As a new mum you have responsibility for the welfare of your new baby but who looks after you? You have made plans and talked about your pregnancy and the birth, but what about when you get home with baby?
Making a few preparations and having a few conversations before baby is born will mean you have arrangements in place when you will need a little help or assistance.
Looking after your health and wellbeing during pregnancy will mean you are better placed to cope with labour and delivery and the immediate postnatal period. Remember self-care is not “me first”, it’s “me too”. By looking after your own physical and mental wellbeing, you are ensuring you can give your best to your baby. As the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
If you intend to make a postnatal care plan for your over-all post birth wellness, here are a few tips that may help.
- What products will you need after baby is born? Have a good stock of everything you may need for you (and baby). Put your postnatal care kits in the bathrooms you use. Ask for recommendations from other mums for the products they felt worked best for them.
- Make a list of all the professionals you may need help from after baby is born. Have your research done and get your recommendations early.
- Have your support set up. Know who your go-to people are. Most people will offer advice if asked but who do you trust most? Who will you listen to?
- What about practical help? Talk about who will do the everyday things – the cooking, washing, cleaning, and shopping. Who can you ask to help you in the early weeks?
Conversations to have before baby is born.
You have probably discussed everything from breastfeeding pumps to car seats to how to announce baby’s arrival, but there are other conversations that are probably best to have before baby arrives. These can be difficult conversations to have when you are tired or stressed, so having them when you both are calm will allow you make decisions with calm logical heads.
- Visitors in the first few days – who is allowed visit and for how long? How to manage this? What will be the role of grandparents?
- How do you deal with tiredness and sleep deprivation? How can your partner support you?
- How will the workload be divided? This should cover everything from baby to housework to free time. You are a team and setting the ground rules early is best for everyone.
- Night-time feedings and waking – who does what?
- Self-care – what will you need and how to recognise when you need time for yourself?
You should go back and review these conversations regularly after baby is born as you see what is required. It’s hard to imagine exactly how tired you will be or how busy you will be before baby is born. You might find that you want to do more as you are feeling great, or that you need much more support than you expected as you had a caesarean section. Whatever the situation, you can both adjust the plan as needed. As with your Birth Plan, the key with your Postnatal Plan is flexibility, as babies are unpredictable.
If you would like to know more about the postnatal period, our online course may be helpful. While it’s primarily about Baby Reflux, it is packed with very useful information for any new parent. From the effects of delivery, gut health, allergy, why babies cry, how to sooth them and so much more. You can get the full list of what is covered here – http://thehappybabyacademy.teachable.com/p/baby-reflux-a-new-approach