Ways to manage the first few post-partum weeks.
So many moms feel very overwhelmed the first few weeks home. I often help prepare my clients for home-management skills, for the first week, to help them prioritize their needs and wants. Here are some helpful tips.
1) Schedule food deliveries or meal-prep before giving birth.
If you have loved-ones who wish to bless you with meals, have a sign up list. Either something you create or have a friend put it together. I have often had people use: https://takethemameal.com/.
A great way to avoid the munchies after baby comes, is to freeze extra servings. In your second and third trimesters, try to make extra servings of your meals and snacks (ones that freeze well) and save. This way, you’ll have enough for the two of you, and possibly for guests that you are expecting, or not expecting.
Another task, is to buy extra snack items that don’t need refrigeration, such as nuts, dried fruit, jerky, etc. Stash these items away, specifically for your early post-partum days and keep them handy for one-handed snacking when you are nursing later; it is a great way to keep your energy levels up. Eat & drink when baby eats.
2) Limit Visitors and have them earn their visit.
Many families have visitor after visitor come by. Although you want everyone to meet your precious new one, it can take away from mom’s bonding, breastfeeding, nap, and other pressing tasks. It is not unheard of to give your visitors tasks, so that they are being just as helpful for mom. Below, you will find some of my favorite printouts.
Remember, the most important thing about having visitors early on, is your baby’s immune system. Be sure to notify guests that they should not visit if they, or someone living with them, has been sick. These germs can be passed on to baby by the slightest touch. When they arrive, gently send them to wash their hands or have a bottle of hand sanitizer nearby.
3) Hire a popstpartum doula.
While supermoms feel they can do it all on their own, most moms could use the extra help, even just a couple hours per week. A postpartum doula can offer check-ins with you and come to your aid, whether it is meal prep, watching baby while mom takes a shower or a nap, helping with little ones while mom gets some much needed work done in the house, or doing light chores for mom. These doulas often have a list of things they will and will not do, some do heavier chores and cooking, while others do light tasks. They will often pre-schedule times with you and set up an agreement ahead of time.
Post-partum doulas often have knowledge of breastfeeding and can often help with that as well as discussing recovery. Moms can often feel anxiety when dad returns to work, so having someone stop by, can ease fears.
4) Meet with a breastfeeding counselor/lactation consultant.
Even though breastfeeding may seem to be going well, some small red flags can begin to be a part of something bigger and cause more issues down the road. If you notice sore breasts, red/hot feelings or burning, cracked nipples, or pain during feedings, or fussy baby at the breast, these can all be the start of bigger issues, if not resolved immediately. Hire a counselor to meet with you in your home. She will do an evaluation to determine the best course to help you along. Many moms give up on breastfeeding, because they don’t have the help or answers they need. Often times, a pediatrician or ObGyn will not have the same advice as a breastfeeding expert. It doesn’t hurt to have a counselor stop by, even if you are not experiencing the issues yet.
4) Have open coversations with your partner.
Be sure to include your partner on these conversations, especially if he has returned to work. Dads often feel lonely or left out when they return to work. Be sure to include him on happenings and fill him in on baby’s milestones. A sweet text or photo may be just what he needs for his tough day at work.
Include him on routines and make a plan of action. Prenattaly, I often discuss with my doula clients, how they forsee home tasks to play out once baby has arrived. Will dad be part of caring for baby when he gets home? If so, to what extent? How can he be of most help? Throw in a load of laundry, finish dishes, change and bathe baby? These are all great discussions before, so you can stay on the same page after.
For more specific information about what to expect post-partum, visit:
Things They Don’t Tell You After Delivery
Things They Don’t Tell You About Breastfeeding
Doula Love of Facebook –Great resources posted weekly!