From baby showers to childbirth education classes, you are ready for birth! You have attended a newborn care class, spoken with all your mom friends, and even got the crib assembled. We place so much emphasis on pregnancy, preparing for childbirth, and newborn care, that we forget about caring for mom and even her partner.
Below are some tips to help prepare for a positive and smooth postpartum:
- Feeding. How do you plan to feed? Feeding is huge! You will be spending a lot time feeding your baby. It also takes time and patient to master feeding a newborn. Feeding may include a combination of exclusively breastfeeding, pumping, supplementing, formula feeding. You may decide you want to breastfeed for only two weeks or for two years.
If you plan to breastfeed, I highly suggest taking a breastfeeding class in your area. During a breastfeeding class you will learn things like how to get a proper latch, different breastfeeding holds and troubleshoot for any challenges. Often times, while in the hospital it may seem like you have gotten a hang of breastfeeding and then as soon as you get home, you may encounter challenges. Before baby comes, find a good certified lactation counselor in your area to help assist you with any further challenges. If you decide to formula feed, discuss different options with your pediatrician and also learn how to properly prepare the formula.
- Set boundaries. Decide on who is allowed to visit, what times, how long, and make a list how they can help. Asking for help can feel strange, especially if you are used to living independently. Know that others want to help! Creating a list of simple tasks that visitors can choose from helps to empower your visitors and eliminate any awkward conversations. It doesn't have to enormous or time consuming tasks like clean the entire house. Keep it simple, like take out the trash or help load the laundry.
- Meal planning. Eating healthy and nutrient dense meals is not only beneficial during pregnancy, but after as moms restores and heals from the childbirth process. We recommend our families to prepare freezer meals that they can be easily reheated. This takes the guesswork out of what is for dinner. You may also enlist the help of your support system to bring over meals by setting up a meal train. Also, having a snack box or basket with easy to reach for snacks. Snack ideas include nuts, easy to peal fruit, apples, nut butters.
- Household tasks and responsibilities. Don't wait until you are feeling overwhelmed with additional laundry and dishes piling up. Decide among your family and support system who is responsible for each household task and responsibility. Consider hiring help, postpartum doula can be extremely beneficial after the first few months or nanny. If you have older children, make childcare or carpooling arrangements.
- Self-care. When we think about self-care, most of immediately think: hot baths, pedicures, and full body massages. Yes, while self-care can include those activities, it also includes more active approach, like hiring help. Or boring self-care like drinking more water. Brainstorm a list of your favorite self-care activities and incorporate at least one a day.
We hope this list has provided you with helpful ideas and tips! If you would like assistance creating a postpartum plan, schedule a free consultation with our team.