Whether you’re expecting your first baby or your 5th, postpartum is a vulnerable time in which both mom and baby have many needs.
One of the best things I did while pregnant was to research and prepare for my postpartum needs. As a first time mom I was anxious about the unknowns, so I managed those feelings by preparing and I was SO grateful that I did.
The most obvious thing you’ll do is prepare for your baby’s needs. Everyone gets excited about this part! Getting ready for a baby is fun. What’s less obvious and maybe not as fun, is to prepare for your needs too.
Preparing for your postpartum needs is important.
So much of life’s focus shifts to meet the babies needs, so having everything ready for your own needs gives you one less thing to think about.
When you take good care of yourself, you are able to take better care of your child(ren).
As a first time mom its safe to say that I over-researched when it came to my desire to be “ready” for my baby. But after experiencing childbirth and the newborn phase I’ve come to believe that it’s impossible to over-prepare for postpartum.
Let me say that again. It’s impossible to over-prepare for postpartum.
Ways to Prepare for Postpartum
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
The most important things I did to prepare for my postpartum wellness and sanity were these:
- Prepare a mama-care basket for the bathroom
- Freezer Meals
- Strategically placed baskets of baby/mama items around the house
- Enlist help to deep clean the house before due date
- All anticipated baby needs put in place and organized (this was obvious and done well in advance because I was excited!)
These tasks are the things that I personally needed to do to put my mind at ease and feel prepared.
The list of tasks that will make YOU feel prepared may be different! Each individual will have different “must haves” or those “must get done” tasks on their list.
Mama Care Basket:
A mama care basket is a basket of care products that are ready and organized for your needs.
I was blessed to have an uncomplicated vaginal birth, so my mama care basket included items such as:
- Extra Heavy Overnight Pads (my favorite brand is U by Kotex- they’re just what I find to be most comfortable)
- Tucks witch hazel pads
- Frida Mom upside down peri bottle: this is WAY better than the hospital peri bottle, it’s worth the few extra dollars mama’s.
- DIY essential oil perineal spray: this was one of my favorite things, especially since I had stitches. Find the recipe in the Free Resource Library!
- Dermoplast spray(the blue cap): I didn’t use this as much but it was nice to have just in case- some moms swear by it.
For a little later on I also kept on hand:
- Regular pads
- Panty liners
I liked keeping all these on hand before my due date so afterwards I didn’t even have to think about it! Everything I needed was in the bathroom cupboard or in the basket by the toilet.
Stocking up on freezer meals can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. I chose not to freeze complicated food or casseroles, but went a more simple route with items such as:
- Homemade Freezer Burritos: we did both breakfast burritos and simple beef and bean
- Pre-cooked ground beef: I chose to freeze a bunch of pre-browned ground beef that I could easily defrost and make into a meal for my family. It made our simple “go-to” recipes easier and cut down on time in the kitchen.
- Breakfast Muffins
- Family Favorites: for me these were things such as- Meatballs, Chili, and Beirocks.
Freezer meal hack: double whatever recipe you’re making for dinner already and freeze half of it! This is an easy way to build up a stash of freezer meals.
Around the House Baskets
I used strategically placed baskets around my home in the places I spend the most time.
I kept one in the living room by the couch, in the TV room, and of course beside the bed.
In the baskets I kept items such as:
- Breast Pads
- Nipple Cream
- Protein Bars/Granola Bars
- Burp Cloth
- Haaka (or off brand) silicone milk collector
- Diaper Cream
- Nose Frida or Nose Bulb
Having these little baskets of necessities around the house was so helpful. It was nice to know that everything I would need when sitting down with baby was within arms reach. Keeping a quality snack in there was also super important in those first weeks because I would get intensely hungry while nursing.
Enlist help with 3rd Trimester cleaning projects
If you’re anything like me, the desire to bring baby home to a sparkling clean house is strong. However, it can be hard to find much energy for projects in the third trimester! And some cleaning tasks are downright unsafe at that point (especially if your baby belly makes you clumsy!).
SO, swipe through your phone and dial up your favorite helper(s): mom, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, whoever! Then make a list of “must-do” cleaning tasks that require help, and have your supplies ready for when help arrives!
Make Yourself a Priority
During postpartum your newborn is the first priority. However as a healing mama who just went through a huge physical event, you have to take time to prioritize yourself.
After the birth of my first, I was consumed with all things baby. After my husband went back to work, remembering to eat at every mealtime or simple things like showering daily were fuzzy afterthoughts. I was too busy cuddling my baby, breastfeeding, and letting her nap on me!
I didn’t put my contacts in or wear makeup often for probably 4-5 weeks after she was born. And when I finally took off my glasses and started doing normal “me-things” again I felt SO much better. That’s when the newborn fog started to lift.
SO, prioritize yourself mamas!
Prioritizing yourself means:
- Eating 3 meals a day AND healthy snacks
- Drinking enough water and healthy beverages
- Carving out time to shower daily- dad needs baby snuggles too! Your shower time is their bonding time.
- Taking time to do something that makes you feel like you: whether that means putting on makeup, wearing something besides yoga pants, or whatever little thing you can do that’s just for you.
- Generally noticing and attending to your needs.
By attending to your needs postpartum and attending to your healing and self-care, you’re setting yourself up to be the happiest and healthiest mama that you can be.
When you’re a happy and healthy mama, you’re able to take the best possible care of your children!
As they say: “if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.”