7 Essential Things Your Birth Plan Needs
Your bumblebee-themed baby shower was a dream come true.
All of your favorite people were in attendance. The beehive decorations and honeycomb cupcakes were perfect. And the gifts…you could squeal over all the adorable footed jammies and baby blankets.
Now that you’re tasked with washing and storing everything, what about your postpartum wellness needs?
We spend more than enough time building the registry, decorating the nursery, and creating a birth plan, but our postpartum wellness needs tending to as well.
Cherish Your Postpartum Care
With my pregnant clients, we discuss in detail a plan for the early postpartum days. For the first few weeks after childbirth, there’s nothing more important than rest. And, it’s best to make a dedicated plan to prioritize your care. Here are 7 helpful tips to support your postpartum wellness plan.
If there’s anything certain in new motherhood, it’s being tired (exhaustion is a more accurate description). And, the majority of new moms aren’t getting adequate sleep.
In his book, Why We Sleep, Matthew Walker explains that while naps cannot replace restful, sufficient sleep, naps can increase basic concentration under conditions of sleep deprivation. Give yourself permission to take naps (lots of them). And, if you can’t sleep when baby sleeps, resting in a quiet room is more than good enough.
Two words: quick and nutritious. There won’t be much time to cook between diaper changes and feedings, so food prep definitely takes some thinking ahead. This may mean having a handful of go-to Instant Pot recipes or keeping your favorite Trader Joe’s freezer meals and snacks stocked. Have a shopping list of grocery staples ready to share with your partner or other helpers. And, please eat breakfast daily (your body and neurotransmitters will be happy).
3. Support Team
Mothering requires support – it just does! And support is best found in others who hold space for love and belonging. This might come from your doula, coworkers, neighbors, a mom support group, or friends and family.
Ask your partner, or someone from your support team, to coordinate helpers, visitors, or meal drop offs.
4. Set Boundaries and Limits
While many people will want to visit and see the new baby, it’s important to put your needs first. It’s perfectly okay, and encouraged, to limit visits to 30 minutes. Communicate the visiting rules beforehand via text message or email. You can also place a sign at the entrance. Another option is to visit with your company for 30 minutes before you make your exit to the bedroom to feed the baby or rest.
5. Seek Professional Support
For women with a history of depression or anxiety, it’s important that you speak with your obgyn about your postpartum mental health care and reestablishing/continuing your medications to manage your symptoms.
Also, before baby arrives find a therapist who is experienced in working with maternal mental health concerns. Schedule your first postpartum session once you feel up to leaving the house.
6. Maintain a Positive Environment
Positive vibes only! Post this at the entrance of your home if you must (in fact, I encourage you to!). The first few weeks of your postpartum days are precious, and they should be treated that way.
Avoid exposure to potentially upsetting content on TV and radio. Also, keep items that you cherish nearby. Salt lamps and aromatherapy diffusers are excellent for invoking peaceful and restorative energy.
7. Get Time to Yourself
When you physically feel up to it, get out of the house. Whether you escape to wander aimlessly through the aisles at Target or your favorite bookstore, try to sneak out for one brief solo outing per week. Think of these as “normalcy” outings when you get to reunite with what makes you feel normal. Going for a short walk is a fine way to get time to yourself!
Your postpartum wellness won’t happen overnight. It’s a practice that evolves over time. By committing early to establishing a healthy pattern of self-care as a mother, you’re being good to yourself and your baby.
May you delight in the magic of your baby shower coming together…and afterwards touch base with your postpartum wellness plan.
If you’d like additional support in creating your ideal postpartum wellness plan, schedule a free 20-minute private consultation.