Postpartum Plan

I’ve often thought if moms put as much effort and planning into their postpartum plan as they do their birth bag, life after birth would be SO much easier. Have you even ever heard of a Postpartum Plan? It's basically one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. It will make your postpartum way more enjoyable and so much less stressful!

Postpartum is such an amazing time in your life. Especially if you can honor the space of bonding with your new baby and give your body the rest it needs to recover. The ability to rest when someone else is doing the laundry is seriously a superpower. Snuggling and bonding with your baby while the dishes pile up in the sink is also just as amazing. I refer to this time as your “babymoon.”

It’s pretty common to spend hours making a birth plan and even more time packing, then in the end, you find you didn’t even use ¼ of the stuff you packed. In many cases, your birth plan went to plan B, C or even D but, in creating that birth plan, you set yourself up to have the best positive experience possible. This is the same thought process in creating a postpartum or babymoon plan. It can help you to feel educated and supported during the few months after having a baby. This is a time for you to bond with your new little one and give your body the rest it needs to recover from running a 9-month marathon.

We often want to give moms a trophy for being able to have it all together right after birth. They are usually the “filtered social media moms,” The ones who are right back in their pre-pregnancy jeans, running errands, back to work, and all the things the week after having a baby, or at least they make you think they are all that. We are really great at comparing ourselves and ending up on the weak end of that comparison chart when really that is just not the norm! It takes six weeks for your uterus to get back to its normal pre-pregnancy size. It takes even longer (sometimes 6-12 months) for your hormones to find their new normal.

Creating a postpartum plan will totally help free your mind and release your "mom guilt" so that you can just enjoy your babymoon and give your body the time to find its new normal while bonding with your little one and giving your body the rest it needs to recover from running the pregnancy/birth marathon. Even if you have a butter-birth, the most content and happiest baby you know, and breastfeeding is a snap, you still need and deserve support and nurturing as a new mom! So, when you hit the inevitable bump in the postpartum road because trust me...you will, it reduces stress and anxiety to have a postpartum plan in place.

The best time to make this plan is before your baby is born. If you wait till after your birth, you will constantly be trying to catch up, and it probably won’t happen. A good place to start is sitting down with your partner and make a list of all the day to day things you normally do. I’d recommend going through your typical day and list EVERYTHING you do on any given day, then give each of them a realistic time of when you think you might return to them. This will help take the pressure off you and your comparing expectations of that trophy mom that is NOT the norm.

Here are some examples of what you might include in your plan to fit you and your family’s needs.

BABY CARE IN HOSPITAL

  • Do we want to follow the standard protocol for vaccinations?
  • Will, our baby, be breastfed or formula-fed?
  • Will we feed on-demand or on schedule?
  • Will we use pacifiers?
  • Do we want to save the placenta, and what do we plan to do with it?

VISITORS

I want to insert some words of wisdom here. There is a huge difference between a helper compared to a visitor. Helpers will happily do a load of laundry, get the dirty dishes out of the sink, make (or bring) you a meal, and hold the baby so you can take a nap or a shower. Visitors tend to sit on your couch, coo over the baby, and chat. However, this might be entertaining (you might as well be napping!). I love postpartum doulas, but if that’s not in your budget, you can ask trusted family members and friends to help you get the rest and support you need. Remember, they will still probably need guidance about how best to help you. So, plan to have a suggested to-do list. The clearer you are about your needs, the easier it is for those to support you!

  • Should we ask visitors to use hand soap or hand sanitizer when they enter the house?
  • Will we allow visitors to hold the baby?

SELF-CARE

  • What essential supplies will you need in the first few weeks: Tree Hugger Cloth Pads®, several pairs of underwear, comfortable pajamas, water bottles around the house, healthy snacks, etc.? Getting a baby carrier that’s comfortable to wear and that you know how to use safely makes parenting so much easier! Don’t assume that what worked for a friend or a family member will work for you. If possible, try before you buy and take the time to learn how to use your babywearing gear.
  • How do we plan to stay well-rested? If you need to nap and your two older children need to be entertained, ask your friend if you could pay her $20 on Wednesday mornings to take your kids for 2 hours so you can rest. She will be thrilled for the extra cash!
  • What are each partner’s expectations of the other during this period and how do we plan to communicate our needs to each other effectively?
  • What might trigger stress for you? For example, if people staying at your house after the baby is born causes you to stress, come up with a plan on how to make it less stressful.

MEAL PREPARATION AND CHORES

  • How do we plan to feed the family nutritiously in the first couple of months: previously prepared freezer meals, etc.?
  • Who will do each household chore, and when? (create a detailed list) Anything that you can't get covered by your partner or your support system hire it out!
  • Who will look after our other children’s needs: feeding, bathing, school pick-ups, and drop-offs, etc.? When your sister-in-law says, "let me know what I can do!" you can ask her to pick up your 4-year-old from preschool at noon on Tuesdays.
  • Who will look after our pets? And how will we ensure our children and pets accept the new baby? Remember to plan some time for you to connect with your older child(ren) for a special cuddle, a book, or a familiar bedtime routine.

List of essential oil blends to have on hand

After Pain Magic

Put in a 10 mL roller bottle and fill to top with FCO.

When you experience after pains, trust this blend can give aid to your uterus while offering you support for discomfort. Apply generously to the low abdomen after birth for discomfort and supporting the uterus as often as needed. These are all very gentle oils, so no worries if baby’s skin comes in contact with this blend on mama’s tummy.

TIP: Nursing stimulates the uterus. Using this blend just before nursing will be very supportive. This blend is also fantastic to use when your cycles return and you're in need of relief for normal period cramps.

Anxious Feelings/Pick Me Up blend

Put in a 10 ml roller bottle and fill to top with FCO

Or

Put in a 10 mL roller bottle and fill to top with FCO.

Apply to hands and inhale, then rub inside forearms, back of the neck, and around ears.

TIP: Adaptiv complex and copaiba soft gels are recommended at night for a restful night’s sleep and brain balancing while you sleep.

Hemorrhoid/Peri Spray

Put it in a 6oz spray bottle topped with witch hazel. Great to just spray directly on the area, also on spray-on pads, then put in the freezer.

Mama’s Soothing Nipple Cream 

Melt coconut oil if needed over low heat. Cool coconut oil before stirring in essential oils. Pour salve into a jar and place in the refrigerator until solid. Store in a cool, dark location. Massage into breasts as needed. If you are breastfeeding another little one, massage oil onto your breasts after feeding, and clear residue with an oiled wipe (2-3x) before the next feeding.

Mastitis/Clogged Duct 

To help nursing moms relieve the occasional clogged ducts that can turn into more serious threats that cause pain and tenderness in breast and body aches, I have recommended the remedies below with GREAT success.

Put in a 10mL roller bottle and fill to top with FCO. Apply several times a day, massaging the area

A grated potato on the affected area with a covering like Saran Wrap, then a dark bra or tight tank top to hold it in place. The sulfur in the potato will draw out the infection.

Put in a gel cap every 3 or 4 hours and lots of water. Continue this for 3-5 days after you are feeling better to a sure the infection is completely gone.

I also highly recommend a homeopathic remedy for chronic mastitis or mastitis that keeps coming back. Phytolacca in a 30c. You can get it at a health food store that carries homeopathic remedies. If not, order it online. Here is the link: Boiron Phytolacca Decandra 30C (Pack of 5) http://amzn.to/2qDAmCk

You will only need 3-4 pellets under your tongue 2-3 times a day for 3-4 days. It works like magic. You do NOT want to be without this.

Milk Maker

Put in a 10 mL roller bottle and fill to top with FCO.

Apply to breasts avoiding nipple area after nursing. You should only need this blend for 2-4 days to notice an increase. Then you can stop and use again when needed, like when the baby is having another growth spurt.

TIP: If you use it continuously, you may want to make 2 rollers, one with fennel and one without fennel, because I recommend only use fennel for ten days before needing a break.

Also...1-2 copaiba soft gels 2x a day for 2-3 days may help increase your supply.

Postpartum Baby Blues & Heavy Heart

Think of this blend when you’re feeling overwhelmed and just need a little extra uplifting support or when the “baby blues” have turned into intense sadness.

Put in a 10 mL roller bottle and fill to top with FCO.

Simply rub in your palms and inhale, then apply to your pulse points, including inside forearms, back of your neck, and ears as often as needed.

TIP: Did you know…the most common nutritional deficiencies in those with postpartum blues are B vitamins, omega-3’s, and magnesium. My recommendation is dōTERRA’s Lifelong Vitality supplements.

In the end, a postpartum plan goes beyond setting up a baby registry and stocking your nursery; PLEASE take the time to write your postpartum plan.

As you can see, making a postpartum plan can benefit everyone. Everyone will have a more realistic expectation of you AND themselves. I know things happen, and the plan will have to be modified as you go along. Please know… This is totally okay! Plans change. Situations change. Your plan isn’t written in stone; it’s easy to modify. Use this as a guideline, personalize it and make it yours.