Postpartum To Do’s
Bringing home baby comes with lots of to do’s. We’ve curated a list of postpartum to do’s to help prep for all the adjustments and your new normal as Mom and Dad.
You have planned, dreamed and waited for this day! It’s finally time to bring home baby. And now that you’ve had your little one, what’s next?
For that little one
- They are adjusting to new smells, new sounds and this whole digestive thing!
- Baby is feeding every 2-3 hours, swaddled well and you’ve prepared by creating the ideal sleep environment with the right sound machine which will help as they transition to this new world.
For Moms and Dads
- You are both having to navigate emotional ups and downs.
- These new emotions are incredible and sometimes so hard to understand! You will both find yourselves laughing one minute and crying the next!
- Expect a new “normal”.
- You will be doing things that you may not have ever done before. Give yourself time and be patient as you find this new routine as “Dad”.
- Check out our post with David Feldman, as he discusses how becoming a father rewired his brain!
- Take over some of those middle-of-night diaper changes.
- During the day let Mom nap while you take care of the baby.
- Bring her snacks and water while she feeds.
- You may have to do grocery runs, cook meals and make sure the laundry gets swapped to the dryer.
- Moms on Call Consultant, Katherine Bridges, wrote To Dad, Love Mom: How to Support Me Before & After Baby Arrives to bring new dads some encouragement and ideas!
Parenthood is an on-the-job training and you do not have to be qualified to start! You will get through the day to day realities one dirty diaper at a time.
Baby blues are expected and normal. Dad, you may experience some blues too! Make sure to talk with your friends/family and seek professional treatment if needed. With Mom, be on the lookout for lack of ability to sleep, bouts of crying, irritability and extreme mood swings. We know that those first few weeks it is normal to have some of these emotions. However, if lasting more than 6-8 weeks or worsening over a few days, encourage her to mention it to her doctor and if needed you may have to seek out the help for her.
Bring patience, confidence and a sense of humor!
Whether you delivered naturally, with meds, vaginally, c-section or adoption the postpartum period can be tough!
Here are a few must-haves:
- Nursing tank
- Socks with grips
- Peri or squirt bottle
- Used to rinse off the perineal before and after urinating as the area heals.
- Postpartum Mesh Underwear
- Large Maxi-Pads (Can also place a few in freezer)
- Until postpartum bleeding lets up, these will come in handy. Stock up for at least 2-3 weeks.
- Ice packs
- Often the hospital will send you home with a few extras if you ask for those first few days home.
- Have some soft ice packs ready in the freezer for when you run out.
- Witchhazel pads
- Used to prevent postpartum hemorrhoids and help with perineal pain
- Dermoplast Spray
- Will help with overall aches, pain and is safe while breastfeeding.Stool Softeners
- Abdominal Binder (C-section)
- Scar Cream/Oil
- Massage and Protect your C-section scar
- Large cotton undies
- We prefer high wasted, to help with postpartum pain.
- Stool softener & fiber
- Fill up on fiber to prevent constipation and use stool softeners to get things going, if needed.
The preparation and the waiting are done. It is normal to be ecstatic and thrilled one moment and crying and overwhelmed the next.
- Get moving!
- Eat and take in plenty of fluids.
- Ask for help and accept help.
- Know the differences between baby blues and post-partum depression. Educate yourself and your loved ones for signs to be watchful of.
- Licensed therapist, Kate Ferguson, shares about common perinatal mood or anxiety disorders, the symptoms to look for, how to get help and feeling better in her blog post More Than the Baby Blues.
- Please visit Postpartum Support International
- One thing that is helpful is to take some time to connect with each of your senses every day.
- Be specific and find some things you can see, touch, hear, smell and taste. Pause on each item for 60 seconds.
- Proper vaginal and c-section care will help the healing process.
- Check out Moms on Call’s CEO, Morgan Eddy, blog post about her experience with C-Section Preparation and Recovery.
Whether you delivered or “received” your special delivery, this is a time of adjustment. Give yourself permission to not have it all together. To be happy, sad, angry, full of joy and despair all within the same minute. But here is the truth: YOU are doing a great job! YOU are exactly who this little one needs and You are enough! You’ve got this!