5 Best Postpartum Essentials for Couples to Plan

Written by: Anchal Sharma


Time to Read: 5 min

The period after childbirth can be both a joyful and challenging time for new parents. No matter how prepared or unprepared you think you are, the reality hits differently. Bringing a newborn home-ushers in a multitude of life changes. As long as you have a postpartum plan, this transition to parenthood will become less challenging and easier to take on.

Here are some essential things that partners should discuss and plan for the first few months. Once you get the hang of it, life will be so much better.

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  1. Get Help and Support

This is the most important part of your postpartum plan. DO NOT SKIP THIS. No matter how active, prepared, or pro you think you are at tackling life's challenges, get a support team.

Help can come from anyone: your partner, family, friends or even acquaintances. Whatever your relationship or living situation might be, consider talking it out with your spouse, partner, friend, roommate, or family. The goal is to understand that the woman about to give birth is going to go through an enormous change in every way possible and the people around her have to ensure her recovery and well-being to the best of their abilities.

Accept help and do not hesitate to ask for assistance with household tasks. They can assist with chores, meals, and taking care of the baby, allowing you to rest and recover. Talk to your friends and family and have a schedule where they can come stay with you to get you through the first two to three months. So make your team.

Once you have a clear idea about who is going to be there and for how long, you can plan for other things, which brings us to our next point.

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  1. Rest and Recovery

To say that there's a lot going on in a pregnant body would be an understatement. Whether it’s a natural birth or c-section, your body needs time to heal after childbirth. Take it easy and prioritize rest.

Talk to your partner about sleep management and how they can adjust/manage their work-life balance to get you the rest you need. Consider sharing night-time responsibilities with your partner or getting help from a family member. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps and establish a sleep routine.

Attend your postpartum check-ups with your healthcare provider to ensure your physical and emotional well-being is on track.

Focus on self-care. Perk yourself up with a pretty nail-paint or a face mask. Get a full body massage regularly, if not from a professional masseuse then ask your partner, if that's not possible then buy a foot massager or a heating pad for your back (you get the point right, figure out what would work in your situation and just go for it.)

Take naps whenever you get the opportunity and understand that this is the MOST SPECIAL TIME FOR YOU. Do not clutter your head at this point with negative thoughts. Now is not the time to think about:

·   How fat your body is

·   How will you get back to work

·   Work

·   How messy your house is

·   What did my relatives say about the condition of my house

·   What you are missing out on (Turn your FOMO to JOMO!)

·   Changing relationship dynamics

·   And any nonsense that brings tears to your eyes 

Instead, focus on appreciating the strength of your body and think of ways you can help it by giving it the rest and pampering it deserves. Here’s a beautiful post on self affirmations that can help you feel positive.

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  1. Nutrition and Hydration: Core Elements of Postpartum Plan

Focus on a balanced diet rich in nutrients and stay hydrated

Make a meal plan that serves this purpose and is easy to follow through. Instead of cooking elaborate meals that our mothers were able to cook or had during their postpartum time, break down those recipes and use the same fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy and other ingredients for their nutritional value in a different way that is easier to prepare. Smoothies, soups, dry fruits, sandwiches and salads can make your life easier.

If you're breastfeeding, your nutritional needs would be higher. So, do not fret about the increased portion size. Also ensure that you are taking calcium supplements. It is important for both your own bone health and your baby's development. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, fortified plant-based milks, leafy greens, and fortified foods.

Get supplements when your milk supply is running low. Make sure you are getting your daily dose of multivitamins, calcium, and iron if you have deficiency. When you forget, make sure there's someone keeping tabs and reminding you to take those vitamins.

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4. Emotional Well-Being

Postpartum emotions can be intense and varied. It's normal to experience a range of feelings, including joy, anxiety, frustration, and sadness. There will be times when you will love your baby and times when you will be tired of looking at your baby. All of this is natural and normal. 

You are a real person with real emotions. Your life is not a movie with perfectly curated loving moments. You have a full and rich life that has a bit of everything. Here are some practical suggestions to get your emotional well being and mental health on track.

  • Talk openly with your partner and friends if you're feeling overwhelmed.

  • Don't hesitate to reach out for help.

  • Isolation can exacerbate feelings of stress or loneliness. Having someone to talk to in person especially can work wonders for your mental well-being. So, invite your dear ones and ask them to make you a cup of herbal tea and chat away.

  • Join a postpartum support group, connect with other new parents.

  • If you have any concerns about your physical or emotional health, please contact a mental healthcare professional.

  • Most importantly, be proactive and take charge of your life.

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5. Expectations v/s Reality

Learn to be flexible and adapt as needed. Understand that the early postpartum period can be challenging, and things may not go as planned.

For example, you thought you were going to breastfeed as part of your postpartum plan, it doesn't work out and now you have to rely on formula, or the baby is not latching and despite working with a lactation consultant, that doesn't happen, so all you can do is pump-out the milk and bottle-feed the baby.

There is no right or wrong. Have a solution-oriented approach instead of dwelling on what's not working for you. As long as you are managing your basic daily tasks and doing what's best for you and your baby, trust me brave mama, you will be fine!

Remember, every parent's experience is unique. What matters most is finding what works best for you and your family during this transformative time. Communication with your partner is key. If you can both communicate openly, share your feelings, experiences, and concerns, and work together to support each other, your postpartum experience will become a beautiful journey.