How do you prepare for the challenges of the postpartum period? Let’s talk about it.
Having a baby is a big change in your life.
You’re going to be sore and exhausted from giving birth, navigating breastfeeding or if you choose not to nurse – gritting your teeth as your breast milk dries up, dealing with a brand new baby. Trying to deal with anything else – housework, relatives, older children, your partner – can add to the challenges of the postpartum period.
Your hormones will bottom out from the high levels of pregnancy making you more emotional and vulnerable. If you become too overwhelmed, you may risk developing postpartum depression. Over 17% of new mothers suffer from postpartum depression.
Preparing for the postpartum period prior to delivering your baby can really help.
Be sure you prepare time to rest.
Do not schedule lots of visitors right away. You’re going to be tired. You just had a baby. So prepare time to rest. That may mean you need to do some meal prep ahead of time, stock up your refrigerator, stock up your pantry, maybe even cook some meals ahead of time and freeze them, and arrange with neighbors and family to provide meals.
Arrange for help.
Secure people who can help you do household work and care for your other children so that you can focus on healing and taking care of your newborn.
Make sure you list all your professional resources.
You’ll need the contact information for your midwife or OB, pediatrician, masseuse and pelvic physical therapist. Consider hiring a postpartum doula or nurse to assist you.
Be sure you have all the staples you’ll need in the postpartum period.
Including stool softeners, perineal care products, fluids to maintain your hydration especially if you plan to breastfeed, plus nipple care products. And of course diapers and infant care products.
Plan for ways that you might reconnect with your postpartum body.
Perhaps schedule a massage. If you get massages prenatally, why not postnatally?
Take time to recover.
You need at least six weeks after vaginal birth and eight weeks after a C-section to fully recover from childbirth.
It’s really important that you take care of yourself emotionally and psychologically.
Educate yourself about postpartum depression. Be sure to sleep and eat properly, and when you’re recovered start to exercise. And do not make major life changes before or right after childbirth.
Make sure you will let the delivery room attendants know how you feel.
And be sure you get some support during birth and through the postpartum period. If you’re feeling any signs of postpartum depression such as extreme sadness, overwhelm, anxiety, thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby, be sure you get the help you need. Tell someone close to you, contact your health care provider and try to connect with a Postpartum Support Group.
If you have any questions regarding preparing for the challenges of the postpartum period, please join me in our Hormone Support Group. You can get access by signing up for my free Hormone Reboot Training.
Having a baby changes your life immeasurably. Prior to delivery is a good time to connect with your partner. Taking some special alone time before welcoming your child into your life will help you stay connected during the postpartum period.
Remember – let people help.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Post‐partum depression: a comprehensive approach to…