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5 Tips for Preparing for your Postnatal Period by Claire from Safe Hands Early Parenting

5 Tips for Preparing for your Postnatal Period by Claire from Safe Hands Early Parenting

Claire is a Maternal Child Health Nurse, Midwife and mum of two young girls, based in Regional Victoria. Outside of her MCHN work, Claire has founded Safe Hands Early Parenting, which aims to provide resources and support for families who are either entering parenthood or are in the thick-of-it already.

As part of her work with Safe Hands Early Parenting, Claire is the author of an e-guide ‘Bump to Baby: A postnatal preparation guide to ease anxiety and empower parents-to-be’ and has also just released ‘The Moment’, a podcast where every day parents share the memories that have shaped them.

mum with two children - baby and toddler

Hey guys!

Today I am going to share my top-5 tips for preparing for your postnatal period (and life with your new baby!). First things first though, I see you. It’s so tough. I remember being 38 weeks pregnant with my first baby and wondering what in the world would be on the other side. After all, you do the work to prepare for the labour and birth stuff, but what about the parenthood things? That’s a whole other challenge. So here are five things you can do to prepare for your postnatal period:

  1. Plan self-care activities - It is so easy to give birth and become wholly and solely focussed on the needs of your baby (to the point where you completely forget about finding time to rest and restore). Sit down with your partner before you have a baby in your arms. Talk about looking out for each other in the days, weeks and months after you welcome your baby. Plan activities (as short as 15 minutes!) that you like to do, which will allow you to get some ‘you time’.

  2. Control what you can control - There are some items which you can purchase now, which will absolutely make a difference to your postnatal recovery, no matter what the birth of your baby looks like. Here are the must-have items that you can have, ready to go:
    1. Re-usable ice packs: These little packages of goodness will be great for reducing inflammation near your perineum/vagina. They can also be used for helping the discomfort which comes following a breastfeed, as your milk establishes in the first six or so weeks. What’s even better? You can also warm them up, which is ideal for helping soften/prepare your breasts before a feed.
    2. High-waisted underwear: Aim for one-to-two sizes up from what you regularly wear, these will be super comfortable for at least a few weeks after birthing your baby. As a little side note, period-underwear will be your best friend in the weeks after meeting your baby.

  3. Have a bit of a read-up on what to expect from babies (and your body!) in the first month or two. A huge amount of worry and anxiety can be taken away by simply knowing what is normal - especially when it comes to newborn behaviour.

  4. Do your research about the type of feeding method you are hoping to use with your baby. If you’re aiming to breastfeed, there are some fantastic courses out there that will give you the tools and information to enter your feeding journey feeling empowered and confident. If you are expecting to bottle feed, do your research about how to sterilise bottles, what equipment you need etc.

  5. Be open to feeling all of the feelings - The end of pregnancy comes with a huge mix of emotions. You have people offering 'advice' left, right and centre (hint: most of it is simply noise and is absolutely not helpful). There is a huge question mark over what your life is going to look like in a few weeks or months time. This is so normal. It’s okay to feel all of the things – nerves, excitement, trepidation, fear. Be kind to yourself, be open with those closest about how you are feeling, and know you are not alone.

If you are reading this and are yet to meet your baby then I wish you all the very best for what your future holds. Parenting is a rollercoaster but please know that there is support out there, to help hold your hand along the way.

Claire Andrews

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