Postpartum Planning - The First 30 Days
You most likely spent a lot of time planning for the arrival of your baby. You wanted to make sure you were as prepared as possible for this new baby coming into the world. You found a doctor or a midwife and decided where you were going to give birth. You took all sorts of classes from childbirth ed to yoga. The nursery was prepared. Baby’s clothes were washed. Ans you made sure to eat well and stay as healthy as possible.
How much time did you take to plane the time after your baby arrived? My guess is not much. If this was your first baby, you probably had unrealistic ideas about how much energy you were going to have after you gave birth. Expectant moms never realize how sleep deprived they are really going to be. I tell my moms this all the time but it really doesn’t sink in until they are home with a newborn.
Even though you aren’t sleeping very much you still need to function because you have a newborn who depends on you. Preparing for this and all the other things that might come up is easier to do before the baby arrives than after the baby is here.
Once your baby arrives, it’s important that you take care of yourself so that you are able to take care of your baby. Here are some things to consider.
Babies need to be fed. If you’re breastfeeding it’s a good idea to have the names of one or two lactation consultants on hand. It’s too stressful to scramble to find someone when you have a hungry baby and you’re in panic mode. Get recommendations before you have your baby. You should also have your breast pump ready and know how to assemble it and how it works.
You will need rest. Make sure you have someone who can hold your baby or watch your baby when you want to nap or shower. This could be your partner, a postpartum doula, a trusted friend or a family member. In the first 30 days after you give birth you need to give you body time to recover and heal.
This isn’t time to entertain. Make sure you know exactly what you’re going to tell people that want to pop over and see the baby. Private time is important. You may want to take yourself off social media for a few weeks. Write a post explaining that you’ll be unavailable and spending time with your baby. You’ll be thrilled to have them meet the baby in a few weeks. Be firm!
You are going to have to eat. These first 30 days are for restoration and recovery. Make sure you have nutritious food and lots of it. You will most likely be very hungry. You may have friends organize a food train or you may cook and freeze in advance.You could also subscribe to a food service that delivers prepared meals. If you have friends and family help with food prep be sure they know what you like and don’t like. It’s not helpful to a freezer full of foods you won’t eat.
You may want to hire someone to clean and do laundry. You can hire a temporary service. Your energy is better spent getting to know your baby and recovery, not cleaning. Also, remember that if your house isn’t as neat as usual, it’s OK. No one cares and you shouldn’t either.
The postpartum period can be very emotional. There is a huge drop in progesterone which can make you feel weepy and not yourself. Postpartum blues are normal but if you feel anxious or depressed and have a hard time functioning you may have postpartum anxiety or postpartum depression. Have resources that can offer support. You may not recognize that something is off so it’s a good idea to talk to your partner and family before you have the baby. They will be able to recognize changes in you better than you can.
So there you have it. Be prepared. You’ll feel so much better when you take care of your needs. Hopefully this was helpful, Now I’d to hear from you. Also, please share this with your expectant friends. Everyone needs a plan.