Danielle Longo
Area Partner Charleston, SC

You have made it to the last month of pregnancy and are getting so close to meeting the newest member of your family!

As a first time mother myself, I know that it can feel a little overwhelming. This is especially true being so far away from family and close friends due to the military lifestyle. One thing that has helped me during this time is developing a checklist to make sure I stay on track and am not forgetting anything.

Some of the important things on this checklist are:

Packing the hospital bag. 

You can call the hospital from which you will deliver, to ask what types of items they provide to new moms and babies. Once you have those details, think about what additional items you will need for a 24-48 hour hospital stay. Some items to consider are comfortable clothing for you and your support person, nursing bra or nursing friendly tops, toiletries that will make you feel more like yourself, and maybe even your own pillow. You may also want to bring an extra-long cell phone charger to keep your cell phone within reach of your hospital bed even if an outlet is not close by. It could be beneficial to take along a breastfeeding pillow if you plan to use one. Hospitals have lots of pillows available for use with breastfeeding, but it’s beneficial to get familiar with what you will be using at home while you have support nearby. The nurses and lactation consultants can help guide you with the best ways to utilize your own breastfeeding pillow. Don’t forget a coming home outfit for baby and a blanket if you are delivering in a colder climate. A good rule of thumb for dressing babies is to dress them as warmly as you would yourself, plus one extra layer!

Most importantly, you need to have your baby’s car seat safely installed before you can be discharged from the hospital. Some communities have car seat technicians whom you can contact for questions or assistance in verifying that you have installed your car seat correctly. You can find a local Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) here: New Find a CPS Technician SKCMS (cyzap.net)

Get to know your breast pump. 

Reading through the manual that comes with the pump is a great place to familiarize yourself with the breast pump functions and features. You can also find some resources on the breast pump brand’s website. These include videos of operating the pump, troubleshooting, and possibly some helpful tips. Reach out to your Area Partner if you would like some assistance in locating these resources! We are here to support you throughout your breastfeeding and pumping journey.

Order your postpartum compression.

Military Mommies offers two different types of postpartum support garments that can assist you with your recovery from both a c-section or a vaginal delivery. The MamaStrut provides abdominal and pelvic floor support with the ability to add ice packs or heat packs to your recovery regimen. The Motif Postpartum Recovery Support Garment is highlighted for use after a c-section because it has a side zipper and does not put additional pressure on the incision area while it provides structure to help stabilize the stomach, back, and hips.

Having a written checklist has made it easier to visually see what I have accomplished and what is left to do. I set goals of when I would like to accomplish each item on my checklist to keep me on track! If you need assistance deciding what items should be included on your checklist, consider reaching out to close friends or family members that have given birth recently and ask them what else they would recommend including. Most of all, just remember that you’ve got this!

You can contact Danielle at dlongo@militarymommies.com