Planning and preparation toward the postpartum period is very important. Sometimes it is even more important than pregnancy and birth preparation due to circumstance or birth outcome. Too often labor, delivery and perhaps the “stuff” that goes with having a baby take priority, while the incredible change that occurs with having a new baby is seemingly ignored.
Below is a listing of important information to think about, investigate, understand and/or plan for. Make a note of people in your immediate life that can be a resource as you go through the list.
Look carefully at class descriptions you may take in your local area, some are very thorough and others may only be introductory or without valuable content.
Here’s to postpartum preparedness!
Common Physical Changes and Needs for the Mother (first days or weeks)
- Uterine involution, after pains and bleeding
- Breast expectations and breastfeeding norms
- Hormones and symptoms
- Healing – Vaginal tears, episiotomy, cesarean, perineal soreness or swelling, hemorrhoids
- Night sweats or urination
Common Psychological Changes
- Mother and Father/Partner Changes
- Processing the birth experience
- Processing becoming a family
- Postpartum mood disorders
- Peer and professional support resources
Understanding Your New Baby
- How baby’s feed
- Infant development
- Normal sleep patterns
- High, average or low need baby’s
New Family Dynamic
- Coping with sleep deprivation and exhaustion
- Managing stress
- Grieving the changes
- Siblings and pets
- Knowing how to get the right support
- Postpartum doulas and practical support
Making Your Best Decisions
- Defining Parental Roles – Financial, Baby Care, Changing the Status Quo
- Choosing a health care provider for your baby
- Early Infant Health Care Decisions – Vaccinations, Circumcision, etc.
- Parenting philosophies
- Developing your parenting style
- Where baby will sleep
- Boundaries with family and friends
- When to seek professional help
- Realistic expectations
- Sexual intimacy
- Practicalities of life
- Arranging practical support
- Making a community
- Parenting needs
- Processing a difficult birth
- Babies with medical needs, coping and advocating
- Dealing with loss, grief, and trauma
We also offer a postpartum strategies class that goes into more detail on many of these topics.