3 Must-Haves for Your Postpartum Plan

Hi Mamas, welcome back to the Birthing Bessie blog where we talk about real topics pertaining to pregnancy, birth, parenting, partnerships, and just real life. Here on the blog, we don’t shy away from talking about the hardships of motherhood. Instead, we encourage, validate, and welcome you with open arms.

Today, I want to share with you three things that you should put on your postpartum plan. And yes, Mama, you should have a postpartum plan! 

Prefer to watch, Mama? Here’s the video for you!

Birth plans are great, wonderful, and important, but postpartum plans are really important, too. 

The great news is that all of these things can be done prenatally to set you up better for that fourth trimester when you come home with your baby. 

So here are three things that you may or may not be thinking about that are actually very important in the postpartum phase. 

  1. Designate yourself a mental health buddy for the fourth trimester

In case you didn’t know, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADS for short) can manifest for up to a full year postpartum.

You may be feeling good, fine, and great until four or five months postpartum, and all of a sudden you’re feeling more anxious than usual or maybe more rageful or depressed. It’s very normal and very common. 1 in 5 women experience perinatal mood disorders. 

With statistics that high, it’s really important to set yourself up for support whether or not you end up needing it.

And even if things don’t go as far as experiencing any PMADS, you’re definitely still going to need a good friend and listening ear to talk to about motherhood. 

Even if you’re not experiencing heightened anxiety or depression or any of those other feelings that may be more serious, motherhood can be overwhelming, especially in that early postpartum period.

So do yourself a favor and Designate a buddy who can check in on you and specifically your mental well-being in that fourth trimester. 

Again, you can do this prenatally! Take some time and think about who those people or people are that you really trust and who know you well enough to know maybe when things are off, even if you don’t recognize it.

Make sure that they are well-educated on the signs and symptoms of perinatal mood disorders. Send them this cheat sheet of how PMADs can manifest and what symptoms might look like so they know specifically what to look out for or things to refer back to as they check in with you.

  1. Set yourself up with a meal train

I can not stress this enough. It is so helpful to be showered with food in the fourth trimester at a time when you’ll be focused on healing, recovering, and bonding as a family. You’ll be busy finding your new normal, and cooking is (and should be) one of the last things on your mind.

If you can meal prep in the third trimester, GREAT! But still set up that meal train.

You can go to mealtrain.com (this is not an ad or affiliation… although I should look into that!), a free website. It’s as easy as setting up an account to get yourself started. You can block off days when/if you don’t need deliveries.

You can also list certain kinds of foods you’re craving, things that are nourishing to your recovery. You can even receive gift cards from places like DoorDash and Grubhub from those who are maybe too far away to drop something off at your door but can still give you the gift of a meal so you don’t have to cook.

I can’t stress this one enough. It is such a helpful tip and can be a total lifesaver in the fourth trimester. 

So go to mealtrain.com to get set up, and pass that link around to friends and family and anyone who may want to bring you a meal after your baby arrives.

Pro Tip: Download this cooler signage to put a cooler on your front porch. It essentially says, “Thank you so much for your contribution to our family. We’re not accepting visitors right now. Please text us and let us know that you’ve left something for us.” 

This gets you off the hook for feeling like you have to entertain guests who drop off food. You do not have to welcome visitors into your home just because they want to bring you a cooked meal. 

It’s setting a boundary for yourself saying, Thank you so much for thinking of us and bringing this food, but we are not having visitors right now. And you are by no means obligated to have visitors at any time that you’re not comfortable with. 

  1. Set boundaries

Another thing you can do during pregnancy.

Think about what is going to feel really nourishing for you as your family and who you’re going to want in your home and in your space. Perhaps more importantly, think about who you don’t want in your space, especially in those early days and weeks. 

Take the time to talk with your partner about this. Get their take, too. Think about who those people are and what types of boundaries you’re going to have to set with them.

I always encourage people to set boundaries often and set them early. It is certainly something that you have to exercise and practice and takes some time to get used to.

It’s especially to think about as you’re bringing your baby home and you’re settling into your new normal, it is so important to protect your space.

So if you don’t want people in your home, set that boundary and expectation early. 

These three things are crucial to add to your postpartum plan. Remember: 

1. Designate that mental health buddy. 

2. Get yourself a meal train. 

2. A. Download the Cooler Signage to accept food and not visitors. 

3. Set those boundaries. Set them early, set them often, and practice makes perfect. 

All right, Mamas, I am so grateful for you for being here, and I hope these are helpful to you. 

If you need some more help planning for your postpartum period, reach out! You know how to find me. 

You can reach out to me at ebbirthing@gmail.com, or you can slide right into my DMs on Instagram @ebberthing. I’m always here for you. I’m just a click or call or text away. 

I hope to talk to you soon and I wish you all the best.

2023 © Erin Brier Birthing