There are so many things to think about when you are about to welcome a new baby into your family whether this is your first child, you’re adopting, or you already have children. I created this worksheet to give families a place to have all of the information they are going to need in the weeks after giving birth. I suggest working on this worksheet during your third trimester of pregnancy so that you are prepared for a restful postpartum.
Preparing for Postpartum with printable worksheet
In the weeks following the birth of your child, you and your partner are not going to have much time to spend on meals. Having a plan for meals will reduce stress and allow for more time bonding as a new family. Nutritious and nourishing meals are so important during this time. In the weeks leading up to your birth, you can make extras of some of your meals to freeze. There are several websites that allow you to create a sign up so that friends and family can help you by providing meals. Another option is to be prepared to order from local restaurants that have delivery. This is another way that friends and family can help you if they don’t like to cook.
Snacks are so important for nursing moms, so ask somebody to pick up some healthy snacks next time they are at the store. I recommend snacks that are easy to eat while in bed.
20 one handed snack ideas for breastfeeding mamas from Paula Kathlyn
Tip: People can buy disposable baking pans from the dollar store. I suggest buying these so that you don’t have to coordinate returning the dishes.
Who is going to help you after the birth of your baby? Do you know who you can turn to when you need help? Usually, your partner will take some time off of work to be there for you and the baby. Sometimes family members will come over to help. If you don’t think your family visiting is actually going to be helpful, feel free to ask them to wait. You need this time to rest, heal and bond with baby; breastfeeding is established during this time. The time my husband had off work overlapped with the time my mom was in town to help out. Looking back, I wish it would not have overlapped.
Postpartum doulas are another great resource. Their job is to help new moms. I recently went into more detail about the role of postpartum doulas. Read that here. If you need help finding a doula, check out my doula resource page,.
If you plan on breastfeeding, being prepared definitely helps but most women need some kind of help with breastfeeding after they give birth. It is worth it though. When I was pregnant, I attended several classes and read a couple of books about breastfeeding. It wasn’t easy but I felt confident and knew what to do.
I had at least two incidences where I needed to call a “professional” for help. There was a breastfeeding hotline that I called in the middle of the night and another time I called a La Leche League Leader to find out if a prescription I had was safe to take while breastfeeding. These are the phone numbers you need to have on your refrigerator or in your phone.
Another way to prepare for breastfeeding is to make a basket with all of the things you will need while nursing. Here are some ideas for things to include: water bottle, nursing pads, snacks, a breastfeeding book (I read this one), nipple cream (this is the one I used and I loved it), and burp cloths.
More breastfeeding resources on The Motherhood Journey.
Your other children
Have you arranged childcare for after your baby is born? If you already have regular childcare, I encourage you to take advantage of it and continue (even if just once a week) even though you aren’t working.
Besides childcare, you can prepare activities to keep your children occupied while you breastfeed or put your baby down for a nap.
I suggest investing in some comfortable clothing. Minimal clothing is best to keep you in bed and make breastfeeding easier. Open cardigans and robes are great for keeping you warm and allow for skin to skin with your newborn.
The new mom should not do any chores for at least two weeks. Write out a list of chores for your partner, postpartum doula, family and other visitors and post it on your fridge so that your support people will know how to help you.
Did you do anything to help you prepare for postpartum? Is this list missing something?