn the baby off of feeding. So, I applied it every day and never had a problem! No drying. No cracking. Nothing. It could just be my body, but who knows! Also, when our baby had an iritated eye, the doctor recommended breastmilk again. I put it on his eye and it cleared within a day or so. I know it sounds a little strange, but I think our breastmilk has healing powers :).

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26 KERF August 21, 2012 at 9:27 am

I’ve heard that too – it’s my first line of defense : )

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27 Molly August 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm

There are babies – like mine – that do not like that nipple cream. So, if you use it and he does not want to nurse, it may simply be that he is not a fan. Took me a minute to put it all together, but it does happen! Good luck! Love reading your blog!

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28 Krista August 21, 2012 at 9:35 am

Stool softener=life saver! The gel pads, too…

Back in the days when I was born (mid 70′s) my Mom’s doctor was going on vacation when she was due with me. He had her drink castor oil to induce labour…..it worked, whether or not I was ready! ;)

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29 Julie August 21, 2012 at 9:52 am

I’d recommend a stash of disposable breast pads until you see how much you leak. With both my boys I would leak right through my washables, even double and tripled! Okay at home, but if you’re out, not so much! It’s great to see how informed you are! Have you checked out kellymom.com? A great evidence based info site for all things breastfeeding and they have a great community of mamas on the message boards…join now! Good luck! My sister in law was due with her 2nd the same day as you! She came early and is a week old today! Can’t wait to watch your family grow!

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30 KERF August 21, 2012 at 9:56 am

I have a box of disposables too : )

Congrats to your sister in law!!

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31 AD August 21, 2012 at 11:24 am

i stocked up on the washable breast pads too… then ended up with a nipple infection and had to use an antibiotic ointment (bactroban) for 2 weeks while it cleared! my lactation consultant said it was the milk sitting against my nipples that did it, she told me disposable only was the way to go, and to change them every 2 hours whether or not it was time to nurse/shower/etc. I hated to do it because i’m a cloth-diapering, re-usable-everything type of gal, but once i switched the infection was gone and never came back.

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32 Reghan August 21, 2012 at 9:57 am

I drank the tea too and liked it iced better as well. I took 3 EPO orally starting at 37 weeks.
castor oil was something I never considered either after reading about it..it gives you diarhea too can you imagine that during labour?? lol no thanks!! I gave birth at 39 weeks and I thiunk the stretch and sweep I had the day before is what did it!!

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33 Rebecca August 21, 2012 at 10:00 am

I found with both of those kinds of breast pads that I leaked through really quickly, especially in the early days of nursing. My recommendation are Bamboobies Regulars. They are fabulous and they don’t leak!

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34 Erin August 21, 2012 at 10:09 am

I would definitely recommend taking the stool softeners sooner rather than later. I started taking them around 39 weeks just to be on the safe side! Fenugreek is great. I am still taking it (my daughter is 7 months), as I notice a big difference in my supply while on it!

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35 Molly August 21, 2012 at 10:10 am

Those gel pads were a life saver. I did not get the same brand but with minde (because they were relatively expensive) I found I could cut them in half and still get good coverage without wasting all the wonderful gel comfort on “just” my skin.

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36 Michelle August 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

Hey kath, just wanted to share some info from a fellow RD. I work at WIC with a lot of breastfeeding moms and recently went to a conference where Dr. Thomas Hame spoke – he is the author of Medications and Mother’s Milk. Research shows that unfortunately fenugreek isn’t proving to increase milk supply. It won’t hurt you to take it, but just isn’t proving to help as much as once was thought. Best thing for you to do is feed often and keep baby skin to skin! Good luck!!!

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37 KERF August 21, 2012 at 10:22 am

Thanks Michelle!

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38 Michelle August 21, 2012 at 10:26 am

Welcome! Oops, his name is Dr. Thomas Hale. His book is a great reference as most medications can be taken while breastfeeding.

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39 Lauri W August 21, 2012 at 10:43 am

The boppy pillow was a LIFE SAVER the first few weeks home! If I wasn’t using it while feeding Brantley, I was sitting on it! Definitely use it in the care ride home from the hospital, your bum will thank you!

I bought the washable pads, and unfortunately they didn’t work. So I used some disposables and wore black a lot until my supply regulated itself!

I second using your Breast milk instead of lanolin cream! Oh, and definitely need a stool softener, you don’t want to have to push anymore after giving birth!!! Yikes!

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40 Averie @ Averie Cooks August 21, 2012 at 10:45 am

Ive known women who have both induced labor and just induced lots of time in the bathroom with castor oil. I went into labor at 38w0d so it was never even a thought for me but I think you’re smart to not even mess with it.

Fenugreek usually has to be taken in ridic large amounts for there to be significant benefit, usually over a period of weeks, i.e like a month. It can’t hurt but probably won’t do too much but who knows – I have a feeling you’re going to have a robust supply and all will be well regardless :) I loved those cloth Medela pads!

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41 susan @ susonia August 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Wow, Kath, you are so prepared! I don’t think I’ve had half those things before my little guy arrived, and my husband had to go on many, many shopping trips those first few days. :)

I don’t think there’s anything wrong taking Fenugreek (apart from smelling like fennel, while taking it…), however my midwifes told me that it works best in combination with Blessed Thistle, so I took both. Not sure why though, maybe kellymom.com has some info on it…

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42 Maureen August 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm

My lactation consultant recommended 2700mg of Fenugreek & 2700mg Blessed Thistle daily……..I’ve been doing it for a month now in anticipation of returning to work 2 weeks ago and knew I would need to be pumping (a LOT) and I’ve seen a huge increase in my supply.

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43 Kellie August 21, 2012 at 10:50 am

NO CASTOR OIL! When I was close to my due date my midwife said I could try it. I was a little eager and chugged almost the entire bottle. I have never been so sick in my life. Not only was I super sick, but when I went back to the Dr. it didn’t do anything to help me progress. My husband still laughs and tells people about the time I drank a bottle of castor oil.

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44 KERF August 21, 2012 at 10:50 am

Oh gosh – a whole bottle!!?!?

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45 Allison August 21, 2012 at 10:58 am

I had a c-section and definitely had issues using the bathroom! I was on stool softeners for a long time after I had my daughter. I also lied and went home from the hospital without going :( Very bad do not do that!!! I would stock up on some fiber snacks as well. Not only did they tell me to take stool softeners but to also increase my fiber! You seem very prepared I can’t wait to hear the news! Good luck I’m sure you will have a beautiful birth!

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46 Amy August 21, 2012 at 11:07 am

Good call on the castor oil. My midwife and i have discussed it and we’ll only try it if i’m overdue and we have to choose between taking that at home or doing a pitocin drip at the hospital. Good Luck!

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47 marci August 21, 2012 at 11:29 am

I wouldn’t mess with anything to increase milk supply until your milk comes in. Your body knows what to do, don’t try to trick it. And I had the problem of always feeling so full that I didn’t want anything to make even more. And I wish I would have started stool softeners sooner. I had to end up going the suppository route, only time I’ve ever had to do that. Birth is gross.

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48 Diana @ frontyardfoodie August 21, 2012 at 11:39 am

So glad you’re taking care of the things YOU’LL need when the baby gets here. It’s sooo important since you’ll be responsible for more than one person you need to be at the best you can be!

I also loved having foods in the freezer so that I could rest more. People brought us food for a couple weeks which was amazing but it was also nice to continue that with my own freezer meals.

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49 Chantal August 21, 2012 at 11:54 am

My friend says cabbage leaves work like gel pads for soothing. Plus they’re just funnier – cabbage boobs!

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50 jen August 21, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Cabbage leaves are one of the things I’ve been reading about that help your milk dry up when you are weaning baby, so putting cabbage leaves in your bra if you don’t want your milk to dry up sounds risky. I’ve never tried it, so can’t say for sure.

http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/engorgement/#cabbage

And Kath, you probably have already found it, but if not, KellyMom is a great BFeeding resource IMO.

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51 KERF August 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm

I just subscribed!

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52 Jenny August 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm

I agree, you don’t want to put cabbage leaves in your bra unless you WANT to dry up.

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53 Kattrina August 21, 2012 at 11:57 am

It is so helpful reading all these comments. My sister has given birth twice and I have lived with her through both births and she never mentioned some of this stuff – stool softeners, etc. Good things to know! I need to put them on my shopping list.

At my Bradley Method class they suggested eating 6 dates a day. I hate dates but have been trying my best to get in my six a day. We’ll see how well they work!

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54 KERF August 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm

6 a day! Man I am lucky to get in one. Maybe at 40 weeks I’ll up the number some : )

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55 Kattrina August 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hmm, six didn’t seem like so many. I am eating dried and de-seeded ones. They are little – like only an inch. So it’s actually quite simple to snack on (I dip them in cream cheese to make them more tasty). It would be more simple if I actually liked them – like if they were dried prunes, which I can eat hundreds of (and then REALLY wish I didn’t). Are you eating dried dates?

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56 KERF August 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Yes, dried, mine are huge though! Like the size of a small apricot.

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57 Alison August 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Lots of great advice here! I’m 32 weeks with my second and am definitely going to start RRL and EPO when recommended. I haven’t heard about dates, but I’m definitely going to eat more!

I also would stay away from castor oil unless you are facing an induction. I was induced last pregnancy and I would definitely try castor oil to avoid it this time – but I’d wait until a couple days before the induction date (my doctor allows up to 42 weeks with good NSTs). I have also heard of a castor oil cocktail that is supposed to counteract the diarrhea, here’s the info: http://www.littlequiver.com/2009/07/elousia-story.html?m=1.

About increasing milk supply – I would also wait. Some women overproduce which sounds painful. I did not have any issues with nursing but I did with pumping when I returned to work. I used the Motherlove More Milk Plus tincture on the recommendation of my lactation consultant.

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58 Katie August 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Thanks for all of the helpful information. Figs and pineapples, sound like good interventions to me :) I wonder if dried pineapple works as well?

I was reading your KERF post in the dr. office this morning after my glucose screening, waiting to have my blood drawn. It wasn’t the nightmare I thought it would be and I felt like a champ, but when I saw your delicious breakfast, I was dying for some carbs. So as a carb treat and reward for surviving the test I went to my local Great Harvest and got my favorite loaf of 10 grain afterwards. You know how pregnancy is, once I saw the picture on your blog I couldn’t get it out of my head!

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59 KERF August 21, 2012 at 1:09 pm

: ) Sounds like a great post-test snack to me!

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60 Kym August 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm

You showed it in your hospital bag post but I don’t think you mentioned it anywhere else – what nursing cover did you get? And how did you choose that one over others? This is an item I still need to pick out.

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61 KERF August 21, 2012 at 4:34 pm

I was given this one by the company to review when the baby comes: http://www.bebeaulait.com/products/hooter-hiders-nursing-covers/darjeeling

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62 Lindsay @ Fuel My Family August 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm

I needed disposable breast pads for a couple weeks, I would saturate right thru a cloth since they don’t have a waterproof barrier. Now I can wear cloth fine tho.

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63 Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana August 21, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I’ve been using the motherlove cream and it really works! I used that same Fenugreek with my last pregnancy to help increase my supply, but haven’t needed it so far with this one!

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64 Angel7 August 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Thanks for the tips, Kath! I am going to start eating some dates today :)

http://faithfulsolutions.blogspot.com/

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65 Alicia August 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I just recently heard fenugreek mixed with blessed thistle is a good brew if you are having difficulty with production. I didn’t end up needing it but when I was researching, all I read about was fenugreek… and then recently heard that you get better results from the combo (just in case).

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66 Vicki August 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Honestly, even with a next morning induction I would not mess with castor oil. I took it at 40 weeks and te only thing it gave me was major intestinal distress and a sore bottom. I would never do it again or suggest anyone else try it.

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67 Jess August 21, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Kath, you are prepared, just like I was. That is awesome! Definitely take that stool softener. Love that stuff!

I’d keep your disposable breast pads on hand in the beginning. I find the washables to be very irritating and when your nips are super sensitive in beginning the disposables or soothies gel pads are best.

Also, you may want to pick up a few pairs of very high cut undies in case you have to have a c-section. I know that is not your plan. It wasn’t mine either. But, I ended up with an emergency c-section when my daughter got stuck in my pelvis and started having heart decelerations. (So my for all my hard work pushing epi-free!) I was so glad to have very high cut undies that didn’t rub against my incision. Plus, those mesh undies from the hospital gave me a weird rash. (Too much info? Sorry!)

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68 Jody August 21, 2012 at 4:46 pm

The yummiest way I know to eat dates:

1/2 cup almonds
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
3 heaping tablespoons cacao powder
a pinch or two of salt (optional)
some vanilla (optional)
3-4 dates, pitted and cut up into pieces
1/4 cup liquid coconut oil

In your food processor grind the almonds really well. Add the coconut, cacao, salt and vanilla and grind up a little more. Add the dates and continue grinding. Add the coconut oil and blend until mixed. You may want to play with the amount so they’re not too dry or too oily for your liking.

Shape them into balls or bars and set them out on a plate to solidify. You can refrigerate them or just leave them out – when the coconut oil returns to room temperature, they’ll be solid.

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69 KERF August 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I totally need to make these for snacks!

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70 Jody August 21, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Do it! They’re the best.

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71 Kate August 21, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I don’t know if anyone mentioned this, but Fenugreek should be taken WITH blessed thistle in order to boost milk production.

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72 Alison August 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I drank about 3 cups of rasp leaf yea from 34 weeks and took 3 caps of epo a day from 35. Had my baby on Sunday at 38w1d! I say it works, good luck!

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73 Beth WA August 21, 2012 at 6:46 pm

My grandfather made my gramma drink castor oil when she was pregnant with my dad so he would be born before the end of the year, so they could get the tax deduction, but no expenses forme year. She did drink it and he was born December 31, 1949!

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74 KERF August 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Haha fun story!

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75 Presley @ Run Pretty August 21, 2012 at 6:54 pm

I must have been lucky. I didn’t need many of the “emergency” supplies that most people are talking about. Aaand I’ve probably just jinxed myself. I bet I’ll have some crazy boob infection now…

(And for what it’s worth, my sister-in-law took Fenugreek and her son developed a peanut allergy. She researched it and found that there might be a relationship there. Just something to think about! Who knows if it’s true.)

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76 Lisa @ bakebikeblog August 21, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Lansinoh was a god send for me :)

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77 ASLmomNextDoor August 21, 2012 at 8:30 pm

My doula had me massage clary sage/oil mix onto the pressure points supposed to induce labor. Also when we went for walks to help bring on labor, she had me smell the sage too. Seemed to help get my contractions more frequent since I went into the hospital that night! But by the end of the day, I did not want to smell sage again, nor do I now! It was very pungent.

I also used EPO vaginally and topically on my belly and drank raspberry tea daily. I was 95% effaced and 4 cm dilated on my due date, but didn’t give birth til a week later. My dilation was very slow though once we got to the hospital. Oh well, hopefully it may be faster next time!

Positive thoughts for you! You can do it!!

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78 Jenn August 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Pumping helps, If you have a pump.
I did the epo suppositories every night from week 38. I attempted the tea, but it didn’t seem to settle well. I remember at my 39 week appointment and Donna checking me that she also applied epo directly to the cervix. The next day I lost my plug. He was born 4 hours into my due date.

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79 Elizabeth August 21, 2012 at 9:06 pm

In regards to breastfeeding pads, I highly recommend these wool ones http://danishwool.com/products/item/nursing_pads.html . I had issues with Reynaud’s syndrome/nipple blanching (http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/nipple-blanching/) when breastfeeding my son. It was extremely painful and the warmth from the pads and the natural lanolin really helped. They have so many other great benefits too! A bit pricey, but they were well worth it especially since I used them again with my daughter.

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80 Lindsay August 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm

I agree raspberry leaf tea is so much better iced! My doula suggested that at 37 weeks to start drinking 3 cups per day (2 cups at 36 weeks and 1 cup starting around 34-35 weeks). I don’t know if it helped my uterus but I had 3 iced cups per day starting at 37 weeks for 2 weeks and 3 days and then Edie arrived!

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81 Allie August 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Hey! So exciting that you are getting close to the day when you will finally meet your little guy. A few thoughts from my own experience: first, I would caution you to not try the Fenugreek until you know that you are under-producing…and that would be a couple of weeks after birth. My milk came in late and slowly and I was tempted to try it but based on the advice of other experienced moms I waited and boy was I ever glad! When my milk finally got going I over-produced for the entire year I nursed. I was engorged every single day. It was miserable! I am so glad I hadn’t done anything rash that would have made it even worse. It is really hard to be patient when you have a newborn and things are not going exactly as “planned”, but do try to be patient.

As for the breast pads…being so engorged I also leaked a lot. Much to my chagrin the reusable ones just didn’t absorb well (hello mastitis!) and they were also visible through the nursing bra and shirt…a nice round circle advertising my boobs. I did find that the Lansinoh disposable ones worked great. I really hated using something disposable but the trade off was multiple bouts of mastitis which would leave me bedridden and not really able to do my full job as a mom.

Good luck. I hope that everything goes smoothly!

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82 Leila @ Spinach and Skittles August 22, 2012 at 12:35 am

The idea of caster oil scares the heck outa me! Do you have any witch hazel? I’m going to be buying some and applying it to the pads for after birth. I read about doing that in someone’s blog comments, freezing the pads/witch hazel for relief in the weeks right after birth. She called them padsicles, haha. Sounded kind of brilliant.

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83 KERF August 22, 2012 at 4:33 am

Haha padsicles

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84 Regina August 22, 2012 at 7:35 am

I’m a first-time mommy as well and just had our baby boy Sunday morning! I was only in active labor at the hospital 7 hours WITH an epidural and pushed 3 times before he arrived. I drank red raspberry leaf tea beginning at 36 weeks and definitely think it helped my labor progress so quickly with strong contractions despite being a first time mommy and having an epi. At least I’d like to think so :) Good luck!! Motherhood is even more than you could imagine. So excited for you.You’re so close!! Sleep while you can. It really is the last time you’ll get consistent sleep for awhile :)

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85 KERF August 22, 2012 at 8:37 am

Congrats!!

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86 KathyZS August 22, 2012 at 7:58 am

Another natural galactogogue is : OATMEAL.

I used to have it for breakfast while nursing and especially when I returned to work and started pumping and I did notice an increase! How wonderful eh?

Good luck and best wishes!

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87 Leanne August 23, 2012 at 1:03 am

Instead of (or possibly in addition to if necessary) drink a mix of 1/2 prune juice and 1/2 orange juice (you can go a little heavier on the OJ if needed). Nurses at the hospital (as well as a friend recommended it in lieu of stool softener when I gave birth to my daughter). It works great!

If you find that the over the counter gel packs don’t work, try hydrogels. I was given some at the hospital and they were the best! Once they wore out, I had to find some online because they just worked so much better than the ones that they sell in the store. I had a rough time with nursing for the first several months but stuck with it and successfully was able to nurse my daughter for 15 months :-)

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88 Ella August 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm

smart smart smart smart. You are so smart! I don’t think I had any of these things ready pre-labor, though I had everything I needed for baby. I am so impressed with your preparedness. I wonder if there will be a single thing you wish you would have had in addition?

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