So much time, effort and energy goes into planning for pregnancy and planning for the birth of a baby. Often what is neglected is planning for the postpartum period. We get so caught up in waiting to have a baby that when they actually come there is an awful “Aha!” moment of “Well what do we do now?”.
The two most common things families grapple with are:
1. Sleep (or lack of): Let’s be honest there isn’t a magical cure for this. But if you follow my tips below you may get more sleep by learning to focus on the important things and
2. Eating: Fatigue takes over and thinking about meal preparation is the last thing your mind and body have energy for, let alone actually cooking something. Take-out pizza and peanut butter sandwiches will only get you by for so long!
So let’s shed some light on what those are and how to plan and be prepared when the baby comes so you can avoid being overwhelmed by things that can distract you from enjoying your baby and family.
Some of our Survival Tips for After the Baby Comes:
- Prepare easy to re-heat freezer meals in large batches. This is much easier to have ready when dinner time arrives and you are just waking up from a mom and baby afternoon nap. Hearty soups, stews and chilies are great staples to keep to freeze.
- Bake and freeze easy grab-and-go snack eat items like muffins or banana bread that you can keep handy and eat quickly at 2 am when you are starving from your late-night nurse-a-thon.
- If you can afford it try a meal delivery service like Conscious Kitchen. Services like this will deliver home-cooked nutritious food and save your digestive system the upset of last-minute takeout. And it’s cheaper than uber eats!
- Make a meal list and distribute it to your friends. Tell your bestie they can only come to visit and have baby cuddles if they bring you supper. Extra cuddles if they bring dessert!
- Don’t feel obligated to have a ton of visitors in the first few weeks. The last thing you’ll feel like doing is entertaining when showering and brushing your teeth might be a big win for you that day. If you want to have visitors put them to work! Make a short list of a few things that would be helpful and don’t be afraid to ask. Friends and family members want to hold your baby but they also want to help. Don’t be shy to ask someone to change your sheets, or fold a load of laundry, empty your dishwasher or sweep the floor. You’ll surprise yourself with how keen people are to lend a hand if you only ask.
- Find a neighbourhood kid or hire a dog walker/cat sitter to take care of your fur baby. Let’s face it, we don’t intend to ignore Fido, but baby now takes precedence. However, they still need love and attention too.
- If you don’t have a lot of close friends or family members nearby, consider hiring a postpartum Doula! They can be a wealth of information on your recovery, newborn behaviour, and breastfeeding as well as help around the house with light cleaning, laundry, meal prep and lots more if you ask. We offer this service and are happy to come up with a plan with you.
- Lastly…as Elsa and Anna would say “Let it Go!”. Let the laundry go if you don’t get to it, and let the dishes sit in the sink overnight, there is no housekeeping police. No one will know but you. It’s more important for you to work on your physical and emotional recovery from birth than fuss over folding bath towels. Spend your time wisely getting to know your baby and discovering your role in your new family. Those are the lasting memories you want.