Postpartum Wellness Plan
You’ve probably heard of a birth plan -- your wishes for your birth. Maybe it’s to labor for as long as possible without meds or have a totally natural birth, to breastfeed right away or to bottle feed, to just have your partner hold your hand during delivery or to have a doula take charge.
Many moms think about what they want to happen during labor and delivery and even immediately after. But most don’t think about a comprehensive postpartum plan for their own health and wellness. When you have a newborn, sometimes the simplest things can be extremely difficult and that’s why it’s important to have a plan. What are you going to eat? How are you getting to appointments? How are you getting emotional support? What’s your exercise after pregnancy plan? These are all things that are helpful to sort out before baby arrives.
As a first time mom, I felt I was so prepared to feed my baby. I had taken a breastfeeding class, had a pump ready, had some formula in the pantry, and bottles sterilized and ready to go. What I didn’t think about was what I was going to eat! It seems so simple, a nursing mom needs to eat well so that she can feed her baby -- I mean, the baby does get what you eat anyways. A formula feeding mom also needs to eat well so that she can concentrate on feeding her baby, making sure that the formula she has is right for the baby.
You really can’t focus on much when you’re starving. I was starving when I came home from the hospital with my first baby. With baby number two on the way, I am doing things differently. First off, I’m making sure to have freezer meals prepared -- frozen foods that I’ve made before that just need to be warmed. I’ve also signed up for some meal delivery services from local companies. Plus, I now am lucky enough to have a community of Baby Boot Camp moms near me who are going to be dropping off some healthy meals in those first few weeks postpartum!
The other issue I faced was leaving the house while newly postpartum. I found it both physically and emotionally difficult, not to mention overwhelming. It seemed like anytime I wanted to make even the simplest trips, I was preparing to climb Mount Everest. This time around, I prepared two diaper bags (one for each of our cars) and have extra supplies in the glove compartments. As someone who hates to be late, I knew that I needed to let go of my usual punctuality in order to save some of my sanity.
Perhaps the easiest part of having a newborn this time around will be the reassurance of emotional support. I didn’t realize how vital it was to have a community of moms to lean on. With my first-born, I didn’t start Baby Boot Camp mom and baby classes until she was 6 months old. This time around, I already have my Mom Strong Tribe of local moms to support me, and I know it will make all the difference in the world. I am excited to try out Baby Boot Camp's Birth Recovery program for myself. I know the movements from the Birth Recovery program will make my achy body feel better and help me to repair my diastasis recti. And the information from the program will help to reinforce best practices for easing back into postpartum life.
Everyone has different postpartum experiences, especially the first time around. Things won’t go exactly as you imagined. However, I think it’s important, especially in order to minimize baby blues or postpartum depression, to have a plan in place that makes you feel prepared. Although we prepare for the arrival of our babies, we don't always think about our own health and wellness. It will make all the difference if you can have your basic needs met with ease. A happy mom makes for a happy baby.
By Jessica Cohen, Owner and Instructor of Baby Boot Camp Encino, Sherman Oaks, Studio City