Planning for birth is something that most people know about, and it’s usually ranked as the most important thing to do to prepare for your new baby.
Well, we disagree.
While preparing your birth plan is obviously pretty high up there on our list of important things to get done, we think that postpartum planning is more important.
In your postpartum period, your body is recovering from growing and birthing a tiny human. You’re learning how to function while sleep deprived, you’re learning to feed the tiny human you just birthed, you are experiencing a huge hormonal shift, you’re bonding with and loving that sweet, squishy baby, and you’re learning about your new normal. This is the time to get to know your baby, and it’s incredibly important. Our society puts a ton of pressure on new moms to immediately jump back into everyday life, and they all think that you should be able to do all the things.
Simply stated, don’t rush this. The priority is bonding with your baby and your recovery. This is true for first time parents, and for parents that just added their 11th baby.
Let’s talk about some ways that you can prepare for a better postpartum:
- Hire a Postpartum Doula. There is nothing like having someone in your corner that understands the normality and the process of the fourth trimester. It doesn’t hurt that they assist with light housekeeping, meal prep, and laundry. They also recognize signs of a postpartum mood disorder, which is incredibly helpful and important.
- Realistically plan for breastfeeding. Nursing your baby is a full time job in the first few weeks, seriously. There’s cluster feeding, growth spurts, and just learning together. It takes time. Make sure to have your snack station set up where you’ll be nursing, and get some Netflix.
- Skin to skin. There is seriously nothing better than snuggling your baby skin to skin. The sweetest.
- Be sure that you are eating. Most new moms that are breastfeeding are ravenous, but sometimes new moms forget to eat. Be sure that you are eating as often as you need to.
- Ask for help. Really. It’s totally okay if you just need someone to come hold the baby so you can take a shower. Or if you just need someone to bring you a chai latte. Ask for what you really need. It’s important.
- STAY HOME. So, we feel like this one is super important. Don’t go grocery shopping at 48 hours postpartum. Deb did this after her second, and it was terrible. She wishes someone had told her that it’s a terrible idea, so we’re telling you. Our preference is that clients don’t leave the house for an adventure for at least a week, preferably two. Taking short walks for sunshine and fresh air, okay. Two hour shopping trip, not okay.
- Limit visitors. The only visitors that need to come are people that are going to be helpful, and only if they don’t mind seeing you in your comfy mesh undies and no top because the baby is eating again. It’s SO important that you don’t feel like you need to be a perfect hostess. Entertaining people is not your job right now. They need to come with food and they need to wash and fold some laundry before they snuggle the baby while you shower.
Remember, taking care of yourself is an important step in being able to take care of your family!
Feel free to leave any questions or suggestions in the comment section!