Preparing for Postpartum
The postpartum period can be a mentally and physically challenging time for all new mothers. Preparing for postpartum ahead of time helps make things easier for everyone, including the baby.
Here are some tips to help you prep for postpartum:
1. Stock up on supplies
Stocking up on supplies before your due date is probably the best thing you can do for yourself. While you can, make those extra trips to the store and grab all the essentials including groceries, baby supplies, and personal items.
Some items you should probably buy in advance include ice packs, pads or Depends, tucks, peri bottle, and toilet paper.
It’s also a good idea to stock non-perishable groceries like cereal and frozen foods so you have something to eat in case you aren’t able to head out soon.
2. Set expectations with friends and family
Your friends and family always want to help, but sometimes they don’t know what your needs are and how they can help the best. Some people do less since they fear they might be overstepping while some people might be trying to help in areas where you need less input.
To prevent these problems, it’s a good idea to establish what you expect from each of your friends and family members. It might be a good idea to divide responsibilities and assign specific tasks.
This way, no one gets overburdened while everyone gets to help in their way, without feeling confused about it.
3. Prepare food ahead of time
Cooking is probably the last thing you will want to do in your postpartum period. So while you can, prepare meals that you can freeze and heat up when you need them.
Or you can do meal prep to make cooking time easier; marinate meat, cut up veggies, make sauces that you can use for rice and pasta, etc.
If you can’t prepare food, make arrangements for food ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about it later. Plan where you’d want to order from or if friends and family are helping out, assign them specific days to bring food, cook, etc.
4. Connect with professional support ahead of time
Research good pediatricians and other healthcare providers beforehand and make the initial visit to them so you’re comfortable visiting them later should you need any help.
You can also ask your midwife at the birth center for recommendations or advice on how to approach certain issues should they arise in your postpartum period.
Remember, the postpartum period can be a rollercoaster of mental and physical challenges. That’s why it’s important to do what you can to make this period as easy for yourself as possible. This will expedite your healing, improve future pregnancy outcomes, and also enable you to take better care of your baby.