postpartum planning for life after birth with a newborn baby

Your Postpartum Plan: How to prepare for the first few months with a newborn

You’ve styled the nursery. You’ve ticked off the hospital bag checklist. You’ve shopped all of the bestseller lists. You’ve narrowed down baby names. You’ve booked in your birth class.

But have you thought about what comes afterwards? Once the birth is over and your baby is here. 85% of new mums feel blindsided by postpartum recovery. It doesn't have to be that way. Understand what to expect, what can happen and what is normal. Educating yourself on things that are common postpartum will both help your recovery and normalise your postpartum. It's not uncommon to feel lonely and overwhelmed with all that comes with postpartum, but knowledge is power.

There are many facets to good postpartum care and it all begins in the planning, yet many parents don’t prioritise making their transition into parenthood as smooth as possible.

Here are the most important things to your postpartum plan to ensure you set yourself up for a supported start to your motherhood journey:


Yourself

Focus on supporting your nutrition, energy and mood. 

  • Learn about postpartum hormones including the signs of postnatal depletion
  • Read up on normal sleep patterns for newborns
  • Familiarise yourself with biologically normal infant feeding patterns
  • Learn about matrescence
  • Stock your freezer with nutritious meals & snacks
  • Think about what makes you feel good (self-care), rested (moments of calm) & grounded (self-regulation tools) and how you will fit these into your daily and weekly routine
  • Practice asking for help
  • Research safe bed sharing (even if you don’t plan on doing it)
  • Sign up for a food delivery or ready-made meal kit
  • Do a social media cleanse to cut out the noise

 

Your inner circle

This will form the basis of your support network postpartum. 

  • Build an emotional support team
  • Get on the same page as your partner
  • Get sleep support within your inner circle or a paid service such as a sleep consultant to help navigate sleep deprivation in the early months
  • Chat to your partner about the division of household jobs
  • Set boundaries with family, friends and visitors 

 

Professionals

Building your village ahead of time before you need them is critical. 

  • Make a list of professionals who can support you
  • Take a prenatal breastfeeding course 
  • Hire a postpartum doula
  • Research a good lactation consultant
  • Find a local pelvic floor physiotherapist
  • Know what mental health resources are available including perinatal psychologists and postpartum support groups either in person or online 
  • Outsource where you can, especially for those first few weeks while you recover from the birth. Hire a cleaner, organise a meal delivery service, book childcare or babysitting options for older siblings. 

Your community

Cultivating your community and support system will give you comfort and confidence knowing that you're not alone in this journey.

  • Look into local Mother's group options
  • Research local places you can go in your area that accommodate young babies
  • Make a list of people you know who will have babies a similar age as you
  • Consider who will support you and your partner during this time

The postpartum period doesn't end at 6 weeks. Putting together a postpartum plan while you are pregnant can go a long way towards helping your recovery from birth and ensuring you get the support and rest you need. 

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