What to do after the baby is born?

Having a well thought out postpartum plan is important. It helps you adjust for one of the biggest transitions of your life, bringing the baby home and parenthood!!! I wish someone had suggested having a postpartum plan in place before I brought Henry home. Here are some suggestions that may help ease this transition.

1. What kind of help will I need when I get home?

Cooking, cleaning and laundry are some things to consider. Figure out who can help you with these tasks. Family, friends or a postpartum doula? It’s important that you rest and recover from pregnancy and birth. Mom will need nourishment and support. Partner too. Don’t be afraid or shy to reach out and ask for help. Your family and friends want to help just let them know how you need them.

2. Who will come to visit and when?

Please make sure you don’t schedule all of your help and visitors to come at the same time, stagger everyone for the first month.  This way no one is in competition for baby holding and it will be time better spent, quality time. There is definitely something to be said about not feeling completely overwhelmed with lots of company!

3. Will your husband / partner take time off from work the first week or wait until family and friends have gone back home?

It might be a nice idea for dad/partner to take family leave after all of the relatives go back home.  That way you are spreading out your care.

4. Other Considerations

Other things that helped me were my friends who were already parents.  They helped me feel like my problems were normal and I wasn’t a bad mom or a freak of nature.  They also enhanced my life in a way my family couldn’t.  I don’t mean that in a bad way I love my family.  I didn’t feel as defensive with my friends.  If you are new to town and haven’t established friendships yet I would suggest exploring “mommy and me” groups,  pre / postnatal yoga or exercise classes and breastfeeding groups. There are a couple of things I feel you need to have in place before arriving home with baby;

  • Have meals prepared whether fresh or frozen, family and friends bringing food or take out delivery menus from the restaurants in your neighborhood for at least 10 -14 days.  Don’t forget breakfast foods.
  • Have your baby’s diaper changing station fully loaded.  That includes 7 -10 days of diapers (approx. 7-10 per day), tushie wipes (preferably alcohol and scent free), corn starch to help keep tushie nice and dry).
  • For the breastfeeding women it is important to have your breastfeeding station set up.  I had a little table next to my glider with; water or juices, some fruit or string cheese, burping cloths, telephone and my nursing pillow.