As a postpartum doula and newborn care specialist, I’m constantly advocating for my clients to have the best experience possible after their baby arrives. One way I do this is by guiding clients as they create their postpartum plans.

What is a postpartum plan? Well, it includes creating realistic expectations and plans for sleep, food (for you and your baby,) and physical and emotional recovery. Your postpartum plan includes a support system; this team could be for your medical recovery (like a chiropractor, a pelvic floor therapist, or a lactation consultant) or your emotional recovery (like a birth and postpartum therapist, a support group, or a mommy and me class.)

Here are five reasons why preparing for postpartum is more important than you might think.

1. You don’t know what you don’t know.

You can take all the classes and read all the books and STILL be surprised or confused or overwhelmed with your newborn. With a birth and postpartum plan, you have people you can reach out to with your questions.

2. You’ll have time to heal.

Growing and giving birth to a tiny human is exhausting. And you need time to recover. A postpartum plan ensures you have the basics, like food and laundry, covered. That way, you’ll be able to focus on healing.

3. You’ll bond with your baby.

All that time spent healing will allow you to bond with your newborn. When you’re not worrying about your next meal, you can snuggle your baby. Plus, all that skin-to-skin time with your baby regulates both of your heart rates and body temperature and increases your milk supply.

4. You’ll diagnose and treat issues more quickly.

So many of my clients contact me when their baby is a few weeks old, and they’re all struggling. They haven’t mastered feeding their baby and are often experiencing symptoms of a postpartum mental health disorder. But you can prevent (or lessen) those struggles by surrounding yourself with a team. If problems like your baby’s latch or your pelvic floor recovery come up, you’ll have support in place.

5. You’ll lessen the chances of having a postpartum mental health disorder.

New parents with little to no support are five (FIVE!) times more likely to experience symptoms of a postpartum mental health disorder. A birth and postpartum plan ensure you have people checking in on you and people to talk to about your recovery.

Want to learn more about making a birth and postpartum plan? Check out my services here!