Five things you should be doing during pregnancy to prepare for postpartum
Giving birth and welcoming a new baby is a big deal! There are emotional and physical challenges associated with the immediate postpartum period. If you are pregnant, consider doing these five simple tasks before your baby is born so that your postpartum time can be a a whole lot easier.
Make some postpartum padsicles
If you have a vaginal birth, your bottom will appreciate a little extra TLC. You can make some soothing “padsicles” ahead of time that you can use after you give birth. The steps are easy — grab some of your favorite maxi pads and soak the absorbent side in witch hazel or healing Euphoric Herbals Sitz Bath. Layer them in a casserole dish with foil or plastic between the layers and freeze. After they are frozen, store in a plastic bag. Use a soothing pad to help reduce discomfort and promote healing after you have birthed.
Cook for the freezer
If you are doing any cooking at all toward the end of your pregnancy, consider doubling your efforts and popping the extra meal in the freezer for after the baby arrives. A second batch of soup or your favorite casserole will be waiting to be heated up whenever you want while you are dealing with the demands of a newborn and your own physical recovery.
Set up a meal train
Choose one of the many handy free apps available online and set up a meal sign up sheet that is ready to go. Include as much info as possible so friends and family know about any food allergies or dislikes and ask them to use disposable containers so that you don’t need to worry about returning dishes. After the baby is born, share the link with everyone and prepare to be pampered with food, using a process that is automated thanks to your pre-birth prep! Here are a couple of our favorite apps: Take Them a Meal and Meal Train.
Easily track baby input and output
Many new parents worry about whether their baby is getting enough to eat as breast/chestfeeding is getting started. Having a helpful app to use that tracks feeds, diapers and newborn activity can be a useful tool to help you assess if all is going well. Installing a baby tracking app before you give birth helps you start off right! Choosing one that is multi-user lets both parents and any other helpers add info too. Some of our current favorites are Huckleberry and Ovia.
Make a “nursing” bag/basket
Having a newborn means lots of feeds, day and night. While you are still pregnant, you can begin to put together a couple of “nursing” baskets full of the items you will want to have close by during those marathon sessions. Include some yummy nutrition bars, a few burp cloths, a cell phone battery pack, hair ties, breast pads, some grab and go drinks (individual coconut waters, sports drinks and the like) and your favorite nipple cream. Consider throwing in anything else that is “shelf-stable” and useful to have at your fingertips when you are alone and feeding your baby. Keep these near where you do most of your nursing and know that you have what you need close by even when you can’t move because of a hungry baby. Heading to a new location to feed this time, just grab the bag or basket and bring it with you.
Recovering from giving birth is important, and taking care of a newborn makes that time extra challenging! There are things you can do now, during pregnancy, to make those first days and weeks just a little bit easier. Consider preparing for postpartum now and enjoy more snuggles with your newborn after.