I’m officially out of my planned postpartum period of 6 weeks.
Since my fourth baby, I began making a postpartum plan. This was extremely helpful for me in the last few months of pregnancy to wrap my mind around preparing for postpartum, but it was also hugely helpful to be able to communicate with those I loved so that they knew what to expect from me.
But as we all know, postpartum emotions, hormones, and exhaustion don’t magically disappear after six weeks! Though many women experience a leveling out and regulation of milk as well as hormones, as breastfeeding demands change, so can a mom’s hormones. A healthy rule of thumb is to be on the alert for any postpartum issues such as anxiety, stress, depression, adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, etc… for at least the first year to 2 years after birth, not just six weeks.
There are also many transitional stages that your baby will experience in their first year of life, and each of those will also impact Mama, daddy, and the family. For example, those nights or weeks of teething can be a rude awakening to both mom and dad.
It’s always a wise precaution to exercise and an extra measure of patience and grace with one another in those seasons and work together as a team as best as possible.
So now that I am past the six-week mark, it’s re-evaluation time.
As a seasoned mother who has done this rodeo before, this is the point in postpartum when I test the waters to see how going out and getting back into the rhythm feels. Exiting my planned postpartum season of rest means getting back to my beloved job of taxi-cab mom! Or no! Wait a minute… I get to decide how this season of mothering littles will play out. That means for our family, we will be evaluating and limiting what activities we participate in, playdates we go to, and how often mom makes random last minute trips to the store.
If you are postpartum too, here are some of the questions I ask myself. They might be helpful to you too?
1.) How do I feel in the morning? Was it a restful night or was I up more than normal and extra tired today? I want to set myself up for success daily.
2.) What does the schedule look like for these next few weeks? Is it realistic or do I need to cut back and rest a little longer?
3.) After an outing, I ask myself how that felt? Was it liberating or stressful?
4.) If it was stressful or caused anxiety, I ask myself, “How can I make that go more smoothly next time?”
Here are some simple suggestions for making trips out less stressful:
- Allot more drive time
- Allow yourself enough time to nurse a full feeding before leaving
- Pump and take a bottle
- Take an extra snack for Mom & Other Kids
- Take fewer kids on the outing
- Take an extra child with you to be a helper?
- Plan to have to change a diaper, possibly a blow-out while you are out (if it doesn’t happen you will be OVER-the moon)
- Plan extra time to get home so you are NOT stressed
- Pack the Young Living Stress Away roller in your diaper bag and roll it on the back of your neck a few times when you feel the anxiety beginning to hit.
- Try out the Little Loop. It is a strap that goes across your chest and helps you carry the infant car seat hands-free using your core! It works and is totally amazing! I wish I would have invented this!
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- After each type of outing ask yourself, “What could have made this trip easier?”
Remember that your health and sanity are a priority. You can’t parent well if you aren’t well.
And remember, postpartum isn’t just 6 weeks long. That’s the 4th trimester. Postpartum can last up to a year and even 3 years!
Every mom and every postpartum season is a little different, sometimes even a lot different.
Give yourself permission to nap when baby naps–OFTEN.
“He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:11, KJV
What are some suggestions you would offer to make outings go smoother?
Have you checked out my FREE Postpartum Workshop or Postpartum Course?
Before I gave birth to our little Eli, I created this FREE resource for moms. I dig into scripture on the topic of intimacy and a few other REALLY powerful topics, plus I share a few of the BEST supplements to have on hand for postpartum. I hope you take advantage of it while it is up!
This course has been designed for the busy mom. To find out more about the 13 topics I cover, the postpartum workbook, scripture cards, and prayers that come with it, visit this link: Pregnancy & Postpartum Program!