THE POSTPARTUM PLAN: THREE THINGS TO PREP FOR BEFORE BABY
Having a baby is kinda like a wedding - so much focus is on the wedding day itself and the actual marriage afterwards is forgotten until you turn to your partner the day after the wedding and think “oh, it’s you that I’m spending the rest of my life with.” There is a multi-million dollar industry built around creating birth plans, which is a wonderful thing, and much needed - I fully believe that birth is a pivotal moment in a woman’s life and have thus built my business and philosophy around this - but it’s amazing how many new moms I’ve heard admit that they had no idea the postpartum period would be what it was for them.
That was certainly the case for me, trust me. Anyone that knows me can tell you that I had lofty ideas about my own postpartum period. I took leave from a job in Marketing and totally thought that I would have the baby on a Wednesday and would be at the office on the following Monday to check on projects that still had loose ends. I thought I would just seamlessly waltz into new motherhood and put absolutely no planning into what that would look like.
Ladies, don’t be like m. Don’t be overwhelmed by this new person that relies on you for everything, by a body that has just done one of the most physically taxing jobs that a body can do, and by all the expectations put on you by others, and most importantly, by yourself.
I tell my clients to focus on three things to ease the transition into life with a new baby:
Wherever they are, whoever they are, surround yourself with others who share the same values and interests. I don’t just mean in person, though I highly recommend looking into local meet-up groups (like Mom-To-Go Durham), postnatal classes (salsa babies or Baby & Me Fitness), or drop-in programs (OEYC), but also look into online groups, which are a wonderful source of support and entertainment when you’re all up in the middle of the night nursing your newborns.
I’m talking about food. Make freezer meals before your due date to save for after birth, or if that’s not your thing (I understand, it’s not really mine either) there are ways to make scavenging for food a lot easier, like using a meal delivery service (either fully prepped or ingredients only). If you really have to get groceries you can make life so much easier by using one of the click and collect services offered by Loblaw’s/Real Canadian Superstore or Walmart.
This is by far the most important advice I give clients, but also the trickiest. I really believe that the first few weeks postpartum are for you and your baby. Period. It’s a time to say #sorrynotsorry and put yourself and your needs first, and if that means limiting visitors or not allowing your mother-in-law to move in with you, then so be it. Having a new baby is a life-changing experience, for real. And don’t be afraid to change your mind about things if you find something is not working for you. This is probably one of the few times in your life you can act a little “crazy” and get away with it, so take advantage of it!
For more information on making a postpartum plan: