Planning for your postpartum? Not sure where to start?
Are you pregnant or thinking about it? Its never too early to start planning for your Babymoon (postnatal period). The first weeks and months after a baby is born can be joyous, nurturing and beautiful. Unfortunately, they can also be anxiety raising, tiring and painful; particularly if you aren’t prepared.
It can be really hard to think about and plan for your postpartum period when thinking about your pregnancy and the impending birth takes up most of your time but a little prep can go a long way. Even if you are interested to find out more about how to prepare for this time information can be rather thin on the ground, I get so frustrated when the postpartum period is limited to a couple of pages at the back of most pregnancy books.
So here it is, an easy guide to planning for your postpartum time. What you need to consider and plan for to ensure you have covered all of your bases. Whether you are prepared to spend thousands or even just a couple of hundred dollars getting yourself and your family ready, these are really the main points that are worth considering.
Having a baby is a big deal for all women, it affects your relationship with your partner and other children, with your family and even forces you to reevaluate your own identity. If there are fractured relationships in your past or bad experiences in previous pregnancies this is likely to all come to the surface. Do you have someone you can talk to, someone you can trust and who hopefully has been there before and can understand where you are coming from? Postnatal doulas, best friends and new mum’s groups are great for this kind of support. Check out my post about ‘unpacking’ before birth and start looking at the different options for you in your local area.
Have you thought about who is going to make dinner, vacuum, feed your cat or keep your toddler entertained because it is highly likely you won’t be able to do this straight away or at least it is ideal if you don’t.
Beside possible complications from birth including surgery there is a lot of healing and bonding that needs to take place between nursing sessions and hall pacing so it really is best if there is someone else there who you can rely on to take on the lion’s share of physical tasks around the house for a while. This allows you the space needed to do the most important job you have during this period, getting to know your new baby. This is something you are going to want to discuss with your partner, friends and family before the baby arrives. You may also consider hiring a cleaner, preparing meals before you are due or organising a meal rosters and streamlining some activities like grocery shopping.
Birth is a big deal on the body no matter how you deliver your baby. The hormonal transition from pregnant woman to lactating mother coupled with sleep deprivation can make for one sore and uncomfortable mum. There are a lot of different opinions about what you might like to do to assist your body to heal but healthy, nutritious and easily digestible food goes a long way so does Panadol or some healing teas or bath herbs as well as items you may need to sooth sore nipples, relieve a swollen perineum or help heal a caesarean scar. Ask any new mum friends what worked for them or check out some suggestions for postpartum kits on the internet
Have you spent much time with a newborn before? Until we have children of our own the answer for most people is ‘no’. Most newborns are hidden away from everyday life and for good reason, unfortunately this also means that until we find ourselves with this tiny little life in our hands we may not have any idea about what to expect. Here knowledge is key so learning as much as you can about newborns what they do and why can help you understand and navigate your new baby’s behaviour in those early days. If you are planning on breastfeeding learning as much as you can about breastfeeding, milk production and good attachment can help you understand and trouble shoot any issues that may arise, considering you could be spending up to 12 hours a day nursing it can definitely come in handy. You could consider taking a breastfeeding education class as well as finding books about breastfeeding as well as books and articles about infant behaviour such as ‘The Fourth Trimester’ by Susan Brink.
Hello, my name is Celeste. I am a postnatal doula, a breastfeeding counselor and a mother.