Congratulations mama-to-be! Your pregnancy is almost at an end, and your body is about to go through an incredible transformation unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced. Are you ready?
Bringing a life into the world is nothing short of amazing, but the postpartum period can be challenging for anyone. Even though this period is different for every mother, one thing we can be sure of is that preparing in advance will leave you more time and energy to bond with your little one, instead of worrying about what needs to get done.
So with that in mind, here’s what you should focus on when creating your postpartum care plan.
Childbirth can leave you with more than a little pain and discomfort. Before your due date, stock up on products that will help ease any irritation. Sprays, salves and balms of all types are great to have around, and sitz baths or peri bottles can help to cleanse and soothe sensitive areas. It’s completely normal to feel sore, and you will also likely experience bleeding in the weeks after birth. Be sure to have plenty of pads and comfortable underwear on hand.
Giving some extra care and attention to all things nursing-related will pay off big time during the postpartum recovery period. Nipple cream will help with dryness and pain relief, and a proper feeding pillow will give you the back support you need during feedings. Because you may not know when or how much milk you’ll produce, it’s great to have nipple pads on hand to prevent leaks. And for those middle-of-the-night feedings, a nursing bra will make access oh so much easier.
Get some R&R
One of the most important parts of the healing process is to make sure you’re resting enough. Learning how to live as a parent for the first time is difficult as it is, so exhaustion can make things more difficult, and even slow down the recovery process. Try to sleep when baby sleeps, even if it’s only short periods multiple times a day. Trust us, it will add up! Focus on reconnecting with your body, bonding with your baby, and giving yourself time to relax and recharge.
Mom-brain is real, so you may forget about those small but necessary tasks. Get everything in order beforehand, like paying your bills or scheduling appointments. Once baby comes, you’ll be happy you had everything ready to go. You also probably won’t have as much time for cooking, so it’s helpful to prepare meals before your baby arrives, or try out a meal delivery service to make things easier.
During the first few weeks, you’ll need all the help you can get. Help can come in all forms whether it’s a family member or friend watching the baby while you rest, helping you with errands, or cooking meals while you spend time with baby. More often than not, those around you are more than willing to give you a hand, so lean on them when you need to.
Having a child brings a flood of new emotions like joy, excitement, and anticipation. But it can also create feelings of stress, anxiety and doubt. These emotional responses are normal as you make this big adjustment. Joining groups with other moms going through the same thing can be helpful, as can reading up on postpartum depression ahead of time. Take the time to be mindful of your mental state and be sure to reach out for support if you need it.
Having a partner to help you through can take so much weight off of your shoulders. However, you have to remember you’re both adjusting together, and that can be overwhelming. Before the baby is born, discuss how you’ll split up responsibilities. Who will be the one waking up to tend to the baby? Who will change the baby’s diapers? Will you switch off? Leaning on each other for support and sharing responsibilities will make this transition period into your new life as parents much easier.
One thing that should definitely be on your to-do list before you welcome baby into the world is investing in a safe, convenient, two-in-one stroller like the Doona Car Seat & Stroller Combo. It’ll help relieve some of the pain you may experience, plus give you peace of mind knowing your newborn is taken care of from their first trip home from the hospital, to the store, and everything in between.
Adjusting to life with a new baby can be exciting, scary, overwhelming and amazing all at once. Things don’t always go according to plan, but being as prepared as possible can make a big difference in your postpartum experience. Be patient with yourself and your partner, and enjoy these moments with your new little one. You won’t get this time back!