Have you noticed that no one talks about what to expect during the early postpartum days? They just hand you a baby, and sometimes they toss in some vague instructions about poop output before they wish you luck and send you on your way with a sore bottom.
We are very real about the postpartum period with our clients, and we think everyone else should be, too. The early days are the most amazing days of your life. You’ve just met this beautiful baby, you’re on an Oxytocin high, and everything is wonderful.
What no one tells you is that this wonderful time is also really hard. Your bottom is sore, pooping is scary, your breasts are engorged and leaking, your emotions are all over the place, the baby is eating every 25 seconds, and you haven’t showered in 3 days. We get it. We’ve been there. It happens to the best of us.
Let’s talk about a few things that we can do and/or have on hand to make the early postpartum days a little easier to navigate:
1. Stock your freezer with nutritious meals that can easily be popped in the oven or crockpot. Easy is the best policy right after you have the baby, but nourishing our body is really important during this time.
2. You need nursing pads and nipple ointment. Learning how to nurse can result in nipple discomfort, and our first line of defense (other than a proper latch) is nipple care.
3. Get a Netflix or Hulu subscription. There are 14 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, and it is perfect binge watching material. While you’re at it, make a nursing nest. Fill a basket with snacks and bottled water to have next to you while you nurse.
4. USE THE PERI BOTTLE. It is your best friend.
5. Be gentle with yourself and rest when you can. Self care is incredibly important to mental health.
Most importantly, remember that experiencing baby blues in the first two weeks is normal due to fluctuating hormones. If you are experiencing significant anxiety, or if you feel like you can’t take care of yourself or baby- don’t hesitate to reach out to your doula and/or care provider for help.
If you need help creating a postpartum plan that works for you, feel free to email us and we can work on a plan together.
Photo credit: Nicci Brooks Photography