Post Baby Preparation Tips
I created these tips as a childbirth educator and since I’m pregnant now I’m realizing more than ever how important they mean to me. Use some or all, the goal is to keep it simple. This is in no way a complete list but truly a list for the minimalist that wants to prepare while minimizing stress.
Guide: Light a candle, wear comfy clothes that make you feel good, grab your journal, a pen, and light a candle. When you’re ready, read through the complete list, then circle the tips that resonate with you. Grab your journal and pen and start creating your Post Baby Prep Action Plan from the tips you circled. Are you ready? Let’s get started!
Tip #1 Pregnancy To-Do List
- Create a contact list of practitioners with other helpful numbers, even if you do not think you need this complete list, it’s easier to compile when you’re pregnant and have handy just in case needed. We don’t have to be fearful, we just need to be prepared.
- Perinatal Therapist
- Chiropractor and Acupuncturist, aka sciatica, SI joint pain and labor
- Yoga Specialist
- Lactation Consultant and/or Lactation Care Center
- Massage Therapist
- Certified Child Sleep Consultant
- 24-hour assistance line for new mommy questions, some hospitals offer this service.
- Prepare for Birth & Baby
- Attend childbirth educational classes such as Childbirth education, Baby Care, Infant CPR, and Breastfeeding. If you have other children, a Sibling Adjustment class can do wonders.
- Create a Birth Plan but remember it’s just a guide that will change. Work as a team with your OBGYN/Midwife and discuss what you envision for your labor, birth and postpartum care. Together you can plan for the BIG DAY.
- Book recommendations, if you want to prepare for baby these are my two favorite books, I think you’ll love them!
- Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina
- The Whole-Brain Child by Dr. Siegal and Dr. Bryson
- Prepare for Post Baby
- Talk to your support team and create a plan together.
- Discuss what you will will do to deal with the sleep deprivation and what to look out for in regards to Postpartum Depression and anxiety. If your team is ever concerned, they should talk to you about their concerns and set up an appointment with your OBGYN/Midwife.
- Baby blues can be normal due to hormonal shifts and sleep deprivation but if it lasts longer than two weeks, contact your OBGYN/Midwife. Also, if you aren’t eating, sleeping, unable to take care of yourself or your baby, call your doctor.
- Motherhood is not easy and our bodies are going through a traumatic event, even if it’s beautiful. You must remember to talk to your support team and be honest about how you feel. Then call your OBGYN/Midwife for guidance.
- Either start cooking your meals in bulk and storing them in Pyrex containers in your freezer or set up meal trains and have your family and friends sign up to bring you food, prepare for 2-6 weeks of help with food. You will not eat unless you prepare, so please eat…
- Hire someone to clean your house, add this to your registry! It will come in handy.
- Get the necessities for you and baby. You’ll notice you don’t need a lot of the items that are sold now days. But the items you do buy, take them out of the package and set them up, especially the car seat…this can take some time.
Tip #2 Practical Solutions for Common Challenges
- Keep your contact list of practitioners and helpful numbers nearby and call when needed.
- Breastfeeding Moms
- Get as much help as you can after birth and have a lactation consultant on call. NOTE: There are a lot of FREE lactation centers you can go to for help and I’d recommend going even if everything is going well. Lactation Care Center in Dallas is FREE and does pre and post weight checks on your baby. They also have a Creamatocrit that can measure how many calories are in your milk during a given feed. Pretty cool.
- Mommy Guilt
- Check out the UF Blog post, 3 SIMPLE STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME MOMMY GUILT
Tip #3 Self-Care
- Prepare your body and mind
- Attend prenatal yoga and mindfulness classes
- Incorporate stress reduction techniques (daily), some of my favorite are prayer, meditation, laughing, Epson salt baths, yoga, walks with my husband, long naps, being in nature, time with my family, journaling, reading, etc.
- Sleep, stop scrubbing those baseboards-lol! True story, during my sister’s pregnancy she scrubbed baseboards. When you have the urge to nest, instead rest!
Maternity Leave from Around the World
Here is a list of maternity leave benefits from the International Labour Organization (ILO), published in the Huffington Post. The (IRO) report showed that the majority of the United States (excluding two states) received a failing grade in providing women and new mothers support entering motherhood. Are you surprised by the findings?
- In America, 12 weeks is the standard amount of time for maternity leave, paid or not paid
- In Japan, 14 weeks with 67% paid
- In Spain, all new parents get 4 months paid maternity leave
- In Iceland, both expecting parents can take 3 months and an additional 3 months can be taken by either parent, with 80% paid
- In Italy, 5 months at 80% paid, with an additional option for six month leave with 30% of your salary
- In Australia, each parent can take up to 12 months of leave, of which 18 weeks are paid
- In Croatia, 1 year maternity leave at 100% paid
- In Denmark, 52 weeks at 100% paid
- In New Zealand, 14 weeks paid, 38 weeks unpaid
- In Germany, 14 months of maternity leave with 65% paid
I wanted to share these stats with you because it’s important to figure out what’s best for you and your family prior to delivery; having family support and through preparation you will be better equipped to handle your postpartum transition. Review the tips above and create your Post Baby Prep Action Plan now. Remember, you’re not alone, I’m doing this with you.
As you do this, listen to your body, without judgement, honor and care for yourself. Sometimes this can be hard, but if you start this during pregnancy you will be better prepared once your baby is born. You’ll benefit by planning and adjusting the plan as needed because what in life ever really goes as planned? But we all know preparation is key to help you through the transition. You’ll benefit from taking care of yourself. Your baby will benefit from having you healthy and well taken care of. Your husband, children and loved ones will benefit by having you healthy and taken care of. When there is less stress, there is more love to go around.
I’d love to hear from you, in the comment section below tell me what tips you loved and any tips or recommendations that should be added to help other moms who are going through the same things we are going through!
Many positive thoughts and love sent your way!
P.S. One more thing: don’t forget to share your Post Baby Prep Plan with your team and family, too. Keep them in the loop about how you’re feeling, key dates, and milestones that might affect their lives — or their ability to spend time with you. Much love as you transition from being pregnant to post baby.
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