You’ve spent months preparing for your baby’s arrival. But don’t forget about YOU (you’re, like, really important in this whole scenario too). Recovering from a C-section requires a bit of planning because you’ll need some extra TLC. Doing a few things now can set you up for success in the first weeks after you bring your precious bundle home.
1. Plan for food.
Birth and breastfeeding can make you ravenously hungry, but it can be hard to find the time (or desire) to cook when you’ve just had a baby. Take some time now to stock, prepare and freeze some food (here are a few of our favorite new-mama foods). We also love Meal Trains, where you set up a system for people to bring you meals. Grandma’s famous homemade lasagna brought to your door? Yes, please!
2. Delegate responsibilities.
Think about all the little things that need to happen in any given day—especially the ones that are really important to you—and start asking people to “sign up” to help with chores like laundry, light housekeeping, errands and dog walking, to name a few. Also think about scheduling in time for people to come over and hold your baby so you can take a nap, shower or just watch some Netflix in peace. People want to help you. Sometimes you just have to show them how.
3. Find a ride.
You won’t be able to drive in the weeks following your birth. So think about the places you (and your kids) will need to go, like doctor’s appointments, ballet practice, the grocery store, and ask for help.
4. Simplify + declutter.
There may be an influx of baby presents into your home right now, which is awesome. But most experienced moms will tell you how much easier motherhood is when you simplify and declutter. Do what you can now to minimize and organize—postpartum you will be so glad you did!
5. Create stations.
Babies poop a lot. They also eat a lot. So it’s really nice to have multiple places in your home to address those needs, especially because walking up and down stairs can be quite uncomfortable after a cesarean birth. Make a few little diaper-changing caddies (stocked with diapers, wipes and diaper cream) and put one in each of the rooms you spend the most time in. Create mini nursing nooks in a few spots too (a comfy place to sit, a pillow, a book, some snacks, a plastic cup/bottle for water).
If you have multiple floors in your home, you may want to set up a comfortable place where you can sleep on the first floor for the first week or so, to minimize using the stairs.
6. Find resources.
It’s hard to know what you’ll need exactly, but having some local professionals ready to call will save you a lot of stress, should you need them. Ask for recommendations for a postpartum doula, a baby nurse, a lactation consultant and a therapist who specializes in postpartum depression and anxiety. If you never need them, great. But if you do, you’ll be so glad to already have their info on hand.
7. Take care of yourself now.
Birth is a lot of work, and you want to enter it as rested and healthy as possible. Doing this can help you to have an easier and faster recovery. So go ahead and take that nap, mama. You deserve it (and you’ll be so glad you did)!