Few things are as exciting as welcoming a new baby into your life and family. As an expecting parent, it’s likely you’re feeling a combination of joy and anticipation for what’s to come. Especially if you’re a first-time parent, it can be helpful to think ahead when it comes to planning for your baby’s arrival. This includes considering the postpartum period and how you’ll handle any challenges that arise. That is, some thinking ahead now could go a long way into making your postpartum period easier regardless of how smooth your transition into the next chapter is. For a few tips on how to best prepare for the postpartum period, read on.
Mental Health Supports
When most people hear the word postpartum, they instantly think of postpartum depression and the struggles some moms face after delivering a baby. It’s true that hormone changes are real and that some women suffer from extreme symptoms of depression shortly after giving birth. While there’s no way to know for sure if you’ll suffer from a depression that’s more serious than the baby blues, it’s a good idea to know who you’ll call if you do run into trouble.
Many women who’ve had post-pregnancy depression have had great luck seeking treatment in an IOP (intensive outpatient program) through Charlie Health or another fantastic therapy group. IOP programs mean you’ll have the benefit of a treatment team of licensed professionals helping you through the challenges that can come along with acute depression symptoms. Others do well with weekly individual therapy or medications. Having a conversation with your healthcare provider now about what you’ll do if you run into this situation is a good way to empower yourself.
Comfortable Clothing and Helpful Products
With body changes, it can be hard to feel comfortable after having a baby. One way to make yourself more comfortable down the road is to buy a few comfortable clothing items now. While some women continue to wear maternity clothes for a few weeks or months after delivery, you’ll also want to consider products that will make your life easier. For example, a breast pump bra through Simple Wishes or another quality retail outlet geared toward helping new moms could take the stress out of nursing for both you and your baby.
Self-Care and Taking Breaks
Regardless of where you are in your motherhood journey, you’ll want to consider self-care during pregnancy and beyond for ultimate peace of mind after your baby comes. This means forming a plan around how you’ll take breaks from your baby. Think about your natural support system and who can help with daily chores and needs as you adjust to your growing family. Determine who will babysit, who will watch your child when you return to work, and which chores you and your partner will take on when it comes to raising the baby.
The more prepared you are now for the period of adjustment after having a baby, the better off your mental wellness will be. With a solid plan for the postpartum period, supports lined up, and a vow to take breaks and make time for self-care, you’ll be in the best position to have peace of mind and a better quality of life after your baby comes. Even the best changes can be stressful, so be easy on yourself as you welcome your new addition. Soon enough, it’ll be hard to remember a time when your baby wasn’t around and will be able to pull off a diaper change with both eyes shut without even thinking. Congratulations on your upcoming delivery. Best wishes to you and your growing family.