Postpartum Planning, Life With a New Baby
If you are about to add a new baby to your family whether it’s your first or subsequent baby, it is a really good idea to start planning your postpartum care now to ensure that the first weeks with your new baby are less stressful. Many moms who haven’t planned for the postpartum period, report that they struggle to find time to eat, sleep or even take a shower in the first weeks after their baby arrives. Making a plan that makes sense for you and your family can make a huge difference in those early weeks.
Here are 10 tips to Help Plan for the First Weeks Home with a New Baby.
- Plan your Meals. Consider the best way to provide a nutritious meal for yourself and family at the end of each day and set that plan into motion. Some women will cook a double batch of meals and freeze half at the end of their pregnancy, others will have meals come to them via their Mom’s group or church family, or prepared food will be purchased from somewhere like Whole Foods.
- Investigate Ways to Have Extra Help at Home. In-home care services, Housecleaning services, postpartum doulas or babysitters are all tremendously helpful in carving out a few extra minutes for yourself so you can get some sleep, take a shower and catch up on personal tasks you have been neglecting. Resources: Care For Moms provides in-home postpartum care services including housework, errands, cooking, toddler care and more – careformoms.com, 908.509.1417; DONA International offers a listing of birth and postpartum doulas – dona.org
- Consider Placenta Encapsulation. We have had many clients report that placenta capsules have been helpful for reducing depression/anxiety and increasing milk supply.
- Breastfeeding Support. If you are planning to breastfeed, a strong support network can make an incredible difference during a challenging time. Resources: Be sure to attend a Breast Feeding Class and ask your partner to join you. Come to our Lactation Circle, which is free of cost and meets weekly at our office.
- Plan to Take Time Off of Work. Take as much time off from work as possible and then discuss some options to further extend your time home with your baby like working from home a few days a week or returning to work part-time for a month or two. Many women find being home with their babies for 3-4 months tremendously decreases stress.
- Occupy Baby’s Siblings. Have some new toys or movies tucked away to give out to your other children every few days to keep them busy and happy while you sit and breastfeed.
- Visit with Other Moms. If you have made friends with the women in your childbirth class, make a plan before you all start delivering your babies of a date to meet. Making time to visit with friends who have babies/children the same age as your own is a great way to cope with the stress of the postpartum period. Resources: MotherCare Class, Playgroup, Monthly Mother’s group, WWNJ Mom’s Night Out (join our FB group). To learn more visit com or call (908) 509-1559
- Simplify this Year. Avoid tasks and people in your life that are not “easy”. Consider taking your older child/children out of their activities for a month or two until the baby has a more predictable sleep pattern. Keep holidays simple.
- Do Not be Afraid to Ask for Help. This journey called motherhood is a big job sometimes we need a hand.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps! Even if you just rest your eyes.
It is important to recognize that a new baby in the house is at best time-consuming and at its worst world-rocking. You will do better after your birth if you begin to plan ahead of time.