Surgery Doula Shopping List - Post Op Supplies
Parts of hysterectomy recovery can be easy or complicated depending on the type of procedure you have, post op complications, and other things outside of our control. The general rule of thumb for post op preparation is to go for the things you know you'll need a maybe a few extras - the rest, save your money and cross that bridge when you get there (I'm looking at you Costco sized packs of anything!). This is a must have list for post hysterectomy supplies, regardless of the type of procedure.
Prop Pillows - Fatigue is expected after any procedure and is very commonly reported after a hysterectomy. The combination of physical and hormonal changes might have you in bed more than you expected, and it's nice to feel comfortable even when sitting up wide awake with a prop pillow for your back. This one can be used for several different heights. It also makes visiting easier if a friend stops by. A pillow for under or between your knees (think sleeping while pregnant if you've had a baby) can also reduce discomfort while sleeping.
Grabber - This one is a must have for two reasons. One, it is inexpensive, and two, it's often mentioned as the MVP of post op supplies by women who've recovered from a hysterectomy. At this price, even if it helps you get your cellphone from the side of the bed once, it's worth it. Bonus it's a fun toy for small kids - reusability for the win.
This one is all you need and is just $10. This one has more bells and whistles if you are interested.
Medication Planning - Even medical professionals we talk to have a hard time keeping track of their meds after surgery. Docs often recommend a protocol, but it can be hard to keep track of when you took your last dose and what is next. This one in particular can help you and your caregivers make sure you are getting the right amount of pain management. Check out our printables that help smooth the process - keeping pain under control requires consistent dosing of medication.
Mint Essential Oil - Recovery nurses sometimes use this on a warm cloth to help with nausea from all the medicine in your body. Keeping some on your nightstand with a diffuser can be helpful and this one is a good size and quality. Some anesthesiologists will give you a scopolamine patch, which can help a lot, but nausea can return when it is time to take it off. Keeping some mint essential oil on your nightstand with a diffuser can be helpful. Other oils can have aromatherapy effects, like lavender for relaxation or lemon for a bit of an energy boost.
Heating Pad Upgrade - You may have an old heating pad stashed away, but we highly recommend testing it out before your surgery. If it has spots that don't warm up, or takes forever to get going, you may want to invest in a new one. Heat can really reduce pain and a larger size can make your heating pad easier to get into the right spot. Here is one that checks the right sized box.
New Jammies - So you probably have jammies, but make sure they come with a loose waist band and soft material. With kids, jobs, hobbies, workouts, whatever, most women don't have a lot of time for lounging in bed, but after surgery, that is likely where you'll be - for a lot of hours. You may even want to chuck whatever you wore during this time out a window when you're done, so our recommendation is the softest pajamas you can find at a reasonable price.
Best advice? Order a size bigger for comfort, and order a few pair so when you take a shower you feel good slipping into a fresh set. Recovery is hard, so go for little wins that make you more comfortable. Seasonality is important, and you may have hot flashes even if you don't get an ovary or two removed, so we have included a Long and Short recommendation.
Bed Lap Top Stand - We hope you aren't working already, but you will probably want to binge on some shows to pass the time. A place to put your laptop can be helpful and some of them can even double as a lunch tray. This is more a a splurgy item for some people, but included in this list because it can really be a game changer if you don't have a TV in your room.
The bottom line...
The key with planning for post op is to do in advance what you won't be able to do in recovery. Hopefully this helps you check a few items of your list without spending a fortune.