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Be Prepared - Your Postpartum Plan

posted Mar 2, 2015, 8:32 PM by AndrewandSarah Witzel

Most recent or soon-to-be mothers are familiar with birth plans: a document that specifies preferences for how the birth will go, if pain relief will be offered, who will be present, etc. Equally important is a postpartum plan that covers the weeks after the baby is born.

In many cultures, a postpartum plan would be completely unneeded: women are automatically cared for according to cultural traditions. In Western society though, women are expected to cope on their own fairly early on. A plan helps spell out details rather than assuming your partner and family will know what you want, and can decrease your stress in the early weeks.

Some of the things you may wish to plan ahead for are how visitors will be handled (when can they come, and for how long), who will take care of household chores while the mom is recovering from the birth, and how any older children will be cared for. Picture your ideal postpartum period just like you would picture your ideal birth, and be clear about your expectations and desires. Assumptions will not translate into reality!