Birth Doula Blog
You're almost there, but don't quit just yet! You did great on that birth plan but have you planned for the "after" time? Also known as the fourth trimester, the twelve weeks after baby's birth is a period of growth, change, and adjustment for parents and baby. It's no secret babies require lots of time and attention from both parents while they're running on little sleep. This can make some new parents pretty overwhelmed and make it harder to make decisions, find time for themselves, or feel like they're nailing it.
To prevent feeling underprepared, many experts recommend crafting a postpartum plan that can help you transition into parenthood and identify helpful resources before you need them. You don't need to literally write one up, but you should discuss important questions with your partner, such as household responsibilities, newborn care, intimacy, and visitor policy.
Just as with a birth plan, your postpartum period may not go according to plan, but it will help you feel prepared to make decisions and make clear how you envision the first few months after giving birth.
Click here for a printable postpartum worksheet and scroll down.
The Five Mistakes I Made Giving Birth
Almost fourteen years ago, my husband and I carefully crafted the birth plan for our first child. We attended the 12-week Bradley Method course, read What to Expect When You're Expecting, and Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Childbirth. In my last trimester, I began attending La Leche League meetings and my baby's nursery was stocked and ready for her. On paper, we were prepared, informed, and diligent. We deserved a good birth experience. We were sorely mistaken and looking back at the plan I had saved on my Google Drive only reminds me of how poorly prepared we were. Sure, my plan detailed what I wanted to avoid, how I would labor, and the newborn procedures we preferred. It all checked out...it was easy to read and even buttered up the hospital staff. The goal: healthy mom and baby. Who doesn't want that?
Me. I wanted more.