If you’re pregnant and wondering – now what?! This is the post for you. Northern Virginia breastfeeding expert Tiffany Shank is back to share her best advice for soon-to-be new parents on how to prepare for that new, amazing life like the rockstars you are.
How to prepare for Baby like a boss
Parenting is one of those things where everyone you encounter will have an idea, thought, opinion or personal experience on how parenting went for them, and therefore how it will most likely go with you… I’m here to tell you as an Infant Care Doula, I’m calling their bluff. Parenting looks different for everyone, but one thing remains the same, you can prepare to conquer the experience.
Where do you even begin to prepare for parenting? Well, most families head to nursery planning, buying bottles, nursing pillows, a swaddle blanket and maybe some frozen meals. Those are all fabulous steps to prepare for parenting, but I am going to dig a little deeper into the really raw, emotional moments and ways you can prepare to parent like a boss.
A few things are absolutely essential for the mother after her delivery: nourishment, support, sleep, and organization. Planning freezer meals before baby comes so that you can have food that does not need to be cooked, for at least 4 weeks after delivery is ideal. You need those four weeks to catch your breath and adjust to life as parents, and cooking is essential, but best if avoided for the sake of convenience.
You might think now that you will just cook like usual, but the reality of postpartum is that you are caring for a baby that relies on you 24/7 while trying to shower, change your clothes, catch up on sleep, produce milk, clean up spit up, calm a sometimes inconsolable baby all while your perineum is still recovering from delivery and your breasts are engorged and leaking breastmilk and still you have to get things done and entertain guests.
Next comes sleep for both parents, while you may be able to sleep now whenever you want, once your little one(s) arrive, sleep will be harder to collect. So consider ways you can get more sleep. Nap while baby naps, but then what about all the chores? Well, meals are taken care of so that gives you some more wiggle room. When friends, family or your Postpartum Doula come to visit, do not hesitate to say “ there is a check list on the fridge of really important things, do you mind picking one while I feed the baby and then you can hold them?”. People want to help you, so do not hesitate to give them ways to really help you. When you have an extra set of hands you can catch some more sleep, you are fed, and the important chores are taken care of. Those first six weeks after delivery are a huge adjustment, but you are not alone and it will get easier. Planning and planning for support can help the entire process go over smoothly with everyone looking back and remembering how they thrived through parenting, not just survived.
About the Author:
Tiffany Shank has been a knowledgeable resource and expert in all things pregnancy, baby and parenting for almost a decade. Her ability to connect people to resources and information to put them at ease is seen by her work as a Labor and Postpartum Doula with Virginia is for Doulas. For more pregnancy and parenting tips visit her website or follow them on Facebook.