From the day of the positive test, up to the meeting of your new baby, there's a lot of information and advice on pregnancy & birth. You might even take birth classes and build a birth plan, but do you have a plan for what's next?
Making a postpartum plan will make the transition to life with a new baby so much smoother.
Create plans to include self-care, support systems, and make realistic goals to prevent overwhelm.
It's time to find you village! Building a strong support network is crucial during the postpartum period. Reach out to trusted family members, friends, or postpartum support groups to create a system of emotional and practical support. Having people you can rely on for assistance, encouragement, and a listening ear can make a significant difference in your postpartum experience. If you don't have a large network or need additional support, look in to hiring a postpartum doula.
Your body is in recovery mode, and if you're breastfeeding, you're still eating for two. Preparing nourishing meals in advance or arranging meal deliveries can be a game-changer during the early weeks postpartum. Cook and freeze meals that are easy to reheat, stock up on healthy snacks, and consider meal kits or meal trains organized by loved ones. Ensuring you have nutritious and easily accessible food will support your recovery and energy levels. Hydration is also super important, especially if breastfeeding. Keep a big full water bottle at your side at all times!
The postpartum period may have everyone focusing on baby but remember to focus on yourself too. Create a self-care routine that includes rest, gentle exercise, and activities you enjoy. Take warm baths, practice deep breathing, indulge in light stretching or postnatal yoga, and allow yourself moments of relaxation. Remember, caring for yourself is vital for caring for your baby. Don't feel bad about taking breaks, or asking for help.
Recognize the importance of your emotional well-being. The postpartum period can bring a range of emotions, including joy, anxiety, and sadness. Communicate openly with your partner, friends, or healthcare provider about your feelings. Consider connecting with a therapist or joining postpartum support groups to share your experiences and gain valuable insights. A postpartum journal can be a great way to process those feelings.
The postpartum period can be full of emotions and adjustments. Set realistic expectations for yourself and your baby. Understand that it takes time to recover physically, establish routines, and adjust to the new role of parenthood. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you navigate this transformative phase. The chores can wait, or if you need work done around the house, tap in to that village! If family or friends want to visit the new baby, give them a task. Get them to help with laundry, put away dishes, etc. Also, don't worry about maintaining a spotless house. If family or friends are visiting it should be to help you, not to be entertained by you.
Have clear communication and boundaries with your loved ones. Inform them of your postpartum needs and preferences. Be honest about your expectations for visits, help, and res
t time. Establishing boundaries will help you create a nurturing environment for yourself and your baby.
Preparing for the postpartum period is an essential part of the journey into motherhood. By focusing on self-care, building a support network, and tending to your emotional and physical well-being, you set the stage for a smoother and more fulfilling postpartum experience. Embrace this transformative time with grace, patience, and love, knowing that you are taking steps to nurture yourself as you nurture your precious newborn. Looking for help preparing for birth & postpartum? The Build Your Birth Plan eBook not only goes over birth but the postpartum period with over 20 printable pages to help you plan & process the postpartum period.