“Is there anything I can do for you?” We often hear this as we near the end of our pregnancy. It’s commonly said by those closest to us, but sometimes by mere acquaintances hoping for a chance to get close to the Up-and-Coming Attraction. You may find yourself tempted to brush this offer aside; thinking you can handle the first few weeks of baby bliss on your own… Besides, you’ve seen many ‘new moms’ gracefully transition into ‘Super Mom’ within days of delivery, right?
May I make a suggestion? The next time someone asks how they can help you during this crucial time, pounce on the offer by whipping out an itemized list from your maternity pant’s pocket! Seriously, be proactive: Prepare a list of anticipated needs. The first few weeks after your child has landed Earthside should be devoted to BONDING, HEALING and BREASTFEEDING. Enjoy the Babymoon. Let others take care of the day to day practicalities of life.
Here enters the Postpartum Plan! Make up a list of areas that you’ll need help in, such as:
- Personal space/time (20min shower anyone?)
- Caring for siblings
Next, mentally gather your support team, then actually write down their names and assign them jobs. Maybe your Bestie could coordinate a meal calendar with friends and family so that your family doesn’t have to even worry about what’s for dinner. (Send her to www.takethemameal.com) Maybe you’re a member of a church that has a meal ministry that you can contact. Are you uncomfortable asking someone to take care of a load of dishes in the sink? Perhaps “paid labor” makes you feel less guilty, I’m sure you know people willing to vacuum your floor for the opportunity to gaze upon your Sweetling. While we’re talking lists… Have one handy by the phone with needed items like milk, diapers and wine so that when you get a call from someone requesting a visit they know what to pick up on the way over.
The people in our lives usually assume that we already have all the support that we need. Why? Because we don’t ask for help! In our culture there is also the sick belief that offering help to someone causes them to feel inadequate. Yeah, I know. Some people, eh? What are your reasons for not asking for assistance? Now push those aside and start working on your Postpartum Plan today. Your doula has some amazing ideas and tips so feel free to ask!