The next topic covered in our Natural Parenting Series is postpartum planning which is oftentimes overlooked and not planned for at all. However, it's just as important as a birth plan and whether you consider yourself a natural parent or not, it should be on your prenatal to-do list.
Breastfeeding - noun - the action of feeding a baby with milk from the breast.
Co-sleeping - noun - the practice of parents and young children sleeping in the same bed.
Combine the two and you get breastsleeping!
J - Juggling Siblings
Giving your child a sibling is one of the greatest gifts you can give them - or so they say. I wouldn’t know, I’m an only child. BUT I have given my oldest child two siblings, so I’ve been in your shoes...times two since it was twins! Welcoming a new baby is definitely a transition for everyone involved and there are a few things you can do to prepare older brother or sister beforehand as well as many things you can do to ease their transition once baby has arrived.
I - Incision Care
Having a Cesarean is not easy and there is extra healing that comes along with having the surgery. Once in recovery, you’ll be asked to stand and walk a few hours after surgery to aid in healing faster. What many moms don’t expect is what it feels like and what to do with their incision.
H - Herbs for Healing
In our modern society, it is the expectation for a new mother to bounce back almost immediately and get back to “normal”. In the U.S., for example, most women only take a 6 week leave from work, if they’re even fortunate enough to take that. Often times, due to the lack of the village, the new mother is left at home to fend for herself while her partner goes back to work a day or two after the birth.
Ladies, we need to take whatever length of time we need to heal. Period.
G - Gut Health
In the last decade or so, gut health has been a hot topic. More research is being done and we are starting to understand the gut-brain connection.
Why is it important during the postpartum period and what effect, if any, does it have on baby?
F - Find Your Tribe.
After having a baby, many things will change, there’s no doubt about that. One of the more surprising changes many moms face is the fact that they feel isolated. Maybe you’re the first of your friends to have a baby. Maybe you follow gentle parenting and your friends follow traditional punitive parenting. Regardless of the reason, many times women find themselves “starting over” in the friend sphere.
E - Encapsulate Your Placenta.
What is placenta encapsulation? What are the benefits? Are there risks? Why should I do it?
First off, let’s discuss what the placenta actually is. I feel like the placenta is not something that most people even think about unless you’re submersed in the birth world or really into natural birth.
D - Development
Today’s topic is all about Infant Development. You may be wondering how this ties into postpartum. One of the factors that influences postpartum recovery is how the infant is developing (Simkin). Which makes sense. If you, a new mother, have constant worries about how your newborn is developing, your mental health probably is not where it should be. Of course, we all worry to some extent that our children are developing on track but once it becomes an obsession, it needs to be addressed. Also, if the baby isn’t developing “normally”, this can lead to extra added stress on the parents which can be difficult during the postpartum period.
C - Connect.
I’m not talking about reaching out to others for help. That’s another topic in itself. In regards to this post, Connect with yourself after birth. Really process what happened and move forward through any emotions you have surrounding the event. Trust me, you need to do this.
Allesanda received her Bachelors in Behavioral Science from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in December 2013. She now lives in North Texas with her husband and three children. As a maternal support practitioner and educator of family sleep and eco-friendly living, she blogs about family sleep, wellness, nutrition, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, holistic health, and parenting.