5 tips for preparing for postpartum
Preparing for the first three months after baby arrives, also know as postpartum or the fourth trimester, is so important! How exactly can you prepare though? I put together a list of 5 ways you can prepare for postpartum!
1. Plan for your postpartum like you prepared for your birth.
It is so common for new parents to prepare for their birth experience with so much excitement but postpartum is seemingly so often overlooked. Those first few months after baby is born do not have to necessarily be miserable like the mainstream media would have you believe.
As a doula, helping my doula families prep for this crucial period part of my care model. We start planning early on by becoming educated on what postpartum is, what it looks like, what obstacles might occur, and etc. This process is very similar to preparing for labor and delivery! That is because families should be preparing for their postpartum as much as they are prepping for their birth journey.
2. If you are planning to breastfeed, take your breastfeeding education course PRIOR to the baby’s arrival and connect with an IBLC or CLC.
This is one of my biggest tips to those who are planning to breastfeed. It can be difficult to breastfeed with no prior education or understanding of the dynamics of breastfeeding. The classes help alleviate some worries of first time parents too!
Taking a breastfeeding class from a local International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) or Certified Lactation Consultant (CLC) also gets you connected with a professional who can visit you at home after you have your sweet little one to assist with any latching or supply issues. Please set yourself up for success by planning for breastfeeding with education & the support of an IBCLC or CLC.
3. If you are a first time parent, take a newborn care class
If you have never changed a diaper before, bathed a newborn, or are unsure how to burp a baby after a feeding, a newborn care class is for you! It is totally fine if you do not know these things. Trust me, you are not the first parent and you will not be the last to feel a little anxious about putting clothes on a brand new, newborn baby. If you think you may new some extra help even after taking the class, ask your doula for some recommendations on baby care books and videos.
You can also set up a postpartum support visit where you doula (if they offer postpartum support) can assist you with basic newborn care and self care.
Additionally, if your partner is a first time parent, I suggest a newborn care class together.
4. Reach out to family you feel comfortable asking for help
Discuss with your local family and friends how you think you may best feel supported after your baby is born. What you feel like you may need before baby might be different after baby, and that is okay! Before baby is born is a great time to set healthy boundaries with local family as well. I strongly believe that healthy boundaries help foster healthy relationships. If you do not have any local family or friend support, a postpartum doula is a wonderful solution. Want to learn more about what a postpartum doula does? Please Click Here.
5. Prepare easy to eat meals and snacks.
I think we can all agree that eating is a pretty essential part of any period of life, especially postpartum! Your body is repairing and healing from the journey of birth, so getting nutritious food is a huge priority of postpartum. Food is massively important across all cultures in the postpartum period. (If you would like to learn more about this please check out The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother).
I recommend prepping food that you can freeze and then just throw in the oven to heat up during postpartum. One of my favorites during my postpartum periods were the Lara bars and everything bar. I would stash them in my nightstand, next to my couch, in my bag, and etc to snack on something healthy.