These questions I get regularly asked as a postpartum doula supporting families.
Navigating the first days, weeks and months after a new family member joins the household can be blurry, overwhelming and feel like the longest but shortest days of your life all at the same time.
Thinking about planning for your postpartum can feel unnecessary or maybe a bit daunting. However, it can also feel exciting and empowering to many families.
So what is it?
Postpartum planning is the active role you take in thinking about what you will need in the immediate days and weeks following the birth or adoption of a baby.
It can take on all sorts of narratives depending on your circumstances. Some families opt to use planning to set up meal trains, have errand runners, pet sitters, household cleaners and deliveries organized. Others use it more to help navigate the emotional / relationship changes that will possibly occur.
They can give you referrals to modalities that you may not need immediately, but have listed on hand should you have to use them. Lactation consultants, massage therapy, chiropractor, babywearing resources, food delivery services are just a few of the resources we have available to share.
Another common discussion when planning for your postpartum is recognizing the impact of mental health to both partners. Statistics show an increase in postpartum mood disorders when support systems are minimal. While mood disorders can affect anyone, they are common to occur in parents who have had previous mental health concerns or who experience any form of trauma during the pregnancy or birthing process. Understanding what to watch for and knowing where to go should there be any mental health concerns can be life saving. This is an integral part of planning, and goes back to understanding who you are as a person before you come to parenthood.
So where do you start?
There are numerous templates available on the internet that can outline basic postpartum planning questions and ideas.
Thinking about what you need and want by looking at those can be a great place to start. Having a session with a postpartum doula or support worker can also be a great tool to ensure you cover all your bases. The benefit of using someone who specializes in this work can bring attention to things that you may not have previously thought of, or been aware of. Another great asset to using a professional to help navigate a unique to you template, is the great community connections that they have.
Postpartum takes a lot of slowing down, patience and kindness to ourselves and the immediate people who surround us. One of the best things I see when people think and consider the postpartum is the confidence and excitement that parents gain. Preparing yourself with tools, knowledge and resources not only sets you up for a more successful start to your parenting journey, but also can make healing and adjusting go more smoothly.
Nobody starts parenting as an expert. If we go into this vulnerable stage of life understanding that we are at the beginning of a new journey, we can set ourselves up on a successful path. One that is rich with information, community support and confidence.
Have questions? Reach out to the local birth workers in your community.
Full Circle Postpartum Care is available to work with you to have individualized postpartum plans that work for you and your family dynamic. Book a postpartum session today and get started on planning for success.
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