When you are a new mom (even a second time new mom) there are all these little things that you realize no one told you about...or at least that caught me completely off guard... Here is my list of little surprises in case there are any almost new moms out there that want the real scoop. Let's start with the post baby issues with your womanly parts (this stuff was a real surprise for me). If you are like me expect at least a small tear. This means you will have a golf ball of swollen painful flesh where your perineum used to be. What can you do? - DON'T forget the Peri bottle at the hospital!!!! They don't sell them at stores. This is a lovely litlle squirt bottle you use to spray luke warm water on your tear as you pee to take the sting out and clean yourself. Make sure the water is body temp - hot and cold feel bad. - Spend the extra money to get expensive cushy absorbant TP while you recover. - They will give you tucks (Witchhazel pads) and a topical pain relief spray at the hospital - take them with you or buy some to have at home. This helps with the perineum swelling and hemorroids that you get from pushing. - You will bleed for quite awhile (no one mentions the extra long period like bleeding and cramps - have maxi pads ready). Because of this I love to rock the disposible mesh hospital undies from the hospital for a bit but throw away cotton undies work too. It also means it is nice to have Chux or a towel to sleep on to protect your sheets. I think Chux make the best changing pads for baby anyways. - Have Ibprofin and Stool softeners ready (pooping after delivery with tears is soooo scary). Don't get behind with your meds. - Sit on your boppy if you need to take pressure off your bum and try not to bend over too far it pulls too much - learned that today. - Take a baby diaper and separate the top layer on the side with tabs to create a slot then put crushed ice inside the diaper and use the tabs to cover the hole. Use this as an ice pack for your swollen girly bits. It's amazing - they had these at the hospital. - Keep on eye on your arm pits (yes arm pits) for blocked milk ducts. They say heat and massage help - I am still trying to figure this one out. Apparently it can also be swollen lymph nodes which should be iced. - Oh and of course there is the incontinence. Get ready to pee yourself every time you cough or sneeze. Things about baby: - I like the book The Baby Whisperer for some of the baby basics. - Don't pat to burp baby - rub their back in an upward motion - it works soooo much better. - When you are sleep deprived it is easy to forget to check the baby's diaper which can lead to unnecessary long bouts of crying - so if your baby is crying and crying and you are confused try changing them. - Brick dust (say what?!). If you are like me the orangish reddish color in the baby's pee will freak you out - apparently it happens before your milk comes in when baby is dehydrated and has jaundice. Google it. - Try different pacifier brands / shapes if necessary - we found Keira has a different preference then Chase. - We love a good double swaddle (two blankets - it helps prevent escape). - An angled crib / bassinet / chair may be easier to get baby to sleep in. I am sure there are tons of other things but I can't think of them right now.