Planning for the Postpartum Phase...Before You Get There
One quick Pinterest search with the keyword “expecting” or “baby” and you’ll discover the onslaught of information the internet has to offer for pregnancy and delivery, with only a fraction of that speaking to the postpartum experience.
If motherhood is a marathon, then the baby preparation and delivery phase is like the warm-up for the marathon. You haven’t even begun the real race yet! Yet the message we send moms-to-be is that all of their energy and focus should be on baby registries and pin boards of nurseries, and maybe a few labor mantras if you have time to squeeze that in.
Don’t fall into that trap, mama.
Your postpartum phase deserves at least as much attention -- if not, more!
Here are three reasons why you should plan for your postpartum experience:
It lasts longer.
Prayerfully, you will be parenting this child much longer than you will have carried them. What are you doing to prepare for the long-term? What parts of motherhood have you spent little to no time considering? It's time to dig in, before you start juggling the needs of a newborn along with all of your other responsibilities!
You can plan ahead, so you should. While pregnancy and birth are wildly unpredictable, the first year after baby follows a much more calculable path. Some things to consider pre-baby:
- You can select your pediatrician and your lactation consultant now.
- You can arrange helpers and sitters in advance.
- You can make freezer meals.
- You can create a tentative maternity leave plan with your employer.
- You can familiarize yourself with important topics such as breastfeeding, infant development, sleep help, introduction of solid food, etc now so you aren’t scrambling to educate yourself as it’s actually happening.
You’ll need support more than ever. Do you live near relatives who can step in when you need a quick breather or for your first baby-free outing? Which friends have the flexibility to help you with everyday tasks as you adjust to motherhood? If you don’t have close friends or family nearby, look online for a local mom group who can be a wealth of information and give helpful recommendations. You may even want to consider hiring a postpartum doula who can help you with all things fourth trimester-related.
Even talking with a mom who’s just a step or two ahead of you can really help highlight the areas of motherhood that you should spend time thinking about and planning for.
The key factor here is not waiting until your baby is born to arrange help and support. Trust us...your postpartum self will thank you!
One important part of planning for postpartum is obtaining a breast pump, which we can help you get at NO COST through your insurance company. Click here for more information!