No matter if you’re expecting your first or if you’re a seasoned mama, life after baby can be something we don’t really think about until it happens.
And that’s okay!
You are too busy creating an amazing life inside of you, amongst all of the other responsibilities that you have.
You may be thinking about it a little bit, like about what to pack in your hospital bag, or what coming home outfit for the baby you’ll choose.
This is a busy time for you so those big things you have to do fill up your time.
However, there are a few things that you can and should be thinking about that are going to make the transition from hospital to home seamless.
Now, I’m not saying that things are going to be perfect and you’re going to get all of this done.
What I am saying is, that if you take most of these things into any consideration at all, they will only help you once you get home, and your postpartum journey will begin so much smoother!
So, to help you out there are five tips to make your postpartum life so much easier so you can enjoy your new bundle of joy.
1. Preparing Your Food
You’re going to want to make sure you definitely have meals planned!
Now, hear me out. I have 5 kids and sometimes I don’t know what’s going to be on the table for dinner until a few hours (sometimes minutes) beforehand! So trust me when I say I really do get it.
This doesn’t have to be tedious. It can be as in-depth or as simple as you make it! You can cook some great meals and freeze them for later.
Or, what about just grocery shopping so you can make sure once you’re home you don’t have to leave for at least a few days?
Doing either of those two things can easily take some pressure off. Also, don’t rely on other people! It’s amazing when people do meal trains, but instead, just think of it as a bonus and a night off from cooking, if someone does decide to bring you dinner!
And hey, leftovers are great too!
Here are some ways you can prepare your food:
- Make meals and freezing them for later.
- Make a list and going grocery shopping so your fridge and freezer are fully stocked.
- Grab snacks for the hospital AND for at home.
It’s a good idea to at least get a good plan on your first few meals coming home! My special dinner once we got home was ordering pizza, and then after that, I made the meals I had already planned and had in the house.
I didn’t have time to make things and freeze them when I was pregnant with baby #5!
2. Cleaning And Organizing
I know that I can’t be the only mama who likes walking into a clean home! There is something about bringing a baby home from the hospital into a clean home, and all that’s left to do from the moment you get in is sit down and love on your baby!
My husband started this when we had our 3rd baby. He outdid himself with cleaning out my car, cleaning and fully setting up the nursery, and then we both tag-teamed the bedroom and bathrooms.
We also made sure our older kids had their rooms cleaned too! It just helped a smooth transition.
Doesn’t coming home to a clean home and not having to really do any housework for at least a day sound great? Now, this doesn’t always happen. I was induced with all 5 of my kids, so I had the time to make sure this got done.
If I had gone into labor spontaneously, I’m certain I would have come home to a hot mess!
So, in my opinion, it’s best to tackle this a little bit at a time. There are definitely ways to make cleaning and housework easier, so it takes the load off a little bit if that were to happen!
Here are some ways to prepare by tidying up these areas:
- Clean your bedroom and getting the bassinet ready (or crib, wherever the baby will sleep!).
- Make sure the nursery is pristine and clean.
- (My favorite thing to do!) Tidy up the living room.
- Clean the kitchen.
- Catch up on laundry (Do yours and the baby’s- AND put it away!).
- Clean out the car and installing a car seat.
- Pack a minimal hospital bag.
3. Preparing For Change
Having a baby is a huge change for you, for the baby, and for the people around you! There are going to be a lot of firsts, regardless if this is your first or not.
It’s best to be acquainted with all the new things you’ll be needing to do, like doctor’s appointments for you and for the baby, phone calls, dealing with insurance…the list goes on.
Here are a few things you may have to do, that you’ll want to be prepared for:
- Make and keep your and your baby’s doctor appointments.
- Get your baby’s insurance card, also call them to notify them of birth
- Obtain your baby’s birth certificate.
- Notify your work and keep the lines of communication open about what to expect on both your end and theirs.
4. Saying Yes To Help
This one can be so, so very tough. I know that I still have trouble even asking my husband for help sometimes!
But sometimes we really do need that help. So, when it’s offered…take it!
Even when it’s not offered, and you feel overwhelmed, gross because you need a bath, or because you simply just want 20-30 minutes to get a good shower in…just ask!
There is no harm in asking someone you trust to help you out, or accepting help. We are strong women, but we have to take care of ourselves…because no one else is going to! That’s a hard concept but it’s so true.
Here are a few ways you can say yes to help!
- Let someone watch the baby while you nap or shower.
- Just enjoy someone else’s company…we all need that interaction!
- Let someone treat you to dinner.
This may be the hardest one on the list! But, relaxing is so important. It’s important to pace yourself, and not do too much right away.
Your body just went, or will be going through childbirth which is no walk in the park no matter HOW your baby gets here!
It’s really important to also know that, your mood and stress levels (during and after pregnancy) have effects on the baby and a happy mama is a happy baby! Take this time and enjoy your baby.
Remember that None of This is Going to Happen Overnight!
Do a little bit at a time. Trust me when I say I’ve had to try to do most of this all within a few days, and it is not fun! All of the things listed here is a gradual process.
Don’t let things get out of hand, and hopefully, you have a chance to put the finishing touches before heading out to have your baby!
One big key takeaway is this: If only some or maybe none of the stuff on this list gets done? Don’t stress about it! You can still do it gradually when you’re home with the baby, it may just take a little bit more time.
There truly are lots of ways to survive and thrive in the 4th trimester, and you WILL make it through that first month with your baby! This list is just to help things be a tad bit easier for you to start your wonderful postpartum journey!