During pregnancy, there is so much information out there about how to take care of yourself and baby and start planning for your delivery. The preparation doesn’t end there though, and often the focus tends to be on pregnancy and not postpartum. Postpartum is an important transition for both you and baby, and it can be a stressful and enjoyable experience depending on many factors. For these reasons, we must prepare ourselves for postpartum to help us navigate these new moments in time.
Many things take place in a postpartum journey, including but not limited to changes in sleep habits, new responsibility, a natural increase in worry, and changes in hormones, day to day activities, and the postpartum body. It’s very common for women in their postpartum journey to experience loss of sleep, feeling overwhelmed at times, decreased social interaction, increased time spent at home, and increased worry. However, it is equally very common for women to also experience joy, happiness, a deep sense of connection to their baby, a calmer and slower pace in their day, and more support from social networks.
No two postpartum journey’s look alike. It’s important to prepare for the postpartum period YOU want.
Some questions to ask yourself to help you prepare are:
- Am I willing to reach out and ask for help when I need it?
- Am I holding certain expectations about what this period will look like?
- Is it easy for me to accept help?
- Are there certain things I can prep for (meals, cleaning service, support) before the baby is born?
- How will I manage the natural worry that arises as a parent with a new baby?
- Do I want to be pushing myself to still complete all the household tasks while trying to recover?
- Can I take the first two weeks of the baby’s life and TRULY rest my body?
- How can I remind myself I’m doing a good job when things get hard?
- Are there any fears/worries causing me to have increased stress about postpartum?
- Do I have support to help me during this time?
It’s important to not only prepare to rest our bodies while we recover from giving birth, but also to support our emotional needs as well. It is a lot to take care of a new baby and navigate a transition period where you and baby are just trying to get acclimated and learn about one another. While this can bring about increased stress and at times feelings of overwhelm, postpartum is a sacred time that you only get once with each baby. It’s important we give ourselves grace during this process and ensure we are nurturing ourselves while also nurturing the new life we have created.
If you are pregnant and starting to focus on postpartum, or want to learn how to support yourself best in your fourth trimester, now is the time to prepare. We are here and waiting to help you have the postpartum journey you want, not the one you fear. Reach out today for a free telephone consultation and let’s talk about how we can address your concerns and support your upcoming postpartum experience.