Are you pregnant in the time of COVID-19? Finding it hard to gather the necessities you need to prepare for the arrival of your new family member? Here are some alternatives to some common postpartum and newborn supports that may be left unfulfilled on your registry due to the Pandemic.
- Peri Bottle: The perineal irrigator of the postpartum period, used for pregnancy-related hemorrhoids and your delicate, healing nether regions. Peri bottles are a great tool to have at home after you welcome your newborn into the world. While hospitals typically send you home with one, as more and more pregnant folks seek out of hospital births in the time of COVID-19, you may find yourself scanning the Internet for an equivalent. If the general public catches on to the fact that a peri bottle is essentially a DIY bidet, and sends them the way of toilet paper, you may be left wanting in your quest. Thus, I give you—the pandemic proof peri bottle:
- Infant hazmat suit: Don’t. Just don’t. While a baby-sized hazmat suit may seem like a good idea during a world-shaking pandemic, infant personal protective equipment (PPE) really isn’t a thing. And it really isn’t safe. Please do not mask, glove, or otherwise equip your infant, toddler, or young child with miniaturized PPE. Not only will your offspring not use it correctly (and research indicates that “no mask” is often better than an “incorrectly-used mask” when we’re talking about the general public), but it also may pose a hazard in and of itself. Just say no to PPE for small humans. And while we’re at it, disinfectant wipes are NOT interchangeable with wet wipes.
- Diapers (for you): Folks who have given birth may recall those glorious, disposable mesh panties that make postpartum bleeding a bit more manageable. Like the peri bottle, these too may be difficult to come by in the pandemic-postpartum period, and I don’t know about you, but my online searches for “mesh panties” does not quite render the results I’m looking for. If you find yourself in a similar pickle, consider acquiring a cheap set of boxer briefs instead. Better yet, steal your partners. Line said boxer briefs with many layers of pads, duct-taped together if needed. Voila.
- Nipple butter: If you find yourself with sore nipples and an inability to get to the store for that one kind of nipple butter your sister-in-law swore by, have no fear! Chances are you have a multitude of options for nipple lubrication lingering in your cupboards. As a general rule, if you can make it into a salad dressing, you can probably put it on your nipples. And no, I’m not recommending a dash of balsamic to your chaffed bits, I’m talking oil. Olive oil and coconut oil, in particular, can be applied after a feed with the same effect as the fancy $20/oz nipple butter and does not need to be wiped off before baby feeds again. Keep those nips in good condition y’all. No one wants to have to take their bloody nipples to a telemed visit. (If you find yourself encountering persistent nipple pain while nursing, this resource may help troubleshoot and offer some additional, non-salad suggestions).
- Baby Bottles: Wondering how you’re going to feed your infant expressed human milk or formula if we’re faced with a moratorium on baby bottles? As long as you have a shot glass somewhere in your kitchen, then you’re already covered! It turns out a shot glass makes a great infant feeding device, especially in the early postpartum period. Not only will you and your partner be able to ensure your baby is getting the nutrition they need, but cup feeding is an awesome tool to use to avoid the potential for nipple confusion while you’re still working on establishing a nursing relationship. And if you end up with leftovers in said shot glass and are feeling adventurous, you have a natural vessel for adding a little vodka and a dash of Kahlua for a non-traditional White Russian for the 21+ crowd you are quarantined with. Bottoms up! (Seriously—cup feeding is a pretty cool thing, and totally legit even outside of a pandemic.)
- Breastfeeding pillow: Had your heart set on a name brand breastfeeding pillow, but now feeling intimidated by shipping delays and low stock alerts? Never fear! Why not try a Coast Guard Certified Life Jacket? Start your nursing session by bringing baby to the breast, then have a partner-in-quarantine place that life jacket under baby. Add a rolled-up towel or two, until the life jacket is doing the job of supporting baby’s weight, and you’re just keeping baby from diving off your lap. Not only will this nursing accessory help with your post-apocalyptic, “Water World” look, but it also doubles as an obvious flotation device.
- Car seats: No hacks here. This is the one piece of baby equipment that needs to perform at 70 mph. Plan ahead and make it happen the right way, without duct tape.
Stay safe everyone, and keep scrubbing those hands.