How to write a postnatal plan, I’m guessing this is something you hadn’t given much thought to?
When it comes to birth, I consider a birth plan to be essential as part of the prep you do together. The power of the plan is not in the plan itself it’s about getting informed and realising you had choices where you didn’t even know you had them.
But why a postnatal plan?
So often our preparing for baby ends with the moments after the birth (oh yeah and the stuff for baby; you probably have a lot of it already!)
For anyone who is particularly anxious about the birth, the likelihood is that it’s about ALL you have been able to focus on. You pour time, energy and money into one very life-changing day. I know because this was me, even with Hypnobirthing I couldn’t see past the hurdle of giving birth and short of stocking up the freezer and buying all the stuff (did I mention the stuff?) I hadn’t really done anything to prepare myself.
I had given little thought to the practicalities having a baby and what life would be like in the 4th trimester and having my own postnatal plan.
I hadn’t considered things like my own recovery and healing from the birth, riding the waves of all the crazy hormone fluctuations, issues with feeding my baby, a hospital visit with a poorly newborn.
Don’t even get me started on THE WASHING; how can something so small create so much fucking washing?!
And it was hard, really bloody hard! I wanted to prove I was a good mum and that I could still do all the things. News flash if you have EVER asked yourself or worried about being a good parent then it’s a pretty safe bet you are one!
I didn’t give myself enough of a break or ask for enough support. And I think that’s really common for first-time mums. When I speak to my postnatal doula friends, their clients are more likely to be second time mums who want things to be different this time around.
Motherhood doesn’t come with a manual or a road map. You have to navigate your own way but that doesn’t mean that isn’t anything that you can do to prepare.
By creating a simple postnatal plan with your partner in crime, it can go a long way in helping you feel more ready, more supported and more like a team.
The power of the postnatal plan is working out what is important to you in your early days of parenthood and how you can adapt to the changes
Here are some simple questions you can ask yourselves that will help you navigate your own path to motherhood and create your own postnatal plan. These questions are adapted from a list I originally read from Kimberly AnnJohnson author of the 4th trimester
Consider the following
Who do you want to visit in the first 3 days/first week/first 2 weeks?
Who are you open to seeing you at your most vulnerable
What can you do (or avoid) in the first few weeks to help your body heal easily and swiftly?
How can you create space in your day to get good quality rest?
What are the barriers? How can you overcome them?
Who’s in your village?
List the people in your immediate circle. Family/friends/neighbours etc
Who can you call for emotional support that will listen without judging you?
Who can you rely on to come over at short notice and help if you need it?
Who’s in your tribe?
Consider your wider network? Think of the ways you might need to be supported in the first 40 days and get some numbers ready.
Breastfeeding support/cleaners/postnatal Doula/dog walker/babysitter etc etc
What puts you in a good mood?
List 3 things you can do when you are in a bad mood to help you flip the script.
What can you and your partner do to make feeding yourself nourishing food easier in the first 40 days? Meal prep, takeaways, batch cooking etc.
Are there any conversations you want to have with your partner before the birth?
Do you need additional childcare support in place?
Here is an example postnatal plan.
If you would like to download a blank copy CLICK HERE
I passionately believe that just opening out the conversation can help make this period easier and it’s all part of the reason that we have a 4th trimester planning session with postnatal Doula Sarah at my East London pregnancy retreat – Ten Moons. The next one is coming up on the 7th of September and I can’t wait to share the magic!