5 Steps to a Happy Postpartum

 Picture

Picture

You've cared for yourself well during pregnancy and you know exactly how you would like your birth to go down. That's awesome, but how much thought have you given to planning for a happy and healthy postpartum period with your new baby? Once your body has actually completed the hard work of giving birth and must start caring for the little one around the clock, you need more TLC than ever. Parenting is beautiful, but it's also challenging – and the fact that 20-30% of women will suffer from postpartum depression should be a sober reminder to make sure that you get your needs met too.

Here are the five things you should consider to have a happy postpartum experience:

1. Line up support

It's not fun to have to ask for help, but think of it this way: most of the people in your life who love you WANT to be helpful to you when you have your baby! If a friend or relative can stay with you for a little while, let them! If your church or mom group wants to organize meals and chores, don't turn it down! If you don't have family around,

set up a meal train

for yourself and post it on Facebook, and consider

investing in a postpartum doula

to help while you're resting. You won't regret the down time – your body needs to take it easy and recover after the exertion of birth.

 Picture

Picture

2. Prepare for feeding your baby

This is a whole subject by itself,

which I've written about before

– but if you are planning to breastfeed, knowing what to expect is half the battle. Attend

La Leche League

meetings, put breastfeeding support people on speed dial, and read books like

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

. Bookmark the website

www.kellymom.com

for all the evidence-based infant feeding information you could ever need in the middle of the night, at your fingertips. Set up a station with your nursing pillow, burp cloths, breast pads, nipple cream, water bottle, book, and healthy snacks so that you will be able to rest and have everything you need within reach while learning to nurse. If you will be bottle feeding, set up your pump and get all your bottles and nipples sanitized and ready.

3. Stock up on necessities

Making sure you have plenty of basic essentials in the house can really make it easier on you once baby is here. Prepare meals that can be popped in the oven or dumped into the crockpot, and small containers or baggies of snacks that you can grab as you sit down to hold the baby. Load your pantry with diapers, wipes, toilet paper and dry staples – this will help you to stave off the inevitable trips to the store for a while so you can keep your vulnerable newborn at home in the early days. Also, consider gathering some disposable tableware to temporarily cut down on sinks full of dishes.

 Picture

Picture

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4. Learn how to spot the symptoms of postpartum mood disorders

Most people are aware of postpartum depression, which affects

as many as 20-30% of women after giving birth

. However, there is actually a whole range of mood disorders that can affect postpartum women, including postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder, postpartum anxiety disorder, postpartum psychosis, and others. By familiarizing yourself with these issues, you can become more equipped to notice if something does not feel right after giving birth and can seek appropriate help. Learn about postpartum mood disorders

here

, and also check out

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale

, which is a tool that caregivers use to help diagnose these disorders.

5. Consider placenta encapsulation

Having your placenta professionally processed

into easy-to-swallow capsules is believed by many to help postpartum women have a smoother experience. The iron content helps to stave off fatigue, which may contribute to mood disorders, while the pregnancy hormones contained in the organ can help mothers ease more gently into the drastically different postpartum hormonal state. Wichita Doula provides the highest standards of safety and sanitation in placenta encapsulation in order to help you reap more benefits.

What other actions will you take to ensure a smoother transition to new parenthood?

Source: New feed