Planning for our postpartum recovery is often understated and underestimated. In my first blog post of this series, I wrote about how the first step in the planning process is to spend time reflecting on your current mindset towards this period. Many of us spend considerable time planning for the birth (which is absolutely the right thing to do), however we spend little to no time thinking about the weeks/months immediately following birth and how we want this to look. There could be one or several reasons why we undervalue this time. It could be due to societal conditioning, it could be that as individuals we aren’t used to carving out proper “me time” or we worry we may be seen as selfish, self-indulgent, weak or lazy if we announce we are going to spend X number of days/weeks in a postpartum bubble. To read this blog post in full see here: https://www.yourbirthvillage.co.uk/post/postpartum-planning-mindset
The second blog post in this series was discussing the importance of a support network aka Your Village. Everyone has heard the saying “it takes a village to raise a baby” and there is an awful lot of truth in this. Many parents express a feeling of loneliness and isolation during their postnatal period, and so it’s definitely worth spending time thinking about your village from an emotional & practical support perspective. In this blog I included some tips on ways to increase the size of your village. See the blog post here: https://www.yourbirthvillage.co.uk/post/postpartum-planning-your-village
So, what’s the next step in your postpartum period I hear you ask?
Is to begin thinking about, and writing a list, of all the tasks/chores, and other things you may need help with, that require attention on a day-to-day / week-by-week / ad-hoc basis and then think about how you will manage them during your postpartum recovery period. As an example, if you have an older child and a dog to care for and intend to spend 15 days in your house resting & recovering, you will need to think how you will manage this. This could be your partner if they are off work or Working-From-Home. This might be arranging support by a family member who lives nearby or some friends who can rally round to help. Or it could involve hiring a dog walker to take care of one element. No matter how big or small the “task”, write it down and then start thinking about who can help you with it.
Asking for help and support from our nearest & dearest may not come naturally to many of us, however by doing so we will increase our chances of achieving the postpartum recovery that we want. Consider reframing your hesitation asking for help this way – if a friend or family member needed some help, how would you feel if they hesitate to ask you? Most of our family and friends want to help us in any way that they can.
When compiling your list consider grouping them across three categories: “Practical tasks”, “ad-hoc” and “Support for you and baby”.
- Food shopping/delivery
- Meal prep
- Walking the dog
Support for you and baby:
- Postnatal doula
- Infant feeding support – including local face to face support groups
- Midwife teams
- Health Visitor teams – where can you find them when you need them?
- Someone who is available to care for your older child if you have to go to visit your GP/Midwife etc.
- Someone who can drive you as needed – this is especially important after a caesarean section.
If Your Village has few members and you will be taking on the lion share of the task/chore list you write, you can get organised by arranging the list in order of priority and produce a weekly schedule to spread tasks across the week. For example, if you have older children and need to wash their school uniform/PE kits, work out a day of the week that you can do this and try to stick to that day. Many households save laundry for the weekend, but it doesn’t have to be done on a Saturday or Sunday. Especially if you have older siblings to entertain!
Soon I will be launching my postpartum planning workshop and I would love for you to attend! If you're interested in joining the waiting list and getting an early bird price please get in touch :) via email@example.com or Instagram @yourbirthvillage