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What Is A Postpartum Plan and Why You Should Make One
Postpartum Planning

What Is A Postpartum Plan and Why You Should Make One

Time to plan. As if you haven’t been doing that for the past few months!  But a real postpartum plan will get you ready to tackle that challenging 4th trimester a bit better. Read on for helpful tips and how-tos from our Mommy’s Bliss 360 expert and Postpartum Doula, Alisa Swann. We’ve been there and trust us…the more you prepare for the unexpected, the more you can enjoy the “now”. Take a (mom)ent and learn how.

You are about to embark on one of the most transformational journeys in your life. Motherhood. And particularly, postpartum. Postpartum is the first season of motherhood. A season where you will experience physical, mental, emotional, social shifts and so much more.

There are so many unpredictables when it comes to the postpartum period. It may feel easier to figure things out as you go. But I can assure you that winging it when it comes to postpartum is the last thing you want to do.

Postpartum is a season of rest, healing, learning and adjusting. And while it may feel like you are finally in the clear for any pregnancy related complications. The truth is that you are still at risk for pregnancy and birth related challenges through the first 6 months after birth or more.

This is where your postpartum plan comes in. A postpartum plan is your gameplan for how you will approach early parenthood. It can include things like your infant feeding goals and sleeping setup or your plan for postpartum meals, your physical recovery and self-care, or even how you want to handle visitors and guests after you come home. It’s really up to you.

Creating a postpartum plan will help you to see the things that will help and hurt your post birth recovery and adjustment. But if you do it right, creating your plan while you are pregnant (or even before that!) will give you the time to strengthen those areas that need help before your baby is born.

A postpartum plan can also be a tool to help you to reach those goals you have for yourself as a new mother.

You know your baby deserves the best and so do you. Give yourself the best start to motherhood by creating a postpartum plan.

If you need some guidance on where to start with postpartum planning, I’ve got you covered. Here are my top tips for creating the postpartum experience you’ve always envisioned.

How To Write Your Postpartum Plan

Before you start creating your postpartum plan, it’s important to take a moment to think about what you truly want when it comes to your experience. Jot down the things that are most important to you or non-negotiables. Next you’ll want to identify the areas where you’ll need some extra support or preplanning.

A great exercise for this is to write down all of the things that need to get done on a daily and weekly basis. Then considering that you will be spending lots of time feeding and caring for your baby, write down who will do what tasks after you give birth. Or think about your day as a new mother. Assume that at least 12 hours of your day will be spent feeding and caring for your baby. That leaves 12 hours for everything else including sleeping, caring for yourself, eating and daily tasks. This will give you a better idea of where you think you might need some extra help after birth.

You’ll also want to take a look at your home and think about how you can make it more postpartum and baby friendly. You’ve probably already thought about where your baby will sleep and nursery storage. But don’t forget to make designated spaces for your postpartum care, infant feeding supplies, and other mom gear.

Now it's time to think about your support circle and all of the resources available to you during your postpartum season. Your support circle includes any trusted family, friends and professionals that you can lean on for real help after birth. Your resources include things like money you’ve saved up or FSA/HSA savings, benefits from your employer, things that insurance will cover and even local community resources and programs for new parents.

Once you have a clearer idea of the postpartum areas that are most important to you, where you need more support and the resources that you can tap into, it’s time to put it all together.

Here are some areas of postpartum that you’ll want to consider planning ahead for:

Taking care of yourself
Taking care of your baby
Feeding your baby
Postpartum nutrition and meals
Postpartum mental wellness
Bonding with your baby
How you’ll get more sleep
Welcoming visitors or guests
Processing your birth experience
Managing expectations
Communication and intimacy
Getting out of the house
Who to call and when

After you have mapped out the areas where you need support and your resources to create your postpartum plan, write it down and put it on the calendar. And share it with the people that need to see it. You can put schedules, meal plans, visitors, classes, appointments, etc on your calendar. Anything related to your postpartum season that is date related should be on this calendar. And you should refer back to this calendar regularly and make any changes or tweaks as necessary.

And also be sure to write down or save any local resources you are interested in.

Who To Include In The Postpartum Planning Process

You probably have a lot of thoughts and ideas about how you want things to be after birth. But postpartum is not something you go through alone. You’ll definitely want to include your main support person, husband or partner - whoever will be there with you caring for your baby - in the postpartum planning process. Postpartum planning together is a great way to start conversations around what to expect after birth and how to create a united front before you're sleep deprived. You don't have to share your whole plan, but you'll also want to communicate relevant details about your postpartum plan with the people in your support circle.

If you need help creating your postpartum plan, a postpartum doula is a great resource. They use their experience and knowledge to provide feedback, tips, strategies and resources that you may not have thought of.

Postpartum Planning Template

Postpartum Brainstorming

What areas do you think need the most support

  • Taking care of yourself
  • Taking care of your baby
  • Feeding your baby
  • Postpartum nutrition and meals
  • Postpartum mental wellness
  • Bonding with your baby
  • How you’ll get more sleep
  • Welcoming visitors or guests
  • Processing your birth experience
  • Managing expectations
  • Communication and intimacy
  • Getting out of the house
  • Who to call and when

What needs to be done? \ Who will do it? You or someone else?
Who will:
Care for your baby during the day?
Care for your baby at night?
Grocery shopping and errands?
Care for your pets?
Care for older siblings?
Cook meals and snacks?
Take mom+baby to appointments?
Do laundry?
Other daily/weekly chores?
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________

Support Circle and Resources

Person / How they can help / When they can help / best contact __________________________
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________

Savings/HSA/FSA
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________

Work Benefits Maternity leave
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________

Things my insurance covers
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________
__________________________

Taking Care of Yourself

For my physical recovery after birth it is important that I:

  • Stay off of my feet for ____________________ after birth
  • Sleep when baby sleeps as much as possible
  • Stay home accept for doctors appointments
  • Focus on my healing and recovery
  • Other______________________________

My partner can support my physical recovery after birth by:
___________________
___________________
___________________
___________________
___________________

Pre-pregnancy physical concerns or complications: _____________________________________________

Pregnancy physical concerns or complications: _____________________________________________

Taking Care of Your Baby

  • Take care of baby, siblings, pets, house on our own
  • Have help from family/friends
  • Hire a Postpartum Doula
  • Hire a nanny or mother’s helper
  • Hire a pet sitter/walker

Postpartum Nutrition and Meals

  • Premade snacks in the fridge or freezer
  • Premade meals in the freezer before birth
  • Cooked meals each day
  • Meals prepared by friends/family or meal train
  • Order takeout/delivery or gift cards
  • Postpartum chef/meal delivery
  • Vitamins/Supplements
  • Placenta processing

Postpartum Mental Wellness

  • Perinatal therapy/counseling
  • Daily self-care time
  • Journaling
  • Walking or spending time outside
  • Other______________________

Welcoming Visitors or Guests

How soon after birth will you welcome visitors and guests into your home?
How many guests may visit at one time?
What are your preferred visiting times?
How long would you like visitors to stay?

I would like my visitors to:

  • Wash their hands before holding the baby
  • Wear a mask in my home
  • Be vaccinated before visiting
  • Take off their shoes or wear shoe covers in my home
  • Don’t kiss my baby

I would like my visitors to:

  • Help with a light chore
  • Bring food
  • _______________________

How You’ll Get More Sleep

Where will your baby sleep during the day?
While baby sleeps I plan to:

  • Rest
  • Shower
  • Spend time with older kids
  • Connect with friends
  • Read
  • Do housework
  • Something else______________________

Where will your baby sleep at night?
What is your plan for parenting at nighttime? ________________________________________ ___________________________________________________

Managing Expectations

I expect my partner to _____________________________________________
My partner expects me to___________________________________________
My partner can really support me in the following ways:

 

Other Areas You Can Plan For:

Bonding with your baby
Processing your birth experience
Feeding your baby
Communication and intimacy
Getting out of the house
Who to call and when

When To Write Your Postpartum Plan

When it comes to preparing for your postpartum season, the earlier you can get started the better. You can start putting together your postpartum plan as early as you find out that you are pregnant, or even before. The sooner you start the more time you have to set up what you can before your baby is born. And then you can bring your baby home to a peaceful organized space that you thoughtfully prepared.

Put Your Postpartum Plan Into Action

Lastly, bring your beautiful baby home and start working on your postpartum plan. And as you learn your baby and yourself as a mother, you can add to your plan or make changes and tweaks as you go.

You should change it! Your postpartum plan will evolve and grow with you and your baby. You should refer back to and check in with your postpartum plan regularly. If the things that you planned ahead for aren’t working, cross it out and write down what is working and ideas on how you can create more of that.

Motherhood is a lifelong journey with many seasons. And as you grow into each season of motherhood having a plan, even if its tentative will help you to navigate the journey with more ease and confidence so that you can be the best mother possible for your baby.

This site is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. Please consult your physician or other health-care professional.

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