When you’re pregnant and dedicating so much time to birth preparation it can be difficult to imagine what postpartum will look like. Many of us don’t think about it at all or think we will deal with the challenges when they arise, however, it has been shown that parents who prepare for postpartum prenatally navigate the challenges and emotions of postpartum much better. Here are four things you can do to start to prepare for your postpartum journey:
POSTPARTUM ALLIES – Who are the friends and family you can call on to support you in this time of transition? Make a list of the good listeners, the people who are willing to come clean your house, look after baby while you shower, or simply be a friendly voice. I met a mama-to-be in yoga class when I was pregnant. We exchanged numbers and although we lived a 20 min walk away from each other and only met up physically about 3x when the babies where born, she became my LIFELINE. We must have texted 50x a day about everything from baby poop to how we were feeling.
FOOD || You will not have the time or energy to make nutritious meals for those first few weeks. I laugh at myself thinking about how I brushed off the idea of making pre-papared frozen smoothie bags, thinking I could at least make a smoothie! Nope! Cook larges batches of food and freeze them, set up a postpartum meal train, or hire a postpartum chef to come in and help you!
TOUCHSTONES || In the first year as parents you are wrapping yourself up in this new human 24/7, it can be incredibly easy to forget about yourself, or even pry yourself away for a 15 minute walk. Make a list of all the thing you enjoy doing, or remind you of yourself. Put it on the fridge and encourage your partner to do the same. Then help support each other to do one of these things during the first year of pregnancy. It can be as simple as: the sound of rain, 4 leaf clovers, yoga, sunflowers, writing in my journal…all things that can easily slip away in the haze of postpartum.
RELATIONSHIPS || You’re relationships will change postpartum – with your partner, your family your friends. Sit down with your partner and make a list of the top 5 concerns of the challenges you might face as a couple and brainstorm 3 solutions or each. When you are deeply sleep deprived, your routines have changed, and the domestic workload has more than doubled it can be easy to lose site of the team work you may have had before baby arrived. Use this list as a easy problem solver for some of the issues that may arise.