Perhaps you prefer to read? Here’s a heap of useful tips to help you plan for your postpartum from episode 3 of The Podcast.
We spend a lot of our time actually planning for our birth, but often we forget, or we neglect to prepare for the first few weeks after birth.
Truth is, when babe arrives, those first few weeks can be exhausting as you adjust to life with a new babe. If you can plan in advance for your postpartum, it might make it a lot easier.
First on my list and the one that will really, really help, (I can’t stress this one enough!) is to pre-cook a batch of meals that you can freeze and just heat up when you need them in the weeks following birth.
How many you want to make up is up to you, but I recommend maybe making enough so that you can double up.
So, if you make 10 separate meals, you’d have enough for 20 days. Then on the other days, you could use a slow cooker, (let it do its thing) accept meals from family and friends, or just order a takeaway when you can’t face cooking anything.
I found this brilliant blog online where she lists a bunch of recipes that look absolutely delicious. What’s really nice about this post is that she also includes a handy shopping list as well – – > Bonus!
All right, here goes.
Below is a list of meals you can pre-cook with meat or they could be meat-free. I’m pretty sure if you’re a vegan, you could make a vegan version too. Soups and broths are possibly the best meal you could prepare and if you make it in big enough batches, you’ll have enough to last you a while.
Broths and soups are full of minerals and nutrients that are really good for your body. They can help to strengthen your body after birth in fantastic ways, plus hydrating you if you’re breastfeeding and you need extra fluids.
Soup is the simplest thing in the world to make and digest and has that warming, cosy feeling about it.
Other kinds of every day, delicious meals you could prepare and freeze could be some of the following.
- A Bolognese or a Ragù Sauce, like a tomato pasta sauce.
- Curry of your choice with whatever meat you prefer or just a vegetable curry.
- Lasagna – – > again, with meat or meat-free
- Meatballs / Veggie Meatballs / Vegan Balls
- Chilli Con Carne (spice things up – Who loves a Chilli Con Carne?)
- Cottage pie (with meat or a veggie alternative)
- Macaroni and cheese
- Marinate your favourite meat or vegetables and put them in a pack. Toss with some teriyaki sauce or Chinese spices – Et Voila!
And if you really fancied going the extra mile
you could also prepare some snacks to freeze, like Cookies, Muffins or Gronaloa Bars!
Some extra things you might also want to consider when you’re preparing these meals is freezer bags. I find when you use freezer bags, it allows for more space in the freezer rather than plastic containers.
Also, Sharpies is a must to note down whats actually is inside each bag and to note the date.
Stock your cupboards with quick easy foods like pasta and rice, that you can boil on the stove to add with one of these meals too.
I also recommend buying a slow cooker. I love my slow cooker, you just chuck a whole lot of food in, leave it, wait for the magic and hey presto you have a meal at the end of the day!
Here’s a few more things besides food to help you prepare for postpartum.
Set visitor and virtual boundaries.
Once you’ve announced babe has arrived, chances are your phone will be beeping left, right, and centre. Everyone will be excited that babe has arrived and they’d all want to congratulate you as well.
And while this is wonderful, it can be very overwhelming.
Do not feel pressured to reply and to respond to every call, text or visitor. Set boundaries in advance, notify people that you’ll make an announcement when babe has arrived when you’re ready.
Let family and friends know that you’ll reply to messages and return calls when you can, but not necessarily immediately. Tell them beforehand, that you’ll let them know when it’s okay for them to call over. They will understand and they’ll respect your wishes.
The next tip is an important one.
LET PEOPLE HELP YOU!
Yep, I totally mean that in block letters. This could be your partner, your mother, a friend, or Doula.
Accepting help could be as simple as somebody taking your basket full of dirty laundry away and returning it clean. Popping to the shops to pick up some groceries, changing your bedding, running you a bath, or cooking all those meals you’ve prepared in advance.
The next step is to give yourself time.
As we’re currently in lockdown in the UK, this is possibly a good thing, I guess. Give yourself time to heal and rest where possible. Spend time bonding with your new babe and see how many times you catch yourself sniffing your new babe’s head.
You and your babe have been on this long journey together, so be kind to yourself and your body, and remember to eat and drink. NOTE: Sometimes eating and drinking will feel hard.
Stock up on other supplies like big maternity pads or pants, breast pads, or breast shields (I think you can get reusable ones now).
Invest in some nipple cream, if you’re planning on breastfeeding. You might like to think about getting a feeding cushion or a pillow, or just pick one you’ve already got and delcare it your breastfeeding pillow.
Buy some big knickers, honestly, the bigger the better, and wear the comfiest PJ’s you can find. And when you find the comfiest PJ’s, buy a whole bunch of them.
Treat yourself to a postpartum recovery pack, most include witch hazel, ice packs, herbs for the bath and salves. They have some fantastic little kits currently on Etsy!
A must-have buy many new mums are recommending is Spritz for your Bits, which contains natural essential oils and can soothe any discomfort after childbirth.
It’s made by the Expert Midwife and as I currently write this, they have an offer that you can take full advantage of right now –> 3 for 2. Lots of women have sworn by it, check it out!
Lastly, some random things that might help.
Buy a sling. These are wonderful and there’s such a wide choice available now. When using a sling, it keeps babe close to you. Snuggles them up, keeps them warm and the sound of your heartbeat will comfort them.
Slings also free up your arms to eat, drink, find the TV controller or read a book. Just having your arms free is wonderful when you’ve got a newborn. Slings are definitely 100% worth looking into.
Buy painkillers and use them if you need them.
You could also join a new mum’s Facebook group to meet other mums that are on a similar journey to you. Find somewhere where you can share your birth story.
If you decide to breastfeed…
Think about joining an online breastfeeding group on Facebook to get some extra support. I had a quick look and some of them do have a lot of people in them, so maybe try some locally first.
Side Note: I know meeting other mums is really shite at the moment, so using the internet to its advantage is better than nothing. It’s a connection of some kind, at least until life resumes to some form of normality.
My final tip (if you haven’t already) is subscribing to Netflix.
When I go back to when I had children and I was awake at three am or whatever-a-clock it was in the morning, the best TV could offer me was Star Trek.
It did the trick at the time I suppose, but I would much prefer to be watching some of the great new shows that are on Netflix right now, instead of Star Trek!
I hope this has helped and has given you some things to think about to plan for your postpartum. If you think I’ve missed anything out, please write and let me know. It’s always useful to me.