Key points you need to know for the postnatal period.
Planning for, preparing and honouring the postnatal period is our passion! We believe it is the most overlooked aspect of motherhood and this has been the inspiration for creating our passion project and small business - Shine Postnatal Services.
Preparing for conception is more common these days, taking pre-natal supplements, coming off birth control, planning a time that suits your family, or even organising fertility treatments. Labour and birth prep is also really common and the most discussed topic in the whole perinatal period. Most couples are happy to prioritise birth classes and women often invest a lot of time and energy into this one day event. But what about the postpartum period? What is postpartum and how long does it even last? Postpartum is the 'fourth trimester', the time after birth. Some would argue that you are always postpartum. This period of time lasts the longest, yet we see families really struggle as they are underprepared in more ways than one, for this often challenging period. In Australia we currently have postnatal depression rates as high as 1 in 5 mothers being diagnosed. These statistics are shocking to us. Something needs to change and we believe preparing for the postpartum period is key.Why is postpartum planning crucial in setting yourself up for an easier transition and more positive mothering experience? Because, if we are prepared with coping mechanisms, support networks and realistic expectations, we will be better able to cope with the changes and demands of parenthood when they come our way. We recommend the following ways to help you plan and prepare for a new baby:
- Educate yourself and your partner on what to realistically expect after the birth of your baby/babies.
- Organise health care professionals ahead of time (think doula's, lactation consultants and women's physio's).
- Prepare meals ahead of time. Stock your freezer! Organise a cleaner or re-delegate household chores to friends and family.
- Have important parenting conversations before baby is born too, such as visitor boundaries, your thoughts on unvaccinated friends and family being around your new baby.
- Do lots of breastfeeding education, if this is your preferred feeding method, and learn how your partner can support you to reach your breastfeeding goals.
- Be prepared for normal newborn sleep and strategies to cope with the reduced sleep and frequent wake ups, which are biologically normal well into toddler years.
There are so many things to plan for that often get overlooked. Preparing for a new baby will help you to reduce potential stressors when you are sleep deprived, consumed tending to a newborn’s relentless needs, and recovering from birth.
Asking for help can be extremely difficult for mothers for various reasons, so it can be a really great idea to start in pregnancy and begin asking for things you need when people offer and not saying no if you could really do with the help, hand-me-downs, or gifts. Simple tips such as asking friends and family to drop a meal to your door step once baby is born can be a great help. People love to help!
Seeking some mum or support groups is also really important in helping you find your "village". We are currently experiencing some really odd times in the world with restrictions around visitors, traveling and health care providers being able to come into your home as easily. Having a mums group that you can discuss every day ups and downs can make a huge difference and make motherhood feel less isolating.
Planning for your postpartum is really about investing in yourself and your family. If you think about the money that is spent on all the baby things that often don't get used, or the cost of a wedding that is only a one day event, you will realise that investing in your postpartum means you are able to nourish yourself, recover from birth, whilst also being well informed and supported in the process. It’s one of the most vulnerable transitions of our lives. We need to be prepared, so we have thrive.
We have created a postpartum planning guide that can be downloaded from our website, as well as a e-book covering the first 6 weeks with a newborn, in the hope that we can share our knowledge around this sacred period of your life, as you learn to be a mum of 1, 2, 3 or more for the first time. Our Online antenatal, labour and birth courses all cover ways to prepare for your postpartum period too. We strongly encourage all mothers out there to acknowledge the importance of setting yourself up for success in this phase of your life. Well supported mother’s creates thriving children, healthy relationships and a ripple effect into our wider communities! We’ve created a discount code for you. Use “motherhood” to get 20% off any of our online courses. You can follow us at shine_postnatal on instagram as well for educational posts.
Wishing you all a beautiful, amazing and positive postnatal period as you get to know your new baby and grow as a family.
Lots of love,
Tiff and Elise
(Registered Midwives) xx
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