As I post this, I will be 36 weeks, or nine months pregnant with my third baby! Part of me still can't believe it since I just had my second in 2019, but also mainly that we just moved to our new house about two weeks ago and I quite frankly haven't had time to focus on my own birth or postpartum period as much as I have wanted to. (That's life for you!)
So now that I've finally settled into our new home (yes boxes are still everywhere) I wanted to share with you all how I'm preparing for my postpartum journey differently this time around based on what I've learned from both my own personal experiences and also my professional experience as a doula.
Seriously, sit down and talk it out with your husband/partner! I've been sitting down with Nick to talk about expectations, what my own desires are for breastfeeding, where will the baby be sleeping for easy access to feed, how long will he be home, and who will be able to help out when he has to go back to work. The more conversations you have with your husband/partner the better to be on the same page before you are both sleep deprived!
I absolutely love to exercise, but past sickness in pregnancy has caused me not, so the fact that I've been able to this time has been such a game-changer!! Not only does exercise and stretching help to prepare your body for birth, but also for recovery as well. I highly recommend finding specific prenatal workout programs that focus on core strength as well as the pelvic floor. These areas are the most affected throughout your pregnancy and will need the most care postpartum. Personally, I have loved Mamastefit's prenatal program, as well as Fit4Mom's Fit4Baby program, which are both virtual right now.
I wish I had known about taking a breastfeeding course prior to giving birth with my first pregnancy, but better late than never! This time I took an online breastfeeding course with an IBCLC, an international board-certified lactation consultant. Basically, they have a college-level degree in breastfeeding, so they are the real deal! I loved learning about the science behind breast milk, how breastfeeding works, various positions to hold your baby, and what to do when you have a clogged duct, low supply, latch issues, and even mastitis.
Melanie Acon has an amazing class and she even gifted each of us an awesome homemade kit to help with troubleshooting raw and cracked nipples with an Epsom salt soak by using shot glasses! (mention my name and you can get 10% off her class)!
In addition to the class, I've stocked up on breastfeeding items as well! If my goal is to breastfeed, I want to have everything that I need to help make it as easy as possible from the get-go! For me that is:
-nursing tops (my personal favorites are from Kindred Bravely-link will get you 20% off)
-re-usable cotton nursing pads (my personal favorites are from Kindred Bravely-link will get you 20% off)
-comfy nursing bras (my personal favorites are from Kindred Bravely-link will get you 20% off)
-natural remedy for blocked ducts: I'm trying out Wish Garden Happy Ducts lactation support. This is only taken when I'm having problems, not as something to be taken every day.
As I'm beginning to personally dive into postpartum doula support, I'm trying to take food very seriously. I've actually been taking an amazing postpartum food apprenticeship course that I'm excited to be sharing very soon! With that, has come some amazing recipes that I'm making for myself to be frozen and easily reheated when the time comes for postpartum.
The key with food is:
-nutritious (of course with some of your own comfort foods thrown in)
The last thing any new mom of a newborn wants to do is make a complete meal from scratch when you have a newborn crying or even napping and you're on the verge of hanger (yes its totally a thing and there is nothing worse than angrily waiting for your meal to cook while you're super hungry!)
Great snacks to have for breastfeeding especially are:
-yogurt and berries
-congee or oatmeal
Don't worry, as my own food journey for postpartum healing continues, I'll be sharing more on the blog!
With taking my own health more seriously in the past few years, I have begun taking more natural supplements to add to what I'm eating (or at times don't have time to eat due to being a busy mama of young kiddos). When it comes to any extra supplements, check with your provider first to make sure you're okay to use them
These are some of the items I'm using this time:
-prenatal vitamins: yes you should keep taking them during postpartum as well!
-a good probiotic: there are many out there that are great for prenatal/postpartum
-Collegian powder: this is great for your hair, skin, and also for those stretch marks as well
-herbal teas: these are comforting and warm to have to drink postpartum, but can also be helpful with postpartum cramps and even breastfeeding
-herbal supplements: again depending on what is in them, they can be helpful for different aspects of hormonal health during your transition back to your non-pregnant self.
-various essential oils to help with healing: I personally use this brand and love to use their Sacred Immunity blend on my feet every day to keep me healthy! No colds or allergies this year yet!
This was a shock to me after giving birth to my first, but your hips will get wider and you won't magically go back to your pre-pregnancy size immediately. Have cute clothes to look forward to that aren't maternity, but keep in mind they may not be the exact same clothes you were wearing before becoming pregnant. I love elastic waistbands, but not constantly having to wear workout clothes. I also made it a priority to have more nursing-friendly tops this time to make the early days of breastfeeding much much easier since I'll be exhausted and sore.
This is how I'm preparing this time around, and I'm super excited to have the baby come! Granted I need some more time to finish the preparations, but having a plan and thinking about what you're going to do can seriously make all the difference! What have you done to prepare for postpartum? I'd love to hear!