Stepping into the world of becoming a new mama is not usually an easy one. Labor and birth can be difficult. The first few weeks to months afterwards can be a challenging time and like birth, the postpartum period is hard to predict. There are many factors that affect how your postpartum period will go and there is no way to know what it will look like for each woman. However, there are a few ways to be prepared:
1. Ask a friend to set up a meal train. There are many apps and websites that can help set this up.
2. Get better at accepting help. When someone asks what they can do for you during a visit, accept the offer. Let them clean, fold laundry, wash dishes, etc.
3. Know the emotions will come. It is very normal to start crying at a moment’s notice. Let these emotions come like waves. Acknowledge them, let them roll through, and let them go.
4. Reach out to professionals for help. Sometimes we need a little support from a professional to get us through or to make it a lot easier. Hire a Postpartum Doula – She will help you with breastfeeding, basic infant care, care of other children, and light housework, dishes, laundry etc.
Mamas, most of all, be patient with yourselves and your baby. Remember ups and downs are very normal. Create a support system before you have baby so you know who to reach out to when you need some help.
And for those of you on the other side who have a friend or family member about to give birth, here are five wonderful things you can gift her.
1. Clean her bathroom – don’t offer to do it, just bring the non-toxic cleaning materials and get to work. She will likely protest, but be persistent.
2. Pick a project and much like tip number 1, be persistent. Projects could include: clean her floors, wash and fold her laundry, cook her family dinner, wash her dishes, pick up groceries or take her other kids to the playground.
4. Watch the baby after a good nurse and let her sleep for a solid 2 hours (if possible).
5. Give her back and shoulders a massage, if she wishes, or her feet.
When you come to visit make it not just a social one, but one with some nurturing time spent giving her peace of mind and possibly a clean house.