"Buy cute pajamas to wear when you have visitors!" "Go up a cup size when you get nursing bras!" These are good and helpful pieces of advice that friends will tell you, but your best friends? Your best friends will tell you about the slightly less adorable things that you really need to know, even if they're kind of gross and embarrassing.
In case your best friend hasn’t yet had a baby, allow me to fill you in. Here are the three things that saved my bum—and the surrounding and related regions—in the days and weeks that followed pushing a tiny (but not that tiny, if you think about it) human out of my lady parts.
- Peri bottle. You’ll get one at the hospital that will do the trick; if you want to upgrade, I liked this one for the convenient angle and gentle showerhead-like spray. Fill it with warm water—or cool, if that feels better to you—and squirt your nether regions as you pee and after. It’ll help dilute your urine and ease any burn, as well as take care of cleanup when wiping is out of the question. (Because stitches.)
- Bottom spray. Some veteran moms at my birth class recommended this, and they did not let me down. A few spritzes of this magic solution provided temporary relief to my stitched-up bits. And I was hurting enough that I would take any relief I could get. Happy sidenote: The bottle is designed to spray even when held upside-down. It’s the little things, you know?
- TUCKS medicated cooling pads. A few weeks before I gave birth, a girlfriend texted me at 10 p.m. with an urgent message. She had been organizing her bathroom cabinets and found the nearly empty container of TUCKS from when she’d given birth the year before. “Get some TUCKS!” she said. “I was obsessed with these things postpartum.” Not one to question, I added a big container to my Amazon cart, and sure enough, came to rely on them in the weeks postpartum. The witch hazel-infused pads might be known to treat hemorrhoids—a common consequence of powerful pushing—but I was lucky enough to dodge that bullet and simply used them for their soothing properties. I would line a long sanitary pad with three or four of them, and then savor the cool sensation delivered to that tender area south of the border. When my stiches grew itchy, they helped calm that, too. And I would sometimes use them for gentle dabbing and cleansing, appreciating that they were less lint-y than soft toilet paper (and less scratchy than non-lint-y toilet paper).
Squirt, spritz, soothe—my tried-and-true postpartum bathroom routine that I know everyone has been dying to read about, ha. It may not be as sexy a midcentury modern crib, but when you absolutely cannot bear to sit without an inflatable donut under your bum, I promise it’ll feel way more important.
This post is in partnership with TUCKS, a product I actually used and loved postpartum.