The Resource Doula

Mini Series #3: Favorite Resources for Postpartum

September 23, 2023 Natalie Headdings Episode 37
The Resource Doula
Mini Series #3: Favorite Resources for Postpartum
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Postpartum is such a significant time of change, adaptation, and bonding. It can also be a stressful, sleepless, and emotional time. I encourage you, if you're pregnant or hope to be, spend some time thinking through what you want the first 8 weeks postpartum to look like. If you're already postpartum, I would also encourage you to prioritize rest moving forward. And if you're beyond postpartum, consider how you might encourage or provide care/meals/rest for a new mom that you know. 💕

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All the resources I mentioned and more are a part of a bigger list that is a live document - meaning I update it regularly! Y

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Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the abundance of resources out there when it comes to pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting? Trust me, you're not alone. In this age of information overload, it's easy to get lost in the sea of options and end up not taking action at all. I'm Natalie, and you're listening to the Resource Duo Podcast. Join me on this mini series designed to help simplify this. journey. In each episode, I'll go through my favorite resources for a specific category, making it easier than ever to find the information you need and leave behind what doesn't resonate with you. Our approach here is all about embracing a holistic, natural, and non toxic lifestyle. Let's get started. Today, we're talking about my favorite resources for the postpartum period. Postpartum is such a significant time of change, adaptation, bonding. It can also be a stressful, sleepless, and emotional time. I would encourage you, if you are pregnant or hope to be soon, spend some time thinking through what you want the first eight weeks postpartum to look like. If you're already postpartum, I would also encourage you to prioritize rest moving forward. And if you're beyond postpartum, consider how you might encourage or provide care or meals or rest for a new mom that you know. There's something that needs to be said before we dive into all of my favorite resources and that. Is that the absolute, most important thing is that your mental health is taken care of and postpartum support international. Is an excellent resource for this. They have a crisis hotline. They have a bunch of online support groups and lots of resources on maternal and paternal mental health. As well as a directory where you can find a local professional a therapist. So if you are struggling or even just feel slightly off, please seek out, help. Or if you know, someone who could use some support, reach out, be there for them, send them resources. The more we talk about it, the less taboo it becomes and the more moms who get help sooner. I wrote an article on the three steps to prepare a nourishing postpartum recovery plan and it goes into depth about building your support network, prioritizing resting and how you can do that and returning to normal life slowly with some specific exercise recommendations. So I will link that in the show notes, but I'm going to talk about each of those things as well. So what I consider to be essentials for postpartum and after you've had your baby is really different than. And the list of the right car seat or the right pacifier or the right bottle or all of those products are really individualized and depend on what you and your baby are comfortable with. So I'm going to talk about more of the support aspect of postpartum than I am actual products. So the first thing that I consider to be essential is setting up a support network and a postpartum plan. Now if you've heard about a birth plan, you're kind of familiar with the idea of having a game plan for how the day is going to go. I would argue that a postpartum plan is... Significantly more important than a birth plan, which I'm a fan of birth plans to don't get me wrong but a postpartum plan can give you the information that you need and Help you to feel empowered and when you're in that sleep deprived state, you don't have to set boundaries You don't have to tell people what to do. It's already written out from when you were pregnant. So there is a free Line in plan on earth mama angel baby site. I will link to that. It's a really good place to start It goes over like okay who is gonna help you do these specific chores? When you are nursing your baby when you are feeding your baby Who is going to help you take care of your pets and your animals when you are at the birth place wherever you are It also talks about Who is going to buy groceries what your food train is going to look like your meal train things like that So it gets really specific and helps you think about all of the details that you might not Consider if you've never had a baby before so highly recommend starting there I would also think about your food plan putting together Freezer meals, having a baby shower gift from everybody instead of baby products, especially if it's a second or third or subsequent child, is having them just bring a fresh meal and or a freezer meal, things like that, or Have a food preparation party where everyone comes over and helps you to make freezer meals.,There's a really great list of like over 50 meals that I recommend to everyone off of Lily Nichols site. I used a lot of those recipes when I did my surgery prep. Highly recommend delicious, nutritious, all of the things. I will link that in the show notes for you. And there's also freezing tips on how Um, specifically to freeze food and how to get the most bang for your buck another couple essential things to think about for the postpartum period when you're planning. If you're there now are your boundaries with family and friends. Um, when you're going to have people come visit, are you going to have people come visit? When they come visit, are they allowed to hold the baby? Are they going to do chores for you? What is going to be their role? How long are they going to stay? Are you going to allow them to kiss the baby, touch the baby, feed the baby? All of those questions are important to think about prior to, so you're not caught in a moment where it leaves you feeling pressured one way or the other. That also goes into communication. So if you can communicate really, really well with your family and friends prior to the birth of your baby or babies, then they know their expectations. They know your expectations and you can have conversations prior to, so it doesn't become an issue when you establish your postpartum visiting guidelines, um, when you do. give birth. Another essential thing to postpartum is movement. It doesn't have to be exercise. I encourage just general gentle movement in the first few weeks. And I have an entire article on what I recommend, uh, specifically week by week for postpartum. There is a plan, uh, that I do recommend, but just getting out for some gentle walks in the first. Maybe week two or week three, starting to do your diaphragmatic breathing the first week, starting to do some gentle strengthening. Reconnecting your brain with your core and your pelvic floor are incredibly important, and studies have shown that exercise during the postpartum period dramatically reduces your chances for anxiety, depression, or it can just help. alleviate some of those symptoms. Um, so movement is essential. To go along with the movement piece, I would recommend you see a pelvic PT if you can. within your means, within your network, insurance wise, cash pay, whatever it may be, if you can get to a pelvic PT, I do recommend booking it as early as possible. If you're still pregnant, book it for eight weeks past your due date. And as long as you're on the books and you can move it around, a lot of times quality pelvic PT offices have a long wait list. So it's really beneficial if you can get on there earlier. If not, try to see them after that six week. appointment when you are cleared for an internal exam, if that's something you wish to have, they can really help you and set you up for success on your postpartum recovery journey. Now I want to talk about books. I've already mentioned both of these books in the previous two episodes of this mini series. The first one is called the first 40 days by Heng Wu. It's a traditional Perspective of resting for the first 40 days after giving birth. Um, and it's really eye opening to how many cultures prioritize rest and mothering the mother and how much we in the U S I'm speaking for myself as, as U S resident, um, Um, we don't honor that time and we are giving accolades to people who get up a couple weeks after giving birth and go back to the gym or go and do their normal thing and rush around and get out of the house as much as possible. But really the first 40 days sets you up for the next 40 years. So you can establish that postpartum plan ahead of time. Prioritize rest, eat your nourishing foods. Then you're going to feel so much better. You're going to do so much better, not only physically, but mentally as well. So highly, highly recommend that book. And then you already know, I'm going to recommend Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols. I can't stop talking about it. It is essential for preconception, pregnancy, postpartum and beyond as well. So I will link to those in the show notes. Something else that I recommend as a resource during the postpartum period is people and professionals. So if you are choosing to breastfeed, if you would like to breastfeed, ideally you meet with an IBCLC, so an Internationally Board Certified lactation consultant, um, prior to giving birth, right after you give birth, having a, have a relationship with them, have an established connection with them. So you have somebody to call or reference or ask questions when you are struggling. If you are struggling, breastfeeding is hard and it's a challenge and it's oftentimes kind of considered something that's natural, so it should be easy, right? But if you are curious about breastfeeding and how you can make it easier on yourself, highly recommend taking a breastfeeding class, meeting with an IBCLC, and establishing kind of your boundaries around that and who in your life and who in your home can support your breastfeeding endeavors. Kelly Mom is a really excellent site for evidence based Breastfeeding information. I also did a podcast episode. It was episode number four, so you have to scroll way back there with two of my favorite IBCLCs on what you might not know about breastfeeding, and that one's a really excellent episode, and it's really fun, too. Um, another person that I would recommend is, In the postpartum period is a doula, a postpartum doula, or somebody who can act such as one. So postpartum doulas, they can come in, they can do your laundry, they can do your dishes, they can help you process your birth. They can help you figure out your boundaries. They can take care of your baby while you nap, while you shower. It's just having an extra set of hands, especially if you don't have family. close by who, or friends who you trust to come over and help you out in your home during that time, then a postpartum doula is a really excellent idea. And that's something that you can put on your registry as a fund, as a group fund, instead of getting a hundred more baby onesies. If you don't have a postpartum doula or friends or family, Um, also having a fund on your registry or having people gift you somebody who can come over and clean your house. Do those chores that you do not need to be doing immediately postpartum, nor does anyone in your immediate family. If you're bonding as a family or if you have older kids who need to be taken care of, if your spouse is back to work, things like that, then somebody who can come over and clean the house. and has no judgment for postpartum moms is a godsend. So something to think about as you're creating that registry or if people are asking how they can help, then you can tell them you can contribute to a housekeeper or you can come over and mop my floors for me. Okay, I am going to talk about two products that I do recommend for postpartum. The first one is a caddy or a little basket that has separate compartments in it. So you can have a a nursing station, a diaper station, you have everything you need right there with you. And I recommend if you're going to have multiple baby stations around the house and have multiple caddies. So you are not thinking, Oh, I need to change a diaper. I need to walk across the house to find diapers and cream and all of the things, or I need to sit down and breastfeed. Oh, I forgot my phone charger. I forgot a snack for me. You have those stashed away And all of the areas that you might see yourself sitting or resting. So something that can be very helpful or one that has a handle that you can just easily carry with you. The next product that I feel is crucial for postpartum is a baby carrier. So it's ideal if you can have like a baby wrap, a soft wrap, or a ring sling. And then maybe also a... Soft structured carrier as well. There's so many brands out there, so much information on baby carriers, but my favorite resource is Cassidy from let's talk baby wearing. And I had her on the podcast on the safety of baby wearing and all of the things you might want to know on episode 31. So definitely listen to that. Follow her on Instagram. She has a ton of tutorials on pretty much every single carrier you can imagine. Um, and so she is an excellent one to. Watch and listen and to make your decision on which carrier you choose. Having your baby in a wrap on you is one of the best things to promote bonding, breastfeeding, skin to skin time, tummy time, all of the things. And also if you are wary of lots of visitors coming over, if you're allowing them in your house, but you don't necessarily, you're not ready to. Let everyone hold your baby, having them in a wrap on you before the guests come over is a really good way to kind of keep them close and show them off, but not pass them around the room. Really, I could go into a lot more products, a lot more information on postpartum, but really the main point I want to drive home is that you need to trust in yourself and in your own knowledge of your body and your baby. It can be a learning curve, but your mama gut is there for a reason, so please listen to it. And it's also important to Recognize if there's voices that are causing you to doubt yourself. So taking a break from the overwhelming amount of opinions and advice, including all of the fun mom, Instagram accounts, or, um, the groups that you're in on Facebook, those can actually be detrimental if you are. listening more to them than to your own body and intuition. So, feel free to unfollow. This is your permission that you didn't really need to unfollow or limit your time or say no to having that person over to your house who always just gives you information unfollow. Mute anything that doesn't thoughtfully encourage and support you. Please don't hesitate to ask for help when you need it, and know that being aware of all of your options and all of the support that's available to you is empowering. choose to make a conscious effort to rest during this sacred time. Postpartum, your future self and your children will thank you. That's it for this episode. I want to remind you all of the resources I mentioned today and more are part of a larger list that is a live document, meaning I update it all the time, I'm adding new recommendations and resources to it, so you can follow the link in the show notes, or you can just go to resourcedoula. com forward slash resources. And please remember that all of this is just suggestions and not medical advice. Thanks so much for listening. If you're enjoying this mini series or you just enjoy the resource doula podcast as a whole, I would so appreciate a five star review in your favorite podcast app. It really does help other people find the show. Thank you so much for listening. I'll catch you next time.