Knowing how to write a postpartum plan is an important part of preparing for postpartum life after your baby is born! Find out what to include in your self-care plan and get a free printable postpartum plan worksheet!
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Poring over reviews to find the best stroller, car seat, and laundry detergent. Meticulously preparing adorably tiny clothes and spending hours putting together baby furniture. Countless prenatal appointments and the excitement of childbirth classes full of families expectant for new beginnings.
These are just some of the ways that we prepare for our lives as new parents. We want to make the best decisions possible, and we want to get off to the best start with the precious blessings we’re welcoming into the world.
For some of us, that may also mean creating a birth plan. We think about our desires and preferences, we read the latest research, discuss options with our health care providers, and really consider what we would like our birth experience to look like.
But preparing for the birth of a child shouldn’t stop there!
As a postpartum nurse, I’ve found that the often-neglected side of childbirth planning is what happens AFTER the baby is born, or the postpartum period.
In addition to all of the other preparation leading up to baby’s birth, it’s really important to have a plan for the postpartum period as well.
Preparing for Postpartum
One of the best ways to prepare for the postpartum period is to write a postpartum plan.
Similarly to how a birth plan outlines your wishes surrounding the birth of your baby, a postpartum plan outlines your desires, expectations, and preferences surrounding the hours, days, and weeks after your baby is born.
Having a postpartum plan can help you take care of yourself, set boundaries, and ensure your needs can be taken care of while you transition to parenthood!
How to Write a Postpartum Plan
Having a baby is a pretty major life event. So when you’re creating your postpartum plan, it’s important to consider the various aspects of life that are impacted by this event.
Here I’m outlining some of the main areas to consider when you create your own postpartum plan!
Postpartum Financial Preparation
It’s no secret that having a baby isn’t cheap! When you’re preparing for the postpartum period, having an idea of what costs you’ll be responsible for can help you create the best plan to deal with those expenses.
It’s really helpful to consider what costs will be associated with the birth, what type of maternity leave options are available to you, and what kind of expenses may be associated with newborn needs (diapers, car seat, crib, etc.).
In many cases, financial constraints affect the length of a mom’s maternity leave, which is a big part of the postpartum period. Taking the time up front to consider these costs and make a plan for them can be hugely helpful.
Postpartum Self Care Plan
One of the best pieces of advice I received as a new mom was to avoid hurrying to rejoin the world after having a baby.
I’ll admit, this can be difficult, because our culture sort of glorifies the mom who can suddenly bounce back to her normal routine and do all the things after just having a baby.
But really, make a plan that allows yourself time to rest. Take the time now to line up resources that will support you while you ease back into life. And give yourself permission to let your emotions flow during this time.
Postpartum Baby Care
When you’re creating a postpartum plan, it’s important to start thinking about your preferences surrounding the care of your baby, then identify resources available to support you.
Consider areas of infant feeding, sleep, and childcare, and identify your preferences and available resources.
Who is available to help you? Who are the resources that you trust? Go ahead and identify those now so you’ll have them ready later.
Postpartum Meal Planning
When you have a baby, so much of your world revolves around this tiny little human. And while we can slow down and take a break from many of our responsibilities, we all still need to eat!
One of the most helpful things I did prior to having each of my children was take the time to plan for our meals after the baby was born.
This could include stocking a freezer with meals that can be easily thawed out and cooked or reheated. It could involve planning for others to bring you meals in the days and weeks after your baby’s birth. Or maybe it just means you budget for takeout more often. It could look like a combination of those options.
Whatever the case, taking some time now to plan for your meals later will be a huge relief!
Postpartum Household Care
I will never forget the day my husband came into the kitchen and saw me holding my nursing baby with one hand while I swept the kitchen floor with a broom in the other hand. He looked at me with bewilderment and said, “Why didn’t you just ask me to sweep the floor?!”
The reality is, our homes keep on running even after our baby is born. The laundry still piles up and the crumbs still fall on the floor.
Take the time now to consider who will help keep your home running smoothly after the baby is born. Ask for help from others and be willing to receive assistance when offered!
Postpartum Sibling Care
If you have other children, it can be really useful to spend some time thinking about how a new baby will impact their lives.
When you write your postpartum plan, consider ways you can maintain their routine or include them in the celebration of welcoming a new baby to the family.
Related Resources for Getting Ready for Baby:
- The Most Important Things on the Third Trimester Checklist
- 11 of the Most Important Things to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for Labor
- What You Need to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for After Birth
- What to Pack in a Hospital Bag for Dad
- FREE Online Prenatal Class
FREE Printable Postpartum Plan Worksheet
Having a plan in place can help the first days and weeks with your baby go more smoothly.
To help you get started brainstorming ideas for your own postpartum plan, I’ve created Postpartum Points, a free printable worksheet that guides you as you begin to consider your own preferences and ideas for these important areas.
This printable template is designed to jump start your process as you write a postpartum plan. No two postpartum plans are alike, because we all have different situations, preferences, and desires.
Ultimately, it’s important for you to write a postpartum plan that works for YOU.
Sign up below to get your FREE postpartum planning worksheet and get started today!
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