You’re Having a Baby! Now What?
Courtney Rodriguez, Postpartum Doula
If you’re expecting, there is a lot to prepare for! You’ve likely researched and prepared a birth plan, taken a childbirth class, and maybe even a newborn care class. But I would be willing to bet that you haven’t given much thought to how you will feel and handle the first few days and weeks postpartum. You’re not alone in this, but you can prepare better for yourself and your family.
I have found that a little bit of preparation can go a long way in helping parents to be more rested, happier, and able to enjoy baby more. Everyone is different in terms of what they need postpartum, however, there are some universal truths:
You will be SO TIRED. Too tired to decide what’s for dinner or figure out how you can get some rest. If you are someone who doesn’t do well on lack of sleep, I would highly encourage you to enlist some overnight help. Work out a schedule with your partner that allows you to get a 4-5 hour stretch of sleep every few nights, enlist the help of a night owl friend, or hire a postpartum doula to come in overnight for a few nights.
You will go into this depleted. Childbirth often happens in the middle of the night. And sometimes labor can last for 24+ hours. Throw in physical recovery from labor, and it’s a wonder new families go home so soon after they deliver a baby! Ask a friend or family member to set up a meal delivery plan online for you so that you have a meal ready when you arrive home and for several days or weeks afterward. Create a list of chores that friends dropping by can choose from before getting to snuggle baby. If you’re uncomfortable reaching out for help, hire professional help.
You won’t have as much time as you think you will. Breastfeeding takes up a lot of time. It also releases really lovely hormones that make you sleepy, so take advantage and nap with your baby. The first few weeks home with baby are for caring for baby and not much else. Later on, it’s nice to gradually get back to things you enjoyed pre-baby. But take your time to rest and enjoy this tiny human that you worked so hard for.
No matter what your experience, it will be so worth it.
Take some time together before baby arrives to figure out the details of how things will be postpartum. You will thank yourself when baby arrives!
(For more information about how to prepare for your postpartum period, join me at Washington Park Chiropractic on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:00pm for Postpartum Prep Class. Cost: $25. Call 303-868-9671 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.)
Courtney Rodriquez became a Certified Lactation Educator in 2010 and a Certified Postpartum Doula in 2013. Both certifications are through CAPPA and remain up to date. She's been working with families since 2013 and have worked with over 50 families in that time. http://nurturemynest.com/