I was speaking with a doula friend of mine and she and I discussed how people spend so much time planning for their pregnancy and birth that they often neglect their postpartum plan.
Having a baby is just the tip of the iceberg.
You go home and life hits and without proper preparation, you can get overwhelmed.
Here is a list that I posted on my facebook page to help people get started with planning for their postpartum period.
1. Make sure that you plan for meals after birth.
-Setup a meal train or meal prep if you can.
-Focus on eating warming foods, dark leafy greens, soups, and stews.
2. Do your grocery shopping online or have someone pick up your groceries.
If you can’t, then see tip #1.
3. Plan for sleeping arrangements if you have stairs.
-Have a comfy chair where you can sleep or sleep in a downstairs guest room if you have one. *this is especially important if you have had a c-section.
4. Have a plan in place to help you get proper rest.
-You and your partner may need to alternate or schedule times for both of you to sleep.
-Hiring a postpartum doula can also be helpful if you can afford one & if not, try to have friends or family members pitch in.
5. Be sure to have a plan for taking care of other children in the home when you return with the baby.
-Work towards setting up a schedule for your children.
-Have your older children help out if they can.
-Make sure that you have activities at home for younger children and try to have them nap when the baby is sleeping so that you all can get enough rest.
6. Plan for postpartum bleeding.
-Have pads available and get extra in case the bleeding lasts longer than you thought.
7. Learn about caring for yourself after a C-section just in case.
-We hope that you don’t have one, but if you do, know how to care for yourself.
8. If you plan to body feed (breast/chest feed), then make sure that you have proper support so that you’re not overwhelmed.
-Take a lactation education course, join free groups, and seek support from an IBCLC, CLC, CLE, or peer counselor if you need help.
9. Plan for proper bottle feeding
– Learn about PACE feeding.
-Learn how to properly prepare formula.
10. Know the warning signs of postpartum depression and anxiety.
There is life after your baby is born, so have your plan in place, so that the transition is easier.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but I hope that it gets you started. If you need help, be sure to reach out to myself or another doula that you know!