Ten Meaningful Ways to Support Yourself Postpartum www.WellnessHouseNorthampton.com
1. Trust your Mama-ometer! You are THIS precious one’s mama. Others may know their baby best and you will know yours.
2. Connect with experienced moms who share your values. There are many world views around child rearing. Have women in your circle who hold up the mirror for you and REMIND you what you value when you forget – we all do!
3. Only do the stairs one time up and one time down for the first week. Seriously. It won’t feel like too much until it’s WAY too much and then you will need more time to recover and heal.
4. Set up a place or three to breastfeed with a table, fluids, snacks and access to pillows. In the beginning, it can be a challenge. Remember: ergonomics matters! When you are in a rush to nurse and are not in a helpful position, it will hurt your shoulders, neck, nipples or wrists. You don’t have to buy fancy things AND you DO need to make sure you’re in proper physical alignment.
5. Remind your baby to OPEN in a high pitched voice if baby is not opening well. Remind baby to latch on when s/he needs a cue. You can also PRESS into baby’s palm which is a reflex for baby to latch on.
6. The most important reminders:
a. You are not the cruise director right now. This is a time for anyone who comes to visit to be of help or service to you. Repeat after me: this is not the time for me to the hostess.
b. You have the rest of your life to do laundry and dishes, this much I know to be true.
7. Learn to say YES and THANK YOU. When you are someone who does the DOING and are a capable, giving person, it can be a challenge to receive. At this precious time of postpartum baby gazing, allow yourself to receive, and know that you will give to others when your precious one is a little bigger. This makes the world go around.
8. Do set up a circle, email or “lots of helping hands” meal train. BE CLEAR about any food allergies, foods you don’t like or foods you may be choosing not to eat while breastfeeding. The clearer you are, the more you will get what you want.
9. Make a TASK LIST of things people can do to help in advance. Because people WILL offer and it’s helpful to have a constructive way folks who love you can contribute.
10. Your breasts are your barometer. Mastitis is a breast infection AND you get it from DOING TOO MUCH. Rest or sleep when your baby is sleeping as long as you are home with baby. When breasts start to tingle, or you feel just “off” and not yourself, it’s time to CLEAR the decks & REST. This is an investment in your health.