5 Tips For Creating your Postpartum Support Plan

The BEST THING YOU CAN DO for your future self, is to plan your postpartum. Whether you plan on Lying In for a month, or actively managing risk of postpartum depression by ensuring you can take a break for a week or two, we hope you’ll consider these tips and tricks for putting together your plan.

 1. Recruit Help Now to Level Set Expectations

Find dedicated postpartum helpers, and be realistic about what you will need help with. When someone says they will be there for you - decide early on what that means to them.

There are MANY things a postpartum family needs help with beyond meals.

Go over this household list with your helpers - they will all bring specific skills and talents. At the same time - Give your helpers an opportunity to say what they are not able to help with. Where you see a gap - think about who else you may know that could assist you with that particular task or find outside resources that can assist you short term.

o   Meals and Snacks - Alternative, freeze at least 12 crock pot meals before baby comes, stock up on dry goods and non perishable snacks that will last for at least 3 weeks.

o   Shopping, Grocery Pickup - Prescription pickup - Alternative - Utilize online ordering and/or delivery services if available

o   Housekeeping - Bathrooms, Kitchen, Living areas, Porches - Alternative, hire cleaning service, or a short term mother’s helper service like Chicadee Mom

o   Trash Day/Bulk Pickup/Recycling Hauling

o   Laundry – Wash, Dry and Fold/Hang your clothes, babies clothes, towels, possibly treat bedding for stains etc.

o   Bed Making – Freshen up moms bed with fresh sheets and blankets at least every three days, and whenever there is blood, excess sweat etc.

o   Caring for/entertaining other children - Hugs, fun, instruction to clean up after themselves, rides to school, practices and events

o   Pet/Animal Care - Dog walking, poo cleanup, litterboxes, play time and affection

o   Garden Care - watering, harvesting, watching out for pests and abundance of weeds

o   Yardwork - mowing, raking leaves, debris removal, snow and ice removal - Alternative, hire a service

o   Appointment Assistant - Driving, car seat carrier, companionship

o  Package and Mail pickup - Unboxing, stacking, ensuring important mail is separated from junk mail, discarding boxes

o   Babycare - to allow for naps, mental breaks, alone time with partner or other children, showering and other physical and emotional self-care as needed on a daily basis

2. Provide your support team with your favorites!

  • My Favorite Meals

  •  My Favorite Snacks

  •  My Favorite Healing Drinks and Herbal Teas

  •  Foods I am not going to be eating postpartum even though I love them

  •  Foods I haven’t been eating while pregnant that I can’t wait to have

  •  Allergies and Aversions (Please don’t give me) 

  •  If you were to pack my kid a lunchbox, they prefer:

 

3. Gather postpartum essentials!

Beyond the diapers, wipes, creams and sweet little outfits for your newborn - you will want to collect items for yourself as well! Here are some of our favorite things to have immediately on hand postpartum. Get these ready several weeks in advance of your due time!

Must Haves

o   Maternity Pads w/Cold Packs

o   XL /Overnight Menstrual Pads

o   Ice Packs – Gel, Small and Large – enough for breasts, belly and bottom

o   Extra pillows to help you sit up comfortably, and to support various nursing positions

o   Nursing Creams – suggest two types – at least one non- lanolin and one lanolin

o   Bassinet, pack n play or co-sleeper unit for baby to stay in your room with you

o   Old towels or chux pads for your bed

o   Two sets of Soft, easy to wash sheets and blankets

o   Nursing Tank tops

o   Hemorrhoid Suppositories, Creams and Witch Hazel Wipes

o   Ibuprofen, Cramp Bark or After Birth Tincture

o   Very soft toilet paper or better yet, flushable wipes (you can throw them away rather than flush)

o   Perineal cleansing spray

o   Large water cup that can be opened and held with one hand

o   Diaper “station” basket with diapers, wipes, baby clothing if needed, extra burp cloth etc

o   In room trash can with lid          

Nice to Haves

o   Mattress Protector for your bed– fabric layer on top (plastic should be on underside only)

o   Microwavable rice packs or heating pad with a cord long enough to reach your bed

o   Haakaa breast milk collector

o   Nursing pillow

o   Rocking chair or glider in your bedroom (borrow from babies nursery short term if it’s in there presently!

o   Noise machine or loud fan to muffle outside noise

o   Nursing/Breastfeeding Reference Book

o   Phone and laptop charger cables that reach your bed

o   Basket of easy go to healthy, non perishable snacks that you like

o   Nursing bras

o   Belly Binder or Wrap

o   Sitz bath, herbal bath

o   Postpartum Tea

o   Dry shampoo

o   Lip Balm

o   Calming/Make up remover Face Wipes

 

4. Write down your “Why’s”

  • What is a quote or mantra that will serve to remind yourself of this special, limited time when you feel pressured to do anything aside from resting, healing, and bonding with your newborn?

  •  Prepare a light statement for how you will deal with friends or family who want to come see the baby, but are not on your helpers list and will make you feel like you need to host them.

  •  Select a goal or goals for what you wish to enable through maximizing your postpartum rest period. Some examples:

o   I will stay in bed for at least { } amount of time before I consider shortening my rest period because my priority right now is to heal and bond with my baby. 

o   I will get at least 20 minutes of sunshine every day.

o   I will limit visitors to the following people. Everyone will eventually meet the baby but they are not my priority right now. 

o   I will ask for what I need, when I need it.  I have people who I can text or call that will take care of my needs for me. 

o   I will only leave the house for my baby’s or my own medical appointments. 

o   I will not wear pants (or a shirt)! Wearing pants leads to cleaning the house and right now, I am focusing on physical healing and bonding with my baby.

o   I will lift nothing heavier than the baby.  I will have someone else carry the carseat if necessary. 

 5. Think ahead - Who can I call IF…..?

  • I need breastfeeding help?

  • Baby seems ill?

  • I am struggling with my emotions?

  • I am struggling with pain?

  • My partner or helpers are not supporting me like I need them to?

  • My child missed the bus?

  • I am lonely?

  • I need help during the night?

  • I need a nutritious takeout meal?

  • I need someone to stay with me for a few days?

  • I need a calm reassuring voice?

Start your plan today. Ensure the Peaceful Postpartum that You Deserve!

And remember mama, If you need help to fill in those gaps, Chicadee Mom is here to help!

Warmly,

Jessie