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Setting up your Postpartum nest must start in Pregnancy

I had spent so much time nesting in the weeks before the birth of my first baby. I tidied, sorted, decluttered, and cleaned. I had everything my baby could possibly need. I had all my baby clothes washed and washed again, little teeny babygros, vests, and cardigans. Nursing bra and the breast pump (which i didn’t really use),  towels and toiletries, and all my hospital bag basics were neatly packed.  

I thought I was prepared!!

What I didn’t have was a freezer full of dinners and someone to come and look after me. I didn’t have the knowledge about what my postnatal body would need in order to recover from pregnancy and birth. I didn’t know that my baby would need to be snuggled up with me for the first weeks of her life. After my husbands 2 weeks of paternity leave, he was back to work at full-tilt, working really long days on top of a long commute. Looking back, I realise that I saw my husband being back at work as my cue to get back to ‘normal’ (which for me meant running around like a headless chicken).

The gift of TIME, the gift of slowing down

I didn’t know that I needed to rest and that my baby needed me to as well. 

Walking through Boots chemist looking at all the baby essentials, it’s easy to think that stuff is all you need. But time is what we so badly need. Time to rest and recover, time in bed, time lounging on the sofa with our babies. To have that time we need to plan for it. Because looking after a baby is a full-time job. So what happens to the housework and the cooking and shopping? What happens to the school runs and the care of your other children? Traditionally this would have been done by other family members and members of your village. But modern families often no help and can be very reluctant to ask, even if help was available. In the absence of outside help, mothers will not have the time to spend with their baby resting, recovering, and falling in love. Mothers will not be able to properly rest if their other children are not being looked after and if the house is falling apart around them! So don’t tell a mother to go to bed when there is nobody picking up the slack for her. 

Interdependence not Independence

In our society, we are constantly told that independence is king, but our need for interdependence really hits us between the eyes once we have a baby. Babies require so much care and so much of our time and energy that it’s impossible to not need help with our newborn. We can really struggle when we believe that we should be coping alone. 

Many parents are reluctant to ask their families for help. For many, their family members live far away or they may be too elderly or unwell to help out. Often, parents do not want their family members to see them struggling. There are also times when having family members helping comes with a large dose of unwanted advice and judgment. For many parents getting paid help is a really good solution. But where can they find it? 

Here is where your postnatal doula comes in!

For newborn families, a postpartum/ postnatal doula ticks every box. Garda vetted, fully insured, and with a wealth of knowledge and local resources to plug you into. We know postpartum! From helping you to gather your village in pregnancy, to nourishing your postpartum body to breastfeeding help, to be a listening ear, we know what new mothers need! I am a postpartum doula, I am Garda vetted, insured and I have undergone training in postpartum workwith DONA International and Jojo Hogan of Slow Postpartum, infant sleep, breastfeeding, and slings, all served up with a massive dollop of experience, passion for my work, and a love of working with families! I am not a newborn nanny, my role is to “mother the mother” to feed you and care for you.

Sit down and plan with your partner

Take the time to sit down with your partner or support person and think about how life will be after your baby is born. How will it affect your relationship? How do you both respond to pressure and exhaustion when your baby is not sleeping?  Who is going to cook and clean if you are both working full time (one of you with the baby)? Think of the four D’s: Drop what is not essential, Delegate as much as possible and Delay anything you can. The fourth D is for a doula! Find your postpartum doula during your pregnancy and work with them to create your postnatal babymoon. This gives you a massive head start. Jojo Hogan of Slow Postpartum describes postpartum as the honeymoon after your wedding. We plan our honeymoon well in advance of the wedding day. Planning for postpartum needs to be planned for in the same way, with your support network of family, friends and care providers in place before your baby is born .

By finding your postpartum doula during your pregnancy, you are giving yourself the best chance of having the best postpartum experience. Contact me today to find out how we can plan your post-birth resting and nesting!

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