Those last few weeks of pregnancy are so exciting and there is so much thought and preparation put into the upcoming labor and delivery. Childbirth classes have been taken, umpteen books have been read, and maybe you have even hired a doula so you feel ultra prepared. But, many time we focus so much on the actual labor and delivery (and rightfully so, it’s a big event!) but we forget to prepare for the postpartum season. Remember Postpartum Matters. It is so important to plan ahead for this special time so that you can maximize your healing and recovery and rest as much as possible. So today I am giving you 10 ways you can best prepare for this important time:
1. Educate yourself: Start by reading books about the postpartum season, attending prenatal classes, or consulting reliable online resources to learn about postpartum care and what to expect during this phase.
2. Create a support system: Reach out to family, friends, or a postpartum support group. Having a reliable support system in place can make a big difference during this transitional period. Talk to a doula about ways you can best prepare.
3. Plan for meals: Consider meal prepping before the baby arrives and put some meals in the freezer. Or arrange for a meal train with loved ones. Having healthy, ready-to-eat meals can help you save time and energy during the initial days.
4. Prepare the nursery: Get the nursery ready before the baby’s arrival. Organize essentials like clothing, diapers, and blankets, and familiarize yourself with the baby’s sleeping arrangements.
5. Arrange for help: Discuss with your partner, family, or friends about who can assist during the early days. Having someone available to help with household chores or caring for the baby can allow you to rest and recover. If you do not have family and friends that can actively help you consider hiring a postpartum doula.
6. Stock up on supplies: Make sure you have an ample supply of postpartum essentials such as sanitary pads, nursing bras, breast pads, and any necessary medications. Many prepare postpartum baskets and have them in their necessary places (one in the bathroom, one by the nursing chair, on next to the bed, etc.) Here is a list that I suggest for postpartum supplies.
7. Be watchful against postpartum depression. It is normal to have baby blues that come and go, but if you begin to feel withdrawn from your family, and the darkness continues please seek professional help. Postpartum depression is a true medical condition that is a chemical imbalance in the brain, so please get the help needed.
8. Set realistic expectations: Understand that the postpartum period can be challenging and filled with various emotions. Be kind to yourself, embrace the changes, and know that it’s okay to ask for help when needed. You are learning and the baby is learning so give yourself grace.
9. Plan for breastfeeding. If you plan to breastfeed, educate yourself about breastfeeding techniques and consider consulting a lactation specialist if needed. It is amazing how beneficial even one visit with a lactation specialist can be! Alternatively, if you’re opting for formula feeding, ensure you have the necessary supplies stocked up.
10. Schedule postpartum check-ups: Book appointments with your healthcare provider to ensure a smooth transition into postpartum care. Regular check-ups help monitor your physical and emotional well-being, as well as address any concerns you may have.
I would encourage you to read my blog post The Importance of a Babymoon where I share more practical advice on the postpartum season.
Remember, each person’s postpartum experience is unique, and it’s important to tailor these suggestions to your specific needs and circumstances. If you have any further questions or need assistance with anything else, feel free to ask!