Mama In the Making

Preconception Planning • Home Birth Resources • Postpartum Support

Do These 3 Things for an Easier Postpartum Transition

While I had an enjoyable pregnancy, life postpartum was a rude awakening. Man, was it tough! Nothing can prepare you for the transition to life with a newborn — especially your first baby. One day the only person you have to worry about and take care of is yourself, and the next you’re responsible for taking care of a brand new life, you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re sleep deprived, and possibly trying to figure out breastfeeding too. I won’t sugarcoat it — it’s pretty brutal. Of course, there are lots of sweet times mixed in there too, but honestly, you’re just trying to survive those first few months. That’s why I’m so glad I made the effort during pregnancy to put a few things in place that I knew my postpartum self would thank me for. Here are three things you can do to set yourself up for success and help create a smooth postpartum transition.

1. Hire a postpartum doula. First, what is a doula? A doula is a trained professional who provides non-medical, but emotional and informational support to families throughout pregnancy, labor and postpartum. There are many different types of doulas (birth doulas, postpartum doulas). I cannot recommend this service enough! There are so many reasons to hire a postpartum doula. Not only will they provide you with an extra set of hands to help out during this massive transition, postpartum doulas “mother the mother,” which is something so often overlooked in our society. Postpartum doulas focus on educating new parents and serve as a bridge to other resources and contacts that can help in the new parent phase. A postpartum doula may be especially beneficial to you if your family lives out of town — or isn’t able to — help out as often. Here’s a short list of some services postpartum doulas offer:

  • General help with the baby
  • Breastfeeding and pumping support
  • Meal prep
  • Grocery pick up and other errands
  • General house cleaning
  • Attends appointments with mom and baby, if desired
  • A listening ear, mental and emotional support

It’s important to know what doulas do and don’t do. They are not babysitters and they are not housekeepers. They center their care around the parents while also offering general help where it’s needed. If you choose to hire a postpartum doula, make sure you know what services they do and don’t offer. You also want to make sure they are DONA certified. You can find a doula using the DONA website here.

TIP: Wondering how to afford a postpartum doula? Add a postpartum doula fund to your baby registry! We did this and were able to pay for the service in full thanks to the contributions we received toward it. Trust me on this: this service is the best gift you could ever give your postpartum self!

2. Meal prep freezer meals. While meal trains are wonderful, there’s going to come a time when meal delivery tapers off. When it does, you’re going to want something in the freezer that’s quick and easy to heat up and also nourishing to your postpartum body. A great way to approach meal prep is to make a mix of one dish dinners (like casseroles), as well some things you can reach in and grab for a snack (energy bites), and some super easy breakfast options you can eat first thing in the morning with little to no prep. Another tip for meal prepping for postpartum is to tackle one meal or snack per week leading up to your due date so you don’t overwhelm yourself trying to make everything all at once. Some things we meal prepped:

  • Bone broth soups. There are so many health benefits to consuming bone broth, and it’s especially healing for a postpartum mother. You can buy bone broth at the store or make your own by simmering meaty bones in the crockpot (the longer the better!). Slow simmering bones breaks down collagen into gelatin (once cooled, the more jiggly the better!). Bone broth is rich in minerals and has so many amazing health benefits that you can read about in the book Real Food for Pregnancy (a must read for in my opinion!). I made a hearty bone broth, lentil, kale and carrot soup from the book First Forty Days (another worthy read).
  • Energy bites. In a food processor I combine old-fashioned oats, medjool dates, natural peanut butter, collagen powder, nuts (whatever kind you like), dark chocolate chips, hemp seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. No strict measurements here — measure with your heart 🫶🏼. Process until you get the desired chunky-to-smooth ratio you prefer. Roll up the batter into balls or spread out evenly in a parchment lined baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the freezer. If doing bars, let thaw before cutting. Store in the fridge once thawed.
  • Lasagna. Simple and easy to make. Use whatever recipe you like! You can make it even more nutritious by swapping ground beef with venison. Venison has higher iron levels, which many women are deficient in and is so important to build back up after postpartum blood loss.
  • Egg and sausage breakfast muffins. High in protein and so satisfying. In a mixing bowl, combine 10 eggs, one pound of cooked breakfast sausage, a handful of spinach, one cup of shredded cheddar cheese, half a diced onion and two cloves of garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Pour mixture into greased muffin tin and bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Store in Ziploc bags in freezer.

3. Visit the chiropractor to get your postpartum body back in alignment. Birth is hard work and your body just went through a major event. Since your spine is connected to your nervous system, spinal misalignments can cause many different issues and pain. Chiropractic care can help get your spine back in alignment so that your body can function optimally. My chiropractor uses a method called the Torque Release Technique with a tool called the Integrator that targets specific areas along your spine, so there’s no manual cracking or popping.

You may also want to consider chiropractic care for your newborn. Newborn adjustments are super gentle and can help with reflux, digestion, colic, improve sleep, contribute to healthy development, and so much more! I’ve taken my baby to the chiropractor about once a week since birth and I attribute his overall health and development to those weekly adjustments.

Postpartum is an often overlooked part of having a baby, but believe me when I tell you you’ll thank yourself for the prep work you did before baby arrives!

What other helpful things did you do during pregnancy to prepare for the postpartum phase? I’d love to know in the comments below.

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About jill

Hey there! I’m Jill. I’m a 28-year-old Tennessee native, wife and first-time mom. Before I became pregnant with my first baby I immersed myself in all things preconception, pregnancy, home birth and postpartum and was fascinated by what I learned! In sharing my journey to motherhood I hope to provide current and future moms with helpful tips to make the path a little easier as we figure it out together. I’m so glad you’re here and hope we can learn something from each other!

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