I Had A Baby, Now What?
Updated: May 26, 2020
So you've given birth and have now returned home with your new baby....now what?
Many new mothers often find themselves nesting in the last couple of months of pregnancy, preparing to make their new life easier for the day that they bring their baby home for the first time. They are also prepared by other moms on what to expect during their delivery, whether you're giving birth at a hospital, birthing center or at home. Birth plans have been created and set in place according to how long you'd like to labor at home before arriving at the hospital, whether you'd like to use medicine, have a water birth, whether you'd like to have the golden hour immediately after birth and so much more...
.....But did you create a Postpartum Plan?
Moms who already have children love to tell the new expecting mothers the joys...or not so fun times about the pregnancy and share stories about how long they were in labor and all that happened during their babies birth but there always seems to be one thing they left out......what happened after they returned back home with the baby? Because honestly, who really wants to figure out what meals you're going to make when you're barely surviving on the sleep that you're able to catch with a new baby at home that essentially is the new boss and basically has you on your toes every moment they aren't sleeping? Or talk about the changes your body will go through after baby has vacated the premises, what your new normal will look like and what is not actually normal?
There are so many different cultures that have their own respective traditions following their return home for the first time after giving birth. But there are so many new parents who don't have those traditions and don't really have a solid plan as to what they want to do or how they want things to go when they arrive at home.
Don't get me wrong, there are families that return home with baby and lots of family are around to visit and help out when the new parents need an extra hand, especially in the first few weeks of returning home. But what happens after mother or mother mother in law moves out and goes back to her own home, the visits from family and friends get more and more scarce and you're left wondering what the hell you do next and researching via google on your phone in the middle of the night while baby is simultaneously having a meltdown because he isn't latching onto your breast?
I promise things like this really do happen....often!
I want you to be prepared. It's important to create a postpartum plan, just as you would for a birth plan. Will you breastfeed or bottle feed? Use sitz baths to heal yourself? Have an extra set of hands for overnight care so you and your partner can catch up on sleep? Use disposable or cloth diapers? Who will change the baby during the night and where? When will you introduce pacifiers? Hire a Doula? And what if help is needed to identify mood and postpartum disorders? .......All of these questions, among so many more should all be included in your plan to make this special time that much more smooth for you and baby. This is the most important time for you and your baby to bond and learn each other from outside of the womb. Using this precious time for bonding rather than planning on the fly is the goal. Working with your partner or other family members to create a plan for your needs and research will be crucial and necessary for your physical health, mental health and lets be honest......your SANITY!
Listen, you're doing a beautiful job...you are literally growing an entire human at this very moment. You are capable, brave and significant. Let's take a childbirth education class, make plans for your fourth trimester and think about whether hiring a doula is the way to go for you. I want you to be great and I want you to succeed!