All these years of caring for new families as a postpartum doula have taught me a few extra helpful postpartum tips that can save you stress and mess and support your self-care as new parents.
Protect Your Sheets
Having an extra sheet folded and placed under your side of the bed for the first few weeks can be helpful and save you from needing to wash all your linens each morning. Giving birth can produce a lot of fluids.
In addition to blood loss, the first days of milk coming in can involve a lot of leaking, particularly at night. If you are practicing some form of safe co-sleeping or just have your baby with you intermittently in the night, there can also be spit-up in your bed. In addition to that, newborn diapers can, occasionally, be explosive. Sleeping with an extra flat sheet (folded in half or in quarters) can make it easy to just throw that in the laundry in the morning, when necessary, rather than stripping the entire bed.
With their tiny, ping-pong ball sized tummy, a newborn baby needs to eat frequently. You, by necessity, will spend a lot of time sitting and feeding that sweet and hungry little baby. Having a special area reserved and set up for just that can really relieve some stress. A basket full of your nursing necessities is a wonderful idea, as it can be easily moved wherever you end up feeding the baby.
Some things to include at your breastfeeding nook:
- Diapers and wipes for your baby.
- Babies often have a bowel movement after eating. Did I mention their little tummies?! Having something set up means that if you need to change them after they nurse on one side then you won’t have to get up and fumble around in another room for what you need.
- Snacks and drinks – especially water!
Every time your baby eats, you lose some calories. And while it may be true that in our society that postpartum women are often pressured to lose weight immediately, you will need healthy calories, frequently. Keeping a supply of some healthy snacks nearby can curb your cravings and help you avoid junk. Don’t forget the water, drink lots of water. nursing takes a lot of your fluids and gives them to your baby, so stay hydrated! You will feel better and it might even help with your milk supply