The simple things you do now will pay off greatly once your baby has arrived.
Postpartum planning is something that has been talked about more lately than in years past, and this is a positive development. Everyone makes a birth plan, but what happens after is arguably more life-altering, and it deserves a plan all it's own. But, how do you get started?
Take some time to find out what you can expect immediately after your baby is born. Read books, take classes, and talk to others who have been through postpartum before you! Most expecting parents learn a bunch about fetal development, pregnancy-related issues, and childbirth while they are waiting for their baby's arrival. But so much happens during your postpartum, and understanding what is common, what is normal, and what is not, can go a long way toward making things less startling if and when they happen to you. Knowing what to expect in these earliest weeks after birth eliminates a lot of that "fear of the unknown." Less fear = less stress!
Brainstorm what challenges you might face, and the possible solutions. Your situation is unique, and postpartum challenges are different for everyone. You don’t have to think of everything, and you don’t have to solve for everything, but take some time to jot down what comes to mind. Simply doing this exercise will help head off problems before they start! Here are a few things you might consider:
How will we be getting our meals?
Who will be walking the dog?
How do we want to handle visitors?
What household chores will need doing?
3. Create your support team! Start gathering the names and numbers of the professionals you may need, as well as those of trusted family and friends. Post this list on a wall so everyone who is in your home has easy access to this information in a pinch.
At minimum, include the following support members:
Your health care provider
The baby's health care provider
Most trusted friends
Do these three things before the birth, and you are well on your way to having an easier time with postpartum recovery. A little bit of planning goes a long way!
Tell us in the comments what you’re doing to prepare for your recovery and those earliest days after the birth of your baby!