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Prepping for Postpartum- The Postpartum Plan
You just had a beautiful birth. One that you planned how you wanted it to unfold, what interventions you were ok with, if any, and it included a plan A, plan B, and plan C, if things veered off course. You were listened to, supported, and respected in your decisions by your entire health care team, all because you planned ahead. You learned about your options, educated yourself on everything from childbirth to infant feeding, and found a provider and place of birth that supported you in your decisions.
When it was time to go home, you placed your newborn in the car seat and took off. It is now you and your new family left to conquer the world, or at least the postpartum period.
It is in the midst of shushing and rocking a crying baby at 3am and you don’t know what you’re doing wrong that you realize a parenting instruction manual would really come in handy right about now.
While we still have yet to find a copy of one of those, a Postpartum Plan is just as important as a Birth Plan and often forgotten about. You planned the nursery colors, your registry list, and your baby shower. Why didn’t you plan what to do when bringing home baby? A Postpartum Plan can assist you and your family with a smooth transition into parenthood and adjusting to life with your new addition. Be sure to click below for a template for your postpartum plan!
Break Down of a Postpartum Plan
Caring for Baby– One of the most important parts when planning your postpartum period is finding the people who can support you and be the extra pair of hands so your focus can be maintained on bonding as a new family. Postpartum Doulas a more extensive role than a baby nurse, play a vital role in this area. They are experts on what new moms need, caring for their babies and the best part is, they won’t have an opinion on how you care for your newborn. They know you know what’s best for your family and support you every step of the way.
Physical Recovery– Whether you had a vaginal birth or a cesarean, physical recovery is vital. Plan ahead as to what you need to recover. Do you need someone to drive you around for a few weeks, baby care stations set up around the house, especially on the first floor, or healing measures, such as premade peri pads?
Bonding Time– Sometimes bonding comes easy and sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, its ok. Find activities you can do as a family that can facilitate a strong bond between all of you.
Visitors– Limiting visitors can be key to recovery, it allows for you to relax, stay in bed, learn to breastfeed, if that is how you choose to feed your baby, and bond with your baby. Determine when and how many visitors you will allow. Don’t be afraid to speak up about it either. However, if visitors are willing to do more than just want to “ooh” and “ahh” at your baby, it may be good to have them come and help out around the house. Be sure to add them to your list of support people.
Self-Care Routine– A self-care routine is VITAL to an easy transition. Think about what thing make you feel rested, relaxed and rejuvenated. Make a commitment to do those things several times per week, if not every day, even if it is just an hour of alone time.
Roles of Support– Delegate, delegate, delegate. Plan how you will run the everyday management of the home. Take into consideration who will do the light house work, who will watch other siblings, and who will run to the store when needed. Did you know a postpartum doula can do a load of laundry and make sure your dishes are clean each time they come over?
Meal Planning– Plan your meals for 6 weeks after baby BEFORE baby comes. That may mean preparing some freezer meals beforehand, asking for gift certificates to your favorite take out restaurant or a meal delivery service at your baby shower, or asking family and friends to not stop by without some food. If you haven’t tried cooking with a newborn, it can be quite challenging.
Sleeping Arrangements- Although I cannot promise this section will always go according to plan, it’s a good idea to plan ahead of time where baby is going to sleep. If sleep is not going how you envisioned and neither you or baby are getting the sleep you need, there is a solution for that!
Infant Feeding– You can decide now how you choose to feed your infant. Whether its breastfeeding, formula feeding, pumping, or a combination, whatever you choose, we can help you make a plan for it and teach you what to expect. If you choose to breastfeed, finding support from your partner, other moms, and a certified lactation professional, if needed, is a huge help when learning to breastfeed. Know ahead of time who the key support people are in your area. Postpartum doulas often have additional certification in breastfeeding counseling and support. Also, be sure your partner knows how they can best support you and feeding your baby at home. The little things often go a long way.
Planning your postpartum experience can help you and your family transition into parenthood while everyone wonders how you do it all.
We are doulas living in Miami with a love for cafecito, pregnancy and newborns. We are the experts and the moms who have been there sharing our best tips and tricks with a side of inspiration. Our goal? Help you kick ass at this parenting gig.
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