4 Tips for Creating a Perfect Postpartum Nest
Registered Nurse and Doula Caitlin Dyer of Mother Down Under (www.MotherDownUnder.com) shares her 4 tips on creating a perfect postpartum nest. Always seek medical advice for your specific circumstances.
Ideally, you want to spend the first three weeks of your postpartum as horizontal as possible!
The first thing to consider when it comes to rest is how you want to handle visitors. There is a lot happening in those first few weeks…and a lot of it happens topless! Think carefully about who you want in your space and why you want them there.
Then you want to think about your environment. The same environment that supports your needs in birth, supports your needs in postpartum. The aim is dim, quiet, cosy, undisturbed. And while you have probably bought all of the things for your baby and for their nursery, don’t forget some practical items for yourself and for your room too! You might want an extra long phone charger, an eye mask for naps, a subtle night light, some breastfeeding friendly pyjamas, an extra pair of sheets for your bed (night sweats are a real postpartum thing and laundry is a real postpartum challenge).
Happy tummy = happy mummy!
You will likely be putting significant time and effort into figuring out how to feed your baby and so you need to have a plan as to how you are going to feed yourself!
Towards the end of your pregnancy, you might want to stock your pantry, fridge, and freezer with your favourite meals and snacks. In postpartum, your slow cooker is your best friend and having dump bags ready to go is another way to ensure you are nourishing yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends to help you with this (there is a website called MealTrain that makes this really easy).
Decision fatigue is a thing! So, set up online ordering so you can easily get groceries delivered or do click and collect without having to think about what you usually buy. To alleviate the “what’s for dinner” anguish, write down your five favourite easy meals and keep that list on the fridge.
Consider late night lunch boxes. Tending to a newborn is a 24/7 gig and it is normal to be up throughout the night feeding your baby. And it is also normal to want to eat while your baby is eating! A late night lunch box filled with mostly healthy snacks that you can eat with one hand can actually help you get more sleep as, at the end of that feeding session, your baby will be sated…and you will be too!
What do you need to be physically comfortable?
What do you need to be emotionally comfortable?
Your body changes significantly throughout pregnancy. And it takes a while for it to “bounce back” after birth. Your breasts, abdominals, pelvic floor, perineum…everything feels foreign and it is normal to feel disconnected from your body.
Wearing clothes that provide stability and comfort will help you feel more secure and confident. Think the Active Truth Postnatal Recovery Support Briefs, some pjs that you can easily breastfeed in, and some loungewear that makes you feel good.
Other must haves for physical comfort are maternity pads, padiscles, breast pads, a stool softener, lots of cushions, and a caddy full of all of the basics for your baby (nappies, wipes, burp cloths) and for you (nipple cream, water bottle, snacks, an insulated flask for tea, remote control, charger, book).
What you need to feel emotionally comfortable will be more individual, but consider how what makes you feel loved, what support do you anticipate needing, what boundaries will be beneficial, and communication strategies – especially around asking for help.
It is hard to be rested, fed, and comforted without support!
This is where your village comes in!
Your village might be your partner. It might consist of family and friends. You might outsource by arranging for meal delivery or a cleaner. Don’t be constrained by thinking because you don’t have family nearby you can’t have a village or that your village has to look a certain way. Your robot vacuum might be part of your village! You get to create your own village!
Your village is there to support you, to ease the load, to allow you to focus on the important work of postpartum…which is recovering from pregnancy and birth, figuring out how to feed your baby, and falling in love with the amazing little human that you created!
Caitlin Dyer runs the Positive Birth Program in Brisbane and online. Get 20% off the online course with code ActiveTruth