You Don’t Know Me, But I Know You.
You are up in the middle of the night. Sometimes crying. You are hoping, praying for an easier tomorrow. Your to-do list constantly runs through your mind. Thoughts run through your head that you’ve never imagined would. You don’t feel like yourself physically, nor mentally. You feel alone: isolated. unnoticed. left behind. forgotten. deserted. fatigued. exhausted. confused.
I am your doula, and you are not alone.
1 in 7 birthing persons experience a PMAD. Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders are related to symptoms that occur during pregnancy and/or up to one year postpartum. A PMAD can occur at any time to any birthing person or support person.
Hi, you don’t know me, but I know you. I see you. Posting pictures of your new baby as you both navigate through the days. I see you sharing inspiring, truth-telling, raw quotes and memes on social media. Finding where you fit in to this new role, in this new life. I see your “this is me” posts of exhaustion where the opposite use to be. I See YOU.
The post-birth period is a jungle of unknowns and insecurities. Your birth, your body, your baby didn’t do “xyz” like (insert names here). Subconsciously you’re sizing yourself up against celebrities, friends, and even family’s experiences. It’s natural to do, and it’s also not okay!
Each postpartum period is as unique as a snowflake. Every person giving birth has a 12 week “4th trimester”. These weeks can be blissful and they can be utter hell. So what can one do to steer off the later? Preparing ahead of time for their postpartum period!
Here are 5 Steps Prepare for an Enjoyable Post-Birth Period:
1. Meals for the Future. Planning meals and freezing them makes the meals easy to prepare. I hear you. I’m not a cook either. However, I AM a planner! Knowing that I have some of my favorite yummies in the fridge or freezer ready for a quick heat up, gives me peace of mind. Meal trains set up by your village are no fuss, no muss, and allows you to try different meals each day. Feel like you don’t have a village? Meal delivery kits have become a favorite of mine. All the ingredients are shipped to my door with the instructions. And the meals are not only delicious, but also enough for a few meals. Because we often forget our own nutrition during this post-birth time, these gestures can be vital to postpartum health and recovery.
Did you know that Vegas Family Doulas offers exclusive meal planning AND preparations?!
2. Limit Your Visitors. Limiting your visitors to an hour visit each and allowing visitors after the 2 week postpartum period. The two-week period brings about list of new ventures with a newborn check up, lower immunity for mom and baby, a circumcision, a growth spurt, and brand new breasts. In these first two weeks, parents are learning how to be parents, well…parents! Baby’s are learning how to “life” outside the womb. Their safe place. A rested confident parent makes better company than a frustrated fatigued one. Setting boundaries for your time and energy is not rude, it’s allowing your visitors to come at a time when the visit can be enjoyed by all parties.
3. Make a List and Check it Twice. Make a list, or plan, of what your wishes and desires are during your postpartum period. Those that visit will have an idea of your guidelines and will better adhere to them without the awkwardness. Want your guests to wash their hands before touching your baby? Great! Add that to your list. Don’t want any children visitors quite yet? Wonderful! Let your visitors know ahead of time. Want to have your guests sign the baby book as they visit? Exciting! Have a pen along with the book by the door as they come and go. The list goes on and on.
You can even receive our postpartum planning guide to help you get started!
4. Build Your Team. Maybe it’s your partner, your mother, your best friend, a colleague, or church family. Perhaps it’s the postpartum and infant care doula you hired prenatally to help get through the 4th trimester without judgement; along with the personalized support you seek. Knowing that you have a team that not only loves you, but also respects and cares about your well-being is a big plus in a successful postpartum recovery. Allow your team to check in with you and each other and know that your dream team has your (and baby’s) best interest in mind.
5. Check in with Yourself. Knowing yourself well enough to recognize what triggers you is highly important. If you know that you need a certain amount of sleep each night to function amongst the land of the living, make that happen. If you have set routines know that while they may be adjusted with a baby, keeping that familiarity in your every day will help you get through the tougher days. When you are not okay listen to your mind and your body. Rest (everything else can wait), Eat (you cannot run on an empty tank) Call your village (they’re there to help), and/or Enlist medical care (especially if you already have a history or regimen). You know yourself best! Let others in.
You Don’t Know Us, But We Know You.
You are going through the trenches. We want to support you. You feel like the pieces are falling apart, yet some days they seem to fall together. We want to help you navigate those days. The postpartum period is not all or nothing. It’s not all roses, and it’s not all thorns. Preparation will help you find a foundation in a new world. Vegas Family Doulas has an exclusive list of local resources of support for you.
Feeling like these sentences sound too familiar? Postpartum Support International provides PMAD support for families all around the world 24/7. Providing you access to support where you are.