Let's face it, preparing for birth and a baby can be exciting and pretty straightforward.
For pregnancy/birth there is:
-cute maternity clothes
-cute labor gowns
-lots of books and resources
-more commonly talked about
-many practical tips and tools
For baby there is:
-all the books on parenting
-so much advice (whether it is desired or not)
-cute baby clothes
-all the baby gadgets you could possibly imagine (and then some)
But what about you mama? What happens to you once baby is born?
Postpartum is a major transition in a woman's life, physically, emotionally, and mentally and the truth is, women are not prepared for it. This time is not talked about by anyone, especially not by OBs/some midwives. Most practices will just advise to come in at the 6 week point to check in to be cleared and then screened to see if they have any signs of PPMD (postpartum mood disorders).
Mama, you deserve better.
So, what can you do to help make this transition from pregnancy to postpartum smoother? Here are 3 things you can do during your pregnancy (utilizing your nesting superpower) to help prepare.
1. Know truly what to expect.
The transition to postpartum can come as quite a shock to many moms. Most didn't realize the changes that would happen to their body, let alone how long postpartum truly does last (hint, it is not only for 6 weeks). So take the time in the final weeks of pregnancy to read some postpartum books or even take a postpartum prep course. Knowledge is power mama, and just like it is good to know your options for childbirth, you should also know your options for the postpartum period as well.
Some great books are
-The First Forty Days
-The Fourth Trimester
Postpartum Prep Course
2. Make a postpartum plan
Just like you spent time learning your options and creating a birth plan, you need to do the same for your postpartum journey. This ranges from:
-when will I have visitors
-who can I call on for some extra help
-what are mine and my husband's expectations of this time
Just like labor isn't the time to try or learn something new, postpartum isn't the time to make big decisions that you haven't talked about before, either for you or your child.
3. Gather your resources
Once you have a knowledge and have created a plan, it's time to get everything that you need for postpartum now before you are actually in it. This includes items for breastfeeding, clothes you'll wear, snacks, food, postpartum care products, and any herbs or supplements you want to take to help with any pain relief from those after cramps.
Of course, you won't think of everything that will be helpful and may inevitably need to run out or send your husband out to grab something. Being prepared and knowing what you need ahead of time will help make easier it can be to grab what you need so you can focus all your time and energy on bonding with your baby and healing.
Feeling overwhelmed by postpartum or need some extra help to prepare? Did you not have a great postpartum experience and wish you were better equipped? Join my online postpartum prep course: 40 Sacred Days. Here you will learn:
-what to expect postpartum
-how to prepare during the 3rd trimester
-practical tips to help make the transition smoother
When you register you will also receive:
-a postpartum planning packet with many resources to help you plan
-discount codes for various postpartum items
-a recording of the class to watch again later
Learn more about my upcoming postpartum prep course here.