We didn't anticipate the year that 2020 has been and the challenges it has bought but what I am constantly reminded of in my work is that life continues as I am surrounded by women having babies and families experiencing their new parenting journey. Thus being said I felt compelled to put a few of my recommendations together for your postpartum during this time.
This holiday season embrace the slow down and make it work for you. We are always so used to this time of year being very busy and stressful and if you have existing children or not the holiday season can evoke stress or a heightened state or awareness. In fact I teach this to all the families I work with in preparing for their precious postpartum - it is about going slow and adjusting to life with a new born. Nothing is more important that everyone in the family unit having time to adjust and for Mum to heal after birth, learn to breastfeed and bond with her baby(s).
There is uncertainty in these times so focus on what you can control and the opportunity covid has bought to new families to stay in your bubble without unwanted visitors or the unnecessary need of leaving home to early for activities and events that would have you moving around perhaps too soon and leaving you feel overwhelmed.
As a birthing woman your priority is to stay in your 'bubble' or 'container' to create a serene and safe place for you to dwell. Overexposure to unwanted 'noise' should be avoided to ensure your environment is conducive to relaxing into your labour or getting to know your precious newborn and learn your role as a Mother to this child.
The physiology of a pregnant women is changing to open up and surrender all parts of her to give birth - anyone so open needs to be very aware of the information and interactions they are having as they are more susceptible and vulnerable to be impacted by their surrounds and what they hear.
A pregnant woman in her final trimester is the perfect example here for she knows what task lie ahead and it is the only thing that occupies her mind. News that does not contribute positively to her state should not be shared and she should be shielded from.
If you have your newborn in your arms then your only two jobs are:
Bonding with your baby
Learning to breastfeed/feed your baby
At first glace this may seem unachievable as your a doer and you can't let mess go unattended to. But believe me the more you do the more stress you will feel and stress is the No.1 reason why new mothers do not reach their breastfeeding goals and healing is delayed and then the deficient to bridge in healing begins to grow.
I've put some tips together on how to set up your postpartum care during the holidays and COVID.
Do not listen to the news - we know stuff if going on but what we cannot control only weighs a heavy burden that you are unable to shake. Be vigilant and control what you expose yourself to.
Meditate or listen to your favorite podcasts that inspire and light you up - I recommend The Midwives Cauldron or Australian birth stories to get you started. You will find loads more once you begin this search that may resonate more for you.
Practice your breath work and tune into your baby, here is a video that will help you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-BA5tQCJP8
Know who your Inner Circle is for support and have numbers on hand for easy access that you may need.
Plan the first 6 weeks of your postpartum, feel the joy that your newborn brings and try not to do anything that doesn't do just that... Bring Joy & Peace. If something provokes stress then don't do it. If you have already gone into a fight or flight state, practice some deeps breaths and resettle yourself.
If bubs feels unsettles try skin to skin, put some relaxation music on and tune into one another.
Have food, snacks and hydration available at all times. If your ENERGY is spiraling then it will effect your mood and ability to relax into feed, bonding with your baby and healing after birth.
Do NOT overcommit this holiday season if you have your precious newborn in your arms - a big day out can really impact the emotional and energy of everyone at the best of times. Add in a night on reduced sleep and getting to know your newborn and everyone in the family unit adjusting and it can really put unnecessary pressure on the family unit. Use the barometer of asking yourself, does this promote joy and come with ease? If your answer is NO then don't do it.
Order your Meals 4 Mummas meal packages so you know you are meeting your nutritional needs with the best food for your postpartum.
If you are wanting to know where you can get some additional support you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org and she can give you some contacts.
Wishing you all a safe, happy holiday season.