You have a birth plan, but what about a postpartum plan? Let’s breakdown 6 often overlooked postpartum must haves…
Expectant moms spend many hours taking birth classes, hospital tours and preparing birth plans when the average labor lasts less than 24 hours, yet many won’t develop a Postpartum Plan when the 4th trimester lasts over 2,000 hours. A Postpartum Plan is not about trying to control and plan every maternity leave detail, but about identifying what your visions are for the first 3 months and developing key resources to make your vision a reality. Here are 6 commonly overlooked postpartum must haves that every woman should have in their Postpartum Plan to help ease their transition into motherhood.
1. Healing from Birth
Remember you just gave birth to a beautiful baby? Allow yourself time and grace to heal. A commonly overlooked service is a Pelvic Floor Therapist (PVT). A PVT can diagnose and help treat pelvic pain, diastasis recti and the oh-so common – urinating when coughing. Identify a PVT before you have your baby, you can even see them while pregnant to get ready for birth.
2. Nourishing your Body
Keeping mom from getting hungry and staying nourished is a top priority in those early days. Keep snacks that don’t need preparation and only require one hand to eat where you plan to spend the majority of your time with baby. Think nuts and granola bars! In addition, get a large tumbler with a straw for some easy to grab water. Try a sugar free electrolyte powder to help make getting those daily ounces in easier.
Get comfortable setting boundaries around having visitors, when you want them and how long they can stay. You can ask visitors to bring some food or for some help around the house when they come over. Be honest with yourself about who you really want surrounding you after baby is born and for how long, It’s ok to tell someone they can come over for just one hour if that’s what you feel.
Almost no one talks about how challenging breastfeeding can be. Before you have your baby, identify a local lactation consultant who aligns with your approach to motherhood and find out about their services. Ask yourself if you’re a flexible earth mama or structured planner mama and find a consultant who supports your vision. Don’t hesitate to have a consultation with a lactation consultant even if you feel like everything is going fine or before baby arrives, they can always share some great tips.
Babies do not sleep 8+ hours when they are first born. Before baby comes spend some time thinking about your sleep needs. Do you need a full 8+ hours of sleep or can you be fully functional on 3 hours and a cup of coffee? If sleep is critical to your functioning, come up some strategies for how you can get some extra Zzz’s like trading off with your partner one night a week so you can ensure you get some good rest.
Self-care has to be the most overlooked part of a Postpartum Plan, so this topic is crucial for our ‘postpartum must haves’ talk. Ask yourself what brings you joy before you have your baby and make a (realistic) plan for how to continue those activities after baby. If those activities are no longer compatible with your new-mommy life, no worries! Ask yourself how those self-care activities make you feel and list out some new ideas of what would give you a similar feeling. This could be anything from enjoying a good read, a walk in the sun to snuggling alone to journal with a weighted blanket and tea! Remember, moms are allowed to take guilt free breaks and take care of themselves!
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