Having a new baby and entering into the postpartum period can be really really tough. Like really tough. Super tough.
But I believe there are ways you can prepare to make the postpartum period LESS tough.
Prepare. I know the title of this article is called preparing for Postpartum. And I feel you're looking for instruction for that. Just hang on. It is coming. But you do have to prepare. And by that I mean make a plan. Most moms prepare for birth for hours but don't think about coming home from the hospital. Do you want visitors at the hospital? Best to let your mom know early you would rather them wait until you're home before they come out. Know the signs of Postpartum Depression (PPD), know if you are at higher risk for PPD, and talk to your partner so they know the plans. Come up with a rough idea about sleep. Are you both going to get up with the baby every time? Are you going to tag team? Are you going to be furious at him is he gets to sleep peacefully with his useless nipples? Would you hire a sleep consultant if it got too bad? Have these conversations and have a rough plan.
Community. Talk to your friends and family before you have a baby. Ask them to come over and help you when you're home. Be honest with them. Tell them "I don't think I will want to ask you for help but I will need it". Ask about coming over after the meal train stops. Ask about coming over when Dad goes back to work. Lean into your community. Don't be afraid to look weak because no one thinks you are. The people that love want to help you but are waiting for you to ask!
Honesty. Listen, Mama, this is hard. Your hormones are emotions are going crazy. Sometimes babies do not sleep no matter what you do. Sometimes you grieve the life you had before kids. Sometimes you get the baby blues and then they do not go away. You might feel like a failure or weak for not being able to keep up. I need you to promise me something - THAT YOU WILL BE HONEST. When your doctor, husband, friend, mom or someone you trust ask you how you're doing and you're not doing well please don't smile and say "great. just tired" tell them how you are feeling. You are not the only one who has needed help and they can only help you if you're honest. ok? You promise.
Lower Expectations. I will make this short and sweet. Your house can be deep cleaned and organized after your baby isn't a newborn. So stop stressin'. Your older kids WILL survive watching more movies than for a little bit. Your body spent 9 months growing that baby. Nothing will be the same but it'll all be wonderful again one day.
These are 4 of the most important things you can do to prepare for The Postpartum series. If you want more where that came from - stick around!! There is plenty more to come to help you have the best transition into motherhood or adding more into the flock.
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