I spent my pregnancy suffering from extreme anxiety and at one point depression. As a result, I was connected with an incredible mental health support system who encouraged me to create a fourth trimester plan.
Coming out of that period, I realised how unique this was. As pregnant people we are so focused on the pregnancy and birth, but what about after the actual baby arrives? What happens then?
And no, I'm not talking about taking care of the baby. There is plenty of information out there on that. I'm talking about taking care of you, and your body and your mind!
So, what is a postpartum plan? For me, this is a document outlining your postpartum goals and how you plan on achieving those, what tools and support you will need. Think of this as a vision board / party plan for after the baby arrives.
Want to create a postpartum plan?
Here are 3 areas you should consider when thinking about your postpartum plan.
Postpartum goals: When we think of the postpartum period, we often focus on care for the new baby. This part is an opportunity for you to acknowledge what you want and need in addition to caring for your new baby. Goals can be as big as recovery from physical or emotional pregnancy issues, establishing some sense of routine, or smaller bites like making time for self care, or just as simple as making time to get outside on a regular basis. It’s important for you to acknowledge these goals and share them with your community so they are aware and can support you.
Community: Communities come in all shapes and sizes. Identify 5 people who can support you during your postpartum recovery time and the type of support they can provide. These people can be health care providers such as your doctor or midwife, friends, or family. Their roles can be as broad as emotional support to more operational tasks like house cleaning.
Safety Net: The postpartum period is synonymous with change, and often these changes can be sudden and aggressive. Identify some emergency support tools that you can tap into should one of these changes be more impactful than you feel you can handle.