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Preparing for Postpartum and Life with a Newborn

The early postpartum weeks are a unique and special time for families.  The priorities during this vulnerable time should be focused on rest and recovery for Mama, learning to breastfeed and understand Baby’s cues and falling in love with your new little bundle. 

We all know the outside world doesn’t stop when you have a baby. The laundry still needs washing, the garbage needs to be taken out and the older children (if there are any) need love and care as well.  So how can you make the most of this incomparable season? 

Planning for practical support and being open to letting go and welcoming the hazy ways of baby days can help you to cherish your newborn and take care of your own needs as well. In addition to setting up your baby’s sleep space, diapering station and washing newborn clothes there are some other ways you can prepare for the days and weeks following your baby’s birth to make life with your newborn feel a little more manageable.

Practical Tips for Preparing for a Smoother Postpartum Season

  • Organize your home in a way that makes it easy for family/friends to help you out once the baby arrives.

  • Place all cleaning supplies in one location.

  • Declutter your home so it’s easier to clean and manage (think “less is more”). Remember, it doesn’t have to stay this way forever but it will be a lot easier for everyone during the big transition.

  • Stock up on basic pantry supplies (canned goods, frozen fruits/vegetables, toilet paper, pads, paper towels, shampoo, soap etc.)

  • If you have older children, consider how to make their belongings easier to find for someone who might be caring for them last minute. 

  • Make a list of important things other caregivers should know when caring for your older children. Even if you don’t have plans for your older children to be cared for by someone else this can still be helpful “just in case”. 

  • Make freezer meals during your last trimester so you can easily pull them out when needed postpartum. 

  • Homemade soups, casseroles, breads, muffins… are all great choices and freeze really well! Need some recipe ideas? Check out Beholding Baby’s ebook, A Collection of Recipes for the Postpartum and Breastfeeding Mama for 50 yummy recipes as well as tips on nutritional needs for early postpartum and breastfeeding. 

  • Make a list of what you have tucked away in your freezer for easy reference once the baby comes. 

  • If you have time, ingredients and space, make more than what you think you will use. 

  • Accept offers of help from friends and family. 

  • Say “yes” to your friend who offers to set up a meal train for you (even if you have stacks of casseroles tucked away in your freezer). 

  • Kindly accept if your mother-in-law offers to clean your house or do your laundry (even if her methods aren’t completely in line with your own, be grateful for the help).

  • Have some ideas of ways loved ones can help if they offer to help with “whatever you need”. Oftentimes well-meaning friends offer to hold the baby so you can get stuff done, but that’s not always the kind of help new mamas and babies desire the most.  Having some other simple tasks in mind or written down can be more beneficial when someone isn’t quite sure how to help, or offers something you aren’t comfortable with. 

  • Learn all you can about breastfeeding before you give birth. 

  • Take a breastfeeding class or sign up for a personalized prenatal breastfeeding consultation. 

  • Talk with other breastfeeding mamas about some tips for the newborn days. 

  • If you have the opportunity, observe a newborn nursing (hint- it looks a lot different than an older baby nursing). 

  • Gather your breastfeeding supplies and have them easily accessible for when the baby is born. 

  • Learn about pumping and milk storage even if you don’t plan to pump right away (or ever), you never know when you might need this information. 

  • Gather your support team who will cheer you on and take care of YOU during the many hours spent breastfeeding your little one. 

  • Get the contact information for a lactation professional and have it handy for after birth. You never know when you will want/need to seek out support, and knowing you have someone who is just a phone call away can be such a relief. Beholding Baby can be that person for you! 

  • Learn about normal newborn behaviors. 

  • Crying

  • Infant cues

  • Sleep patterns

  • Breastfeeding patterns and expectations

  • Diaper output expectations

  • Looking for specific support around newborn care? Check out our other free resources or contact Niki at Beholding Baby for a personal consultation to help you feel more prepared and ready for bringing Baby home. 

The postpartum season can look very different for every mama and every birth but taking a little time to prepare can make a world of difference regardless of your circumstances. 

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