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Birth Doulas Exercise Parents postpartum Pregnancy

Benefits of Prenatal and Postpartum Yoga

By: Destiny S. Olsen BD(DONA), PCD(DONA), RYT, TPYT

The sanskrit word yoga translates to yolk or union. The path of yoga is a path of union, union of breathe to the body, union of the mind to the muscles, union of the body, mind, spirit and ultimately, union of creation.

For those of you starting to think about having a baby, those who are pregnant or just had their little one—this practice of yoga can be quite profound and powerful during this time.

We are currently in a time when “ everyone is doing it.” Perception of yogis are no longer tied into funny outfits, hippies, religious freaks or people who sit in weird position for long periods of time. Silicon Valley business owners, musicians, artists, educators, garbage men, construction workers, students and mothers, to name a few, are all approaching yoga with the new idea of yoga being a part of a new health revolution—a revolution that physical exercise then leads to mental strength and longevity and vise versa.

We are seeing widespread behavioral changes through professional and educational settings that implement yoga—impacting bullying, relationships, coping skills, and even productivity.

We are cultivating through yoga nicer, happier people that aren’t being “yanked” around by their feelings or emotional insecurities because they are more aware and have the skills to manage when they get thrown off kilter.

Through yogic practices you can create a internal telescope where you are able to decipher how you feel, why you feel that way, and access the tools you have to alter or enhance these feelings.

So where did yoga come from? Yoga is a science of complete self realization that was channeled, intuited, and practiced by people who dedicated their lives to dissolving borders and boundaries within themselves. They then codified these practices into a system that could be understood, imbedded and applied by people from every walk of life. One of these systems developed is called the 8 fold path.

This 8 fold path is neither linear or circular—rather an ebb and flow between one or many of them all at the same time. They are,

Yama: Self of integrity or ethical standards within yourself  and others

  • Non violence “I value all things and all people the same as myself”
  • Non harm “Do no harm to myself or others whether it be thought or action”
  • Truthfulness “I am trustworthy in my dealings with myself and others”
  • Honesty  “I am honest with myself and others”
  • Non coveting “I have everything I need”
  • Self honoring “I value myself and others through holding acceptable boundaries”

Niyama: Practices that relate to our inner world

  • Cleanliness “I take care of my body through healthy food and habits”
  • Contentment “I am exactly where I need to be”
  • Self Discipline “I can have discipline to accomplish my goals”
  • Study of Oneself “I can self reflect on myself and my purpose”
  • Surrender “This karmic path will lead me where I need to go, I release control”

Asana: translated as postures. This is the fundamental face of yoga and for some lineages the medium through which the union takes place. However asanas only become yoga if it then leads to a spiritual union—not just flexibility and strength. Through the practice of postures we develop the habit of self discipline, self reflection and the ability to concentrate.

Pranayama: translated as breathe control, expansion. This limb is to not only gain control over our respiratory systems but to create a connection between breath, mind and emotion. Knowing how to master your breathe and using it to your benefit can only improve your experience through everyday life. This practice of breathe can aide with: control over emotional health and wellbeing, release of emotion and muscular tension creating more ease, better sleep, digestion and blood circulation. This is also a recurring focus through labor and birth “breathing your baby down”.

Pratyahara: translated as sensory transcendence. This is where we shift off the external world and stimuli-directing our attention internally. This practice is to take a step back to look at ourselves, learning how to become observant. As you become a parent less and less time is navigated to self reflection. Put down the distractions (i.e. phones, computers, tv) to tune into what truly matters to you.

Dharana (der-yana): concentration of the mind, aka meditation. This component of yoga is to focus your mind on one point regardless of internal or external focus. This act of driven concentration is to slow down our process of thinking as a whole.

Examples:Drishti points, birthing alters, are external. Drawing eyes upward and closed, envisioning baby in belly is internal.

Dayana(die-yana): Uninterrupted flow of concentration. Instead of having to focus you are now, just aware. Your mind quieted and complete stillness sets in. You move through life moment to moment.

Samadhi: This is ultimate peace. You connect to all living thing and transcend. This isn’t something that can be bought, rather practiced and earned.

So why and how is yoga useful during pregnancy? You’re changing a lot on many facets during this time, including these ways listed below:

Anatomical/Body Changes:

  • Blood Pressure Alterations
  • Internal Organ Displacement
  • Increase of Mucus Production
  • Increase Blood Volume
  • Weight Gain and Distribution throughout your Body

Emotional/Mental Changes:

  • Hormonal Changes
  • Social Responsibilities of Being a Parent
  • “Pregnancy Brain”

Research performed by the Mayo Clinic suggest that yoga is safe and has many benefits to moms and their babies such as:

  • Improves Sleep
  • Reduces Stress and Anxiety
  • Increases Strength, Flexibility, and Endurance for muscles that are needed for childbirth
  • Decreases: lower back pain, nausea, body discomfort, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches and shortness of breath
  • Decreases the risk of: preterm labor, pregnancy induced hypertension and intrauterine restriction
  • Creates a community by bonding with other pregnant moms
  • Prepares you for other life changes of becoming a new parent or adding a family member

Gained skills for the Postpartum Period and Child Raising Years:

  • Creates a more mindful existence in your body, mind and soul
  • Aides in gaining tools for stress management
  • Builds a better sense of self-identity and personal power
  • Develops better habits for self discipline and concentration
  • In depth coping skills
  • Deeper bond between baby, partner, family and friends

This information is intended for a paying client or student. Please do not copy, share or distribute unless given approval and permission by SHAUNTEA, LLC.

About Destiny:

Destiny S. Olsen is the proud owner of SHAUNTEA, a company focused on individual health and wellness. She has taught somatics since 2005 through yoga, dance and meditation. As a DONA certified Birth & Postpartum Doula she believes developing mental and physical health is essential to creating well-balanced children, happier adults and a well balanced lifestyle.

Destiny is currently taking on birth doula clients for the 2019 year. Check out her social media pages and the fliers below for more opportunities to learn more about yourself, your changing body and parenthood.

Phone: 801-361-9785
Email: shaunteahealthandwellness@gmail.com
Website: www.shaunteahealthandwellness.com
Facebook: facebook.com/shaunteahealthandwellness
Instagram: @shaunteahealthandwellness, @destinysolsen

                 

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Honoring the Postpartum Period After Loss

By: Raquel Alfaro

For any family, the postpartum period is a time of adjustment and change.  Sleepless nights and demanding days.  It is no less so for you parents experiencing the loss of a pregnancy, the loss of your baby.  It is compounded by not only dealing with the changes of the postpartum period, but also the whirlwind of grief, shock, and dismay while still being required to make important choices, give explanations, or plan events such as a funeral or ceremony for friends and family.

Your mind may be pulled a thousand different directions, your feet may no longer feel like they touch the earth. Your heart, your hopes, and dreams may feel pulled right out of your chest.  I see you.  I honor you.  I honor this journey of pain and longing.  Of hopelessness, powerlessness, and regret.  I see you.  I honor you.  And because I know how simple day-to-day choices, like what to eat for breakfast or how to get dressed are suddenly overwhelming, I’ve made a day-by-day guide for you to begin honoring yourself, your partner, your baby, your emotions, your process, and your body through the first 30 days of your lifelong journey.

Take one day, one hour, one minute at a time.  Follow this in order, or skip around.  It is your journey.  It is your baby.  I see you.  I honor you.  I walk with you, one day at a time:

Day One: I Love You

No matter the amount of time you get to spend with your little one, from minutes to hours, this is your time to meet and say first, “I love you,” before you say, “Goodbye.”  If you are able to hold your baby for a while (no matter how little baby is), send a family member or friend to get two stuffed animals, one large and one small.  The small one will stay with the baby and hold your love inside.  The large one will stay with you in your arms as a tie to each of you and a witness of your love. (Tip: This is the day to consider what may be done with your placenta.  For more ideas, see Day Seven).

 

Day Two:  I love you.  I miss you.

My arms miss holding you.  My lips miss all the kisses I have stored up for you.  My womb is heavy and still.  Hug your partner.  Cry together.  Share, and then, listen.

Day Three: Nourishment.

Allow yourself to be nourished.  Accept meals from friends and family, or order in.  Even if you don’t feel like eating, taste everything that is brought or offered to you.

“Even in my darkest hour, I can nurture myself.”

Day Four: Honor your body.  

Your body carried your baby for weeks or many months.  They were connected within your womb.  You have experienced changes in your body to open and accommodate this beautiful child.  Your body has given strength, nourishment, space, and vitality.  In honor of this gift, schedule (or have a friend schedule) a belly binding session to help tie up the loose ends and bring you into your space.  

“Honor the body.  Honor the womb.  Honor the journey.”

(Tip: Look for an SBD or another bereavement doula who also does belly binding to teach you or a partner or friend to do the binding so you can continue binding for a full 40 days, or however long you choose).

Day Five: Facing the Milk

In the wake of your loss, it can feel cruel to see your body making milk (if you carried beyond 21 weeks this is likely).  How can it not know your baby is gone?  How does it not feel the heaviness and emptiness in your breast?  You can decide to dry up your milk while acknowledging the tears you both cry, some clear, some white.  You can decide to pump and donate it to another baby in need.  If you decide to donate it, add a special touch like your baby’s initials or name on every bag.  “From my baby to yours.”

Day Six: Connection.

Connect to your partner.  Share a couple ways you thought they would make parenting fun and special for this baby.  Hold hands while you share and look each other in the eye.  Let the intimacy of connection guide you.

Day Seven: Token of Love.

Look into (or ask a friend to look into) making or having memory beads made from your dehydrated placenta, some of your baby’s ashes, or your pumped milk.  You can wear this in jewelry or can place simple ashes inside your stuffed animal in a special container as a continued and personal connection.

Photo from: https://www.milkandhoneykeepsakes.com/

Day Eight: Walk Together.

Take a walk outside.  Go as far as you feel comfortable going.  Imagine what it would be like to take your baby on this walk with you.  Think what you might show them, the colors they would see, the way they might feel the sun or the wind across their skin.  In quiet moments, like this, you can hold your dear baby close inside your heart.

Day Nine: Ceremony

If you held a funeral for your baby, you will likely have had the ceremony before now.  If you are not planning a funeral, consider creating a ceremony for yourself, or you and partner, or even include close friends and family.  It can be anything that is meaningful to you, from burying the placenta while music plays in the background, to planting a tree, to holding a salt bowl ceremony, to creating an altar of love at home or in the mountains.

For more ideas visit: https://stillbirthday.com/farewell-celebrations/

Day Ten: Silent Truth.

Though you are far from me, you will be with me forever.  

Day Eleven:  Bath

Take time today to take a steaming hot bath.  Add epsom salt, a favorite essential oil, and some flower petals if you have any handy.  Light some candles and turn off the lights.  If you still have some lochia or postpartum bleeding, just allow yourself to be okay with sharing space with this powerful connection to your body, baby, and journey.

 “I release into the water any thoughts of blame towards myself or others.  I am enough.  You are enough.  We work together to create kindness and compassion.”

Day Twelve:  Puzzled

Get your hands on a 1000 piece puzzle.  When you are ready, begin to set it out in a place where it can stay and be worked on over time.  This is a reminder to be gentle with yourself during your journey.  When you dump out 1000 tiny pieces onto the table, you do not expect it to gather itself up immediately and be whole.  It is a broken metaphor for your journey.  Even if you unite one piece of the whole each day, you will begin to see that over time you make progress.  Your journey is no different.  Only one thing a day to walk towards healing and finding meaning and someday you will begin to feel progress as the pieces come together to guide you.  “I am gentle and kind with myself on my journey.”

Day Thirteen:  Gratitude

Get a piece of paper and write down something you are grateful for about your partner, and put it somewhere they will find it during the day.  “You are a part of me.  We may walk different roads, but we are on the same journey.”

Day Fourteen: Breath and Release

Take some time alone today.  Put on some quiet, relaxing music, and sit or lay down in a comfortable supported position.  Place one hand over your heart and the other over your uterus. Focus on your breath lifting and moving both of your hands.  Allow your body to release any tight thoughts or emotions that come forth and focus back in on the breath.  “With each breath, I release and feel calmer and more at peace.”

Day Fifteen:  Earth and Sky

Go outside and lay down on the earth.  Bundle up if it is cold.  Lay down and watch the sky.  See if you can feel the space where the sky and earth meet.  Breath into this space as you imagine you might be able to either sink into the earth or float up into the sky.  Take at least 20 deep breaths before you begin to sit up slowly.  “I breath the breath of healing up from the earth and down from the sky.”

Day Sixteen: Poetry

Write or read a poem that speaks to you.  Here is one by Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin from her book, “Tears of Sorrow, Seeds of Hope: A Jewish Spiritual Companion for Infertility and Pregnancy Loss

Be gracious to me, O God,

For I am sorely wounded.

My eyes, my soul, my womb

Are consumed with grief.

I am like a broken vessel.

Day Seventeen: Kindness

Look for one small way you can share or give a kind act for another person close to you or even a stranger.  You never know the battles other people are also facing.  

Day Eighteen: Date

Plan or ask your partner to plan a simple date night to share.  Go out if you are up for it, or make popcorn and watch a funny movie together.  Take time to simply connect and share some designated “we” time together.

Day Nineteen: Reach out

Find a connection with someone else who has experienced loss.  Read a story, find a group on social media, or open up to a friend who has walked this road.  

Day Twenty: 20 Second Hug

Hugging for 20 seconds releases oxytocin into the body, which can help reduce anxiety and boost feelings of calm and happiness.  Throughout the day connect with your partner as often as possible in a prolonged embrace: at least 20 seconds.  It may feel unnaturally long at first but allow your bodies to melt towards each other in kindness and compassion.

Day Twenty-One:  Flowers

Take some time to find flowers, either on a walk or at the store. Absorb yourself in the small details of these delicate and lovely plants.  Look so deeply into the color that you can see the elements of the petals.  Inhale the scent slowly while you close your eyes and try to remember the last time you had this scent in your nose.  If you feel inclined, take some home to keep on the table and reconnect with these flowers several times.  “I allow my senses to take in the beauty around me.”

Day Twenty-Two: Gather Rocks and Materials

Go to a stream or other natural area and collect medium-small, flat rocks to be painted. Consider taking a friend with you.  Take time to breathe the air of the plants around you.  Take time with each stone to feel the weight of it in your hand.  Put it in your plans to pick up some paints (or ask a friend or family member to get some) for painting the rocks.  You’ll need permanent paints and very small brushes.  Some rounded sticks, like the flat end of some toothpicks, work well too. Modge Podge works well as a sealant.

Day Twenty-Three: Painting and Hiding

Consider inviting a friend to join you in painting the rocks you gathered.  Choose any colors, design, or layout you wish.  It is more about the process than the final picture.  On the backside of each rock, paint your baby’s name or initials and birthday.  When they are finished go out into some favorite spots the city and “hide” the rocks for other people to find.

Day Twenty-Four: Warming Foods

Incorporate warming, healing food into each of your meals.  Ginger, cayenne, garlic are great additives. Also, hot soups and teas are great for warming.  Miso soup is warm, comforting, and nutritious.  

Day Twenty-Five: Walk Lightly

Today is a reminder to take thing slowly and deliberately, no matter what you do or with whom you engage.  Walk Lightly through your day.  Walk Lightly with your partner. Soft words and actions.  Walk Lightly with yourself.  Loosen your expectations of yourself and allow softness to seep into you like a gentle wind.  “I allow tightness to melt into softness.  Tight words, tight thoughts, tight expectations for myself and others soften and melt away.”

Day Twenty-Six: Sun Therapy

If it is warm enough outside take time laying out in the sun in a swimsuit or as bare as possible. Let the warmth of the sun soak into your skin and revitalize your systems with its touch.  Be aware of time, so you don’t burn your skin.  Setting a timer works well, and rotating if the skin begins to feel uncomfortably hot.  If it is not quite warm enough to be outside, do some indoor sun soaking using the sun coming in from a large window.  Add a space heater to keep you extra warm and simply feel the sun touching your skin as much as possible.  “Even though my world has been spun upside down, the loving presence of the sun reminds me I am loved, I am supported, I am cared for.”

Day Twenty-Seven: Honor the Birth Order

Whether you include your loss when people ask how many kids you have, or whether you count it to yourself, I encourage you to find some way to honor the birth order and hold space for the importance of this baby in your heart.  It could be something simple and unspoken such as a wall hanging with leaves for each of your children, including this and any other losses.  It could be finding a way to remember this in an annual way, through a donation of time or money to a cause that drives you or helps you or your family remember and honor the loss of this special family member.  It can be as quiet and private as you would like, or as open and inclusive as feels comfortable.  “I hold space for you in my heart.  You are with me forever more.”

Day Twenty-Eight: Curl up with a Book

There are many fantastic books written by other parents who have experienced loss.  Sometimes seeing and connecting to what others have gone through, that also mirror our experience, is very comforting.  It helps to know that you are experiencing a normal reaction to a difficult experience.  Here are a couple recommended by other parents:

Empty Cradle, Broken Heart, by Deborah L. Davis

Healing After Loss, by Martha Hickman

When There are No Words, Charlie Walton

The Shack, by William Young

Day Twenty-Nine: Honor each other

Find a way that you and your partner can honor each other.  You can request what you would like, and your partner can request what they would like.  Be open to whatever your partner may request.  Things to consider: a foot rub, a love note, a walk in the mountains together, an hour of cuddling in the nude, a night out.  “As you honor each other, you allow the stress of your loss to fall away as you absorb the gift you bring to share.”

Day Thirty:  I Light a Candle for You

Get a glass candle and decorate the outside in a way that is meaningful to you.  Tie ribbons around it, paint it or draw on it, but make it something that connects you in thought to your little baby.  Each time you find yourself in a dark space of sadness, or heaviness, intense longing, blame or wanting to connect, light your candle.  Acknowledge the light and allow this small flame to open your heart and warm and comfort you.  There may be dark days and dark moments yet to come but know you are not alone on this journey.  I bless you to be gentle with yourself, with your partner, and with your process.  May you find peace as you search for meaning and connection.

“I walk forward with gentleness and kindness to myself and others.  I allow myself to be in the process of healing, of discovering strength, of grieving, of walking forward deliberately and lovingly.”

Everyone handles loss in their own unique way.  It is a process that takes time.  It takes kindness and gentleness for yourself and others around you.  Now that you are through the first thirty days, continue the softness and gentleness you have practiced.  Go back through the list if you find it helpful, as many times as you need to, or whenever you need a little extra guidance along the way.  If you are here looking for ways to support a loved one experiencing loss, I hope you have found some simple and gentle ways to let them know you love and honor them and their journey.  

Raquel Alfaro is a certified bereavement doula (SBD) through StillBirthday and a Certified Advanced Doula (CAD) through the Midwives College of Utah.  You can follow her on Instagram as: @starlightdoula or on Facebook at Starlight Doula Services.

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Birth Doulas Nutrition Parents Postpartum Doulas Pregnancy

Lying In with Your Baby: The First Two Weeks – Fiona Judd

Lying In with Your Baby: The First Two Weeks – Fiona Judd

We’ve all seen her—the mom who has her baby and two days later is back in the grind of carpools, shopping, and even laundry. We wonder how she does it. We secretly hope it happens to us. Our culture seems to value women who can “bounce right back” after childbirth and leaves little time for rest and bonding. But is this realistic? Is it even healthy? As it turns out, many cultures throughout history have embraced a time of “lying in” for women after childbirth, and the benefits may surprise you. Lying in is the sacred time after childbirth that allows the new momma to rest, heal and bond with her new baby.

Mothers who observe a period of rest after childbirth will probably notice a faster physical recovery. Their bleeding will stop sooner, and they will experience less pain in their perineum. They will also notice a faster recovery emotionally, as sleep can help with the “baby blues” that are so common as the hormones adjust after giving birth.

For breastfeeding mothers, lying in is a great way to establish a healthy milk supply and ensure that baby is gaining weight. Babies who lie in with their mothers are healthier overall, as their little bodies can more easily regulate things like breathing and heart rate when in close proximity to their mother. Finally, mothers and babies are much more closely bonded when lying in occurs, as it makes it easier to read the baby’s cues and learn to soothe and care for her.

It’s true that lying in can be difficult in a more modern society. Life keeps going at an incredibly fast pace, even after you have a baby, and there are lots of things that can’t be put on hold. But with a little preparation and help from those closest to you, you can create your own period of lying in with your new baby that will provide lasting benefits. Here are some ways you—as a modern mother—can observe a two-week period of lying in with your newborn.

Set up Your Space

It’s much easier to rest and relax when your space is conducive to relaxation. The first few days after birth should be spent in bed with your baby—nursing, sleeping, and bonding. Have someone with you all day if possible to bring you meals and take care of immediate needs. This could be your spouse, parent, or other close family member or friend. If you have other children, make sure someone is available to care for their needs as well.

Place items next to your bed that you know you will need. This may include a good book, feeding supplies like bottles/formula or nipple cream and a nursing pillow, diapers and wipes, snacks, a water bottle, a thermos with warm tea, and anything else you may find yourself using frequently. You may want to set up a similar “resting station” in another area of the home such as a living room sofa. Make sure you are near a bathroom that is well-stocked with postpartum recovery supplies like pads, bottom spray, and a peri bottle.

Clear Your Schedule

As much as possible, clear your schedule for the first two weeks after birth. This includes things like social events, volunteering, carpool pickups, and even church. If you have daily or weekly responsibilities, ask others to fill in for you for a couple of weeks. People are usually more than willing to help out a new mother. If you have other children, ask another trusted adult—such as your partner or a neighbor—to help get them to school and extracurricular activities.

Don’t agree to attend any events the first several weeks after giving birth. It’s okay to respond with a “maybe.” Let people know that you will try to be there if you are feeling up to it, but that your healing and bonding take first priority.

Stock Your Freezer

One of the best things you can do to prepare for a “lying in” period is have a freezer stocked with meals that are easy to prepare. You can choose to make these meals from scratch and freeze them yourself, purchase frozen meals from the store, or a little of both.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of making freezer meals all at once. One of the easiest ways to stock your freezer is to double your favorite recipes as you cook meals prior to the baby’s arrival and use half that night and freeze the rest. It doesn’t require much extra effort to double a recipe, and you end up with enough for another meal.

If cost is a concern, watch for sales on the frozen food items your family likes to eat, or ingredients for your favorite recipes, and stock up. Things that freeze well are soups, stews, chilis, casseroles, and slow cooker meals.

Another way to stock your freezer is to request meals from friends and family who attend your baby shower or ask what they can do to help after the baby comes. You can even request a “meal train” from friends and family. Someone close to you may be willing to arrange it, but you can also arrange it yourself by sending out a list of dates and having people sign up to provide a meal on each date.

It’s also a good idea to stock your pantry with dry goods you use often. This reduces the number of trips to the grocery store you will need to make after the baby is born. Make a list of your essentials and watch for a sale on those items so you can stock up without breaking the bank.

Hire Help

If your budget allows, consider hiring some extra help for the first few weeks after baby arrives. A postpartum doula is trained to work with women after giving birth. She can help with breastfeeding, errands, light housework, laundry, breastfeeding, caring for other children, and even meal preparation. Some postpartum doulas can come during the night and help care for your new baby so you can get extra sleep during that time. Postpartum doulas usually work on an hourly basis and cost anywhere from $20-$40 per hour.

You may also want to consider hiring a professional cleaning service for the first few weeks postpartum so you don’t have to worry about a messy house while you recover. Some women don’t mind a little extra clutter and disorganization, but some find that their physical and mental health are affected by the appearance of the home.

If you don’t have anyone that can come help you care for your other children, you may also want to hire a nanny or babysitter for a few hours each day so that you can have time to rest.

Enjoy Your Baby

Last of all, remember to relax and enjoy your tiny new baby! The newborn stage passes quickly—almost in the blink of an eye. Taking time to slow down and enjoy each moment will really make a difference in how you feel and your relationship with your baby. The first two weeks are critical to your baby’s development, both physical and mental. The more time you can devote to cuddling, fondling, singing, talking, and playing, the more your baby will make those important connections in the brain that lead to healthy growth.

It may seem difficult at first, but with a little extra planning and preparation, you can enjoy a two-week “lying in” period after your baby’s birth that will provide long-lasting benefits for years to come. Instead of focusing on “bouncing back” from childbirth as quickly as possible, do yourself a favor and use these tips to make your first few weeks after birth really count.

Fiona Judd
ihypnobirth.com
fiona@ihypnobirth.com

 

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Birth Doulas Business Members Only

Postpartum Planning

Do I need a postpartum plan?

        Expectant couples can spend months researching their perfect birth. They need to decide the birth place, healthcare professional, doulas, and birth

photographers, etc. Often times a lot of time and money are allotted to creating a great birth plan. While all of those aspects are sincerely important

many expectant couples fail to consider the postpartum period. The postpartum period can take mothers and families by surprise. According to a recent

article, (Christiansen, 2014), Utah had the highest rate of mental illness in the nation. Many of us may not have expected the sleepless nights, endless

crying, sore body, sore breasts and completely dependent creature we were bringing home. Many of us may not have expected to experience a mood

disorder, postpartum depression or anxiety. While the new mom may also be healing from a vaginal birth or cesarean birth she and her family still need

to be cared for. Meals need to be made, the house cleaned, dishes and laundry done, naps taken, mom well rested, feed, supported and other children

care for (insert plug for postpartum doulas:). Because the postpartum period inhabits so much and lasts for months if not years it’s essential to plan

accordingly.

How can you make a postpartum plan?

Although a postpartum plan is similar to a birth plan, here are a few additional things to consider…

  • Who can offer assistance either by rallying family or friends or hiring a postpartum doula to support you.
  • How long your partner will be off work to bond with baby and help mom.
  • Who can help schedule the delivery of meals.
  • Who can transport older children to and from school?
  • Plan dates and travel arrangements for out of town family visits.
  • Decide who can come pick up toddlers and have playdates while you rest.
  • Can you pay for a housecleaning service?
  • How long will your maternity leave be?
  • Do you need to pump extra while on maternity leave to have a milk storage?
  • Do you need to start interviewing nanny’s or daycare providers?

 

  • Things to get done at home before baby arrives…
  • Prepare a bunch of freezer meals. Fill your freezer!
  • Buy a lot of healthy snacks to keep on hand when mom isn’t able to cook.
  • Wash and organize all the baby’s laundry.
  • Create a feeding area with a water bottle, snack supplies, books, phone charger, magazines, etc.
  • Talk to older siblings about you new addition. Enjoy the everyday moments!

Christiansen, B. (2014, March 09). Heraldextra.com. Utah has highest rate of mental illness in US | Local News | heraldextra.com. Retrieved January 09, 2017, from http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/utah-has-highest-rate-of-mental-illness-in-us/article_053ef820-584d-5930-953e-c75548be7c5c.html

Tobie Baxter-Spears
Certified Postpartum Doula

peacefuldoulaservices.net

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A Postpartum doula

A postpartum doula helps new parents transition into parenthood in the comforts of their own home.  She can help with infant care, light housekeeping, meal preparation  breastfeeding support, care of other children.