I love adding things to my Pinterest page. Have you followed me yet? (I have a whole section on Postpartum Survival. I hope you'll check it out!)
I think it's so important to plan for what happens AFTER the birth just as it is to plan for the actual birth.
I wanted to devote this post to a few of my favorite postpartum tips as you prepare to bring home baby (or if you're having a home birth, immediately following the birth!). These are absolute MUSTS for moms!
First, PADSICLES. Ladies, you must have a few of these in your freezer and ready to go...then make sure your partner knows how to make them for those moments when you are yearning for some relief. They are amazing and will greatly aid in your comfort and healing.
Next, SECURE HELP. Do not be afraid to take up your mother, mother-in-law, friend, sister, grandma, whoever, when they ask if they can help you. Say yes. Especially if you have other children. These wonderful helpers can prepare meals, clean, help with childcare, do laundry, bring you food and water, shop for you, etc. so that all you have to do is stay snuggled up in bed to bond with your new baby. There was a time when women were not expected to do anything or go anywhere for weeks after their babies were born. As a society we have gotten so far away from this important bonding period and resting time for mom. Remember you also have the option of hiring a local postpartum doula if you do not have support close by.
Be prepared for the AFTERPAINS. If this is not your first baby, know that they will get worse with each subsequent baby. (Sorry to be the bearer of that news.) They should ease up after three days or so. These cramps are caused by your uterus contracting as it shrinks back to its pre-pregnancy size. They can be very uncomfortable, especially if you're breastfeeding. Ask your care provider what they recommend to minimize discomfort.
Speaking of which, if you're planning on breastfeeding, have some support on hand BEFORE baby is born. This may mean connecting with a local La Leche League or Breastfeeding USA group. Know where the certified lactation consultants are in your area. Ask your hospital to recommend one, and note if they have any on staff. If you're in McHenry county in Illinois, I really like the West Dundee Facebook group. They are so helpful, quick to respond, and an awesome resource when you need some help and encouragement right away.
Finally, REACH OUT for support if you are struggling as a new (or seasoned) mom. Postpartum depression is a real thing, and it requires immediate attention. Please, do not be afraid to admit that you are struggling. Remember, you are NOT alone. Reach out to a trusted family member or friend as well as to your provider. Let them know you are struggling so someone else is aware.
The first days and weeks following baby's birth can be a very joyous time. But having a new baby to care for can also be very daunting and overwhelming. Having a few things covered before baby arrives can make a big difference in your postpartum recovery and transition into motherhood.
Please always feel free to contact me for more information or resources!
Thanks for reading!
Happi loves serving families in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago as a labor doula and childbirth educator. When she's not at a birth, she loves spending time her husband and three boys.