A lot of time and energy goes into preparing for the arrival of a new baby. Parents spend time thinking of names, decorating a nursery, reading parenting books, and finding a space for all of the acquired baby equipment. But not much time goes into thinking about the postpartum period. The birth of a new baby brings a lot of change for the entire family and it is a good idea to make a postpartum plan before the arrival of your new addition.
Here are 5 things to consider for a positive postpartum experience:
Accept help: You may want to do everything all on your own, but now is the time to accept the help offered to you. This is especially important if you have other children in the house that need tending to. Knowing you don't have to worry about everything when your new baby arrives will be a lifesaver.
Make a list: Make a list of all important phone numbers and information before baby arrives. This might include your OB or midwife, pediatrician you will see, pharmacy, etc. Write down areas where you feel like you may need help and who has offered to help in those areas so you can reach out if needed.
Prioritize Yourself: Your life will revolve around baby once they arrive, but it is critical that you still care for yourself. Spend time thinking (and writing down if it helps) about what that looks like to you before baby comes and make sure you are able to keep yourself at the top of your list. Research local parent groups and resources so you can find the help you need if necessary.
Hire a postpartum doula: A postpartum doula will be there for practical and emotional support after that baby comes home. She can ensure you are getting the care you need while you care for baby.
Make plans for meals: Prepare frozen meals before baby arrives, arrange for a meal train, make a list of your favorite delivery restaurants, or arrange to have groceries delivered. Food preparation with a newborn is not something you want to be worrying about in the early days. Take the time to make arrangements and have ideas on hand for handling meals before you bring baby home.